ARLINGTON, Texas – Four of the top PBR riders in the world went home significantly richer than they were when they woke up Saturday morning in Arlington, Texas.
J.B. Mauney closed out the historic weekend by winning THE AMERICAN and claiming the $100,000 payout in the bull riding event. The reigning World Champion credited his wife, Lexie, for helping him refocus in spite of dealing with an injured riding hand.
After the event, he told Leah Garcia, “I had to quit thinking and just go back to riding bulls.”
He was two 2-for-2 on Sunday at AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium), including a 90.5-point effort on Cowtown Slinger to open the four-man shootout to determine the winner of the inaugural event.
One night earlier, Joao Ricardo Vieira became the fifth rider in five years to win the Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V.
Last year’s Rookie of the Year won his second event in three weeks to claim $50,000, while this year’s top rookie sensation Gage Gay finished second and added $27,000 to his bank account.
It’s the most money the 19-year-old from Staley, N.C., has won in a single day.
Guilherme Marchi also earned $25,000 for his second-place finish at THE AMERICAN.
CLARIFICATION: RFD-TV broadcasters questioned whether or not Marchi’s opening-round ride at THE AMERICAN would go down as his 500th. That is not the case. Marchi remains at 499 after riding Redneck for 87.5 points in Round 2 of the Iron Cowboy.
The milestone he is approaching is for qualified rides earned at Built Ford Tough Series events.
That number does not include rides made at Touring Pro Division events, international PBR events, professional rodeos or other sanctioned events like THE AMERICAN. Sunday’s event is comparable to the annual Calgary Stampede in which they invite the top PBR bull riders.
SENSORY OVERLOAD: A pair of riders – Validron de Oliveira and Robson Palermo – both did interviews with Garcia for CBS Sports Network only to ask afterwards if they had indeed advanced to the next round during the Iron Cowboy.
Oliveira was the first rider to nod his head in the opening round.
He stayed on Born Sinner for 6.83 seconds and after Ty Pozzobon bucked off Wicked in 3.44 seconds, he spoke with Garcia about moving on to face Mauney in Round 2. After the interview and in the chaos of the fast-moving event in which a rider’s fortune can change in less than a second, Oliveira said, “I’m OK. Yeah, I’m good. I think I passed, right?”
Palermo said the same in the second round after knocking off Cody Nance. Palermo outscored Nance 89.5 points to 87.25. He too wanted to confirm he had advanced to the third round, while Nance was confused and disappointed to learn he had been eliminated despite making a great ride.
Nance’s best friend Mike Lee, who had been knocked out of the bracket in the opening round by Gay, was busy putting rosin on Nance’s rope when the 2009 Rookie of the Year told the 2004 World Champion to “stop.”
Mike Lee hangs up on Jack Daniel's Winter Jack at the 2014 PBR BFTS Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy in Arlington, Texas.
When Nance mentioned that he was out, Lee replied, “No. You rode.”
Nance then asked two-time World Champion Justin McBride, who was working as a behind-the-chutes analyst for the television broadcast, for confirmation. McBride looked at his notes and motioned “you’re out” similar to that of a baseball umpire.
INJURY UPDATE: Fabiano Vieira rode Fire & Smoke for 86.25 points in the opening round to advance after Douglas Duncan, who is dealing with on-going hand and wrist issues, bucked off. However, Vieira steadied his right shoulder by holding his forearm as he was accompanied by two PBR trainers to the sports medicine room.
After reemerging to the stadium, Vieira gave a thumbs up while still buttoning up his shirt and later called it a stinger.
However, he wasn’t as lucky in Round 2.
Vieira rode Meat Hook for 83.75 points and knocked out fellow Brazilian native Eduardo Aparecido, but was unable to continue in the event after landing once again hard on his right side. It was originally reported that he had possibly broken his right wrist on the landing.
However, Vieira later said he dislocated his right shoulder and is hoping to miss one event – next week’s BFTS in Phoenix – with plans of returning to competition a week later in Tacoma, Wash.
“I’m sorry,” said Vieira, who had promised fans he would win Saturday night’s Bad
Boy Mowers Million Dollar Ride. “I’ve been practicing at my house to ride Bushwacker.”
CAN’T CATCH A BREAK: On Sunday afternoon, Brian Canter was at THE AMERICAN. He’s was in the Dallas area because he’ll undergo surgery Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. Earlier this year he made a comeback attempt after missing nearly three years because of a series of major knee and hip injuries.
Shortly after resuming his career he was injured again at a Touring Pro Division event in early January.
Canter said he tore his right bicep off the bone and that Dr. Tandy Freeman will perform an additional surgery to help stabilize his shoulder and keep it from rolling forward. The popular North Carolina rider said he’s expected to miss six months of competition from the time of the surgery.
The Tiny Tar Heel, who was nicknamed Pinto by Jerome Davis’ wife, Tiffany, said he lost track of the number of surgeries he’s had, saying only, “It’s more than 10.”
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR: While introducing Stormy Wing, in-arena announcer Brandon Bates brought the Texas crowd of nearly 38,000 into a frenzy by calling Wing one of their own. He then had, perhaps, the funniest line of the entire event.
Bates reminded them that Wing is from Dalhart and then in explaining where Dalhart is located, he offered this advice for anyone passing through the Texas Panhandle town.
“Stop and get gas,” he said, pausing for dramatic effect, “because it’s 7,000 miles to the next gas station.”
Wing drew comparisons to 2010 winner Colby Yates when he advanced to the third round.
Wing rode Jack Daniel’s After Party for 90.5 points in Round 2 to set up a head-to-head matchup with eventual winner Joao Ricardo Vieira. Yates is a Fort Worth, Texas, native and it was in the third round that Yates recalled feeling an overwhelming swell of support from the fans, riders and contractors.
The same was felt on Saturday until Wing met Stone Sober.
He bucked off in 1.25 seconds and Stone Sober solidified himself as an early contender on a short list of potential World Champion Bulls. Stone Sober hasn’t been ridden since Emilio Resende made the 8-second mark on him for 88 points last year in Oklahoma City.
Since then he’s bucked off 12 consecutive riders at the BFTS.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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