SACRAMENTO, Calif. - On the second-to-last ride of the night,
top-ranked Valdiron de Oliveira brought 11,000
fans at Power Balance Pavilion to their feet when he rode
Buckey (Wentz Bucking Bulls) for 94 points to win
the first PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The score stood when 2011 PBR World Champion Silvano Alves bucked off Asteroid (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo), who is the current top-ranked bull. The 94-point ride is a career high for Oliveira, and is also the highest-scored ride of the 2012 season. Oliveira wins $7,000, and also earned 294 Built Ford Tough Series points: 200 for placing first and 94 points for his ride score.
NBC will broadcast the entire competition, featuring the Top 15 bull riders against the 15 highest-ranked bulls, on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 1:30 p.m.
The inaugural PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle featured seven qualified rides, and five 90-point rides in the last nine outs.
Jordan Hupp took the early lead with 89.5 points on Lincoln Electric's Bring It (Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Box K Cattle Co.) in the second ride of the night. It was the second week in a row that Hupp reached 8 seconds on the bull, having scored 86.25 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round en route to the event win last weekend at Portland, Ore.
Luke Snyder moved into first place with 90.25 points on Black Attack (D&H Cattle Company), and Aaron Roy immediately followed with 90.25 points on Mac-Nett's Southern Wine (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls).
After J.B. Mauney took over the lead with 91.5 points on Larry the Cable Guy's Git-R-Done (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls), Austin Meier, who is ranked second in the world, followed with a 92.25-point ride on Shepherd Hills Trapper (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo). Following a buckoff by 2008 PBR World Champion Guilherme Marchi, Oliveira posted the decisive ride on Buckey.
Asteroid made his season debut on Jan. 15 in Anaheim, Calif., and won the Pabst Blue Ribbon Bull Award for being the highest marked bull of the event. Asteroid was the reserve world champion last year, with two of the Top 10 bull scores in 2011, and was the high-marked bull at four consecutive events in Tulsa, Okla.; San Antonio; Springfield, Mo.; and Milwaukee.
2011 PBR World Champion Bull Bushwacker did not compete in Sacramento after having surgery on Jan. 3 to remove bone fragments from his rear legs. Bushwacker is expected to be out of action for 60 days, and is tentatively scheduled to return to competition in time for the Dickies® Iron Cowboy III presented by WinStar World Casino on March 3 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle is replacing the short round at nine events, and points earned in the special event do not count toward the results of the event. BFTS points are doubled in the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle, with the winner receiving 200 points and second place receiving 180 points, continuing on a graduated scale to 20 points for 10th place. Points earned in the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle count toward the season standings, and money earned counts towards qualification for the Built Ford Tough World Finals. If a rider fails to make a qualified ride, he does not receive any points or money.
The other dates for PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle are March 24 at Albuquerque, N.M.; April 14 at Indianapolis; April 28 at Uncasville, Conn.; May 5 at Billings, Mont.; May 11 at Boise, Idaho; and May 19 at Pueblo, Colo. Two more events in the second part of the season will be announced at a later date.
The remaining PBR 15/15 Bucking Battles will feature the Top 15 riders in the BFTS standings randomly paired with the 15 highest-ranked bulls at the events. The 15 bulls will be randomly drawn the week before the event, and assigned a position from 1-15. The Top 15 riders will be assigned a bull according to their standings at the conclusion of the preceding event.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and YouTube. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.
PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle Results
Saturday, Jan. 28 at Power Balance Pavilion
1. Valdiron de Oliveira, 94 points.
2. Austin Meier, 92.25 points.
3. J.B. Mauney, 91.5 points.
4. Luke Snyder, 90.25 points.
Aaron Roy, 90.25 points.
6. Jordan Hupp, 89.5 points.
7. Caleb Sanderson, 88.25 points.
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