PUEBLO, Colo. - The Professional Bull Riders on Wednesday announced the seven finalists for the 2012 World Champion Bull.
The list is led by defending champion Bushwacker, who was chosen by the world's best bull riders for the third straight year. The other six contenders are last year's runner-up Asteroid (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo), Buckey (Wentz Bucking Bulls), David's Dream (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo/3B Bucking Bulls), Lightmaker.com's Rango (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls), Rock & Roll (Bad Company Rodeo Co. Inc. / Cody Ohl), and Smackdown (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Struve/Rosen).
Asteroid, Bushwacker, David's Dream, Lightmaker.com's Rango, and Smackdown were selected in voting by the Top 35 bull riders in the world. Buckey and Rock & Roll were chosen by PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert, who is also a PBR co-founder and Ring of Honor member.
The 2012 World Champion Bull will be the bull who accumulates the highest total bull score on two trips during the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Oct. 24-28 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The winner will be announced on Oct. 28 after the final round of competition.
Bushwacker has bucked off 33 consecutive riders at Built Ford Tough Series events, which is the third-longest streak in history behind 35 by Silver Wings (D&H Cattle Company) and 34 by Pandora's Box (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve). In Round 1 of the World Finals, he will be paired with Marco Eguchi, who is ranked eighth in the BFTS standings. Bushwacker's overall buckoff streak, including Touring Pro Division events, is 45 riders in a row. The son of Reindeer Dippin, he has been marked 47 points out of a possible 50 points, 11 times in his four-year BFTS career, including a career-high 48.5 points in Round 3 at the World Finals in 2011. Bushwacker, who missed the first eight events of the season after undergoing surgery in January, has been the high-marked bull at five events this season. In head-to-head meetings, Bushwacker has posted the higher score eight times, including the last six meetings. He won the American Bucking Bull, Inc., Classic Championship in 2010.
It is the second year in a row that Asteroid has been nominated. He is 14-1 this season, and has posted the three highest bull scores of the year, and eight of the Top 16 bull scores of the season. Asteroid is paired up with Eneias Barbosa in Round 1 of the World Finals. He scored 47.5 points in Tampa after bucking off Valdiron de Oliveira in 2.33 seconds, tying the highest score of the season, also by Asteroid when he bucked off PBR World Champion Silvano Alves in 1.81 seconds at the first PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sacramento. He tied Bushwacker for most Pabst Blue Ribbon Awards, awarded to the high-marked bull at each event, with five. J.B. Mauney posted the second-highest score of the season with 93.5 points on Asteroid to win the championship round in San Antonio. Mauney's ride ended a streak of 16 consecutive buckoffs for Asteroid.
It is the second straight nomination for Smackdown, who has been ridden six times in 45 outs at BFTS events the last three seasons. He will be matched up with Eduardo Aparecido Silva in Round 1. He was the high-marked bull with 47 points after bucking off Ryan Dirteater in 3.09 seconds in Round 3 at Sacramento, Calif., and he also posted 46.25 points after dispatching Marchi in 1.68 seconds in the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle. Smackdown also posted the highest score at Detroit with 45.50 points after bucking off Duncan in 2.10 seconds. Robson Palermo had the third-highest ride score of the season with 92.50 points in the championship round at the Jack Daniel's Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.
Buckey tied for the fourth-highest bull score of the season with 47 points when he bucked off J.B. Mauney in 3.04 seconds at Arlington, Texas. His score in Arlington beat Asteroid (45.5) and Bushwacker (46) to earn the Pabst Blue Ribbon Award for being the high-marked bull of the event. Buckey will be matched up with Jordan Hupp, who is ranked 27th in the BFTS standings. He also accounted for the highest ride score of the season, 94 points by Oliveira to win the inaugural PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sacramento, Calif.
David's Dream was 4-0 in PBR 15/15 Bucking Battles, and 11-1 in BFTS outs. He will be paired with Juan Carlos Contreras in Round 1. The only time David's Dream was ridden was for 88.50 points by Oliveira to finish third in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at the 2012 Philadelphia Invitational. He competed in the 2011 World Finals, and scored 46 points after bucking off Austin Meier in 2.44 seconds in Round 4, finishing as high-marked bull of Classic competitors, and high-marked bull of the round. Originally named Black Widow, he was renamed David's Dream in April in honor of David Wisener, who was killed in a traffic accident while en route to a Built Ford Tough Series event in Glendale, Ariz. David's Dream was one of the six bulls Wisener was hauling.
Lightmaker.com's Rango made his World Finals debut in 2011, and scored 42.25 points after he bucked off Douglas Duncan in 3.45 seconds. He is matched up with Emilio Resende, who is ranked 24th in the BFTS standings. Rango has bucked off 10 riders in a row to improve to 17-2 this year, and 27-2 overall in BFTS outs. Rango was the high-marked bull at Glendale, Ariz., and Uncasville, Conn.
Rock & Roll has not been ridden in 19 BFTS outs, and has an average bull score of 43.46 points. He will be paired with top-ranked and defending World Champion Silvano Alves in Round 1. It won't be the first matchup with a World Champion, as Rock & Roll has bucked off Renato Nunes (2010) three times, Guilherme Marchi (2008) twice, and Kody Lostroh (2010) once. Nunes is the only rider that has lasted more than six seconds, coming closest to a qualified ride with 7.7 seconds at Oklahoma City this year.
PBR World Champion Bulls
Bull Stock Contractor,
2011 Bushwacker Julio Moreno/Richard Oliveira, Orangevale, Calif.
2010 Bones Teague Bucking Bulls LLC, Winston-Salem, N.C.
2009 Code Blue Walton & Wagoner/Berger & Struve, Lexington, N.C.
2008 Bones Teague Bucking Bulls LLC, Winston-Salem, N.C.
2007 Chicken on a Chain Robinson, Tedesco, Larry the Cable Guy, Mars Hill, N.C.
2006 Mossy Oak Mudslinger Page & Teague Bucking Bulls, Ardmore, Okla.
2005 Big Bucks Frontier Rodeo Company, Winnie, Texas
2004 Little Yellow Jacket Joe Berger/Tom Teague/Bernie Taupin, Mandan, N.D.
2003 Little Yellow Jacket Joe Berger/Tom Teague/Bernie Taupin, Mandan, N.D.
2002 Little Yellow Jacket Joe Berger/Tom Teague/Bernie Taupin, Mandan, N.D.
2001 Dillinger Herrington Cattle Co., Mont Belvieu, Texas
2000 Dillinger Herrington Cattle Co., Mont Belvieu, Texas
1999 Promise Land Terry Williams Bucking Bulls, Carthage, Texas
1998 Moody Blues Terry Williams Bucking Bulls, Carthage, Texas
1997 Panhandle Slim Terry Williams Bucking Bulls, Carthage, Texas
1996 Baby Face Terry Williams Bucking Bulls, Carthage, Texas
1995 Bodacious Andrews Rodeo Co. Inc., Bagwell, Texas
Follow Jack Carnefix on Twitter @JackCarnefix.
© 2014 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.