Behind the chutes: Pueblo


  • Valdiron de Oliveira’s plan to sit out the 15/15 Bucking Battle doesn’t quite work out, but Renato Nunes’ bull selections work perfectly.
  • Now that he’s tried both Bushwacker and Asteroid, Luke Snyder thinks Asteroid is more difficult to ride.
  • The summer break comes at a good time, as the Pueblo event leaves a path of injury in its wake.

In This Article

PUEBLO, Colo. - It's a numbers game for the world title contenders.

Valdiron de Oliveira sat out the 15/15 Bucking Battle Saturday after aggravating a shoulder injury, so that he could try for a second event win the following day. Silvano Alves has had a conservative approach to the entire season. Both men have their sights set on the gold buckle.

Oliveira opted not get on Smackdown Saturday, and then used the first pick in the bull draft Sunday afternoon to choose Jack Daniel's After Party. He bucked off, and finished third in the event.

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Valdiron de Oliveira managed to preserve his lead atop the world standings heading into the summer break.

Alves rode two of four at the Pueblo Invitational, and was the only rider to cover his bull in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. However, the four re-rides he has declined in previous events came back to haunt him, as the unassuming L.J. Jenkins moved past him from third to second in the world standings with a second-place finish Sunday.

Jenkins has quietly put together eight consecutive Top 10 finishes - seven of which have been in the Top 5.

Alves has ridden two more bulls (41) than any other rider so far. He won last year's title by covering 11 more than anyone else, but with two-thirds of the season completed, the reigning World Champion is not getting the same kind of statistical separation he did a year ago.

Still, he didn't make his move to the No. 1 position in 2011 until after the two-month summer break.

In fact, a year ago, he trailed Oliveira at the break by 702 points, and had already amassed three event wins. This year he not only has fewer event wins (2) and three fewer Top 5 finishes (5), but he also trails Oliveira by 788.25 points. He now must also contend with passing Jenkins, who is 156.25 points ahead of him.

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L.J. Jenkins covered all four bulls in Pueblo and slipped into second overall.

Guilherme Marchi, who dominated the competition in 2008 to win a world title after finishing second three years in a row, was disappointed that for the second consecutive event he was unable to finish because of injuries.

Injuries have also affected J.B. Mauney's position in the world standings.

He broke a bone in his left (riding) hand when it was stepped on in Kansas City, Mo. He missed one event before returning to competition, trying to ride with his right hand.

The three bulls he then was able to cover with his opposite hand have turned out to be the difference between being ranked fifth and ninth in the world standings.

While the 2012 World Champion is likely to come from someone already ranked in the Top 5, the next five riders in the world standings - Marco Eguche, Renato Nunes, Austin Meier, Fabiano Vieira and Luke Snyder - are all formidable contenders in their own right.

Beginning Aug. 10 and 11, in Tulsa, Okla., there will be 10 events separating them from the end of the season.


WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER: Renato Nunes was happy to see Funeral Wagon Saturday night. In fact, he was so excited with his Round 3 draft pick that he brazenly told his fellow Brazilians, "This event, I win."

Nunes was certain he would cover his draft pick and have a chance to select Bucking Machine in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. The plan came together as expected.

Renato Nunes rides Funeral Wagon for 87.25 points in Round 3 of the 2012 PBR BFTS Pueblo Invitational in Pueblo, Colo.

He covered Funeral Wagon for 87.25 points, and with the second pick in the championship round he selected Bucking Machine, whom he covered for 90 points to claim his first BFTS win of the season.

Renato Nunes wins the Pueblo Invitational with a 90-point effort on Bucking Machine in the championship round.

"I feel great, because I started really good this year and then I came down a little bit (in the world standings)," he said. "I try hard and I work out every day, but when it's not going to happen, it's not going to happen."

He smiled and added, "Nobody can beat me on those two bulls."

This weekend's event win - the ninth of his career - moved him to seventh in the world standings.

Nunes is especially happy about the payday.

He won $38,853 to bring his season total up to $91,953. He knew well that all his friends had already surpassed $100,000 for the season.

He'll head home to Brazil to see his family before going up to Canada in July, trying to double his current earnings by winning the Calgary Stampede.

In the meantime, he said, "I get to take some money home, and there's nothing better than that."

A BEFORE B: After three unsuccessful attempts on Bushwacker, Luke Snyder tried his hand at covering Asteroid in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. "I had a game plan and it just went to heck in a hurry," he said. "I knew he was going to kick the lights out like that. Man, his back, he's just so steep that he just pushes you in the back and you feel it hit you."

Asteroid exploded out of the chute and in a swift left turn sent Snyder over his right shoulder in 1.9 seconds. Snyder was surprised to learn the judges only marked him 44.75 points.

Luke Snyder bucks off Asteroid in the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Pueblo, Colo.

"He's the real deal," said Snyder, who added that Asteroid's head disappeared as if he had tucked it between his two front legs.

"I've been on both of them. I've been on Bushwacker three times and Bushwacker dang sure bucks, but there's more power to that little brindle. He's more difficult to ride. They're both the total package, but from my perspective, Asteroid is a lot stronger."

INJURY REPORT: Dr. Tandy Freeman and the entire sports medicine team were busy throughout the three-day event in Pueblo. Freeman released the following injury updates:

Robson Palermo sustained a nasal fracture when he was hit in the face by his bull in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night. He will also be examined in Dallas for a possible broken jaw. He was originally listed as questionable for Sunday, but wound up competing in Round 3. Palermo experienced dizziness near the end of his third-round ride, and as a precaution he did not compete in the championship round "due to multiple complaints."

Robson Palermo takes a hard hit to the face in bucking off Perfect Poison in the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Pueblo, Colo.

Guilherme Marchi did not compete in the championship round because of a sprained right (riding) hand.

Fabiano Vieira aggravated a chronic right-shoulder sprain when he was thrown to the ground during the final round, while Marco Eguche did not finish the event with a sprained right (riding) hand.

Ryan Dirteater sustained a concussion for the second time in three weeks when he was pulled down on his bull's horns during the 15/15 round. He did not take a re-ride bull and did not compete on Sunday.

Ryan Dirteater sustains a concussion in bucking off Train Wreck in the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Pueblo, Colo.

Ty Pozzobon missed the 15/15 round due to an aggravation of an old knee sprain after being thrown by his second-round bull. Pozzobon was thrown three times and jumped over the fence into the audience to escape. He did not compete on Sunday.

Ty Pozzobon bucks off Mark 10:27, before taking multiple hits in Round 2 of the 2012 PBR Pueblo Invitational in Pueblo, Colo.

Brendon Clark sustained a concussion when he was thrown to the ground by his first-round bull. He finished the event, but sprained his jaw (right temporomandibular joint) when he collided with the bull's head during the third round.

Jared Farley sustained a concussion when he was thrown to the ground by his third-round bull.

Markus Mariluch sustained a bruised right shoulder (riding arm) and possible rib fracture when he was thrown into the chute by his first-round bull. He was listed as questionable for Saturday, but rode and then did not compete in Round 3 due to the rib injury.

Jarrod Craig sustained a concussion and a facial laceration during the championship round when he was pulled down on his bull's head.

Jarrod Craig takes a nasty shot to the head from Red Hot in the championship round at the 2012 PBR BFTS Pueblo Invitational in Pueblo, Colo.

FALLOUT: The weekend's multiple injuries had an effect on how the Built Ford Tough Championship Round played out.

With Palermo and Marchi unable to compete in the final round, Cody Nance and Stormy Wing had one last chance to salvage their weekends.

Nance had won the opening round with a 90.5-point ride, but replays clearly showed he had both spurs lodged in his bull rope when he left the chute. "Catching knots" is illegal, and results in a disqualification if noticed by the judges. The judges did not make the call on Friday.

Cody Nances puts up a round-best score of 90.5 points on Hee Bee Gee Bee to win the opening round of the 2012 PBR Pueblo Invitational in Pueblo, Colo.

Nance bucked off in the next two rounds, and would have missed the championship round by one spot, while Wing was 12th in the average.

Wing made a solid ride in Round 2, but after bucking off in Round 3, he left the arena and headed home to Dalhart, Texas.

Wing's absence gave Harve Stewart another opportunity.

"It worked out," said Stewart, who was unhappy with Rounds 1 and 3. "I guess when it's going your way, it's going your way."

Last week in Nampa, Idaho, Stewart benefited when Austin Meier, Sevi Torturo and Nance turned down re-ride options. He took his, and finished second in the round on Another One. Sunday afternoon in Pueblo, he was left with Josey Wales.

Harve Stewart puts up 89.50 points in the championship round at the 2012 PBR BFTS Pueblo Invitational in Pueblo, Colo.

Stewart covered for 89.5 points, and finished second in the round and fifth in the event, and moved up to 13th in the world standings, the highest he's ever been ranked this late in a season.

"I just kept my mind in the middle and got a score," he said.

YOUNGSTERS: The much-anticipated inaugural Back Seat Buckers event took place Saturday morning in Pueblo. It was the first of four regular-season events before the 100 two-year-old bulls make their way to Las Vegas for the Finals.

The top-scoring bull was Booger Red Skoal, whose owner George Goins was ecstatic to watch him earn 90.5 points in his first outing. He beat out CB 603 in a competition that saw 11 of the bulls earn 86 points or more. Thirty-five of the bulls scored 80 or more points.

Goins earned $7,000 for the win on a day in which the ABBI paid out $25,000 in prize money.

Booger Red Skoal is now the frontrunner to win the top prize of $250,000 in Las Vegas, where more than $400,000 will be paid out, bringing the season total to $500,000.

Bear Pascoe, a tight end for the reigning Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, had the top-scoring bull of several celebrity owners. Pascoe's bull The G Man was marked 85.5 points to split 12th in the round with four other bulls.

Chad Ochocinco split 17th. His bull Seis Siete was marked 84.5 points. Reggie Jackson (23rd), Moe Bandy (27th), Wayne Gretzky (37th) and John Elway (46th) all finished in the top half of the round, while Boomer Esiason's bull Boomer and Carton finished 57th.

The program allows for fans to purchase the rights to owning their own bucking bulls without having the concern of raising, training and hauling the bovine athletes to ABBI events.

Three Stock Contractor of Year winners - Tom Teague, Jeff Robinson and Chad Berger - are also involved in the inaugural season of Back Seat Buckers, as is former PBR CEO Randy Bernard.

The next Back Seat Buckers event will take place Aug. 10 and 11 in Tulsa, Okla.

Anyone interested in purchasing the rights to one of 100 Back Seat Buckers bulls for next season can contact Ross Coleman via email at

TESTED A CLASSIC: For the second consecutive time, Shepherd Hills Tested was the top-scoring ABBI Classic bull. He was marked 90 points in his third Classic win of the 2012 season.

His highest mark from the six judges was 23 points, with a low of 21.75 and an average of 22.5 points from the remaining four judges. Classic bulls are scored by six judges, with the high and low scores discarded.

The D&H Cattle bull beat out the competition by a full three points.

Five other 2- and 3-year-old bulls - Page U36, Midnight Mood, Super Cool Cat, Change Up and Wilson -scored 87 points to split second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth in the average. Gonzo (86.75), Ragin JT (86.5), Altercation (86.25) and Contra Band (86.25) rounded out the rest of the Top 10 Classic bulls competing in Round 2 of the Pueblo Invitational.

First place paid out $9,979.50. The Top 8 bulls earned a total payout of $33,265.

MEANWHILE, IN ROUND 1: The opening round of the Pueblo Invitational featured an ABBI Maturity competition. A Maturity works the same way as a Classic competition, but while Classic competitions feature 2- and 3-year-olds, a Maturity is open to bulls of all ages.

Poker Face and Cat Ballou split the Maturity win.

Both bulls were marked 89.5 points and each took home a check for $7,137. Box K Cattle hauls Poker Face, who bucked off Emilio Resende, and Diamond S Bucking Bulls hauls Cat Ballou, who bucked off Meier.

Rider favorite Hee Bee Gee Bee finished third with 89 points. Tremors, Rack City and Whiskey's Rebel split fourth, fifth and sixth place with 88.5 points.

Flirting with Disaster (88), Shepherd Hills Sod Buster (87.75), Bono (87.5) and Blonde Bomber (87.5) rounded out the Top 10.

LOSTROH MENDING: Home-state favorite Kody Lostroh was in Pueblo on Friday night. The 2009 World Champion was in town to sign autographs at sponsor-related activities surrounding Wild Wild West Festival, which was held in conjunction with the BFTS event.

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Kody Lostroh is dealing with a separating pelvis.

Lostroh is out of competition because of an injury to his pelvis.

The left and right side of a pelvis typically are held together tightly by several tendons. According to Lostroh, his tendons have been stretched out, and therefore the two sides of the pelvis are splitting apart.

He's been told the injury will heal on its own without surgery. He's wearing a special hip brace virtually 24 hours a day.

He is expected to return to the BFTS after the summer break in Tulsa, Okla. He'll even be competing at one event in Canada next week.

SYMPATHIES: The PBR extends its condolences to the family of Stan Dandy, who passed away on May 12. Dandy and his wife Frances Dandy own the Table Mountain Casino outside of Fresno, Calif., and have sponsored several BFTS and Touring Pro events in California.

Through the years, the Dandy family has been known to add its own money the payout awarded to the winning riders. In 2011, they added $10,000 to the total paid to Valdiron de Oliveira for winning the BFTS event in Fresno.

Private funeral services for Mr. Dandy took place last Friday.

DAD'S DONATION: The PBR and DAD'S Pet Foods announced that they are donating 1,000 pounds of dog food to the PAWS for Life Animal Welfare & Protection Society, a non-profit, private organization in Pueblo which found homes for more than 400 dogs in 2011.

The Official Pet Food of the PBR, DAD'S Pet Foods looks to donate 1,000 pounds of pet food product to a local humane society, animal rescue, or animal care center in each city the BFTS visits.

PAWS for Life Animal Welfare & Protection Society is a no-kill shelter, funded entirely by donations and grants and supported by volunteers. The PAWS for Life shelter is a safe haven for strays, owner surrenders, and even dogs from nearby shelters who need a little extra help finding their forever home. The PAWS for Life shelter houses 50-60 dogs at any one time, keeping every resident until it is adopted or becomes too ill to treat.

RIDE WITH ROSCOE: The recently retired Coleman announced that the first-ever Ross Coleman PBR Bull Riding School will take place June 2 and 3 in Henrietta, Texas, at the Brad Fudge Arena. Students will receive one-on-one instruction. Coleman will also be joined by Pistol Robinson.

There will be bulls for all skill levels, and rides will be filmed for playback. The event will coincide with the SAYiWON'T Rope-N-Ride. The cost is $400 per student. For more information, call 940-224-1244.

OR LEARN FROM CHRIS AND J.B.: The PBR will be hosting a bull riding school in Asheville, N.C., on June 1, 2 and 3 in conjunction with the TPD event there. Two-time World Champion Chris Shivers and J.B. Mauney will serve as instructors.

The cost is $400 per student. Students will also receive two tickets and passes to the TPD event that takes place June 1 and 2. To register, contact Edwin Lay at 719-242-2800 ext. 3324.

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