The final word: Ontario


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Austin Meier gutted out a pair of rides on Sunday to win his fifth Built Ford Tough Series event of the 2010 season.

His second-round ride wasn’t anywhere close to textbook form, but the 23-year-old did exactly what he needed to make it to the whistle. Despite a relatively low 81.75 points, he went on to become the lone rider to cover three bulls in Ontario, Calif., and moved to within 218 points of Renato Nunes.

It was lesson learned for Austin Meier.

“I always felt it that it’s so important to be really focused and really in the moment for every ride,” said Ty Murray, in his weekly Podcast, “and treat each as if it were the most important ride of your life.”

Had it not been for his gritty attitude and determination to earn a score, Meier would have made it back to the short round on one score of 86.5 points, and been left with the last pick in the bull draft. That would have changed the entire complexion of the second half of the draft.

“That’s a lesson that all the guys need to know,” Murray explained, “that every time you crawl down into that chute it’s not a dress rehearsal. It’s for real, and you’re playing for keeps.

“You need to be in the moment and you need to be giving it everything you’ve got.”

Murray’s entire weekly interview can be heard here.

The nine-time World Champion went on to say that no rider should ever “give up in this sport just because of the sheer danger of it.”

One man who hasn’t given up, despite going 0-for-2 for the second time in the past three events, is Nunes. He is now three for his past 10 attempts, which is half his season riding average of 59.7 percent.

The 29-year-old Nunes, who is in his sixth season since coming to the United States from Brazil, is contending for what would be his first PBR world title.

However, after winning his second event in a row and third of the season in Tulsa, Okla., he’s watched Meier and others continue to close the gap.

“They’re both gritty bull riders,” said Murray, of the Top 2.

“They’re not Kody Lostroh-esque. They’re not always in perfect form and in perfect position, but they have the grit and the guts and the pound-for-pound strength to do things that not a lot of guys can do. They get out of position and they survive things that not a lot of guys are capable of surviving.”

“To me, those are my favorite types of guys to watch,” he continued, “because they’re doing whatever it takes to get a win.”

During his 15-minute Podcast, Murray also talked about the chances of J. B. Mauney and Valdiron de Oliveirachallenging Nunes and Meier, the ongoing injuries with both Guilherme Marchi and Robson Palermo, as well as a few riders who might have fallen out of contention despite being ranked in the Top 10.

— by Keith Ryan Cartwright

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