In the bull pen: New York

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Wednesday afternoon, when the opening-round draw for the New York City Invitational was posted online, there was quite a stir among the PBR faithful.

Most expected that this week’s bull pen would look very similar to Baltimore’s.

What no one expected to see were the likes of Code Blue, Bones, Big Tex, Uncle Buck and other short-go quality bulls featured Friday night in Round 1. Then again, Madison Square Garden is a special arena that calls for a special event.

“(They’re) all going to be out in the first round as well as the short go,” said Cody Lambert. He was “proud of the guys for riding as well as they did in Baltimore. That’s what we want to see. We wanted to see the pros come out. I know people have been waiting to watch some real professional bull riding.”

Lambert made the comments during his weekly Podcast, “In the Bull Pen,” which is posted every Thursday.

In Baltimore, Lambert said he thought RMEF Bugle, a new bull owned by Jeff Robinson, looked “like he could almost be in the short go.” As for the riders, he said he thought Kody Lostroh “looks like he’s healthy and ready for a long year of greatness.”

He was impressed with a trio of qualified rides in the short go – Valdiron de Oliveira’s winning effort on Uncle Buck, Guilherme Marchi on Major Payne, and Ryan McConnel’s high-marked ride on Big Tex – and said, “Those are the toughest bulls in the world. They don’t get any tougher than those and they stuck it on them.

“Code Blue came through in a big way bucking off Austin Meier. Chicken on a Chain looked great bucking off Sean Willingham. He looked almost as great as when he was a World Champion bucking bull, and that’s a 9-year-old still getting the job done.”

Speaking of getting the job done, Lambert is on the frontend of his busiest week of the season.

Following a three-day event in New York City, he is assembling a bull pen for the three-day Touring Pro event in Denver and another one-day event in Pueblo, followed by next week’s Built Ford Tough Series event in Sacramento.

The one consistency will be pens featuring the rankest bulls in the world.

“We can expect more of the same throughout the year, and it’s not just going to be on the East Coast,” Lambert said. “There are going to be some really good bulls on the West Coast.”

This week’s Podcast also features a segment in which Lambert takes a historical look back to a famous month-long rodeo that used to take place in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties at Madison Square Garden.

Lambert recalls the stories his grandfather used to share with him regarding a day and age when the bulls were transported from Texas to the East Coast by train.

NEWS and NOTES

In a New York minute:
Kody Lostroh and J.B. Mauney are spending the week in New York City so they can take part in several media opportunities. Today, they’re taping a segment for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” before going together to a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. On Saturday morning they will both be appearing on live remotes from MSG between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET on “FOX and Friends.”

Lostroh, Mauney up to the Challenge: The two will go head-to-head in a $10,000 winner-take-all challenge immediately following the opening round in Sacramento. The rider with the highest score or lowest buckoff time will have first pick between Troubadour and Necessary Evil.

PBR NOW on RFD-TV: Hosted by J.W. Hart and Justin McBride, “PBR NOW” is a weekly live one-hour TV series that debuts on RFD on Thursday, Jan. 14. The format is similar to ESPN’s wildly popular “Mike & Mike in the Morning.”

Hart said that he and McBride are going to “take calls from viewers…whoever wants to call in and complain, if they want to brag or compliment, ask questions. We’re going to be there to answer them. We’re going to stir the pot a little bit and cause a little trouble and see what happens.”

New PBR poll: This week’s poll on the homepage asks the question: What would you think if Flint didn’t wear his traditional face paint while entertaining live at PBR events? Be sure to cast your vote. Flint will be blogging about the topic next week.

— by Keith Ryan Cartwright

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