WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. ― With two events in the books, the riders are holding court so far. Average riding percentage is up five points on the Built Ford Tough Series. That won't change tonight, at least in the long round. The 15/15 Bucking Battle will cut into the rider's advantage somewhat, because the bulls are so strong.
Round 1 Matchups
Austin Meier on 6406 Air Jack:
This bull on occasion can turn in scores of 43 points or better at times, which should translate to a ride score of about 87 points. At other times, he's not that great. Meier was 83.25 points on him in New York. He will probably get a score here, but he needs the best trip Air Jack has to offer if he wants to place in the round.
Billy Robinson on S0-4 Moses:
Coming off a big win in Chicago, Robinson has the right bull to keep it going here in Winston-Salem. Moses has five trips at four Built Ford Tough Series events, and hasn't bucked anyone off yet. Both Aaron Roy and Chase Outlaw rode him in New York.
Emilio Resende on 515 Iron Broke:
Resende is certainly one of the most able riders in the PBR, and Iron Broke is one of the least difficult bulls to ride in the PBR. He's been ridden 13 times in 19 attempts. This should be a slam dunk for Resende.
Dakota Beck on 846 Black Betty:
I don't really know much about this bull, but I know that I've heard of him numerous times, and he's only 4 years old. For me to hear of a bull that hasn't really been to many pro level events, he must be doing something right. Black Betty has only three outs on his record, and in every one of those outs he turned in a 45+ point bull score. To be fair, he's been only to events where the bulls tend to be scored a good bit higher than they typically are at the Built Ford Tough Series level. He's about to step up a level, and it will be interesting to see if he can wow the judges here.
Luke Snyder on 601 Off the Hook:
Off the Hook has a fairly respectable buckoff percentage overall, but he's been to a lot of Touring Pro level events. Built Ford Tough Series Riders are 6-for-9 on him, and when he's faced the top-tier riders in whatever venue, they've ridden him 8-of-11 times. Snyder should get a score here.
Cody Nance on 829 Carolina Kicker:
Brendon Clark rode this bull the last two times he appeared on tour, including in New York for 86.75 points. Nance should come out on top.
Guilherme Marchi on 705 Johnny Rocker:
Jeff Robinson bought this bull from Jim Gay of Rafter G Rodeo (Don Gay's little brother) after the National Finals Rodeo in December. Johnny Rocker was one of the best bulls there. He hasn't been to any PBR events to speak of, and no Built Ford Tough Series Events. He had a couple of weak trips at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, but since then he's been solid, and no one has ridden him. Few have ridden him past a couple of seconds. Look for this to be one of the better bulls in the round, and look for him to test Marchi.
Agnaldo Cardozo on 7451 Rusty Waters:
This is a rematch from New York where Cardozo lasted 7.39 seconds before coming down. He should have this bull figured out and earn a score here.
J.B. Mauney on S05 Come Back:
Come Back is overmatched here. Mauney should be able to knock this bull out easily. He needs the bull to have a great day to challenge for the round win.
Jordan Hupp on 6423 Misunderstood:
Hupp rode this bull way back in August 2010 at a Built Ford Tough Series event in Memphis, Tenn. Douglas Duncan rode him in New York for a third place finish in Round 2.
15/15 Bucking Battle:
Ben Jones on 691 Meat Hook:
This is a great draw for Ben, and would be a great draw for anyone in any round. He's not an easy bull to ride, but he does have some timing, and he can and has been ridden a couple times recently. Last August he produced two 90+ point rides for Fabiano Vieira and Harve Stewart in back-to-back events.
Fabiano Vieira scores 91 points on Meat Hook in San Antonio.
Jordan Hupp on 654 Stanley FatMax:
Formerly known as Mulligan Man, this black bull has faced not just Built Ford Tough Series riders, but the very best riders at this level 24 times and has given up just one score. This is one of the top 15 most difficult high performing bulls in the history of the PBR.
Aaron Roy on 691 Superfreak:
This is one of the more rideable bulls in this round, but that's not saying much. This is a pen of extremely difficult-to-ride bulls. This bull has some forward movement and can work a rider loose. It won't be easy for Roy to get comfortable on him.
Marco Eguchi on 1415 Palm Springs:
Eguchi is just one of 21 victims that Palm Springs has claimed at the Built Ford Tough Series level. They met in Tampa, Fla., in September. Palm Springs has been ridden only six times in 68 career outs, which is an astonishing record for a bull as predictable as this one.
Kody Lostroh on 924B Jack Daniel's Tennessee
This is an even match. Honey is a bull that can really keep the pressure on a rider. He won't allow a single mistake, not even a small one. Lostroh is one of the most technically correct riders going. Look for this bull to spin to the left, into Lostroh's hand, and look for this to be a high-speed chess match. Honey won't allow recovery ― if Lostroh makes the wrong move it's checkmate.
Chase Outlaw on 57 Shamoun:
This bull doesn't look flashy, and he won't wow the crowd, but he gets the job done. He's 27-3 on his career, and when Luke Snyder rode him at the World Finals in October, it was the first time he'd been ridden since 2010.
Luke Snyder puts up 89.75 points on Shamoun at Finals.
Billy Robinson on 850 Teflon Tom:
Teflon Tom is just getting started on his career. He's 10-0 against everyone so far, and was the highest marked bull in New York. He took care of Guilherme Marchi in just 2.88 seconds there.
J.B. Mauney on 718 Lightmaker's Rango:
This could be your round winner. Although Mauney didn't do very well on Rango in the 15/15 round in Albuquerque last year, these two seem like a good match. Rango's bucking style should be a good fit for Mauney's riding style.
Nathan Schaper on 6220 RFD-HD:
Schaper is in this round because Robson Palermo is out with an injury. This bull is more than a match for Palermo, who can essentially ride anything. RFD-HD has a lot of power, and is anything but rider friendly. Schaper has his work cut out for him.
Douglas Duncan on 656 New Holland PowerStar:
Formerly known as Quiet Riot, this bull has quietly assembled a record of 34-1 against all challengers. Duncan is not one, but two of his victims. They met twice last season.
Renato Nunes on 868 Jack Daniel's After Party:
After Party is not one of the biggest names among bulls of this caliber, he is one of the two most rideable bulls in the round. But, if you were going to assemble a bovine basketball team out of these 15 bulls, After Party would be the only point guard available. He's not the biggest, and he's not a slam dunk artist, but he is fast, agile and he has game. His specialty is making the best riders in the world look silly. He has an off day occasionally and the riders get the best of him, but when he's at his best, he's produced enough wrecks to fill up a long highlight reel.
Austin Meier on L704 David's Dream:
These two met at the World Finals in 2011, and David's Dream came out on top. Only two guys have ever made the whistle on this bull, and both of those rides came late last season, and both by right-handed riders. Meier will have to break up a perfect record against lefties if he's going to get a score here.
Edevaldo Ferreira on 708 Delco:
Delco may be the best draw in this round, in that he is one of the more rideable bulls in it. Left-handed riders have had better luck on him. In his last 15/15 round appearance he turfed Silvano Alves. Ferreira is a capable rider, and this is a bull that allows a lot of guys to at least get a good start at riding him.
Silvano Alves on 601 Shepherd Hills Trapper:
It's never a good idea to bet against Alves on any bull. But, this particular bull, on his best day will not allow a right-handed rider to make the whistle. He hasn't been ridden by a right-handed rider since his fourth birthday in early 2010.
Guilherme Marchi on 781 Asteroid:
Marchi is not only one of the best bull riders currently competing in the PBR, he is one of the best bull riders ever to have put his hand in a rope in any era. That said, he is up against it here. Marchi's hand and wrist issues may have subsided, but Asteroid is the kind of bull that will make anyone's wrist hurt regardless of how healthy it is. His bucking style will put a lot of pressure on Marchi's wrist and hand. But don't count Marchi out. This is a dream matchup ― the best bull going today against one of the best riders in history.
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