[Editor’s Note: The PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals will be a six-round event this year after encompassing eight rounds the past six years. Before we look ahead, let’s take a peak back at some of the great moments from the 2004-09 Finals. Writer Chris McManes – who’s been covering PBR since 1996 – will feature eight achievements until the start of the showdown in Las Vegas.]
J. B. Mauney mounted eight bulls at the 2009 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals and rode them all, making him the only man to accomplish the feat at PBR’s premier showcase. It was a far cry from his first World Finals in 2006.
Mauney, then 19, bucked off his first five bulls at the Thomas & Mack Center. He admitted to letting the pageantry and pressure of the Finals get the best of him. In addition, he was thinking too much about winning PBR Rookie of the Year.
“I’ve been watching [PBR] on TV ever since I was little, and with all the money that’s here and everything, I was letting it play with my head,” Mauney said at the time. “My dad told me [after Round 5], ‘Just keep your chin up and ride like you know how to.’”
Mauney took his father’s advice and covered Page & Teague’s Sauce for 87 points in Round 6. He closed his 10 days in Las Vegas by placing second behind three-time World Champion Adriano Moraes in the final long round. Mauney won $15,000 for his 91-pointer on Hebert Bucking Bulls’ Shane to push his event earnings to $22,500.
Mauney and Austin Meier, the top two contenders for the 2010 World Championship, had their first major race that season when they both vied for Rookie of the Year honors. In late June, Mauney trailed Meier by more than $37,000. He rallied for the buckle largely by winning at PBR developmental-league events.
“I was on a roll,” Mauney said. “It seemed like every time I turned around, I was winning bull ridings.”
Mauney concluded the campaign with $165,457 to hold off Meier, who made $127,354. Brazilian Robson Palermowas third ($56,816). A rider is considered a rookie the year he debuts on the Built Ford Tough Series.
Meier and Mauney are expected to wage another battle at the 2010 World Finals. This time, the stakes are a lot higher.
— by Chris McManes
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