Alves wins; Code Blue injured

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Brazilian newcomer Silvano Alves won his second Built Ford Tough Series event since coming to the United States five months ago.

Alves was the lone rider to go 3-for-3 after covering Chance for 85.25 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round of the Memphis Invitational. His three-bull total score was 253.5 points.

Rounding out the Top 5 finishers in Memphis were J. B. Mauney (177.25), Cody Campbell (176), Jordan Hupp (174.75) and Austin Meier (173.25).

However, while Alves celebrated his win, there was cause for concern in the back pens.

Four outs prior to Alves’ event-winning ride, Mauney covered reigning World Champion Bull Code Blue for the second time this year.

Mauney scored 89.5 points to take the lead. After he dismounted, Code Blue bucked one more time before trying to turn left toward the out gate, and showed weakness in his back end.

Twice his back legs seemed unable to support his weight, and he went down onto the dirt before walking the length of the alleyway. Owners Rick Wagoner and Jimmy Walton were able to load their prize bull onto their trailer and immediately left the underground parking structure at FedEx Forum.

Less than an hour later, Walton said by phone, “We know he’s hurt. We just don’t know how bad.”

He and Wagoner were with Code Blue at a local pen where they were walking him. According to Walton, “He’s walking and not favoring it that much.”

“We’re going to make a decision here shortly,” Walton added. “We’re just trying to figure out if we need to call a vet in tonight, or tomorrow.”

The University of Tennessee is six hours east on Interstate 40 and has a well-regarded veterinary school.

Code Blue returned to the BFTS last week, in Nashville, Tenn., where he bucked off Sevi Torturo and scored 45.25 points. He had been out of competition for the past four months after injuring himself a while running off a hauler at a Touring Pro event in North Dakota.

Updates on Code Blue’s condition will be posted as more information becomes available.

— by Keith Ryan Cartwright

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