LAS VEGAS ― There was no way Bushwacker was going to let another world title slip away from his grasp this week during the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
The 2011 World Champion Bull reclaimed his title by bucking off Eduardo Aparecido in 4.57 seconds Sunday during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for a bull score of 47 points, giving Bushwacker a total event score of 93.5 points and the 2013 World Champion Bull title.
With confetti falling all around him inside the Thomas & Mack Center, owner Julio Moreno (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls) admitted he was at a loss for words.
“This is just exciting,” Moreno said. “It is the most exciting thing in my life to be a two-time champion.”
After losing out to 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid last year at World Finals, Bushwacker bounced back this season with a vengeance by bucking off 13 riders on the Built Ford Tough Series in 14 outs. His only blemish was a historic 95.25-point ride by J.B. Mauney in Tulsa, Okla., that ended the bovine’s record BFTS buckoff streak at 42.
Bushwacker recorded six of the top bull scores in the 2013 regular season, including a season-best 48.25-mark in Louisville, Ky. He also earned 10 Pabst Blue Ribbon high-marked bull awards.
On Sunday afternoon, Bushwacker held off Shepherd Hills Tested (91.75 points), Mick E Mouse (91.25), Smackdown (91.25), Lightmaker’s Rango (90.75) and Asteroid (90.75) for the championship.
It was a tight bull race entering the final day of competition in Las Vegas with five bulls – Bushwacker, Asteroid, Smackdown, Mick E Mouse and Shepherd Hills Tested – separated by only .5 points.
Moreno and handler Kent Cox had no doubts Bushwacker was going to rebound from his Thursday night performance when Douglas Duncan seemingly made the 8-second whistle, however, judges called Duncan for a slap at the 3.48-second mark, a call that was upheld by replays.
“I am real proud, but I knew on the second trip he would have a good one,” Moreno said. “He has always been that way.”
Duncan said he was “lucky” to have him on a trip that fit him, but unfortunately, he slapped the World Champion bull. Regardless, Bushwacker is as rank as they come, believes the Alvin, Texas, native.
“You judge a rank bull by how far his front feet get off the ground,” Duncan said. “His front feet haven’t hit the ground yet, and he is kicking the lights out. He just has so much power getting into a spin. He never does the same thing twice him. You just never know what he is going to do.”
Cox simply smiled when asked if he was nervous for Bushwacker on Sunday following the close-call in Round 2.
“He was great like he was supposed to be,” Cox said. “When you talk about the greatest bull in the world, he just kind of had to step it up every time and he did that today.”
Bushwacker was the highest-marked bull in the championship round, using five strong, high bucks to toss Aparecido to the ground in championship authority.
“We knew Bushwacker would and buck like that,” PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said. “Yeah, he did it again, and he really had to come through because I thought they scored him a little high on the first time. But I thought they scored him a little low today. I thought he could have been 48 today. He definitely earned it.”
It’s been a year-long goal for Cox and Moreno to regain the World Champion Bull title that they felt the most-popular bull on the BFTS deserved. He was able to overcome being ridden by Mauney in Tulsa back in August and a small scare from Duncan on Thursday.
Now, they can finally once again call Bushwacker the World Champion Bull and the best in the business with no questions or strings attached.
“That’s the heart of a true champion,” Cox concluded. “The true champions, they always bounce back.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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