PUEBLO, Colo. – When it comes to man vs. beast, it is pretty safe to say Beaver Creek Beau had the weight advantage against 2015 World Finals event winner Cooper Davis this past June.
Beaver Creek Beau, weighing in at 2,000 pounds, is almost 15 times larger than the 140-pound Davis.
Ninety-percent of the time, Beaver Creek Beau, who is one of the friendlier bulls for fans to visit with, has been able to use his distinct size advantage to overpower the top bull riders in the PBR.
In fact, only five times in 72 attempts had a rider successfully made a qualified ride aboard Beaver Creek Beau at any level of competition until Davis stepped to the plate at the 16th annual Dakota Community Bank and Trust BlueDEF Tour event.
So as Davis nodded for the gate inside the Bismarck Civic Center, all Chad Berger did was give his bull a good luck slap on the butt and sat back to watch.
What he saw was something odd, ever for Beaver Creek Beau.
Instead of one of the largest bovine athletes in the PBR making a rag doll of his latest work of his latest challenger, Davis raised his knees and feet up and floated his way to a 92.5-point ride into his right hand.
Davis was so comfortably in position that it almost looked too easy, like he took candy from a baby or, better yet, stealing a meal from a T-Rex.
“I will tell you what. Very few people have rode that bull the last couple of years,” Berger said in Bismarck. “Ben Jones and Cooper Davis are the last I can remember. Both of them guys rode him by floating their knees right in him and floating their feet. When you stick your feet and bear down, he is just going to yank you down. These guys rode him the way you have to ride him and that is by running a bunch of knee and floating your feet and keep lifting on your rope and ride him.
“Cooper Davis took the Ben Jones rulebook and showed us how to ride that bull.”
Berger will be hauling bulls to the Big Sky, Montana, BlueDEF Tour event. The event will be streamed exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 9 p.m. ET on Friday and Saturday.
Though Beaver Creek Beau won't be among them he did recently buck off Gage Gay in 3.84 seconds at the Touring Pro Division event in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, for a 46-point bull score.
Jones is one three riders to have ridden Beaver Creek Beau on the Built Ford Tough Series. He won the 2015 Ty Murray Invitational with a 90.25-point ride on Beaver Creek Beau, which is the highest score surrendered by Beau on the BFTS. Eduardo Aparecido rode Beaver Creek Beau for 88.75 points at the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals, while Shane Proctor has twice ridden him for 89.75 and 88.75 points.
With none of those riders competing in Bismarck, Davis took the advice of eight-year veteran Aaron Roy in the moments before challenging Beaver Creek Beau for the first time in his career.
Roy was on the back of the bucking chutes helping Davis prepare for his matchup when he offered a bit of advice to the second-year rider.
“He said, ‘Don’t try to sit down on him and take the power,’” Davis said. “He said, ‘Get over him as much as you can, but don’t really sit down because he is going to try and pull you with him.’
“It worked out. I stayed over him the whole time and didn’t feel any power at all. Those (rank) bulls like that, sometimes they take a little bit to figure out.”
Beaver Creek Beau had bucked off Roy (3.79 seconds) at Iron Cowboy for a BFTS season-high 44.5-point bull score.
“What makes him hard to ride is when he is bucking you have to normally sit up and match the kick and you should be going back to the front right away because he is going forward and is pretty much all front end,” Roy said. “That is usually what gets most guys off.”
Roy is one of 12 riders that Beaver Creek Beau has demolished this season. He will begin the second half with 12 consecutive BFTS buckoffs and an average bull score of 43.75 points.
Beaver Creek Beau, who is the son of 1995 World Champion Bull Bodacious, is on the cusp of qualifying as a World Champion Bull contender with a 44.16 average score in his best eight outs, but it may be tough for him to sneak into the race as other bonafide contenders reach the eight-out minimum.
However, PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert believes Beaver Creek Beau certainly is a Top-10 BFTS bull this season and deserves to at least be recognized for having a strong first-half performance.
“Beaver Creek Beau has just been getting it done all year,” Lambert said. “He does the same thing every single time. Two jumps and spins to the right. He is very strong. If you are in the inside, he will drop you to the inside. If you are on the outside, he will swing you to the outside. I don’t think he is a contender for a World Championship, but he is a championship-round bull that is tough to ride. You have to do everything right to ride any of these bulls. They won’t let you steal the limelight. If you do everything fundamentally sound, you have a chance.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Throughout the month of July, PBR.com, and the PBR’s social media channels, will be featuring a variety of bulls in the race for the 2016 World Championship, as well as some of the other rankest bovines in the business.
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