PUEBLO, Colo. – Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney has been riding in the PBR for half of the organization’s 24-year existence.
Mauney has been a legendary winner over the course of his 12-year career with 31 event victories, including two at the World Finals, three 15/15 Bucking Battle victories and, of course, quite a few – 72 to be exact – 90-point rides.
There isn’t much left for the 30-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina, to achieve in his career, but Mauney has the chance to join a prestigious, and legendary group, this weekend at the Tacoma Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires.
With a perfect showing in Tacoma, Mauney could become the third rider to ever record 500 qualified rides on the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series.
Mauney heads into Round 1 on Saturday night with 496 qualified rides on his resume, and he will have to ride all four of his bulls to join 2004 World Champion Mike Lee and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi as the only riders to reach the prestigious milestone.
“Oh yeah, there are not many people that have done that,” Mauney said. “There are only two other guys to have gotten to 500 – Guilherme and Mike Lee. You sit there and the guys I watched growing up, Shivers, McBride and J.W. (Hart), don’t have 500. To be in a category where there is only three of you, that is a pretty good accomplishment.”
Mauney will have his work cut out for him in Tacoma, especially when he takes on Julio Moreno’s Spotted Demon Saturday night during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
He first will take on WSM Auctioneer’s Like a Boss (7-7) in Round 1.
Spotted Demon is 28-2 on the Built Ford Tough Series, but he will be bucking for the first time since Cooper Davis rode him for 90.5 points in Glendale, Arizona, last month.
Moreno’s bull has a tendency to explode quickly out of the bucking chute, but the longtime stock contractor doesn’t expect that to be an issue for Mauney.
“He should ride him,” Moreno said. “It’s his kind of bull. He can handle those that blow out of there.”
Tacoma will be Spotted Demon’s fifth out of the season. He is currently third in the World Champion Bull race with a 44.88-point average bull score, but he still needs eight outs to officially be eligible for the world title in November.
“That’s what the bull needed,” Moreno said of the matchup.
Mauney heads into Tacoma riding high after going a brilliant 4-for-4 in Billings, Montana.
The future Ring of Honor inductee made a sensational 94.25-point ride on 2016 World Champion SweetPro’s Bruiser to ice the victory and propel himself to third in the world standings.
The ultimate goal has always been about gold buckles for Mauney, and that hasn’t changed despite seeing the fanfare associated with Marchi achieving the 600-ride mark in Billings.
“I am not a guy about numbers,” Mauney said. “It don’t really matter how many they say I have rode. It is nice to be able to say I am one of the few to ever do (500). I am not trying to beat into anybody how many I have rode.”
Mauney wants at least four world titles before he retires, and he is now within 1,123.76 points of world leader Eduardo Aparecido following his first win of the season.
Aparecido is returning to competition after missing the Billings, Montana, event because of a riding arm injury and will take on Red Bandana (11-4, BFTS).
The two matchups are a series of standout ones for the 15/15 Bucking Battle, which fans can watch exclusively on CBS national television Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile, world No. 1 bull Pearl Harbor (25-2, BFTS) will look to serve up Shane Proctor a dish of no forgiveness.
Pearl Harbor heads into the event with an extra week of rest after setting a career high with a 47.5-point bull score for 1.98 seconds of work against Matt Triplett in Billings.
There are three rematches in the 15/15 Bucking Battle this weekend.
Joao Ricardo Vieira will look to remain perfect against Fire & Smoke, who he has ridden twice before for 89.5 points and 85 points, while Chase Outlaw takes on Big Black Cat for the second time. Outlaw last rode Big Black Cat for 87 points during the Sacramento, California, 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Jess Lockwood is set to take on Beaver Creek Beau after being bucked off by Chad Berger’s bovine athlete in 4.8 seconds in the Chicago 15/15 Bucking Battle.
No. 10 Mason Lowe is not competing in the 15/15 Bucking Battle because of two fractured vertebrae in his back that had been causing back spasms.
Lowe said on Tuesday he isn’t sure when he sustained the fractures, but that he expects to be cleared to return to competition in time for Last Cowboy Standing on May 12-13.
No. 16 Cody Nance draws into Lowe’s place and is set to take on Speed Demon (7-2, BFTS).
15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
Cody Nance vs. Speed Demon (7-2, BFTS)
Stormy Wing vs. Smooth Operator (38-3, BFTS)
Marco Eguchi vs. Biker Bob (8-2, BFTS)
Cody Teel vs. Kookaburra (13-4, BFTS)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Fire & Smoke (34-11, BFTS)
Shane Proctor vs. Pearl Harbor (25-2, BFTS)
Rubens Barbosa vs. Gambini (5-0, BFTS)
Matt Triplett vs. Tractor Tippin (5-5, BFTS)
Cooper Davis vs. Midnight Moon (3-1, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. BC Circular Insanity (8-3, BFTS)
Chase Outlaw vs. Big Black Cat (8-7, BFTS)
Jess Lockwood vs. Beaver Creek Beau (51-6, BFTS)
J.B. Mauney vs. Spotted Demon (28-2, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Asteroid (65-4, BFTS)
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Red Bandana (11-4, BFTS)
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