PUEBLO, Colo. ― Three months after being declared the PBR’s best bull riding athletes of 2013, PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney and World Champion Bull Bushwacker will meet in Oklahoma City, Okla., at the Express Employment Professionals Invitational during the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday, Jan. 25.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle pits the world’s Top 15 bull riders against the Top 15 bulls (as of the end of the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals) in a special round of competition which offers a total purse of $21,000 and double the points toward the PBR World Championship.
This will be Bushwacker’s first appearance on the 2014 Built Ford Tough Series and the first since earning his second World Championship title in October at the 2013 PBR World Finals. This is also the first meeting for the two athletes since September 2013 in Biloxi, Miss., when Bushwacker dumped Mauney to the dirt in just 2.88 seconds.
Mauney and Bushwacker have met 11 times in their careers, with Mauney finally earning a qualified ride on Aug. 17, 2013, in Tulsa, Okla., for 95.25 points. It was the first time Bushwacker had been ridden in more than four years; it ended the bovine star’s streak of 42 consecutive BFTS buckoffs and resulted in the highest-scored ride of 2013, as well as of Mauney’s career.
The successful ride came after the BFTS summer break, 15 weeks after Bushwacker’s last out. When the two meet in Oklahoma City on Jan. 25, it will have been 14 weeks since Buchwacker last bucked at the World Finals.
“Bushwacker is an unbelievable challenge whenever he bucks,” Mauney said of his nemesis. “A rider has to be on top of his game and pray that his moves match Bushwacker’s on that day. He’s hard to figure out; he never bucks the same way twice. I’ll just have to hold on and ride him like I know I can.”
In addition to its possible historical implications, this ride could also line Mauney’s pocket. A $25,000 bounty will be awarded to Mauney for a successful 8-second performance. Mauney is coming off a streak of his own, winning a BFTS record five consecutive BFTS events [Grand Rapids, Mich., Fayetteville, N.C., Hollywood, Fla., 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals and New York (2014)] and setting the record for consecutive rides in BFTS competition at 16, besting the 15-ride record set by Terry Don West in 1998.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle will air on CBS Network Television on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 12 p.m. ET. This will be the first of eight CBS broadcasts this season.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.
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