LAS VEGAS - It's important for riders to get off to a good start
at any event, and it's even more important on bull riding's biggest
stage. But here at the PBR World Finals, it's going to be tough to
do that. The pen of bulls out tonight are the best 39 bulls
Cody Lambert brought here, including
Bushwacker and Asteroid. Riders
typically ride around 25 percent of the bulls in the toughest round
at the World Finals, which means we can expect 8-10 qualified rides
tonight, and every guy here wants to be in that number.
Brendon Clark on 20T Train Wreck:
Clark had this bull in Springfield during the 2011 season and
didn't make the whistle, but in this pen of extremely difficult
bulls, Train Wreck is definitely one of the better ones to have. He
was last ridden in Nampa, Idaho, earlier this season by
Stormy Wing for 92 points, and he's been ridden
about 35 percent of the time at Built Ford Tough Series events.
Edevaldo Ferreira on 514 Red River:
This is a relatively unknown rider on a relatively unknown bull,
but this could end up on the highlight reel. Ferreira was in the
United States in 2009, and rode 48 percent of his bulls. He's been
in Brazil since then, and this season he's won more money than any
other bull rider on the planet - around $200,000 more than
Silvano Alves has made to this point. Red River
has only appeared on tour a couple of times because he's spent most
of his time on the rodeo trail. He isn't ridden very often, but he
was ridden in September at a rodeo in Omaha, so he's not
unrideable. Ferreira has the talent to get a score here.
Caleb Sanderson on 6220 RFD-HD:
Sanderson took this bull to 7.6 seconds in Uncasville earlier this
year, so he has a very good idea of what to expect here. RFD-HD has
only been ridden a couple of times in 30 career outs. His bucking
style may be more suitable for a taller rider like Sanderson than
some of the other bulls.
Kody Lostroh on 5 Chocolate Thunder:
Chocolate Thunder has only been to two events this year, but he
definitely belongs in this round. He's a quick bull who can spin
both ways and can have a little forward movement in between. If he
falls into a steady rhythm, Lostroh should ride him easily. Watch
for the breaks and changes in rhythm, because that is where he gets
David Kennedy on W5 Buckoff:
This may be the easiest bull to ride in this round. He hasn't
faced the best riders very often, but when he has, he's been ridden
60 percent of the time. He's been ridden only by left-handed
riders. This bull is strong and has plenty of buck, but he doesn't
have a lot of speed and can give guys a chance to recover.
Mike Lee on 708 Delco:
Again, one of the better bulls to ride in this round, especially
for left-handed riders, and especially for this left-handed rider.
Lee rode him in Springfield, Mo., in the 2011 season for 88.75
Jordan Hupp on W1 Buckey:
Buckey is one of the seven bulls competing for World Champion
Bull, and he's worthy competition for Bushwacker and Asteroid, but
he's not unrideable. He's been ridden three times this year, all
three times by right-handed riders. Buckey is no pushover, but Hupp
has a chance to make a big statement in the opening round.
Chris Shivers on 868 After Party:
I like this matchup, although Chris probably doesn't. He's been on
this bull twice and hasn't smelled the whistle yet. After Party is
in many ways the Chris Shivers of bucking bulls. Chris has a long
history of making great bulls look silly, and After Party seems to
enjoy making great riders look silly. He likes to see his opponents
end up on the highlight reel during the "wrecks" segment. Shivers
will go down in history as one of the best riders ever to strap on
a pair of spurs, and he's got a worthy opponent here to kick off
the last event of his career.
Emilio Resende on 718 Rango:
It doesn't hurt to be the hottest rider going in to the World
Finals, and Resende is the man. He's also got the third-highest
riding percentage on the season, right behind Valdiron de
Oliveira and Silvano Alves. Rango is in
the race for World Champion Bull, and he's been ridden only twice
in 40 career outs, so he is far from easy. The most notable stat on
Rango is that seven of the last 10 riders he's faced stayed aboard
for more than ficew seconds. He's flirting with letting someone get
to eight, and Resende is definitely capable.
Marco Eguchi on 13/6 Bushwacker:
If Bushwacker keeps doing what he's been doing, he will probably
earn his second title, and Eguchi will definitely be his 34th
consecutive victim. In his current streak of 33 straight buckoffs
at Built Ford Tough Series events, only seven riders made it past
the four-second mark. At this point in his career, Bushwacker is as
dominant a bull as there ever has been, and he's making a strong
case for the rankest bull in the history of the PBR.
Top 5 Riders:
Silvano Alves on 107 Rock & Roll:
Alves drew tough here. I don't remember the last time I picked
against Alves, but Rock & Roll hasn't been ridden at all, and
until someone proves it can be done, I'll take the bull. Alves
tried him back in January and came down in 3.16 seconds. This bull
likes to go out a few jumps bouncing on his front feet before he
turns back, and that tends to
shake riders loose. When he does go into a spin there is no room
for error, and Alves will need a little luck on his side to get by
the jackhammer effect and end up in the right position when Rock
& Roll turns the corner.
Valdiron de Oliveira on D05 Flint:
Oliveira should get a score here. Guilherme
Marchi is the only man to have ridden this bull, but when
he did it a few weeks ago in Philadelphia, Flint looked like a bull
that Oliveira should be able to handle.
L.J. Jenkins on 5081 Highway 12:
To give you some idea of the difficulty level of Highway 12, he's
a little bit ahead of Asteroid on paper in terms of both his career
and his numbers from this season. The bull has the edge in this
matchup, but Jenkins won't go down easy.
Guilherme Marchi on 156 Larry The Cable Guy's
They met in Uncasville in April, and Marchi got a score, although
not a great one. This bull doesn't allow a qualified ride very
often, but I think Marchi has the edge here. He's riding as good
right now as he ever has, and should be considered a threat to win
J.B. Mauney on 654 Mulligan Man:
Mauney got on Mulligan Man in April when he was riding
right-handed, and he stayed aboard for 4.27 seconds. The bad news
is this bull has a better career buckoff percentage than
Bushwacker. He hasn't been ridden since Jason
O'Hearn did it back in January of 2011.
Follow Slade Long on Twitter @probullstats.
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