Mauney and Proctor good for Charlotte

J.B. Mauney and Shane Proctor, who are both in the Top 10, return to competition looking to jump back in the race. Photos: Andy Watson /


  • J.B. Mauney confirmed this week that he will be ready to ride this weekend in Charlotte after pulling out of last week's Springfield event after suffering injuries.
  • Also returning in his home state, Shane Proctor will look to get back to work after recovering from a concussion and chest laceration suffered after Wicked fell on him in Springfield.
  • Gage Gay rounds out the North Carolina boys riding in Charlotte, Gay is 18th in the world standings and will face Going Fast in Round 1.

In This Article

PUEBLO, Colo. – Two-time World Champion and North Carolina native J.B. Mauney has confirmed to the PBR competition department that he will be riding at the Charlotte Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, this weekend after sustaining multiple injuries last weekend in Springfield, Missouri.

Mauney and Proctor good for Charlotte. (9-14-16)

Mauney was unable to finish the event after being hurt inside the bucking chutes in two separate occasions within a 24-hour span. First, Mauney sustained a concussion, possible jaw fracture, separated and dislocated his left shoulder and stretched an axillary nerve, when Pearl Harbor rocketed him forward inside the bucking chutes during the 15/15 Bucking Battle Saturday night.

He then aggravated his shoulder injury on Sunday when Paradise City Slinger yanked Mauney forward inside the chute in a close-to-identical situation.

The Mooresville, North Carolina, native is slated to face KA264 (2-2, BFTS) in Round 1.

RELATED: Click HERE for the complete Round 1 draw.

Fellow North Carolina resident Shane Proctor is also returning to competition after sustaining a concussion and chest laceration when Wicked fell on him during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Springfield.

“I just got the concussion and I’ll be back next week,” Proctor said Sunday. “I will get my (clavicle) checked up, but I should be alright. It is a little swelled up, but it isn’t too bad. I feel pretty decent. I went to the hotel and got some good sleep. It is part of bull riding. There is nothing we can do about it.”

Proctor has drawn Going Fast (4-4, BFTS) for Round 1.

Staley, North Carolina, native Gage Gay arrives in Charlotte after winning Round 3 last weekend with an 88.25-point ride on Flight Plan. Gay has won four BFTS rounds.

“I knew that bull,” Gay said. “I got on that bull in Albuquerque and he bucked me off in 4 or 5 seconds. He does the same thing every time so I just tried to stay out over him as long as I could so he didn’t get my head back and it worked.”

Gay takes on Maxwell House (0-0, BFTS) Friday night.

World No. 4 Fabiano Vieira was also pretty banged up in Springfield, sustaining a concussion and a lacerated forehead when his head struck the gate post as Swamp Wreck left the chute.

Vieira has a Round 1 showdown against Scratch Off (1-1, BFTS).

Meanwhile, No. 16 Robson Palermo is returning to competition after missing Springfield because of a concussion.

Palermo has drawn Filthy Animal (2-0, BFTS) for Round 1.

There are four alternates in the draw – No. 36 Fraser Babbington, No. 37 Kurt Shephard, No. 38 Brant Atwood and No. 39 Luis Blanco – to replace No. 2 Cooper Davis (clavicle surgery), No. 19 Mason Lowe (groin), No. 24 Ben Jones (reconstructive shoulder surgery) and No. 30 Chase Outlaw (separated shoulder).

Babbington and Shephard are trying to qualify for the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals for the first time.

Babbington is only 20 points behind No. 35 Aaron Roy, while Shephard is a mere 22.5 points behind Roy. Babbington has drawn Whiteout (1-0, BFTS) and Shephard will see Super Cell (0-0, BFTS).

No. 44 Brady Sims is this weekend’s BlueDEF Tour invite thanks to his victory last weekend in Rochester, New York. Sims captured the victory with an 87.5-point ride on Slim Ice. The 23-year-old has ridden five of his last six on the BlueDEF Tour.

Sims will look to carry over his BlueDEF Tour success on Friday against Ace (0-1, BFTS).

World leader Kaique Pacheco has a rematch against I’m Trouble (10-4, BFTS). Pacheco rode I’m Trouble for 86 points earlier this season in New York. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Lee continues hot streak in Springfield (9-11-16)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from the Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, this weekend at JQH Arena.

Mike Lee may not have any event wins on his resume in the past two weeks, but the 2004 World Champion has made a significant move in the world standings.

Lee rode Red Moon for 85.75 points to finish second in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and second overall with a 2-for-4 showing in Springfield.

“That bull has a little bit of forward (action),” Lee said. “The closer it gets to the whistle, he tries to lean out. I got behind, but I didn’t quit him and got the job done.”

Lee earned 400 points to the world standings. He picked up 240 points for finishing second in the event average, 100 for winning Round 1 with his 87.5-point ride on Organized Crime and 60 for his championship-round ride.

The 33-year-old is up to eighth in the world standings after earning 530 points in the last two weeks. He is 5-for-10 during that stretch and had begun Thackerville, Oklahoma, last week 10th in the world standings.

“I made a mistake on them other bulls, but God showed me the mistake I made,” Lee said. “I was real stiff and I had my head down and my hips weren’t really quick. I lost my snappiness.

“You fix your problems and keep your mind focused on the goal. You can’t quit. You can’t get down on yourself.”

He trails world leader Kaique Pacheco by 1,546.17 points with six events remaining until the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 2-6.

Regardless, Lee has no plans about putting too much thought into his position in the world title race.

“No and I am not going to either,” Lee said with a smirk. “When I won it the first time I wasn’t thinking about it either. I was just thinking about how much fun I was having. ”

Dirteater caps BFTS-best third win with 86.75 points on Jack Daniel’s After Party

Ryan Dirteater already had his PBR-high third BFTS victory clinched on Sunday when he slid onto the back of Jack Daniel’s After Party during the championship round.

The newly ranked No. 7 rider in the world standings didn’t bask in the glory of victory too soon and capped his perfect victory with an 86.75-point ride on Jack Daniel’s After Party.

It was best ride of the weekend for the Hulbert, Oklahoma, cowboy and his championship-round victory earned him an extra 100 points toward the world standings.

“It was pretty special to me because I had been on After Party four times – and that was five years ago,” Dirteater said. “Then he came out of retirement and I had been wanting to get on him since Chad got him. I finally got the opportunity and that was my first pick if I was coming back first regardless.”

Dirteater had the top pick in the draft by being the only rider to have gone 3-for-3. He rode Gear Jammer for 84.5 points in Round 1 Friday, Shattered Dreams for 84.25 points Saturday in Round 2 and Double Doze for 80.25 points in Round 3.

The 27-year-old has successfully ridden After Party in four of their five meetings.

Sunday was only Dirteater’s third round win of the season.

“That was a great ride,” said stock contractor Chad Berger “Ryan has rode him before and that bull still bucks good.  I thought he should have been a little more. The bull bucked good and Ryan rode him. It worked out perfect.”

Dirteater earned 725 world points in Springfield and is 1,382.83 points behind Pacheco for the world No. 1 ranking.

He began the weekend 13th in the world standings.

“I am seventh in the standings and there are six events left before the Finals,” Dirteater said. “It is looking pretty good for me this year.”

Pearl Harbor posts 45.5-point bull score

Pearl Harbor continued his march toward qualifying for the 2016 World Finals as a World Champion Bull contender by bucking off Cody Nance in 3.98 seconds during the championship round.

The 5-year-old used his brute strength to whip Nance off the side of him for his seventh consecutive bull score of 45 or more points.

“I thought he was really good,” Berger said. “Big Cat was a little better this weekend, but he is definitely one of the rankest bulls in the world.”

Pearl Harbor was competing in the championship round after J.B. Mauney was unable to attempt him on Saturday night during the 15/15 Bucking Battle after Pearl Harbor rocketed Mauney forward and into the steel bars inside the bucking chutes.

Berger’s Big Cat was the high-marked bull of the weekend. Big Cat was marked 46 points for a 1.85-second buckoff of Wallace de Oliveira in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Pearl Harbor’s successful out against Nance brings Pearl Harbor’s World Champion bull score qualifier average bull score to 45.69 points per out. He has firmly solidified his positioning for one of the seven World Champion Bull contender spots.

Still, Berger said he may opt to buck Pearl Harbor in one or two more BFTS events before the Finals.

“We might see him once or twice” Berger said. “It just depends how our schedule works for me. That bull is alone in Texas so it is a little bit harder for me to get him with my other bulls. We will try to get him to Colorado Springs maybe. Then we will see what happens.”

Injury Updates

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney attempted to compete during Round 3 on Sunday afternoon following his multitude of injuries from the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

However, for the second consecutive day, trouble inside the bucking chute got the best of Mauney.

Paradise City Slinger yanked Mauney forward in a close-to-identical situation that Mauney had with Pearl Harbor on Saturday night as he was preparing to nod for the gate.

Longtime friend Kasey Hayes pulled Mauney out of the chute as the 29-year-old leaned over in pain, clutching at his left shoulder.

Mauney eventually was unable to attempt Paradise City Slinger and did not finish the event.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Mauney aggravated his left shoulder injury and is questionable for Charlotte.

There were only 11 riders in the championship round because of a series of injuries.

World No. 5 Fabiano Vieira sustained a concussion and lacerated his forehead when his head struck the gate post as Swamp Wreck left the chute. He is questionable for Charlotte.

Jorge Valdiviezo aggravated a left groin injury attempting to ride Cut the Cord (2.42 seconds) in Round 3. He is questionable for Charlotte.

Mason Lowe did not compete in the championship round because of a left groin strain he sustained attempting to ride Mr. Deeds Jr. (7.72 seconds) in Round 3. He is questionable for Charlotte. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Pacheco responds with Round 2 victory; injury updates on Davis/Mauney (9-10-16)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned following Round 2 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the Invitational Saturday night at JQH Arena.

Kaique Pacheco was not pleased one bit about being ruled to have slapped Swamp Wreck during Round 1 on Friday night.

Well, the 21-year-old channeled his frustration on Saturday evening. A focused and determined Pacheco rode Wired Child for 86.5 points to win Round 2 and regain the No. 1 ranking in the world standings.

“I was not happy last night because I am positive I didn’t slap,” Pacheco said with the help of Valdiron de Oliveira translating. “I am very happy that I did a good job tonight. I am putting the pressure on.”

Pacheco earned 100 points toward the world standings and was able to overtake previous world No. 1 Cooper Davis after Davis withdrew from the event following a meeting with Dr. Tandy Freeman.

Davis woke up Saturday morning with discomfort in his right shoulder, which he previously separated in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during his get off against Psycho Path two weeks ago. The Jasper, Texas, bull rider met with Dr. Tandy Freeman before Round 2 Saturday and was diagnosed with a possible right clavicle fracture.

Davis is scheduled to get X-rays on Monday.

There is no timetable for Davis’ return at the moment, but Davis did say he would take the necessary time off to make sure he was 100 percent for the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 2-6.

“We don’t know yet,” Davis said. “He wouldn’t tell me because he said it could be rest or it could be a lengthy thing. We will see. Heck, I don’t know. We won’t know until Monday. It is just a waiting game. It is a bummer, but, heck, you are going to get hurt in this sport. That is just part of it.”

Pacheco took advantage of the situation with his sixth round win of the season and now leads Davis by 35.33 points in the world standings.

“I had seen this bull buck before and I was ready,” Pacheco said. “I just need to ride bulls. That is what matters.”

Pacheco has drawn Rise and Shine (2-0, BFTS) for Round 3.

Injuries became a theme of the night as two World Champion contenders went down with injuries during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.  

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney sustained multiple injuries inside the bucking chute preparing to ride Pearl Harbor.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Mauney sustained a concussion, possible jaw fracture, separated and dislocated his left shoulder and stretched an axillary nerve. The injuries occurred when Pearl Harbor rocked the No. 3 ranked bull rider in the world standings forward and then out of the bucking chutes.

Mauney’s face slammed onto the inside edge of the bucking chutes as he was being flung out of the chute.

Freeman has listed Mauney as doubtful for Round 3, but Mauney said following the event he had plans to attempt to ride in Round 3 if he felt OK in the morning.

“Hell, that is what they make tape for,” Mauney said.

It was the second year in a row that Mauney sustained an injury in Springfield with Pearl Harbor inside the bucking chutes.

Last year, Mauney bruised his left leg and ankle, and also sprained his left MCL, when his leg got hung in the slates of the chute as Pearl Harbor jerked forward.

Mauney was bucked off by El Diablo in 4.84 seconds in Round 2 earlier in the evening. The 29-year-old is sitting tied for third in the event standings with Pacheco and has drawn Paradise City Slinger (0-0, BFTS) for Round 3.

Meanwhile, Shane Proctor, who is ninth in the world standings, sustained a concussion when Wicked fell on him in 2.18 seconds. Proctor then sustained a chest laceration and a possible clavicle fracture when Wicked got up and stepped on him.

According to Freeman, Proctor is also doubtful for Round 3.

Aparecido wins 15/15 Bucking Battle

Eduardo Aparecido won his second career 15/15 Bucking Battle with an 88-point ride on Little Red Jacket to earn 150 points toward the world standings.

“The bull was pretty quick,” Aparecido said with the help of Valdiron de Oliveira translating. “On his first spin, he put me to the outside. Once the bull went forward I was able to get back into better position.”

Jess Lockwood placed second with an 86-point ride on Cooper Tires Semper Fi. Lockwood notched 90 points toward the world standings and moved up to seventh in the rankings.

Aparecido previously rode Little Red Jacket for 88.5 points at the Ty Murray Invitational.

The 26-year-old joins Pacheco as the only two riders ranked inside the Top 6 of the world standings not nursing an injury with six regular-season events remaining following Springfield.

Aparecido is 1,261.17 points behind Pacheco in the standings.  

“I flex and everything is good right now,” Aparecido said. “My body is in shape and nothing hurts right now.”

Dirteater one up on the field in Springfield

Ryan Dirteater is tied for the PBR lead with two event wins and he is in a strong position to pick up win number three on Sunday afternoon.

Dirteater is the only rider who has gone 2-for-2 in Springfield following his 84.25-point ride on Shattered Dreams in Round 2.

“He was right around the left and that is just you want for a left-hander,” Dirteater said. “He is real solid and I got it done. I was trying my butt off and it worked out.”

Dirteater placed third in the round for 50 world points. The No. 12 rider in the world standings rode Gear Jammer for 84.5 points in Round 1 Friday.

The Hulbert, Oklahoma, bull rider spent this past week going to gym classes at the Cherokee Nation Gym in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Part of his exercise program involved trying to climb across an entire basketball court on his hands.

“I’m going to keep trying to make it all the way,” Dirteater said.

Inside the arena, Dirteater knows it is important to get his first bulls covered during a three-day event.

“Coming into a three-day event, it is a marathon,” Dirteater said. “You have to take your bulls one at a time and make it 8.”

Dirteater is having a career-year and is only 166.66 points out of the Top 10. The 27-year-old’s best finish came in 2014 when he placed 11th in the world.

There is a good chance the Hulbert, Oklahoma, bull rider will finish inside the Top 10 for the first time in his eight-year BFTS career.

“The fans are behind me 100 percent,” Dirteater said. “I don’t need the spotlight. I am the quiet type.”


Mason Lowe replaced Davis in the 15/15 Bucking Battle after Guilherme Marchi bruised his right knee when he was struck by No Regrets’ horn in Round 2. According to Freeman, Marchi is probable for Charlotte.

Lowe was bucked off by Hey Jack in 5.53 seconds.

Tanner Byrne sustained a facial laceration in the 15/15 Bucking Battle when he collided heads with Big Cat. Byrne lasted 1.66 seconds in the matchup.

Tyler Harr returned to competition in Round 2 after sustaining a concussion Friday night. Harr rode Gallo Del Ciello for 78.25 points before bucking off his re-ride bull (Gentleman Jim) in 7.87 seconds.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Mauney returns from injury with second-place finish (9-10-16)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Invitational on Friday night at JQH Arena.

If there were any concerns about J.B. Mauney being rusty following a week off, the two-time World Champion put them to rest quickly. Mauney rode Flat Top Pete for 86.5 points and a second-place finish in Round 1.

“That bull is really good,” Mauney said. “Riley (Samford) told me before I got on him he could go any way and, shoot, it worked out.”

Mauney finished second in the round for 60 world points, but the bigger takeaway was that Mauney felt no lingering effects from his left hip pointer/abdominal contusion that kept him out of last weekend’s event in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

“I feel good,” Mauney said. “Nothing is hurting. I felt like I rode him like I am supposed to and made a decent dismount.”

Mauney is third in the world standings and trails world leader Cooper Davis by 640 points. The Mooresville, North Carolina, cowboy is trying to become the second rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles.

Mauney fell behind in the world title race by 302.7 points last weekend in Thackerville after Davis and Kaique Pacheco finished in second and third-place. He explained Friday night that was the least of his concerns.

“It don’t matter who is sitting first, second, third or whatever,” Mauney said. “I know as long as I do my job the rest will take care of itself. I really don’t worry about the standings or who is first or third or where you are sitting. You have a job to do and that is to show up and ride your bull.”

Mauney has drawn for El Diablo (1-0, BFTS) Round 2 on Saturday night before a monster rematch against Pearl Harbor during the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Mauney bested Pearl Harbor (15-2, BFTS) for 94.25 points earlier this season in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“I was joking with someone the other day that two weeks ago there was a $75,000 bounty on him if you rode him and I said I would just wait until I can ride him for $7,500,” Mauney said. “I don’t care that I got him. He is a good bull. That is what I am looking forward to. Getting on the buckers.”

Davis extends world lead on Pacheco with tie for third-place

It wasn’t anything special, but Davis’ 84.5-point effort on Cool Hand Luke helped him extend his world lead to 64.67 points on Pacheco.

Davis tied with Ryan Dirteater (84.5 points on Gear Jammer) for third place in the round and earned 45 points toward the world standings.

“That is just a really good bull and I was 86.5 on him last week,” Davis said. “It is just one that you want. Heck, it is good one to get a first ride down on.”

Pacheco had a qualified ride wiped off the scoreboard after a judges’ review ruled the 21-year-old had slapped Swamp Wreck at the 0.97-second mark. It was the fastest buckoff of Pacheco’s career.

Pacheco was not happy with the call and shook his head on his way to the locker room. He then pointed at his head, signaling it was a crazy call.  

Davis said he wasn’t fazed by Mauney’s 86.5-point ride moments earlier or by Pacheco’s lack of a qualified ride.

“You know those guys are going to stay on their fair share of bulls and I have to do the same,” Davis said. “It is the same gameplan that we have had. That is staying on bulls. That is all of our gameplans.”

Davis will take on Line Me Up (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2 and Hey Jack (4-0, BFTS) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

It wasn’t all good news for Davis. Following Round 1, he was in the PBR Sports Medicine room icing the shoulder he injured in Tulsa.  

“I mean I just kind of got strung out just a touch,” Davis said. “Heck, it is just bothering me a bit.”

Lee wins Round 1; bucks off $5,000 bounty bull

2004 World Champion Mike Lee came within milliseconds of winning last weekend in Thackerville, Oklahoma, before Buckle Up tossed him to the ground at the 7.26-second mark.

Lee didn’t waste any time in Springfield and built off his 2-for-3 performance in Thackerville by winning Round 1 with an 87.5-point ride on Organized Crime.

“Man that was wild,” Lee said. “He nearly threw me into the fence. Ah, H.D.’s bulls are kind of hot.”

Lee then paused and headed off to get his rope ready for his $5,000 bounty bull matchup with Lee was bucked off in 2.97 seconds.

The Decatur, Texas, cowboy’s ride on Organized Crime was his third highest this season. Lee earned 100 points toward the world standings courtesy of his second BFTS round win this year.

Lee has now ridden three of his last five after bucking off 10 in row since reaching the 500 career rides mark. He will face Snoball (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2 and Stone Sober (33-1, BFTS) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

There were a total of 10 rides in Round 1.

World No. 6 Eduardo Aparecido earned 30 world points with a fifth-place finish, and Fabiano Vieira rode Face The Time (82.75 points) for a seventh-place finish and five world points.

Vieira had to grit his way through his left shoulder injury and joined Davis in sports medicine following the round to receive ice and treatment.

Exeter, Missouri, native Mason Lowe rode Alabama Slammer for 79.5 points and a huge ovation.

“It is better than falling off like I had been,” Lowe said. “I had been telling myself I was either going to hang up or ride one.”

Lowe wasn’t sure how many friends and family were in attendance:

“I don’t really have a clue. I just heard a bunch of them hollering.”

The 22-year-old finished second last year in Springfield and would love to celebrate his 23rd birthday Monday knowing he was victorious inside the JQH Arena this weekend.

“They try to say it is the toughest to ride when you are closer to home, but I have always done good here in Springfield,” Lowe said. “I have won a bunch of amateur bull ridings here.”


You could hear a pin drop in JQH Arena on Friday as Tyler Harr lay unconscious on the arena dirt after taking a massive shot to the head from Little Tim’s All Nighter. Harr was diagnosed with a concussion by Dr. Tandy Freeman and is questionable for Round 2.

Cody Nance is probable for Round 2 after sustaining a chest wall contusion when he was stepped on by Pale Rider after Nance reach the 8-second mark for 83.75 points. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Springfield Draw notes (9-7-16)

PUEBLO, Colo. – Cooper Davis’ first event as the new world No. 1 bull rider will come against a familiar foe Friday night at the Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Davis has drawn Cool Hand Luke (0-2, BFTS) – the same bull in which he rode for 86.75 points last weekend in Thackerville, Oklahoma, to take over the world lead – for Round 1.

Davis heads into Springfield having ridden eight of his last 13 and leads No. 2 Kaique Pacheco by 19.67 points in the world standings.

The 22-year-old takes on Line Me Up (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2.

 “When I have a chance to spur one, I am always cool with that,” Davis said. “That is something I have always done. Something that has helped me a lot is getting bucked off a lot or getting strung out at 6 seconds. (Cody) Lambert came up to me and told me, ‘Hey, get tough around that 6- or 7-second mark and act like you have a few more seconds to ride,’ and that is what I have been doing. Even though I have been getting slammed right at 8 seconds, I am still riding for 10. I think that is helping a lot.”

Pacheco has drawn Swamp Wreck (3-2, BFTS) and Wired Child (14-2, BFTS) for the first two rounds. Swamp Wreck bucked off Aaron Roy in 3.92 seconds two weeks ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wired Child has bucked off 10 riders in a row, including Silvano Alves in 7.87 seconds last week.

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney is also right in the mix and is making his return to competition after taking a week off to rest his left hip pointer and abdominal contusion injury.

The 29-year-old is 655 points behind Davis in the world standings.

RELATED: Mauney and Pearl Harbor to square off in Springfield 15/15 Bucking Battle

Mauney has drawn Flat Top Pete (2-0, BFTS) in Round 1 and El Diablo (1-0, BFTS) in Round 2. Flat Top Pete bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 2.94 seconds last weekend in Thackervile. El Diablo debuted in Thackerville with a 3.25-second buckoff of an unhappy Davis.

Three-time World Finals event winner Robson Palermo is not competing in Springfield because of a concussion and chest wall injury sustained last weekend. He has been replaced in the draw by No. 36 Fraser Babbington.

Babbington has a first-round matchup against Rock Bottom Blues (0-0, BFTS) and then takes on Mister Mean in Round 2. The New Zealand bull rider is 20 points behind No. 35 Roy.

There two additional alternates competing in Springfield – No. 37 Brant Atwood and No. 38 Luis Blanco. They are replacing Ben Jones (reconstructive shoulder surgery) and Chase Outlaw (shoulder separation).

Atwood is competing in only his second event of the 2016 season. He is 23-for-79 at all levels of PBR competition this year. Atwood trails Roy by 25 points and will look for his first BFTS ride of 2016 against Locked and Loaded (0-1, BFTS). He then takes on Springer Mountain (3-3, BFTS).

Silvano Alves rode Locked and Loaded for 88.5 points last weekend.

Blanco is trying to crack the Top 35 and two of his opportunities this weekend will come against Cut the Cord (6-0, BFTS) and All Shook Up (2-3, BFTS).

Zane Cook is competing as a Native American invite. He will be challenged by Jack Shot (5-0, BFTS) and American Hustle (23-1, BFTS). Jack Shot bucked him off in 4.28 seconds at the Wichita, Kansas, BlueDEF Tour event.

Thackerville winner Guilherme Marchi faces Flight Plan (6-1, BFTS) and No Regrets (21-6, BFTS). Marchi previously rode No Regrets for 87.5 points at the 2015 Oklahoma City event.

Fans can catch Round 1 of the Invitational Friday exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Pacheco and Davis continue to jockey for world No. 1 ranking (9-4-16)

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from the WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational Sunday night.

Kaique Pacheco showed the poise of a potential World Champion Sunday night. Pacheco bounced back from two buckoffs on Saturday with two qualified rides in Round 2 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in an effort to keep pace with world leader Cooper Davis in an ever-so-close World Championship race.

Pacheco finished the weekend in third place with 282.5 world points, but it was his 87.25-point ride on Kill The Lights to win the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and his 85.5-point ride on Recovery Time in Round 2 that has him still on the heels of Davis.

The 2015 Rookie of the Year trails Davis, who finished the Built Ford Tough Series event in second place, by only 19.67 points in the world standings.

“It helps a lot tonight because I have been riding really good since the break,” Pacheco said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “It is very important to ride good because I have to keep getting points. I know I need to ride my bulls and get my points. I need rides and points every day.”

Pacheco is 7-for-13 since the BFTS resumed in Nashville with the Music City Knockout.

Pacheco’s championship-round win was his fifth BFTS round win of the season and 12th of his career.

“I rode him before at the Finals, but he didn’t buck really good and I fell off (7.65) seconds,” Pacheco said. “I am very happy because tonight he had good spin and I rode really good in front of the bull the whole time. I rode perfect.”

Pacheco earned 142.5 points of his world points in Thackerville by tying with Jess Lockwood for third in the event average.

The 21-year-old admitted he made a poor decision during the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday attempting to ride Hammer It Again. Pacheco decided to move his bull rope closer to the middle of Hammer It Again, instead of leaving it in his normal position to the side.

 “The first bull (Kongo) last night I knew was a good bull,” Pacheco said. “He jumped forward and I wasn’t good. My second bull was a really good bull and I watched the video of him all the time from me in the 15/15 (in Tulsa). I put my rope in the middle this week and I moved it to much. I should have went inside.”

Pacheco appeared on track to leave Thackerville once again as the No. 1 bull rider a night after Davis passed him, but Davis also showed the poise of a champion and put forth a rebound performance in the championship round.

Davis, who finished second overall, responded to his 3.25-second buckoff against El Diablo in Round 2 by riding Red Cloud for 86.75 points in the championship round. He earned 60 world points for the second-place finish in the round and 240 world points for placing second in the event average. 

The Jasper, Texas, bull rider rode Cool Hand Luke for 86.5 points and a fifth-place tie in Round 1 (22.5 world points).

Davis said he tried not to worry about what happened in Round 2 or the world title race.

“You have to block all of that out,” Davis said following his ride on Red Cloud. “You have to fight through it.”

No longer a house of horrors

2008 World Champion Guillerme Marchi’s career was nearly ended in Thackerville last season when he tore his left MCL/PCL attempting to ride Cut the Cord.

One year later and Marchi is celebrating his first event victory in over 16 months despite never getting surgery to repair the torn ligaments.

Marchi became the first rider to successfully cover What’s Under Your Hood with an event-winning 86.5 points in the championship round.

“This means a lot to me, especially because I hurt my knee last year,” Marchi said. “I came back this year and there were a lot of things in my head.”

What’s Under Your Hood had bucked off five in a row on the BFTS and 21 overall.

“I picked that bull because I saw that bull last week,” Marchi said. “I was supposed to pick that bull and Marco (Eguchi) picked that bull. This week I said I need to pick that bull. It worked good for me. This last bull was right there to the right. When they kick fast, they are better for me and I find my position.”

Marchi then watched on with a contingent of friends, including Alves and Pacheco, as 2004 World Champion Mike Lee failed to win Thackerville for the second time in three years when he got bucked off by Buckle Up in 7.26 seconds.

Alves also had a chance for the victory before bucking off Wired Child in 7.87 seconds after Marchi had ridden What’s Under Your Hood.

Marchi finished third in the round for 50 world points.

The 34-year-old began the weekend with a Round 1-winning 88.75-point ride on Losing My Religion and kicked off Sunday with an 82.5-point ride on The Jungle.

“Both bulls (What’s Under Your Hood and The Jungle) come on the right and into my hand,” Marchi said. “Just good bulls. Jungle kind of a little bit more hard for me. He was kind of slow and moved forward. Because I am a little heavy, he made me sit on my pockets a little bit.”

Marchi earned 550 world points and is now 17th in the world standings.

Coming in behind Marchi, Davis and Pacheco was Jess Lockwood (205 world points) and Eduardo Aparecido (150 world points). Lee finished in sixth place with 130 world points.

Aparecido quietly wins Round 2

Aparecido is trying to keep himself in the world title race, but the success of Davis and Pacheco has made it hard for him to gain ground on the top two riders in the world.

The 26-year-old tied for second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle Saturday and finished the regular-formatted event in fifth place with 150 world points.

Like the two young guns, Aparecido also found a way to bounce back from adversity in Thackerville.

Aparecido responded from his 7.88-second buckoff against Crazy Cross in Round 1 to finish Thackerville with three consecutive rides, including his 88-point ride on Jump Street in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

The sixth-ranked rider in the world standings won Round 2 with an 87.25-point ride on Mustache Sally and then ended his night with an 84-point ride on Sheep Creek for a fifth-place finish in the championship round.

“I was very happy because I am riding really good,” Aparecido said through Alves. “My movement has been really good. This is good momentum. These were not rank bulls, but they were really good bulls.

“(Jump Street) was a rank bull and I had to stay in perfect position to stay on. He went left, right and kicked. I had to use good movement.”

Aparecido is 1,360.84 points behind Pacheco.

Gage Gay placed second in the round for 60 world points with his 86.5-point ride on Come On Baby. The problem for Gay was he sustained a concussion during the ride and had to miss the championship round.

Cody Nance was third with an 85.75-point ride on Johnny B and 50 world points, while Shane Proctor rode Find Jesus for 85.25 points and a fifth-place finish (30 world points).

This weekend was Proctor’s first two-ride weekend since winning Iron Cowboy in February.

2004 World Champion Mike Lee placed sixth with 85 points aboard Johnny Bones Jones. Lee picked up 15 world points.

Tyler Harr, who is trying to qualify for his first career World Finals, notched five points with an 84.75-point ride on Blue Moon.

Injury Updates

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Paulo Lima did not compete in the championship round after aggravating an old left knee injury during Round 2. Lima is probable for next weekend’s event in Springfield, Missouri.

Robson Palermo did not compete Sunday after sustaining a chest injury when he was bucked off by Midnight Train (4.21 seconds) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday. Palermo is questionable for Springfield. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Marchi gets invigorating Round 1 victory (9-3-16)

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational Saturday night.

Guilherme Marchi pumped his chest, turned toward the packed grandstands and let out an emphatic roar on Saturday night. 

Marchi had just ridden Losing My Religion for an eventual round-winning 88.75 points after having flashbacks to tearing his left MCL/PCL attempting to ride Cut the Cord last year in Thackerville.

“Oh, this is hard to explain everything,” Marchi said. “Everything came to my head before I got on. Last year, I hurt my knee here. Today I tried to change everything and just prayed to God for saving me in this arena. I know I had a tough bull.”

Marchi increased his training regimen this week with the help of Paulo Lima. The two Brazilian bull riders spent the week at Marchi’s Ferris, Texas, ranch participating in various workout programs. The two biked 14 miles a day and jump roped together.

The 2008 World Champion also attempted four practice bulls this week.

“I had been working so hard during the week,” Marchi said. “I have been riding my bike and jumping rope. I am doing a lot of hard things to get healthy. Everything I start to do now has helped me a lot. I was very focused and very concentrated.”

Lima also had success in Round 1, riding Valedictorian for 85 points and a ninth-place finish.

“Guilherme helped me this week,” said Lima, who was also bucked off by Cochise in 1.85 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle. “I didn’t get on any practice bulls. Just rode the bike and jumped rope.”

Marchi earned 100 points toward the world standings and moved from 22nd to 19th.

The 34-year-old credited Lima for helping him focus in on his training this week in preparation for an event that would clearly strike a chord with him following his 2015 injury, which cost him the remainder of the 2015 regular season.

“It helps a lot too because he is a very, very close friend of mine,” Marchi said. “He is very determined to work out. He helped me by trying to push me every day.”

Davis takes over world lead despite shoulder injury

There is a new sheriff in the PBR following Cooper Davis’ tie for fifth-place in Round 1.

Davis, who later bucked off Wicked for the fifth time on the BFTS in 5.86 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle, used his 86.5-point ride on Cool Hand Luke to earn 22.5 points toward the world standings and surpass Kaique Pacheco for the world No. 1 ranking.

Davis was happy to be atop the world standings for the first time in his career, but the 22-year-old was also very much aware that the $1 million World Champion bonus isn’t paid out until the conclusion of the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

“That is good to look at right now, but all of that doesn’t matter until Nov. 6,” Davis said.

Davis leads Pacheco by a slim 2.17 points heading into Round 2 on Sunday. Davis took over the lead after Pacheco failed to ride Kongo (5.14 seconds) in Round 1 and Hammer It Again (3.16 seconds) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

RELATED: Click HERE for the complete Sunday daysheet 

Davis was competing with a right shoulder separation that he sustained in Tulsa last weekend.

“I didn’t put a whole thought into the shoulder and I just went at it,” Davis said. “It felt good. No pain. The only thing that bothers me is getting off. If that is the least of my worries right now then we are in good shape.”

Mike Lee and Joao Ricardo Vieira were the only other Top 10 riders in the world standings to earn points in Round 1.

Vieira placed seventh for five world points with his 86-point ride on Flight Plan. He is fifth in the world standings and 777.5 points behind Davis.

Lee rode Sketchy Bob for a third-place finish and 50 world points, but the 2004 World Champion actually fell to 11th in the standings because of Jess Lockwood’s strong performance in Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Lockwood earned 105 points to move up to ninth in the world standings and take over the lead in the 2016 Rookie of the Year Race.

The 18-year-old rode Shake It Up for 86.5 points to tie with Davis for fifth place in Round 1 and followed that up that ride with an 88-point performance on Margy Time for a second-place finish in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

No. 6 Eduardo Aparecido earned 82.5 world points by tying with Lockwood for second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Aparecido rode his re-ride bull, Jump Street, for 88 points.

Margy Time was competing for the first time since sustaining a broken leg at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last year.

“You have to give that bull a lot of credit,” Lockwood said. “A broken leg on a bull 99 percent of the time means that is the end of their career. They will never buck again. For him to come back and buck at this level, heal from a broken leg, is pretty incredible.”

Richardson earns emotional 15/15 Bucking Battle victory

The money, the 150 world points, his first 90-point ride and his first 15/15 Bucking Battle victory were far from Lachlan Richardson’s mind Saturday night as he accepted his event-winning belt buckle on top of the shark cage.

Instead, Richardson couldn’t help but think about 23-year-old Blake Hallam – a rising star in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association – that had passed away Thursday in a car crash.

“My buddy got killed in a car crash this week,” Richardson said. “We grew up together and he was a pretty good buddy. I hadn’t seen him in a while because I had been over here.”

Richardson won the 15/15 Bucking Battle with a career-high 92.25-point ride on Seven Dust. It was the first 90-point ride of his career.

“I knew it was a good bull and really tough,” Richardson said. “It is really special. It is the next biggest to (winning) an event. I hadn’t won one before. I don’t think I even stayed on a bull before, so I can’t describe it.”

Injury Updates

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Robson Palermo is questionable for Round 2 after sustaining a concussion and a possible rib fracture when he was slammed to the ground by Midnight Train in 4.21 seconds.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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