Night number one of the 2014 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series World Finals is a wrap after the ABBI Classic bucking bulls were set loose inside the Thomas & Mack arena. The atmosphere was set for some fantastic match-ups between two great athletes, the professional bull riders and the bucking bulls of the PBR and they did not disappoint! The top 35 bull riders in the world would be paired up with some of the best young up and coming bucking bulls coming out of the American Bucking Bull Incorporated program, who is having its own ABBI World Finals over at South Point Hotel and Casino this week as well.
Each one of the fans in attendance for round one were treated to a number of fantastic rides and a several dramatic challenges for rides that were too close to call. Fifteen of top 35 bull riders were able to cover their counterpart for the entire 8 seconds needed to post a score to start off their 2014 PBR World Finals week. Marco Eguchi was able to cover Lil’ Z for a 86.25 score, Jordan Hupp scored 84 points aboard Closing Time in section number one.
Section number two included some of the most popular bull riders on tour and combined for two of the top three scores for the entire evening. The first score in section two was from Stormy Wing for the second highest score of the round with 88.50 on top of Slappy. The next cowboy to ride was last year’s World Champion and fan favorite J.B. Mauney who ended up third going into the second round with a 88 point score aboard More Big Bucks. Relative newcomer Nathan Schaper was the only other cowboy to post a score in section number two with 83.50 in his match-up with Snap Back.
Section three riders were able to muster up a total of two rides in round one. In section three PBR World Finals rookie Brady Sims was able to cover Half Nutz for a score of 86.25 as another fan favorite Tanner Byrne was able to cover an ABBI Wildcard Bull for a competitive score of 87.00 to put him in solid position going into round 2 on Thursday evening.
J.W. Harris wins round aboard Jo Jo
Photo Credit: Kent Kerschener – Foto Cowboy
Section number four brought us our top score of the night while 4-time Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association World Champion Bull Rider J.W. Harris posted a score of 88.75 aboard Jo Jo. Along with the excitement that brought to the entire arena young superstar Lachlan Richardson wanted to keep the momentum going and posted a 85.50 score after covering Kung Fu Fighter for an eight second ride. Everyone in the Thomas & Mack arena could see and feel the excitement that Harris had going into round number two as the top dog for the World Finals!
J.W. Harris celebrating his round one win at the 2014 PBR World Finals
Photo Credit: Kent Kershcner – Foto Cowboy
After all that excitement in round number four it was time for all of the fans in attendance to get up and stretch their legs as the World Finals took a short break to honor some very enthusiastic fans with Stanley tools and Ariat boots while the CBS Sports Network took a commercial break. That time was going to be needed to help the fans gain some more energy as the top ten bull riders in the World Standings were set to take center stage in sections four and five, the final two sections of the first night of action at the 2014 PBR World Finals.
Section number five once again, as you can imagine, brought some of the most notable and respected riders within the organization. Fans were on the edge of their seats to see some of their favorite riders compete for their chance to move one step closer to being awarded the World Championship on Sunday afternoon. L.J. Jenkins made a qualified ride on JT X2 to a tune of 87 points while Eduardo Aparecido scored 86 points aboard Flab Slab. The cowboys were not done yet though with Matt Triplett barely making the buzzer aboard Pearl Harbor earning him a score or 87.25 points after a very emotional and tense few minutes while the judges looked at replays to determine if his score would stay on the board or not. Another fan favorite Mike Lee was the next cowboy to post a qualified ride aboard McIntyre Transport’s 029 Back J for a score of 87.25 points as well.
The last section of round one, section six, featured the top four bull riders in the World Standings and they did not disappoint those fans watching from inside the arena as well as those across the county watching on CBS Sports Network. Two of the top four were able to garnish a score after making qualified rides. The first to do it in section six was Brazilian cowboy Guilherme Marchi when he rode Flyin’ Crazy for a score of 86 points. While it seemed like section six was all about the Brazilians that deemed to be true as the only other rider to gain a score was Silvano Alves when he made the eight second whistle aboard Dumber for score of 86.25 points.
Stay tuned later today for an exclusive interview with round one winner J.W. Harris as well as the entire press conference audio from night number one with your winner J.W. along with Matt Triplett and Guilherme Marchi to talk about their rides in the first round of the 2014 Professional Bull Rider’s Built Ford Tough Series World Finals.
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