This weekend the Frank Erwin Center would open up its doors to the cowboys of the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series as the countdown to the 2017 PBR World Finals continue. Over the last couple of weeks the top 35 bull riders in the world have been left scratching their heads as the bovine athletes they have faced have made them look like they do not belong on an elite tour such as this one. The confidence level of the riders coming into this weekend is pretty low as they try to figure out how to turn the tides in their favors once again and nurse their bodies through the injuries sustained in the weeks prior. This weekend should give these guys a chance to regain the swagger that they have been looking for over the past two weeks with the debut of some new bulls into the Built Ford Tough Series.
Once the fans began filing into the arena the nervousness of the greatest fans in the world could be felt throughout the building. Each and every fan knew that with only six events remaining in the 2017 season the time was now for some to make their moves towards an appearance in Las Vegas this coming November. Everyone also knew who was coming in hot and who was struggling which would have direct impacts as to where their favorite bull riders would end up in the world standings following Sunday afternoon’s performances. It was quickly figured out that Texas, specifically, Austin has some of the most loyal and passionate bull riding fans in the world and we would all soon find out how boisterous they would be when round one of the 2017 Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic began!
Jess Lockwood Celebrates His Round One Win
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
From the first rider out tonight, the fans knew that they were going to see a handful of qualified rides which is more than they those could say from the previous two weeks. Along with a slew of qualified rides there were many re-ride opportunities which was to, some what, be expected as we debuted a handful of new up and coming bovine athletes as well. Things started out positively with Stetson Lawrence beginning the night putting up points but quickly changed tones to numerous re-ride bulls and a little of a dry spell with putting up qualified rides on the leader board. After last weekend’s domination the reigning and defending PBR World Champion, Cooper Davis, looked like he was on a mission to march towards the top of the world standings and he hoped to continue that march here in Austin, Texas!
Once the action began the fans would be optimistic about the amount of qualified rides that they would witness with Lawrence starting things off in grand fashion. That being said, it would not be until about half way through the performance until we saw another one, leaving all wondering if the same fate would continue for the top 35 bull riders in the world. Once we got to the meat of the order another nine riders would manage to make it to the eight second buzzer giving us nine qualified rides on the night. Cooper Davis put in a solid effort taking home more world title race points, tightening up the world standings even more, but no one could beat the young phenom that we call Jess Lockwood. One week from being knocked out and listed as questionable for this weekend he would take home the round one win and 100 world title race points after putting up a huge 90.25 point ride aboard Rocking I Rodeo Company’s Luke sending him into tomorrow in an extreme amount of pain but full of confidence to take home an event win here in Austin, Texas!
Complete List Of Round One Qualified Rides:
Jess Lockwood (90.25) Cooper Davis (89.25)
Gage Gay (87.25) Stetson Lawrence (86.75)
Chase Outlaw (86.50) Emilio Resende (85.50)
Dakota Buttar (83.75) Eduardo Aparecido (75.50)
Ramon de Lima (75.50)
Cooper Davis Celebrates His 15/15 Bucking Battle Win In Austin
Photo Credit: Review Jounal
After a tough battle between man and beast, the night’s action was far from over as another edition of the 15/15 Bucking Battle that we all love was set to begin underneath the Saturday night lights. After a gutsy performance and round win, the status of young gun Jess Lockwood was in question as he rushed out of the arena and into the waiting hands of the Justin Sports Medicine Team. Moments before the start of the round Dr. Tandy Freeman tweeted out that Lockwood was suffering from back tenderness but was cleared to ride, making it mandatory for him to do so to continue on this weekend and next. Once the extra innings round began there would be moments of awe and times that the sold-out crowd would be moved to rise to their feet to cheer on some fantastic qualified rides, ending night number one of the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic in grand style!
When things began, the match-ups that we would all watch tonight would feature the top 15 bull riders in the world paired up against 15 of the rankest bucking bulls in the business, including the reigning and defending 2016 PBR Bucking Bull World Champion, Sweet Pro’s Bruiser who would once again earn the top bull score of the night, a 45.75 point bull score. On the other side of the coin there would be a total of four qualified rides here this weekend in the 15/15 Bucking Battle but no one could beat the effort that Cooper Davis continued to put up tonight in the 15/15. Coming into this round he knew he needed to continue to earn some much-needed world title race points and he did just that, earning 150 points after a round winning 91.75 point ride aboard TLW Bucking Bulls/Kuhn’s TLW’s Big Cat sending him into tomorrow afternoon’s final rounds riding a continued high wave of confidence!
Over the last two weeks of competition the ride totals down on the arena floor have been less than stellar but tonight everyone could feel the tides begin to change just a little bit. Improving even more than last weekend, Cooper Davis put up the second highest marked ride in the round to take home second place and another 60 big world title race points. That being said, both the number one and number two men in the world standings were unable to gain any points opening the door wide for another huge shake up in the world title race following the conclusion of the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic here tomorrow afternoon. The Rodeo Round Up team will have complete coverage once again to bring you up to date as to how everything plays out and who sits atop of the world standings after the conclusion of this weekend’s events here in Austin, Texas!
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