Photo Credit: pbrnow.com
With the 2014 Professional Bull Riders World Finals just over two weeks away, there are many races that are too close to call and are very much up for grabs. As many folks wait to see who will become the next World Champion bull rider or rookie of the year there are a few other races that are far from done and will be fun to watch. Along with the well known titles there are others as well that are just as important to both riders and contractors. There is also the World Finals event champion that will not be decided until Championship Sunday inside the Thomas & Mack but today we are focusing on the bovine athletes within the Professional Bull Riders organization.
The focus of many PBR fans have, over the past few years, been divided between the cowboys and the bull power that the Professional Bull Riders bring to each and every arena around the world. This is never more evident, year after year, than during the World Finals performances when the World Champion Bull race comes to a dramatic end on Championship Sunday of each year’s event on the UNLV campus in Las Vegas, Nevada. As everyone knows the PBR has some of the best bucking bulls in the business today and along with the bovines are their proud and loyal stock contractors that haul them over thousands of miles throughout the year. It was announced this week who the top 25 bull riders in the world voted as the top 8 finalists were for the title of World Champion Bucking Bull. As you look over the list you will be expecting some names and might be surprised by some of them as well. The world championship race is very easy to understand for all bull riding and rodeo fans as the winner will be the bull who puts together the best bull scores over their two appearances at the Built Ford Tough Series World Finals in just over two weeks time. To put it simple, the year’s scores no longer matter and day one of the World Finals starts a two out season for the top 8 which means any one of these great bucking bulls have a chance to be crowned World Champion Bucking Bull!
The top 8 bull finalists are: Bushwacker, Mick E Mouse, Asteroid, Jared Allen’s Air Time, Roy, I’m A Gangster Too, Fire & Smoke and Shepherd Hills Tested. Below I will talk about each contender individually to bring each of you up to speed so yo can make your own predictions as you watch the 2014 PBR World Finals live on CBS Sports Network October 22 – 26 live from the Thomas & Mack Center on the beautiful University of Nevada – Las Vegas campus.
Bushwacker (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls): Bushwacker is the defending World Champion after winning the title one year ago. This will be Bushwacker’s fifth consecutive trip to the World Finals as he has qualified for the event each year he has been in the PBR since debuting in 2009. The bovine athlete is going to go down in the history books as one of the best bucking bulls in history as he will be retiring from competition after his trip out of the bucking chutes on Championship Sunday. Bushwacker has had 12 outs in 2014 and has yet to be ridden allowing him an average bull score of 45.56 and a high score this year of 46.75
Mick E Mouse (Marlene Henry): This fantastic bucking bull has remained unridden throughout his entire career within the Built Ford Tough Series including an astounding eight buck offs just this season. One of the many notables for his 2014 season was obtaining the high-marked ride at the Sacramento, California BFTS event with a bull score of 46.75 that ended up being a fourth best overall bull score of the 2014 season and his best bull score as well. Mick E Mouse’s average bull score throughout the year is 45.69.
Asteroid (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo): This bucker knows what it is like to be called a World Champion as he was crowned such in 2012. This will be Asteroid’s fourth consecutive finalist qualification for World Champion Bucking Bull. He was the runner up to Bushwacker last year for the title and has been on a terror since to reclaim is sport atop the World Standings. Biloxi was his year highlight so far being granted a 47.00 point bull score which has been his highest so far this season. Asteroid has been out eight times this season and has yet to be covered for the entire 8 seconds giving him an average bull score this year of 45.21.
Jared Allen’s Air Time (Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team): This power bull has been out of the Built Ford Tough bucking chutes five times this year and has bucked off his opponent four times. Those that came up short include the veteran Kasey Hayes and the number one man in the BFTS standings, as well as rookie of the year in 2013, Joao Ricardo Vieira. Air Time has gotten the nod after posting the two highest bull scores so far this year that have each been over 47 points. He has also had the distinction of earning the high-marked ride of an event three times so far this year. Air Time comes into the 2014 PBR World Finals with an average bull score of 45.45.
Roy (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls): In 2014 the best bull riders in the world have had their hands full trying to figure this bucking bull out as they are 0 for 4 with Roy maintaining a 88.89 buck off percentage. During Roy’s entire BFTS career he has only been conquered once out of the 7 times he has come out of the chute gates. His highest marked ride of 2014 came in Laughlin and earned a 45.75 bull score and was named as the bull with the highest marked ride for the only time this year. Roy’s average bull score for 2014 is 45.00 points.
I’m A Gangster Too (Jeff Robinson/TNT Bucking Bulls): I’m A Gangster Too is coming into the World Champion Bull Race as a finalist for a fourth time in 2014. This year has been a great year for this bovine athlete while being only one of two bulls to be given the high marked ride of an event three times throughout the season. He has been out in competition 16 times this year and has only been ridden two of those times, both for huge scores. He has his highest marked out scored at a 45.75 which he has been able to manage to do twice this year and carrying an average bull score of 44.69 to establish him as one of the top contenders in the World Championship Bull race.
Fire & Smoke (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Julie Rosen): This is this bull’s first year on the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series and came on the scene in January in Oklahoma City. Fire & Smoke has had a busy schedule this year with 14 trips out of the bucking chutes. 12 of the 14 trips have not faired so well for the cowboys as this bull has only been ridden two times in his career that started at the beginning of the year. The two times that he has been covered was by the same rider Fabiano Vieira, which means only 1 of the top 35 bull riders in the world have been able to figure Fire & Smoke out. His highest marked ride this year was back in Des Moines, Iowa to a tune of 46.50 points and he has carried a bull score average of 44.63 coming into the 2014 World Finals and World Champion Bull race.
Shepherd Hills Tested (Luthy/Duckwall/D&H Cattle/Powder River/Shepherd Hills Cutlery): This bull has been a namesake on the Built Ford Tough Series this season while giving the fans a chance to see him perform 11 times. An impressive buckoff percentage of 90.91 this year has secured his second world championship nomination. He has managed to buck off the best bull riders in the world 10 of 11 times this season and continue his dominance over his four year career to a 38-2 record making him one of the baddest bulls in the business. Shepherd Hills Tested has a season high bull score of 45.75 which he obtained at the Last Cowboy Standing event earlier this year and has been able to continue to hold on to a remarkable 43.79 average bull score throughout the 2014 season.
Who will win the Bucking Bull World Champion title? Make sure to stay up to date with all the happenings at the 2014 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series World Finals by following the Rodeo Round Up for exclusive coverage of the event. You can keep up with all of us by copying this website and saving it into your favorites on your browser, liking and following us on facebook here, liking and following us on twitter at @therodeoroundup or by following and liking us on Instagram at @therodeoroundup. Follow us on all of our social media sites for exclusive interviews and all access pictures, stories and special features throughout the week long event!