The Bulls Take Manhattan
Pamplona, Spain, move over. The Bulls are Bucking in NYC.
New York City’s investors and stock traders love a good bull market and the City’s sports fans love their bulls and bull riders. For the eleventh year in row, NYC’s Madison Square Garden – The World’s Most Famous Arena – has hosted sell-out crowds for the annual kick off of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) national tour. Co-branded as the Monster Energy Buck Off, the event brings together 35 of the best professional bull riders in the world and around 100 of the best bovine athletes, many of whom are also ranked among the top in the world. While nothing is to be taken away for the brave Bull Riders who get, and deserve, their fair share of media coverage, last year's coverage of the event in MetroSports Magazine focused on the role of the Bull Fighters, formerly referred to as Rodeo Clowns who, risk life and limb to keep the Bull Riders safe. This year our focus is on the bulls.
Above: PBR Bull Rider Gage Gay atop "Warfare" at Madison Square Garden (Photo Credit: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com)
Not more than one mile south of Madison Square Garden, beginning at the corner of 9th Avenue and 16th Street, the City’s now upscale Meatpacking District was once home to approximately 250 slaughterhouses and meat packing plants where countless numbers of cows and bulls met their demise. On the weekend of January 6-8, 2017, on the corner of 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, the bulls got their revenge.
At Friday night’s Round One opening, two-time World Champion and perhaps the biggest name in professional bull riding, J.B. Mauney of Statesville, North Carolina, went up against Auctioneers Dew Rag Dan from Muldoon, Texas, a yet-unranked bull who now stands unridden in his past three rides, having bucked off J.B. Mauney in 4.82 seconds in of the PBR-BFTS and having bucked off both Tye Chandler and Reese Cates in less than 2 seconds each in December 2016. The bulls continued to take their revenge on Mauney in Saturday’s Round Two when “Big Tex Rocks the Shoot” bucked him off in 3.21 seconds. Mauney finished the 3-day BFTS Championship event in 8th place among the human competitors.
Above: J.B. Mauney atop "Dew Rag Dan" at the 2017 PBR Built Ford Tough Series Round One. (Photo Credit: Warren Rosenberg)
Below: "Dew Rag Dan" atop J.B. Mauney. (Photo Credit: Warren Rosenberg)
Also going down to the Bulls was Defending World Champion, Cooper Davis of Jasper, Texas, who drew a ride on “Pneu Darts Captain” and was bucked off in 4.99 seconds. “Captain”, from the ranch of Mark Miller Bucking Bulls in nearby Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, has compiled an impressive record, being unridden in his last seven contests. Cooper's 4.99 seconds was the longest anyone has stayed on the “Captain”. Davis had better luck on Saturday in Round Two when he stayed aboard “Gucci Galore” for an 8 second ride, scoring an 86. Davis finished the BFTS event in 9th place among the humans.
Above and Below: Cooper Davis has all he can handle against Pnew Darts Captain in Round 1. (Photo Credit: Warren Rosenberg)
In Sunday's final Championship Round of action, the top 15 riders from rounds 1-3 went up against the PBR's best bull athletes. The first 8 riders didn't fare well at all, with the bulls taking an 8-0 advantage. Ryan Dirteater was the first finalist to hold on for an 8-second ride. Nineteen year-old BFTS rookie Jess Lockwood, standing 5'5" tall and weighing in at 130 pounds did manage to get the best of his rides and ultimately took home the winning purse of $117,183.33 for his weekend of work in NYC.
The Tournament's top bull was "Hey Jack". Other notable bovine athletes included, "Gravedigger", "Dennis the Menace", "El Diablo", "Crazy Horse", "Gentleman Jim", "Ace", and "Tooth Fairy".
The boys and the bulls then packed up for their trip to Chicago for next weekend's event. The BFTS tournament concludes in Las Vegas in November.
Look for more coverage in the January-February 2017 issue of MetroSports Magazine. Coming soon at www.MetroSportsMag.com