Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 7, 2013

BRETT HOFFMAN: PBR organizers thinking out of the box for tour events

BRETT HOFFMAN
The Athens Review

THACKERVILLE, Okla. — When Professional Bull Riders organizers bring their top-tier tour to the Dallas/Fort Worth area these days, they go out of the box.

In March, the PBR conducts a lucrative show called the Iron Cowboy at AT&T Stadium and competitors ride in a big arena that’s equipped with the same gigantic instant replay screen that wows Dallas Cowboys fans. In August, the PBR sets up a smaller arena beside the towering WinStar World Casino at Thackerville.

The 2013 Thackerville tour stop was conducted on Aug. 30-31 and it’s the only outdoor PBR Built Ford Tough Series show that’s scheduled this season. The event was held on a complex that’s about an hour’s drive north of DFW Metroplex and fans filled the stands to the brim during the Labor Day weekend. Both the Friday night and Saturday night performances were sellouts and the total attendance was more than 12,000.

One cowboy who was a big hit with the fans was J.B. Mauney, a charismatic cowboy from North Carolina who won the title. In fact, Mauney has won two out of the past three tour stops. He also finished No. 1 in Tulsa on Aug. 17.

On Aug. 31, Mauney won the Thackerville tour stop after turning a score of 91.5 in the final round aboard a bovine named Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack, owned by the Circle T Ranch & Rodeo. He earned $36,800.

After clinching the title, Mauney was whisked onto a stage and he addressed the crowd. “You have to have it in your head that there’s not a bull in there that can throw you off,” he said.

In a interview after the event, Mauney said one of the main reasons he’s on a roll is because he’s no longer thwarted by injuries. He said he took off a month to rest during the early part of the summer when the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series was at rest. Since then, he’s limited himself to larger shows such as the Calgary Stampede and the PBR’s Ford Series tour stops.

In mid-July,  Mauney won the Calgary Stampede bull riding title and he earned more than $100,000 at the famous Alberta rodeo. Since then, he has exuded confidence.

“This is the best that I’ve felt in a long time,” he said.

After winning the Thackerville show, Mauney was ranked fourth in the Aug. 31 BFTS world standings with 6,636.5 points. Silvano Alves, a native of Brazil who lives in Decatur, was ranked No. 1 with 8,534. Ricardo Vieira was ranked No. 2 with 6,979.98 and Marco Eguchi was ranked third with 6,944.3.

Brazile watch

On the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, Trevor Brazile of Decatur came a step closer to winning a record 11th world all-around title as the result of earning $8,560 at the Aug. 30-Sept. 1 Walla Walla (Wash.) Frontier Days Rodeo. Brazile won the all-around, tie-down roping and steer roping titles. Brazile was ranked No. 1 in the Sept. 3 PRCA world all-around standings with regular season earnings of $174,249, $62,504 ahead of Tuf Cooper who had $111,745.

The final stretch

The regular seasons for both the PBR and the PRCA is winding down. The PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series concludes its regular season on the weekend of Oct. 11-13 with a tour stop in Hollywood, Fla., and the World Finals is scheduled for Oct. 23-27 in Las Vegas (for more information visit pbr.com) . The PRCA closes its regular season on Sept. 30. The National Finals Steer Roping is scheduled for Nov. 8-9 in Guthrie, Okla., and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is Dec. 5-14 in Las Vegas (prorodeo.com).



Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the past quarter-century. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net.