Fan favorite J.B. Mauney really kicked off the 2015 Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas by winning round one with a spectacular 91 point ride on the bull Wicked Stick from Diamond S Bucking Bulls. That win has helped him extend his lead in the race for the 2015 PBR World Championship.
Mauney picked up 200 world standings points to increase his lead over No. 2 Brazilian Joao Ricardo Vieira, to 1,515 points. A little over 10,000 fans were in the stands in the Thomas & Mack. With one round in the books, there are still a total of 2,000 world standings points available in the championship race.
“I feel relieved getting that first one out of the way,” Mauney said. “I feel like that ride is just going to set the pace for me for the rest of the week.”
J.B. wasn’t the only one making fans jump for joy; On his reride bull, rookie Cooper Davis held the lead through two sections but finished in second place with an 89-point effort on Dakota Style’s Hy Test. That ride earned Davis 120 world points and so he jumped three spots in the world standings, to No. 13.
Fabiano Vieira finished in third place off an 86.75-point ride on Crazy Days taking the lead from first-time World Finals qualifier Mason Lowe , who came out of the chutes early in the round to tally 85.5 points on Gangster Bucks . Lowe finished in fourth place. Vieira earned 100 points towards his world standings total while Lowe added 80 points.
Australian Lachlan Richardson and Cody Nance tied for fifth place with 84.75-point rides, each earning 30 world points. Richardson rode For Play and Nance covered Little Tim’s All Nighter .
Round 1 also featured the top bulls of the American Bucking Bull, Inc., (ABBI) as an ABBI Classic Finals round, a competition for 3- and 4-year-old bucking bulls. The ABBI bucking bull with the highest score of the night was Bruiser (D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.) with 89.75 points.
Behind Bruiser with scores of 88.25 points were Slinger Jr. (Carpenter/VonGontard/Rocking I Rodeo/Treichel) and Rebelution (Ravenscroft/Leslie Walter/Boyd-Floyd). In fourth place was Wicked Stick, Gangsters Wildside (Austin Riley/Josh Beckett) and Red Cloud (Martinez Bucking Bulls), each with a score of 88 points.
Tonight was the first round of the ABBI Classic Finals. The bull with the top average score after the second round on Saturday will be crowned ABBI Classic World Champion and awarded $200,000. For more information visit: www.americanbuckingbull.com.
Round 2 of the 2015 PBR World Finals takes place Thursday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m. PT. Thursday also represents the PBR’s Pink Night, featuring the Pink Buckathon. In addition to the riders and PBR staff donning pink and offering a $5,000 Boot Daddy Breast Cancer Bounty Bull, the PBR will also donate $250 for every qualified ride and $1,000 for every 90-point or more ride to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in support to fulfill the PBR’s Pink Promise. Wrangler and MGM Resorts Worldwide.
The PBR’s 22nd race for the $1 million PBR World Championship airs every night at 9 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Oct. 21-Saturday, Oct. 24, and at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 25.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast every round of the 2015 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals live at 8:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday-Saturday and then at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. The World Finals pre-show will air live from the Thomas & Mack Plaza at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Photo: Tom Donoghue