The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) — their elite level of competition — may have been on the annual summer hiatus for June and July but the bull riders were busy crossing the country and the world chasing points in the PBR World standings at Lucas Oil Touring Pro Division (TPD) events.
Changes in the rules for 2013 have made the points won at TPD events more important this season for those cowboys chasing world championships and berths to the PBR World Finals in October. As a result, many of the PBR’s top competitors entered up this summer at the smaller events that they may just have skipped a year ago.
Amongst those contestants who have always been happy to stay on the road during the summer break is 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee. Lee found his way to the California Rodeo Salinas event on July 18, an event hosted by the famed California Rodeo Salinas committee in conjunction with their annual rodeo.
Covering his first bull, Capone of Four Star Rodeo Company, for 85 points, Lee placed fourth in the opening round behind round winner Cody Tyler White, PRCA World Champion Bull Rider Shane Proctor and Chase Outlaw.
Lee made his move in the finals as one of only two contestants to cover their bulls during the round. Lee rode Super Cool Cat from Humpz & Hornz/Sis & Stan Bucking Bulls for 91 points, the highest marked ride of the evening. His two-bull total of 176 points earned him $9,469.
After the ride, Lee confided to arena commentator, and fellow PBR World Champion Justin McBride, that Super Cool Cat was not necessarily the bull he wanted to draw for the final round.
“No, that’s an older bull and I didn’t want to get on him. He smashed me and he’s really mean,” he laughed. “It was pretty cool that I got him rode.”
In fact, the bull has a 77% buck-off rate according to PBR stats and has made news several times for the wrecks that have befallen the cowboys who attempt to ride him.
Lee is now ranked ninth in the PBR World standings. The BFTS ends its summer break on August 16-17 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Utah cowboy Tyler Bingham also made the eight-second whistle in the final round, earning 84.5 points from the judges. Combined with his first round score of 82.5, Bingham’s two head score of 167 points finished second in the event, earning him $6,145.
Despite bucking off in the finals, White finished third thanks to his 90 point, go-round winning effort aboard LL Cool J from Troy Brown Bucking Bulls. Brown is the stunt coordinator for the television series NCIS: Los Angeles; the bull was named for the series star. White also earned $6,145.
Proctor and Outlaw finished fourth and fifth, respectively, thanks to their first round scores. Proctor earned $4,417 while Outlaw took home $3,220. Proctor is sixth in the PBR standings while Outlaw is tenth.