The Built Ford Tough Invitational was held in Kansas City,
Missouri this past weekend, and was stop number 11 on the BFTS tour. Austin
Meier won his second event of the season in style, scoring a 91.5 on Carrillo
Cartel, owned by 4C’s/Sills/HD Bucking Bulls.
Austin Meier wins his second BFTS event.
Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media photo
Meier has always liked Kansas City, but this weekend was the
best yet. “It feels great,” Austin said. “I drew great bulls, and when you’re
hot, you’re hot. I just want to stay focused and keep things in perspective. If
I can do that and stay healthy, I feel that I can win a world title.”
In round one though, it was Ned Cross who grabbed the money.
He rode Wine Hu for a score of 89.25. Wine Hu is owned by Lightening C
Cattle/PBJ Bulls. Second and right behind Cross was Robson Palermo. He received
a score of 89 after riding the 4L & Diamond S Rodeo Company bull, Big Iron.
Meier was third when he rode Priceless, owned by D & H Cattle Co./L&E
Bulls to an 88.75. Coming in fourth was Chris Shivers. He rode a bull owned by
Walker Bucking Stock Breeders, Canadian Cadillac to 87.75.
Palermo won the second round by covering Hot Stuff, owned by
D&H Cattle Company. He was awarded an 89.75. There was a tie for second and
third between Cross and Jody Newberry with scores of 88.75. Cross covered
Buffalo Hump, owned by Hebert Bucking Bulls/Barry & Aliceson, and Newberry
rode Flash Point, owned by Teague Bucking Bulls, LLC. Fourth went to Mike Lee,
with a score of 88. He rode the Kooper Branum and Gene Baker bull, I’ll Make
The dancing began in round three when Ben Jones was
victorious. He rode RFD-TV to a big score of 90 points. That bull is owned by
Teague Bucking Bulls, LLC/RFDTV. LLC. Another tie for second and third, this
time between Kody Lostroh and Josh Koschel with scores of 88. Lostroh rode
Hippy Music, owned by Ravenscroft/Boyd/Floyd Bull Company. Koschel covered Top
Diamond, owned by 4L and Diamond S Rodeo Company. Fourth through sixth places
tied with 87.75 between Shivers, Jordan Hupp and Billy Robinson.
Big scores were put up in the Championship Round, and
eventual winner Meier achieved the biggest. As mentioned earlier, he rode
Carrillo Cartel to a 91.5. There was a third tie of the night for second and
third. Both Shivers and J.B. Mauney scored 90.5. Chris rode Crosswired, owned
by D&H Cattle Co/Clifton Wiggins, and Mauney coveredthe Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve
bull, Big Tex. Jones scored a 90 on Kabookie, owned by Boyd/Floyd Bull Company
to be fourth. Hupp was the only other one to ride in the short-go. He covered
the Teague Bucking Bulls, LLC bullChance to an 89.5.
The event average found Meier to be the winner, followed by
Hupp, Jones, Shivers, Palermo, Lostroh, Mauney, Cross, Koschel, and Newberry.
There were a couple of injuries. Travis Briscoe is doubtful
for next weeks’ event in Glendale, Arizona because of bruised ribs. Valdiron de
Oliveira is questionable, since he is suffering from an injured right shoulder.
In all, a pretty uneventful weekend – which is a good thing.
As far as the BFTS standings are concerned, Mauney is on
top, but only by 157.75 points. De Oliveira is hot on his tail for that top
spot. Third is Meier, followed by Briscoe, Koschel, Renato Nunes, McKennon
Wimberly, Palermo, Shane Proctor, and Ryan McConnel.
Probably the biggest story of this event was the
announcement that "Mighty" Mike White made, which was that he is retiring. Actually, it
is more correct to say that he has now retired, but he came to that conclusion
with a smile on his face. “I’m ready,” he said. “It’s time to quit before I get
hurt. My heart’s just not into riding bulls anymore.”
As always, his best friend Chris Shivers pulled his rope for
him, then heard the announcer say that it will be the Mike’s last event. One
would have thought that Chris would have been privy to that information, but that
was not the case. Later, when he walked backto the locker room, he remarked to White that Mike was supposed to tell
him something like that. In typical White fashion, he laughed and said, “OK, by
the way, I won’t be riding next week.”
White will compete in two lower-level events; a three-head
bull riding in May in DeKalb, Texas with Shivers and Guilherme Marchi, and then
compete in his own Touring Pro Division event in Lake Charles, Louisiana the
end of June.
Mike goes out with a pretty strong record. He was Rookie of
the Year in 1999, the same year that he won a PRCA World Title. His two best
seasons in the PBR came in 2003 and 2004, when he finished fourth and third in
the world, respectively.
In 223 BFTS events he has recorded 66 top-ten finishes, 43
top-fives, and 12 event titles. He has earned more than $1.4 million during his
run in the PBR. And during all that time, he was always a favorite of the fans.
Probably the most honest statement he could have made was as
follows; “I’ve never showed it, but I’ve always been scared to where I can’t
come home and play with my kid. To know that I might come home one weekend and
I might be in a wheelchair and not be able to play with my kid – it really
hurts me. Your life changes when you have a kid.”
All the best to you, Mike. We will miss watching you ride,
but look forward to you bringing some great bucking bulls to the PBR events!