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Austin Meier wins second BFTS event; Mike White announces retirement
By BARBARA PINNELLA, MOP Squad Boxing, MMA, Wrestling Editor
Mar 8, 2010 - 6:44:25 PM

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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 You Famous.


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 covered  the 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 bull  Chance 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 back  to 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!


Be safe and God Bless,

Viva La Raza,


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