The 2009 Champ, Kody Lostroh.
Linda Peterson photo
In front of a capacity crowd at the Thomas and Mack Center
in Las Vegas, Kody Lostroh won the PBR World Finals, to become the 2009 World
Champion! J.B. Mauney set a record by riding all eight of his bulls and gained
enough points to win the event average, therefore winning the Finals individual
event. But this last day was not without a lot of anticipation.
In round seven, both Lostroh and Mauney rode their bulls,
although J.B. was reminiscent of Justin McBride a few years ago during his ride
on Smack Down. For the final two or three seconds he was hanging on the side of
the bull, but refused to let go, which enabled him to get that all-important
score – 86.75. “I made a few mistakes on him, and when you get out of shape
that bad you can only do one thing, and that’s keep your hand shut.”
Lostroh, on the other hand, gave a big ride on SoulJa Boy,
owned by Priest Creek Ranch, to score a 90.
Going into the Championship Round, both Lostroh and Mauney
were seven for seven. The stage could not have been set any better. J.B. was
second last to go, and his bull was Black Pearl, owned by
Ravenscroft/Boyd-Floyd Bull Company. What a ride Mauney gave! He was awarded a
And last came Kody. We all thought he had to ride his bull
to win the Championship, and when he came down off of Voodoo Child early there
was a collective gasp in disappointment from the crowd. “He got me off my rope
enough that my hand came out of my rope. I hung onto the tail for as long as I
could, and I figured I’d ride longer, but a rein instead of a rope…”
What we didn’t know was that according to the points, Kody
had clinched the title before the Championship round. The television viewers
knew that, but there was no way for any of those in the arena to be certain
that would be the outcome. Then they made that announcement – Kody Lostroh was
our new Champion, something he achieved by 594 points!
It is too early for Lostroh to know what to spend his
$1,000,000 on. “Right now all I can think of is to get a place a little bigger,
and get more land for me and my wife.”
Kody had one more thing to say. “I mean, shoot, we all ride
for this moment, and I feel blessed to be up here and be a part of it. And more
than that, being a part of the tightest race in PBR history means a lot.”
Now that the Finals are over, Kody will have surgery on his
elbow. That will happen on Wednesday. If he has his way the surgeons will just
clean up what is in the elbow and not bother with the tendons. That would bring
him back to the arena quite a bit sooner.
J.B. Mauney on his way to riding his eighth bull in the Finals, the only man to do so.
Linda Peterson photo
J.B. was asked what his goal was when he came into Las
Vegas. “I came out here with the mindset to try to ride every bull. It worked
out, I drew right, and I couldn’t ask for any better bulls.
“But every guy dreams of winning the World Finals and
winning the World. When I was riding I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t
think about what happened yesterday or what was coming in the next round or the
His recipe for his success here? “Stay on – keep my hand
An interesting fact about J.B. is that while this is his
fourth Finals, this is the third time he has won the short round. Pretty
Must also mention here that there were two other rides in
the Championship Round, and both of those received scores of 90 points.
McKennon Wimberly rode The Game, owned by Brandon Gasper Bucking Bulls, and
Shane Proctor rode the Don Kish Bucking Bull, Necessary Evil.
Guilherme Marchi rode his bull in round seven, giving him
his second consecutive ride for what had been a pretty miserable Finals for
this 2008 World Champion. He scored an 88.5 on Kabookie, owned by Boyd/Floyd
There were three men who had the unfortunate distinction of
riding in all the rounds and not covering one bull. They were Cody Campbell,
Sean Willingham, and Chris Shivers. This was quite a surprise from all of these
cowboys, and a shame that they couldn’t take home any money for their efforts.
But so many bull riders really stepped up and showed what
they were made of. There was Farley with his great ride on Bones, scoring 93.25
in round two. There was the consistency of Valdiron de Oliveira, who covered
six of his first six. We saw Aaron Roy, Kasey Hayes, and McKennon Wimberly
shine. Robson Palermo rode the same bull that Mauney had in the Championship
Round, Black Pearl, to a 92.25.
The good bull Avalanche, owned by Diamond S Bucking
Bulls& Gary Long, retired tonight
after bucking off Dusty Ephram. What a great way for this solid bull to finish
his term in the PBR. Big Mike, owned by Flying U/Cindy Rosser Bucking Bulls,
also retired, bucking for his last time on Saturday. He also bucked off his
rider, Pete Farley.
Another athlete retired after this final performance, but it
wasn’t either bull or man. No, it was the great grey horse Joe, owned and
ridden by James DeBord. This horse has been working with James since he was
three years old. Now, at 20, he will be retired and live in leisure with James
on his ranch.
Two bull riding favorites have made it clear that they will
be returning next season. Mike White, who had indicated that he might retire
this coming year, said he will be back. And Paulo Crimber has announced that he
will be back after recovering from his broken neck. Both of these men will be
welcomed with open arms, to be sure.
There were injuries throughout these seven days of bull
riding, too many to list here. Everyone should be fine, and hopefully will take
a bit of time to heal up and really be ready to fight when they come our again.
The coveted title of World Champion Bucking Bull went to
Code Blue, owned by Walton & Wagoner/Berger & Struve. “I’m as proud of
them as I am of my kids,” he said. “I take care of them, and when they buck I
get butterflies. You can come to my place anytime and see how my bulls are
taken care of. I just built a brand new facility with 1000 yards exercise alley
with sand in it. I just think that when you work hard you get rewards.
“When we came in
here I thought Big Tex would win it, but that Code Blue was by far the best
bull here this weekend; he got chose the best and bucked the best. Big Tex
threw the guys off so fast they (the judges) don’t get as good a look at him.
The PBR is such a big playground we get to play in and I thank them, and the
In all, a great week. I can’t believe that we can see a more
exciting bull riding than this one, but nothing is impossible. It was so good
to see friends I only see once a year, and it doesn’t seem as if any time has
gone by. Great to get to chat with Adriano Moraes again for a few minutes – I miss
seeing my friend. OK, so sometimes it does seem as if time has gone by.
Next year the Finals will be on five consecutive days, and I
expect it to be great. After all, this is the PBR!