McALESTER — Defending world champion J.B. Mauney barely qualified for the finals, but once there he turned in the highest-scoring of the night.
Cody Nance and Jory Markiss then showed that no matter how well you ride one bull, riding two is always better.
Nance rode both his bulls Saturday, winning the Professional Bull Riders “Buck’n Awesome Bull Extravaganza” with a combined score of 173 points at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester. Markiss also rode two bulls and finished second with 167.
The 10th rider out of 40 in the preliminaries, Nance stayed on bull Stir Crazy for the full eight seconds, scoring 84.5 points and heading into the finals as the top seed. Riding Wipe Out, a bull he said he’d never ridden before, Nance went last in the finals, scoring 88.5 points and overtaking Markiss to win the event.
“It’s more reacting to how he moves,” Nance said. “That’s why it’s called ‘bull riding’ and not ‘bull forcing.’
“A lot of the bulls that we get on, we’ve never been on before. It’s always new anyway. Whether we’ve been on them or not, they usually don’t knock out the same tracks every time.”
Markiss, meanwhile, got bucked off his first bull, Full Metal Jacket, and limped out of the arena. But when PBR veteran Matt Triplett scratched out of the competition, Markiss took Triplett’s spot and scored 81 points riding Blue Squirrel.
“There’s nothing like going at it being really angry, and knowing you should’ve rode that bull and you just made a mistake,” Markiss said.
“My second bull, he had a lot different style with his action and the way he bucked. My first bull was really up-and-down. He reared a lot, came up in the front end and kicked a lot.”