RENO, Nev. – Starring in the spotlight is second nature to superstar bull rider J.B. Mauney.
On Friday night, Mauney was on PRCA’s center stage.
The Texas cowboy won the long round at the Reno Rodeo with an 89-point ride on Flying 5 Rodeo’s 516 before a sellout crowd of 9,000.
“The past couple of rodeos I had not been riding up to my par and I was thinking about stuff way too much,” said Mauney, 34. “Tonight I didn’t think about anything. I nodded my head and kept my hand shut. That was my biggest moment in the PRCA so far and hopefully I will make it even bigger (Saturday).”
Mauney, who was 14th in the latest PRCA | RAM World Standings with $35,713, earned $9,430 for his long round win Friday. Mauney advanced to the 12-man short round Saturday.
“They told me that bull was a spinner, and he was a little better than a spinner today,” Mauney said. “He kind of caught me off guard and I kind of jumped up there and when he came around that corner pretty hard, I was a little behind. I was like I better start riding.
“The last time I was at Reno was in 2009. I made the short round, but I didn’t do any good in the short round, this is redemption time.”
Mauney, who is considered one of the best bull riders of all time, turned heads when he changed his season plans this year.
“The first of the year I was going to those (other) bull ridings and the original plan was to try and make the Finals in both this year,” Mauney said. “We started hitting the road and I bought an RV and my wife (Samantha) and Jagger, 2, our little boy is with me all the time and we started going and I told my wife I think I’m just going to try for the NFR and just it, because I’m having way more fun doing this.”
Mauney, who has been riding bulls for 16 years, has nothing left to prove in his event – except in the PRCA.
“I love riding bulls,” Mauney said. “Growing up I watched the NFR, and I watched rodeos. I started rodeoing in high school and worked multiple events, so I was used to going to rodeos. When I hit 18, I started going to bull ridings. There is always one thing I felt like I had not accomplished in my career and that was to make the NFR.
“Somebody asked the other day if I make the NFR would I quit, and I said I don’t know I will tell you after the NFR.”
Article Courtesy of the PRCA
Photo by: Kirt Steinke