FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ross Coleman from Molalla, Ore., rode "Peanuts" last night at the Blaisdell Arena en route to the All-Star Challenge title.
Pandora’s Box not as bad as PBR’s best rookie
J.B. Mauney achieved something that had happened only twice before in Professional Bull Riders history last night at the Blaisdell Arena.
Mauney, the 2006 PBR Rookie of the Year, hung on for a full 8-second ride on Pandora's Box, one of the most feared and respected bulls on the circuit. He earned a mark of 91 for his feat, the highest score awarded on the second day of the event.
The more than 5,000 fans on hand appreciated Mauney's great ride, giving him a loud cheer after he jumped off and saluted the crowd with his cowboy hat.
"It just makes you feel good," Mauney said. "When you hit the ground and you rode a bull like that, it makes you feel good, man."
Only two of 52 riders had ever gone the distance on Pandora's Box before yesterday because of its fierce demeanor.
He conceded it wasn't the best ride of career but it was definitely "one of them. It ranks up there probably in the top five."
Ross Coleman, of Oregon, edged Luke Snyder, of Missouri, with a total score of 340 to Snyder's 339 for the All-Star Challenge title. As the only two riders who managed to ride all four bulls over both days, things turned into a showdown between the two at the end of the night.
Snyder almost upstaged Coleman when he was granted a re-ride on his final bull. He took the gamble on Cheeseburger with an Attitude, but his solid ride was granted an 89 -- a point short of the 90 he needed to tie Coleman.
The two riders shook hands and grinned after Snyder dismounted; they knew it would be a tight score.
The PBR's inaugural event on Oahu delivered on plenty of pyrotechnics, music and humor over the two-day competition at the Blaisdell Arena, but the thrilling and often violent bull rides on the arena dirt seemed to resonate with the local fans.
Twenty riders were slated to ride a total of four bulls each over the two-day event, but injuries steadily took their toll.
Chris Shivers, who suffered a nasty injury to his leg Friday when his bull stomped on him, received more bad news yesterday. The 27-year-old required surgery in the afternoon at the Queen's Medical Center, and was expected to miss three to six months while he rehabilitates his broken left leg and ankle, according to his agent, Mark Nestlen.
Shivers won the PBR's event in Maui last weekend and had the highest single-round score over both days at 91.5.
The 2006 PBR regular-season standings leader, Guilherme Marchi, of Brazil, earned an 84.5 on his first bull of the evening. But the bull, Born to Boogie, stomped on his foot as he dismounted and Marchi was forced to retire for the night. Rob Bell also scratched before his final round.
Maui native Myron Duarte, 38, started off the night with a strong showing. He scored a 76 on Holy Water for his first complete ride of the challenge. But he used the re-ride gamble, and couldn't hang on that time, so his score was wiped out. He also didn't manage to hang onto his final bull, Walk This Way.
Still, the Baldwin High graduate enjoyed his time back in Hawaii and received ovations every time he competed.
"It's a good feeling to be back home," Duarte said. "Bringing this event to Hawaii, it's wonderful to let (the other riders) know that we have talent in Hawaii and any one of us can make it. You just can't be afraid to get out there and try. Sometimes you've got to see how far you can really go."