And yet, during a PBR telecast on CBS, McBride summed up the Monster Energy bull rider’s place in history with one simple statement that wasn’t all tied up in stats and numbers and percentages.
“He’s the best clutch rider,” McBride said, “and I’ll take it one step further and say he’s the best in PBR history.”
For a sport that only lasts 8-seconds at a time, Mauney’s highlight reel is seemingly hours long.
He’s ridden every rank bull from Bruiser to Stone Sober, Pearl Harbor, Long John, Smackdown, Asteroid, Gunpowder & Lead, Chicken on a Chain, Voodoo Child, Big Tex, Troubadour, Crosswired, Ricky Bobby, Say I Won’t Gunner, Copperhead Slinger, Redchester and Pandora’s Box.
But the 30-year-old earned the moniker of ‘dragon slayer’ on a Saturday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was August 2013 when he rode Bushwacker for 95.25 points in front of a capacity crowd.
Bushwacker won three World Champion Bull titles. And their years-long battle is the stuff of legends.
“And, for me, it makes the gunslinger the best ever,” said McBride.
By his own admission, 2017 started slow for Mauney.
However, in recent weeks he’s looked much more like his old self.
“The mark of a good champion is they come back strong,” McBride offered.
Now in the so-called summer break from the elite tour, Mauney has solidified a spot inside the Top 5. He’s currently ranked third in the world standings and has no intentions of sitting at home until the main events reconvene in Tulsa.
Instead he’ll compete twice in June on back-to-back nights and again in July at the annual Calgary Stampede.
He’s accepted a challenge from stock contractor Chad Berger to get on the No. 1 ranked bull in the world, Pearl Harbor. The North Dakota matchup is set for June 16 and if Mauney makes the whistle, he’ll earn a $25,000 paycheck.
On June 17, he’ll be in Oklahoma for another chance at $25,000 in a head-to-head matchup with last year’s World Champion Cooper Davis. The rider with the highest score wins.
Mauney, who was in Charlotte, North Carolina this past weekend to wave the green start flag for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, chose Cochise for the June battle.
Over the years, Mauney has highlighted several special matchups and earned tens of thousands of dollars in addition to the more than $7 million he’s earned in PBR events, making him the richest western sports athlete of all-time.
But, for Mauney, it’s not about paydays so much as it about making the whistle and adding more names to that laundry list of the rankest bulls in the PBR.
“Whenever I quit riding bulls I want them to remember me as never having any backup,” Mauney concluded.