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Monster athletes at the 2017 Bull Ford Tough Series in Albuquerque, New Mexico


Jun 162017

Regardless of whatever has been said about his age or the fact that professional bull riding is a young man’s game, no one sells more tickets than J.B. Mauney. It’s a fact. The mere mention of his name draws standing ovations across the country and – by far – the loudest applause. It’s not even close.

And, at 30, Mauney is the main attraction this coming weekend in North Dakota and Oklahoma. Why? Because promoters like Chad Berger and Gene Owen value the Monster Energy rider’s presence and, well, they offered him a chance to go home with main event-like payouts.


Mauney, the richest western sports athlete in history, has a chance to win $50,000 on Friday and another $25,000 on Saturday compared to the promoters of other lower level events that offered to merely cover the two-time World Champion’s entry fees and travel costs.


“Screw that,” Mauney joked. “Money talks. The rest of that shit walks."


“Like they were saying, I’m 30, and I don’t have a big window and I only have so many bull rides, I’m not going to waste it on $5,000. I’m going to go where I can win $50,000.”


When Berger originally approached Mauney about coming to this annual event in Bismarck, North Dakota, Mauney replied, “Well, you know Chad, I don’t go a whole lot (in the summer).”


But when the reigning Stock Contractor of the Year offered Mauney a chance to win $25,000 in a featured matchup with Pearl Harbor, Mauney committed to being there.


A couple weeks later, Berger upped the ante to $50,000.


“Oh, I’ll be there,” Mauney told him. “Don’t you worry.”


In 45 outs, Pearl Harbor has only been ridden four times.


Mauney has been on him four times. He’s bucked off in their two most recent matchups since riding him last year at an elite televised PBR event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for 94.25 points.


Saturday night, Mauney will then be in Vinita, Oklahoma, for another head-to-head matchup. This time against reigning World Champion Cooper Davis.


Davis selected a bull named Seven Dust, while Mauney took Cochise. The winner will be collecting $25,000 for 8 seconds of work.


Owen told the PBR those are the two rankest bulls owned and hauled by himself and business partner Jane Clark, heir to the Singer sowing machine fortune and whose grandfather founded the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.


Cochise was ridden three times in 2015, including an 88.25-point effort by Mauney, and once earlier this year by Muaney’s Monster Energy teammate Derek Kolbaba.


Pearl Harbor and Cochise will be the first two bulls Mauney has got on since the Last Cowboy Standing event last month in Las Vegas.


Mauney’s only other summertime event will be his yearly trek to the Calgary Stampede, where they pay out a total purse worth $1 million including $100,000 to the winner of each event.


In the meantime, the North Carolina native has stayed in shape by picking up bucking horses.


He recently worked a PRCA event.


“Other than bull riding, picking up bucking horses is the only thing that gives me an adrenaline rush,” Mauney said. “You never know what them horses are going to do.”


Perhaps not.


But when the lights are brightest and the pay days are highest, Mauney is at his best and it typically winds up being money in the bank.