Mauney is currently ranked third in the PBR world standings.
He’s the highest ranked rider without at least one elite event win this season.
Nine-time World Champion Ty Murray, who was in the broadcast booth for the Carolina event, said he was shocked to be reminded that Mauney had yet to win an event in 2016. Nearly half of Mauney’s points – 1,500 of 3,352.5 – have come from winning more rounds than anyone else in the PBR this season.
“I don’t worry about event wins,” said Mauney, who has twice won the 15/15 Bucking Battle. “You have a job to do and that’s to ride bulls.”
Mauney added, “As long as I do my job, the rest will take care of itself.”
His 55.22 percent riding average is the highest riding percentage among the Top 10 contenders for this year’s title and more impressive is the fact that his overall average is based on far-fewer lower events attempts than his competitors.
Couple that with the fact that he’s also the consistent rider in the late-stages of the season, especially the past three seasons, and despite 860.33 points off the No. 1 pace, he is the most-widely predicted rider to win this year’s title.
“His countermoves are so good and so natural,” Murray said. “He’s a natural bull rider. He blocks everything out and lets his body do what it’s naturally going to do.”
While his emotions catch up with him from time to time, Mauney does not let the mental game get the best of him.
He’s as mentally tough as he is physically.
If he wins this year’s gold buckle and the $1 million bonus that comes with it, he’d become only the second rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles. Silvano Alves being the other.
The title, his third, would also put him in the same company as Adriano Moraes and Alves as the only three-time World Champions in the 23-year history of the PBR.
Mauney won the first of his two titles in 2013, when he came from well-out-of-the-top-10 to win it on the final out of the season in Las Vegas. Late-season heroics again claimed his second title in 2015 when he rode well enough at the Finals to hold off the competition.
At the moment, his first event-win would push Mauney to the No. 1 position.
He and the rest of the Top 35 will be in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this weekend.
Craig Hummer, a longtime play-by-play announcer for the PBR, said of Mauney, “He always has a flare for the dramatic.”