PUEBLO, Colo. (Aug. 17, 2009) — On a weekend that should have been about the top five riders in the world, Cody Ford shoved himself into the conversation with the second Built Ford Tough Series win of his young career.
Ford, who took home more than $60,000 earlier this year when he won his first event in Glendale, Ariz., covered all three bulls he attempted in Nashville to take away what would have been Guilherme Marchi's second BFTS win of 2009.
"It's almost better than the first," said Ford, who said he wanted to prove he was the "real deal" as opposed to "a one-hit wonder."
The 20-year-old from Oregon, who has now covered six of nine bulls in the short go, won the opening round for just the second time in 25 events this season.
After riding Booger Butt for 88.50 points in Round One, Ford maintained the lead and earned the first pick in the draft by covering Buffalo Hump in Round Two for another 86.50 points. His combined 175 points led the field of 40 riders.
He then promptly selected Carrillo Cartel, who provided enough bull power for the second consecutive event to give his rider the win.
Going into the round, J.W. Hart said that it was Ford's to lose. Ford said he typically does well on rank bulls, and performs well under pressure.
Unlike the controversy in San Antonio, the drama that unfolded in Nashville came from eight lead changes.
"What a championship round," said PBR broadcaster Justin McKee.
"They didn't ride 'em by accident," PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert said. "They rode like pros."
With Kody Lostroh and J.B. Mauney each having won in the first two events back from a two-month summer break, Marchi was looking to remind everyone that he's the defending World Champion.
While he didn't make up any ground on Lostroh, who finished third, Marchi did reclaim the second spot from Mauney in the world standings.
Riding with a new and wider rope than he had been using, a healthy Marchi said it "broke my heart and broke my head" to struggle the way he had in Tulsa and San Antonio. The Brazilian said that until now, he hadn't felt good in close to two months.
Marchi, who was three-for-three this weekend, is now 1,367.75 points behind Lostroh, who remains the most consistent rider this year. Lostroh, whose average is 66.2 percent, is the lone rider whose riding average is in the 60's.
Zack Brown and Valdiron de Oliveira finished the Jack Daniel's Invitational fourth and fifth respectively, which is the order of their current world standings in what is one of the tightest races along the "Road to Vegas" in recent years.
Coming off his third event win of the year, Mauney had a solid effort, finishing the event in seventh place.
After a short break for the World Cup, which takes place in Barretos, Brazil, the BFTS will resume in Reno, Nev., for a three-day event on Sept. 11, 12 and 13.
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