When the Professional Bull Riders conducted its World Finals closing show on Sunday, the world’s top cowboy declined to compete.
J.B. Mauney, who is from Mooresville, N.C., had no need to ride in order to snare a second gold buckle. Mauney had clinched the title late Saturday night when his two closest rivals failed to score high enough to stay with him in the 2015 world race.
Anytime you can accomplish the greatest feat in bull riding, that’s an accomplishment within itself.
Professional Bull Riders champion J.B. Mauney
But Mauney was injured after making a ride that would earn a score in the elite 90s, and he declined to compete Sunday. Though he was on the sideline when the World Finals concluded its five-day run, Mauney was at the Thomas & Mack Center to collect the coveted $1 million bonus check for winning the world title.
He also claimed the world championship in 2013.
$6,708,479 Career PBR winnings by J.B. Mauney
“Anytime you can accomplish the greatest feat in bull riding, that’s an accomplishment within itself,” Mauney said of winning the 2015 world championship. “It will never take the place of the first world title. But it sure is nice.”
After collecting $1 million Sunday, Mauney, 28, finished the year with $1,540,942. That pushed his total earnings in the PBR to $6,708,479.
However, the PBR world title traditionally is decided by points earned during the regular season and the World Finals. After the last bull had bucked, Mauney finished the year with 6,105 points, 2,082.5 more than runner-up Kaique Pacheco, a Brazilian who resides in Decatur. Pacheco finished with 4,022.5, and Joao Ricardo Vieira, another Brazilian who resides in Decatur, came in third with 3,800.
Cooper Davis of Jasper won the World Finals event title after earning 1,300 points throughout six rounds. Davis finished the year ranked sixth in the world title race with 2,795 points. Davis also pocketed $292,500 at the Las Vegas championships.
Though he had the world title clinched on Saturday before he mounted his bull, Mauney, who was the last cowboy to ride in the performance, gave fans a big show. He won Round 4 by turning in a lofty score of 92.5 points aboard a massive, rapid-fire spinning bovine named Bruiser.
However, Mauney took a hard hit from Bruiser at the end of the ride, which proved to be costly. He sustained a sprained left sternoclavicular joint.
“When the whistle blew, I was kind of behind and that bull whipped me down in his head, and his horn hit me in the chest,” Mauney said. “It sprained a joint where your collarbone hooks in right there on the edge.”
Mauney said he heeded the advice of Tandy Freeman, the PBR sports physician who is from Dallas.
“I was debating about it because I was wanting to get on,” Mauney said. “But Tandy said, ‘There is no need to go out and put yourself in more danger this weekend. You’ll be good to go by January, but it’s going to hurt for about six months.’ ”