J.B. Mauney took the day off.
The Mooresville cowboy had no need to ride on Sunday afternoon at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals 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 mathematically stay with him in the 2015 world race.
But Mauney was injured after scoring in the elite 90s and declined to compete Sunday. Though he was on the sidelines when the PBR World Finals concluded its five-day run, Mauney was in UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center to collect the coveted $1 million bonus check for winning the world title.
He also claimed the world championship in 2013.
“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 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 who earned 4,022.5. Joao Ricardo Vieira finished third with 3,800.
Mauney, who was the last cowboy to ride in the performance, gave fans a performance to remember. 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 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 PBR sports physician Tandy Freeman, who persuaded him to not compete.
“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.”
Mauney is the second cowboy from North Carolina to win a world bull riding title. Jerome Davis of Archdale became the first when he clinched the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world title in 1995.
Davis said Mauney, who graduated from Lake Norman High, is an inspiration to North Carolina cowboys. “It’s awesome to see a guy from our part of the country ride bulls that good,” Davis said. “It opens the doors for a lot of kids out there to realize that you don’t have to be from Oklahoma or Texas to be a bull rider. J.B. Mauney’s success has lit a fire with all of the kids with him riding the way he is right now. It’s exciting to see it.”