Wednesday, January 31, 2007

First Cuts- 2007 Season

The first cuts for the 2007 BFTS season were announced late yesterday. Riders dropped include Marcelo Cruz (Brazil), Jody Newberry (Ada, OK), Corey Navarre (Weatherford, OK), Dusty LaBeth (Louisburg, KS), Robey Condra (Dayton, TX), Shane Proctor (Grand Coulee, WA), and Cory Melton (Keithville, LA). Returning to the BFTS will be Ross Johnson (Alvord, TX), and newer riders Harve Stewart (Stephenville, TX) (rookie), Tyler Smith (Fruita, CO) (rookie), Michael Riggs (Claxton, GA), and Matt Werries (Jacksonville, IL). While it will be nice to see new riders and learn more about the riders that are at the top of the challenger tour, I am going to miss the guys who were cut. We just got Dusty back from his injury last season, and to lose him again so quickly as a result of his not being quite back at the top of his game is painful. What is even more shocking is seeing guys like Navarre and Newberry being dropped to the lower tour. They have been two of the most consistent men in the race for the championship. Last season, Navarre finished out in 26th, and Newberry was 11th. That is a really steep drop in position for these two men. Marcelo Cruz also finished very well last season, coming in in 27th, ridding over 47% of his bulls.

Several riders were exempt from this cut as a result of missed events due to injury. You can check out the PBR's home page for more details on that. Also, some riders may still be eligible to ride because of their alternate positions, and they will take the place of guys who are out on injury and unable to perform. We'll just have to wait and see the next set of draws to see who, if any, of the cut riders are still on.

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