Georgia native Sean Willingham rode his way to perhaps one of the sweetest wins of his career winning the Pro Bull Rider competition at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth, Georgia over the weekend.
The sixth-ranked rider’s win in the Built Ford Tough Series took 12 years in the making. “This is probably my best win, my favorite win ever of all time- being here in Georgia and keeping the buckle in Georgia that means a lot to me and I’m sure it does to all these great fans that come out here and support me,” said the Summerville, Georgia native after the win.
Willingham scored 735.5 points to take the third series event of the year. Hot on his spurs was Marco Eguchi with 714.50 points.
After the first round, Eguchi sat behind leader Robson Palermo and Stormy Wing. Palermo rode Black Bart for a score of 88 with Wing a hair behind (87.5) aboard Western Hauler.
It was in the second round that Willingham made his move. In a particularly low scoring round, the eventual winner squeezed out a score of 86.5 on Bet on Black to finish behind top score J. B. Mauney. Mauney’s score of 87.5 on Black Bart won the round.
The 27 year old Mauney notched the best two scoring rides in the last rounds of the final day (87.5 and 91.75) to finish in fourth place. Had the second ranked BFTS rider been able to stay on Road Candy in the first round, Mauney could quite possibly have been in contention for the overall title.
Astride C-Note, Willingham moved into the lead notching a near perfect score of 88.5 points. It was just enough to nip Eguchi who scored 87 points for his ride on Bad to the Bone.
With 24 weekends of competitions remaining, Willingham is keeping it all in perspective. “You gotta put out that kind of effort every weekend,” said the 15 year pro. “You are not going to win them all. It’s a long season, you just gotta stay positive.”
Eguchi’s finish was equally remarkable given the hand injury the Sao Paulo, Brazil native sustained in the second round of the competition.Full Results
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