(Editor's note: PBR release)
LINCOLN, Neb. – Earlier this year, Cooper Davis broke his neck.
Sunday the 2016 PBR world champion broke through with his biggest ride of the season when it counted most to win his first Unleash The Beast event of 2020.
In front of an electric, socially-distanced Sunday afternoon crowd inside Pinnacle Bank Arena, Davis delivered a monstrous, walk-off 92.25-point ride to win the PBR Wrangler Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, the first-ever elite tour event in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Davis gained critical ground in the competitive world championship race with just three regular-season, premier series events remaining prior to the 2020 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast in Arlington, Texas on Nov. 12-15 at AT&T Stadium.
“Maybe Jose Vitor Leme needs to look in that rear-view mirror, because Cooper Davis is starting to warm up now,” said PBR on CBS color commentator J.W. Hart (Overbook, Oklahoma), immediately after the ride.
Davis entered Championship Sunday atop the leaderboard after dominating Round 1 courtesy of an 89-point trip aboard Cold Chill (D&H Cattle Co./Futrell).
Continuing his momentum, the Texan remained red hot in Round 2, defending his spot atop the event standings when he rode Wicked Hou (Hart Cattle Co./Hale/Randy Wood) for 88.25 points.
With a rank pen awaiting him in the championship round bull draft, including every active Top 10 bull in the 2020 YETI PBR World Champion Bull race, Davis, who held the first pick, selected 2018 ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.) Classic Champion Hocus Pocus (D&H Cattle/Almand/Lone Star/Outlaw).
In the face of a mid-out direction change, the then world No. 4 bull, was no match for Davis as the poised Texan matched the powerful bovine athlete jump-for-jump en route to the monstrous 92.25-point score. The highest scored ride of the weekend was also Davis’ high-marked ride of the season and fifth-highest of his career.
The perfect 3-for-3 performance propelled the 26-year-old to a $34,444.97 payday, while also earning him a critical 130 world points. Davis has also now won five rounds on the premier series this season, the third most of any rider, trailing Jose Vitor Leme (15) and Jess Lockwood (9).
Davis is now ranked No. 8 in the world, rising one position from No. 9 at the start of the event, as he seeks his second World Championship when the season culminates in November when the league holds the World Finals for the first time inside the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
Davis trails No. 1 Leme (RIbas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) by 896.5 points as the elite Unleash The Beast next travels to Tulsa, Oklahoma and the BOK Center on Oct. 10-11 for the PBR Express Ranches Classic, presented by Bass Pro Shops.
While Leme’s streak of three consecutive event wins came to an end with a sixth place finish, the Brazilian phenom increased his stronghold on the No. 1 ranking. Going 2-for-3, the former semi-professional soccer player earned $4,157.47 in addition to 26 world points.
In Round 1, Leme covered Gangster Time (C Check Bucking Bulls) for 86 points, only to have his eight-out ride streak come to a crashing halt in the second round when Bread Basket (L4 Livestock) sent him to the dirt in a swift 2.86 seconds.
The resilient 24-year-old rebounded in the final round, going the distance aboard Canadian-born Oz (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) for 89 points.
The Top-10 finish, Leme’s 13th of the 2020 season, allowed him to expand his lead over No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) to 569.09 points, his second largest lead of the year.
Young gun Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) parlayed one of the event’s most gritty and tenacious rides to a runner-up finish.
After covering Sun County (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/WSM Auctioneers) for 88.75 points in Round 1, the 2019 PBR Canada Champion remained flawless in Round 2 when he reached the 8 atop Sky Harbor (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Wilks Ranch) for 87.75 points, avenging a bitter 2.98-second buckoff from the August elite tour event in Salt Lake City, Utah.
With the penultimate pick in the championship round bull draft, the unrelenting 21-year-old selected three-time PBR World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser (D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.).
In near perfect form for the majority of the ride, Swearingen became unseated as the clock passed the 7-second mark, but he clung to the bull rope when launched airborne by the legendary animal athlete, keeping his fist tightly clenched around the rope, determined to make the whistle.
The clock registered 8.00 with Swearingen only inches off the ground. He crashed into the dirt, his shirt arm torn clean from his shoulder, narrowly avoiding a gruesome wreck as SweetPro’s Bruiser’s hind-hooves came catapulting to the dirt landing on either side of the New Yorker’s neck.
After a nail-biting review, Swearingen’s tenacious, never-say-quit spirit propelled him to a score, marked 88 points, as the Nebraskan crowd erupted in cheer.
For his efforts, Swearingen earned $14,499.28 and 76 world points, catapulting from No. 6 to No. 3 in the world. On the precipice of his second career qualification to the World Finals, he is now within 733.34 points of No. 1 Leme.
Boudreaux Campbell (Crockett, Texas) took a giant-step forward towards qualifying for his first-ever PBR World Finals compliments of his third-place finish.
The 22-year-old, who bucked off Cactus Jack (Richardson Land & Cattle Co.) in 2.56 seconds in Round 1, had a career-defining performance on Championship Sunday.
In a need-to-ride moment, Campbell covered Lil Larry (Kruger Bucking Bulls) in Round 2 for 86.5 points to advance to the championship round for the second time in 2020.
Selecting I’m Legit Too (Hart Cattel Co./Hale/Bloyd), Campbell architected a showdown that would earn him his career-first 90-point ride on the Unleash The Beast. Delivering the second score of the final round, Campbell had the Cornhusker State crowd on its feet as he made the requisite 8 for a commanding 91.75 points.
Campbell left Pinnacle Bank Arena $10,236.12 richer, while having also netted a crucial 50.5 world points.
Competing in the event as an alternate, then ranked No. 54 in the world, Campbell skyrocketed 22 positions in the world standings, now inside the Top 35 as the No. 32-ranked bull rider. Still in the bubble zone as he attempts to qualify for the sport’s most prestigious event, Campbell leads No. 36 Dakota Louis (Browning, Montana) by 17.66 points.
Two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney (Statesville, North Carolina) finished fourth, narrowly denied what would be his historic 33rd career win on the league’s premier series, but climbed 17 positions in the world standings as he angles for a spot at the PBR World Finals at AT&T Stadium.
Mauney, who rode Audacious (D&H Cattel Co./444 Bucking Bulls) for 87.25 points in Round 1, advanced to the championship round in flawless form after covering Red Dawn (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls) for 89 points.
Top Shelf (D&H Cattle Co./Gordon/OK Corralis), however, proved more dominant than the “Dragon Slayer,” sending Mauney to the dirt in 2.65 seconds in the championship round.
The revered rider earned $8,644.93 and 45 points for his Top 5 finish, allowing him to inch ever-closer to the Top 35 as he attempts to qualify for his 15th consecutive PBR World Finals. Mauney, who was sidelined for the entirety of the first half after undergoing shoulder surgery, climbed from No. 55 to No. 38, now within 6.16 points of No. 35 Amadeu Campos Silva (Atair, Brazil).
Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Eduardo Aparecido (Guzolandia, Brazil).
The weathered veteran bounced back from a 4.79-second buckoff atop Space Force (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls) in Round 1, with an 87.25-point ride on Medicine Man (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) in Round 2.
With the sixth pick in the championship round bull draft, Aparecido selected a familiar foe, No. 1 bovine Chiseled (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.). Aparecido had recorded a 90-point ride aboard the bovine athlete in their two prior meetings. After their first showdown in August 2019 at the Allen, Texas Touring Pro Division ended in a 91.5-point score, the two most recently danced at the 2019 PBR World Finals, teaming for a 91.25-point score to win Round 1 of the event.
Their showdown in Nebraska once again ended in monstrous fashion as Aparecido reached the 8 for 90.5 points, his first 90-point ride of 2020.
Aparecido earned $5,998.71 in addition to 38 world points to climb from No. 13 to No. 10 in the world. He now trails No. 1 Leme by 1,025 points.
In the bull pen, SweetPro’s Bruiser captured his second YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the event honors, marked 45.75 points in his out with Swearingen. SweetPro’s Bruiser is now ranked No. 7 in the world, 1.17 points behind No. 1 Chiseled.
Elsewhere in the PBR, the league’s riders competed at double-header events on both the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour in Casper, Wyoming, and on the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour in Branyan, Queensland.
In Velocity Tour action, Wallace Vieira de Oliveira (Goiana, Brazil) and Kyler Oliver (Roy, Utah) were victorious at the PBR Casper Invitational, driven by Wyoming Ford Dealers, to earn berths to next weekend’s Unleash The Beast event in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The events were also stops on the 2020 Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge, with Nothin’ But Try Ranch-‘Diggers Bucking Bulls and Team Alaska notching victories.
The Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour will hold its final regular-season events of 2020 on Oct. 9-10 in Casper, Wyoming, before the series’ year culminates on Nov. 6-7 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center for the 2020 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals.
On the opposite side of the world, Australian No. 1 Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales) won the first edition of the PBR Bundaberg Invitational, while two-time and reigning PBR Australian Champion Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland) and rookie sensation Jackson Gray (Barcaldine, Queensland) tied for the second event victory.
Fans can relive all the action from the PBR Unleash The Beast’s Wrangler Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, along with the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour and PBR Australia events on demand on RidePass at 8:00 a.m. ET on Monday, October 5. RidePass is available at RidePass.com or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.
PBR Unleash The BeastPBR Wrangler Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires
Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, Nebraska
1. Cooper Davis, 89-88.25-92.25-269.50-130 Points.
2. Daylon Swearingen, 88.75-87.75-88-264.50-76 Points.
3. Boudreaux Campbell, 0-86.5-91.75-178.25-50.5 Points.
4. J.B. Mauney, 87.25-89-0-176.25-45 Points.
5. Eduardo Aparecido, 0-87.25-90.5-177.75-38 Points.
6. Jose Vitor Leme, 86-0-89-175.00-26 Points.
7. Derek Kolbaba, 88.25-86.5-0-174.75-19.5 Points.
8. Brennon Eldred, 0-86.75-86.5-173.25-17.5 Points.
9. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 86.5-83.5-0-170.00-11 Points.
10. Taylor Toves, 0-86.75-0-86.75-8.5 Points.
11. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 85.75-0-0-85.75-5.5 Points.
12. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 85-0-0-85.00-4 Points.
13. Andrew Alvidrez, 0-85.75-0-85.75-3.5 Points.
14. Amadeu Campos Silva, 83.25-0-0-83.25-3 Points.
15. João Ricardo Vieira, 0-85.5-0-85.50-2 Points.
16. Joao Henrique Lucas, 0-85.25-0-85.25-1 Points.
17. Alex Cerqueira, 0-84.25-0-84.25
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00
Jess Lockwood, 0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 0-0-0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Junior Patrik Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Lockwood, 0-0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0.00
2020 PBR World Standings
(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5's, Points, Total Winnings)
1. Jose Vitor Leme, 39, 17, 25, 1,336.00, $519,928.35
2. João Ricardo Vieira, 27, 3, 11, 766.91, $231,330.11
3. Daylon Swearingen, 39, 4, 13, 602.66, $240,145.37
4. Kaique Pacheco, 27, 1, 9, 596.50, $139,313.04
5. Jess Lockwood, 20, 1, 10, 596.00, $219,947.63
6. Lucas Divino, 28, 2, 11, 552.50, $144,498.53
7. Colten Jesse, 41, 4, 12, 472.00, $124,571.29
8. Cooper Davis, 23, 4, 15, 439.50, $116,036.57
9. Dener Barbosa, 16, 2, 7, 323.41, $81,457.49
10. Eduardo Aparecido, 22, 0, 4, 311.00, $73,872.67
11. Derek Kolbaba, 38, 3, 10, 304.00, $57,404.46
12. Cole Melancon, 32, 2, 6, 302.50, $216,776.74
13. Ezekiel Mitchell, 34, 1, 6, 296.00, $69,209.29
14. Mason Taylor, 33, 2, 7, 266.75, $55,680.98
15. Fabiano Vieira, 23, 3, 6, 258.50, $48,203.97
16. Brennon Eldred, 26, 1, 4, 257.50, $72,391.38
17. Alex Cerqueira, 24, 1, 6, 248.50, $54,618.31
18. Ramon de Lima, 18, 1, 2, 248.16, $85,962.79
19. Cody Teel, 23, 0, 4, 243.25, $109,587.98
20. Matt Triplett, 30, 3, 8, 241.50, $122,496.48
21. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 34, 4, 11, 221.83, $58,620.90
22. Andrew Alvidrez, 31, 2, 7, 217.66, $58,534.11
23. Marco Eguchi, 24, 3, 10, 194.25, $65,893.64
24. Claudio Montanha Jr., 21, 0, 3, 185.00, $48,122.84
25. Stetson Lawrence, 30, 1, 8, 181.00, $66,459.73
26. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 22, 3, 9, 179.00, $73,427.95
27. Aaron Kleier, 23, 2, 8, 165.33, $40,860.51
28. Joao Henrique Lucas, 28, 1, 4, 151.91, $31,889.26
29. Dakota Buttar, 16, 4, 8, 134.50, $36,053.05
30. Lachlan Richardson, 11, 3, 5, 127.00, $47,982.03
31. Tye Chandler, 10, 1, 3, 123.33, $29,556.67
32. Boudreaux Campbell, 17, 1, 6, 120.66, $99,217.23
33. Ryan Dirteater, 12, 0, 6, 120.00, $56,261.41
34. Taylor Toves, 24, 1, 2, 105.00, $42,200.92
35. Amadeu Campos Silva, 30, 0, 4, 104.66, $30,625.29
36. Dakota Louis, 38, 1, 7, 103.00, $46,937.23
37. Marcus Mast, 35, 0, 7, 98.66, $33,713.42
38. J.B. Mauney, 7, 0, 2, 98.50, $19,438.41
39. Silvano Alves, 33, 0, 4, 98.00, $24,771.07
40. Junior Patrik Souza, 28, 0, 5, 97.50, $25,162.27
41. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 26, 1, 6, 93.00, $28,114.15
42. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 21, 1, 6, 92.00, $27,312.57
43. Cody Casper, 40, 1, 3, 89.00, $25,468.93
44. Jake Lockwood, 26, 1, 1, 87.16, $25,636.14
45. Brock Radford, 23, 2, 8, 84.66, $28,774.17