(Editor's note: PBR media release)
As the last regular-season event of the 2022 Unleash The Beast (UTB) season before the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, May 13-22, the weekend in Billings got off to an intensely competitive start on Friday night.
With the opportunities for world points dwindling, the league’s 26th consecutive visit to Magic City is the last chance for some to qualify for the ultimate championship.
On a night where the powerful bovines of the PBR displayed their extreme athleticism and only seven out of 40 cowboys recorded qualified rides, 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) and Montana’s home-state cowboy Dakota Louis (Browning, Montana) proved successful, sharing the lead in Round 1 of the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Ariat, at MetraPark.
Recording matching 88.5-point scores, the two laser-focused cowboys sit atop the leaderboard as Round 1 moves into Saturday’s continuation.
Pacheco, currently No. 3 in the world standings, made his intentions to gain ground at the last event of the season known as he rocketed from the chutes aboard Shake & Bake (Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls).
Sitting 120.5 points behind world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil), Pacheco has his sights set on a second world title as May approaches.
Still leading the world title race, Vieira faltered in Round 1, swung to the ground by Timber Jam (Vold Rodeo/ Robinson) in a mere 4.29 seconds.
In an equally disappointing night, world No. 2 Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) hit the ground within 1.49 seconds of the chutes flying open, recording no score and paving the way for Pacheco to make a move on his world rank as the weekend progresses.
Three-time INFR champion Louis was paired with WSM’s Sun Country (WSM Auctioneers/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in his round-leading ride.
Coming into Billings at No. 39 in the world standings, on the bubble and concerned about qualifying for his second World Finals, the lead puts Louis in good position to accomplish his goal of moving into the Top 35 as the weekend continues.
Click here [ftp.pbr.com] to see Pacheco and Louis’s remarkable Round 1 rides and other highlights from the night, courtesy PBR.
The weekend in Billings showcases a unique format for fans, with the three-day event also featuring a 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The draw features 65 riders competing in Round 1, which will involve riders split into two groups for the first two nights of competition.
On Friday night, the 15 riders competing in Saturday evening’s 15/15 Bucking Battle and an additional 25 riders each attempted one bull. Round 1 will then conclude on Saturday with the remaining 25 riders who did not compete Friday attempting one bull each.
For Round 2 on Sunday, all seeded riders for the event will automatically advance, along with those competing on injury exemptions or with a Velocity Tour invite and any of the 35 invited competitors who logged a qualified ride in Round 1.
The 12 bull riders with the top combined ride scores following the first two rounds will then advance to the championship round later in the afternoon on Sunday.
In a tie for third place in Round 1, Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) and Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas, Brazil) had matching 86.5-point scores.
As the No. 16 man in the world, Taylor is in a battle to launch into the Top 10 before the final event of the season concludes and had fans on the edge of their seats as he conquered Skeeter Peter (Dakota Rodeo/ Mark Baker/ Clay Struve/ Chad Berger).
Divino, who begins the weekend at No. 24, made the eight aboard Not Today (Nancy Haverty/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger).
Rounding out the Top 5 in the start of Round 1 was young gun Clayton Sellars (Fruitland Park, Florida).
The 23-year-old was paired with Trump Train (H-H Bucking Bulls) on Friday night for a resounding 86 points.
Holding at the No. 25 spot in the world standings, Sellars looks ahead to his first World Finals qualification.
The best bull riders in the world will return to MetraPark on Saturday, April 30 for the continuation of Round 1 of the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Ariat. The night will also feature a special 15/15 Bucking Battle round.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Unleash The Beast event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv [pluto.tv]. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule.
PBR Unleash The Beast - PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Ariat
MetraPark -Billings, Montana
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Kaique Pacheco, 0-88.5-0-0-88.50
(tie). Dakota Louis, 0-88.5-0-0-88.50
3. Mason Taylor, 0-86.5-0-0-86.50
(tie). Lucas Divino, 0-86.5-0-0-86.50
5. Clayton Sellars, 0-86-0-0-86.00
6. Luciano De Castro, 0-84-0-0-84.00
7. Ky Hamilton, 0-83.75-0-0-83.75
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Kasel, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Fielder, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Bob Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0-0.00
João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Oleson, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Adriano Salgado, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Marcilio, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cardozo, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Casey Coulter, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alisson De Souza, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Griffin Smeltzer, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Boudreaux Campbell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Colten Fritzlan, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Francisco Morales, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Elijah Mora, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Fernando Henrique Novais, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Trace Brown, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Rudman, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cladson Rodolfo, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Blake Smith, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Hunter Ball, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dustin Martinez, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Josh Frost, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Eagleburger, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ednei Caminhas, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Leonardo Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Deklan Garland, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Kade Alberty, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Coverchuk, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Patterson Starcher, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Thor Hoefer II, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Daniel Keeping, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Jake Morinec, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Caden Bunch, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Gage Gay, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Mason Moody, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Tim Lipsett, 0-0-0-0-0.00