(Editor's note: PBR media release)
BILLINGS - At the final regular-season event of the 2022 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast (UTB) season, Montana’s own Dakota Louis (Browning, Montana) went 3-for-3 inside of MetraPark in Billings, winning the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Ariat – his first premier series win.
World leader Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) maintained his hold on the No. 1 spot in the standings as the 2022 Unleash The Beast regular season ended, but his lackluster 1-for-3 weekend in Billings allowed No. 2-ranked Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) and No. 3-ranked Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) to capitalize and gain ground.
With Swearingen collecting a third-place finish for the weekend and Pacheco coming in fourth, the world title race becomes tighter than ever.
Swearingen now trails Vieira by a mere 32.34 points, and Pacheco trails the 37-year-old veteran by 80.5.
Reigning PBR World Champion and No. 4-ranked man in the world Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) did not compete in Billings due to a groin injury. Leme is 252 points behind Vieira.
Louis had arrived in Billings at No. 39 in the world – in jeopardy of not qualifying for the pending World Finals.
As Sunday began, Louis, who had split the Round 1 win with 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco, was paired with Air Tight Alibi (Lee Bucking Stock/ FT Bulls) for Round 2.
The three-time INFR champion fired out of the chutes for 85.75 points as his home-state crowd cheered.
Selecting WSM’s Trail of Tears (WSM Auctioneers/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) as his opponent for the final round of the weekend, the 29-year-old stood beside his dad – also a former INFR champion – on the back of the chutes, preparing to be the final ride of the night.
Re-ride flags flew in the air as judges deemed his out not technically sound, awarding him another chance to ride.
Climbing back on the chutes moments later, Louis was matched with Drago (Jeb Fredericks/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) as fans throughout the arena were on their feet.
As the cheers from fans and his fellow riders reached a deafening roar, Louis conquered his bovine opponent in picturesque form.
In a flood of celebration, riders and stock contractors leaped from the chutes onto the dirt as Louis’s huge 91-point score was announced, clinching the win in front of his home crowd and catapulting him to No. 22 in the world standings.
While one other rider, Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas, Brazil), went 3-for-3 on the weekend, Louis edged him out by a mere 1.5 points and emerged victorious with an aggregate score of 265.25 points. He collected 134 world points and a check for $47,411.67.
Divino finished second to earn $24,506.67 and 104 world points. He moved to the No. 18 spot in the world standings after coming into the weekend at No. 24.
Early Sunday afternoon, Divino was paired with Marquis Metal Works Draggin Up (Paradigm Bull Co/ Marquis Metal Works) for Round 2. His 85.25-point score paved his way to the championship round.
The 28-year-old Brazilian then chose JuJu (Tommy Julian/ D&H Cattle) in the championship round for a remarkable 92-point score.
While Divino held the lead until the final seconds of Louis’s walk-off win, he leaves Billings with the runner-up finish for the weekend.
Swearingen claimed third place despite a rocky start to the weekend on Friday when he failed to record a qualified ride.
On Sunday, Swearingen was paired with Boone (Triplett Bucking Bulls/Melvy) in Round 2, collecting an 87-point score and greenlighting his spot in the championship round.
The 22-year-old then chose Charmer (D&H Cattle/ Buck Cattle Co). As his 8 seconds ended, Swearingen was swung under his bovine opponent, being thrashed about.
Despite the painful end to his ride, judges determined he maintained ahold of his bull rope, scoring him 91 points.
Swearingen collected 70.5 world points and $14,836.67 for his 2-for-3 performance.
Paired with Skeeter Peter (Dakota Rodeo/ Mark Baker/ Clay Struve/Chad Berger) in Round 2, Pacheco launched from the chutes to collect an 85-point score.
The stoic former champion selected Liston (P. Ro Ranch/ Lone Star/ Adams/D&H Cattle) for the championship round, knowing he needed to catapult himself up the leaderboard. Coming down hard after 4.56 seconds, Pacheco relied on his Round 1 shared win with Louis to collect a fourth-place finish for the weekend, along with 54 world points and a check for $9,878 for his 2-for-3 weekend.
Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) rounded out the Top 5 of the weekend, also with a 2-for-3 performance.
Taylor was paired with Lonesome Fugitive (Bierema Rodeo Inc) in Round 2, recording 82.25 points. In the championship round, his selection of Sky Harbor (Wilks Ranch/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) had the crowd cheering, but he came crashing down after just 2.34 seconds, visibly frustrated by the short-round buckoff.
Taylor earned 39 world points to move from No. 16 in the world standings to No. 13.
Manoelito de Souza Junior (Itamira, Brazil) had the crowd at full volume earlier in the weekend during Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle as he captured his career-first special round win after putting up a massive career-best 93.5-point score on Blue Duck (Cord McCoy/ Grin/ Jacobson/ Davis Rodeo Ranch).
The win in Saturday’s 15/15 Bucking Battle earned Souza 59 world points to keep his hold at No. 17 in the world standings.
Missouri’s Bob Mitchell (Steelville, Missouri) was close on Souza’s heels as the special round unfolded.
Besting Top Shelf (P. Ro Ranch/ OK Corralis/ Gordon/ D&H Cattle) for a career-best 90.25 points, the young gun collected 49 world points.
Despite an otherwise unproductive weekend, bucking off his Round 1 and Round 2 bulls, 19-year-old Mitchell continues to lead the 2022 PBR Rookie of the Year race.
Mitchell sits 85.25 points ahead of his closest competitor Clayton Sellars (Fruitland Park, Florida) as he leaves Montana and heads to Texas.
The only other man to record a qualified ride in Saturday night’s 15/15 was Brazilian rider Luciano De Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil).
Paired with Safety Meeting (Hruby/ Kainz/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger), Castro recorded a 90-point ride and earned 44 world points.
Starting the weekend at No. 9, the special round paired with his 1-for-3 efforts over the weekend moved him to No. 6.
YETI World Champion Bull contender Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/ Bill McCarty) heated up the world title race amongst the animal athletes of the PBR after his matchup with Cody Jesus (Window Rock, Arizona) in Sunday’s championship round.
The powerful bovine’s 46.25-point score effectively tied him for the No. 1 ranking with Woopaa (Barker Bulls/ Hookin W Ranch).
As the 26th consecutive premier series stop in Billings concluded, all eyes in the western sports industry now turn toward Texas as the ultimate championship race is set to play out at the PBR World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, May 13-22 at Dickies Arena.
Following the weekend in Billings, there will only be one additional event before the World Finals – the 2022 Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals in Corpus Christi, Texas, on May 6-7 – for riders to earn points toward the world standings.
Charmer earned the YETI “Built for The Wild” Bull of the Event title after his matchup with Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) in Saturday’s 15/15 Bucking Battle. The dynamic animal athlete was marked 47.25 points after launching Kolbaba to the dirt in 3.7 seconds.
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. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule.
Elsewhere in the PBR, on the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT), 22-year-old Grayson Cole (New Ringgold, Pennsylvania) delivered an impeccable performance to win the one-night PBR Boot Barn Grand Forks Chute Out at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the last regular-season PWVT event.
Cole was paired with Hard & Often (S.A.W. Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 of the night for a solid 86 points. The Pennsylvanian cowboy then took on Bolo (Bucking Crazy Bucking Bulls / Richardson) in the championship round, recording an 88-point score and earning the number-one spot of the night.
Cole earned 39 world points for his efforts, moving from No. 92 to No. 67 in the world standings.
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. Dakota Louis, 0-88.5-85.75-91-265.25-134 Points.
2. Lucas Divino, 0-86.5-85.25-92-263.75-104 Points.
3. Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-87-91-178.00-70.5 Points.
4. Kaique Pacheco, 0-88.5-85-0-173.50-54 Points.
5. Mason Taylor, 0-86.5-82.25-0-168.75-39 Points.
6. Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-88.25-0-88.25-28.66 Points.
(tie). Ramon de Lima, 0-0-88.25-0-88.25-28.66 Points.
(tie). Cody Jesus, 0-0-88.25-0-88.25-28.66 Points.
9. Josh Frost, 0-87.5-0-0-87.50-21 Points.
10. Colten Fritzlan, 0-87-0-0-87.00-18 Points.
11. Brady Oleson, 0-0-86.5-0-86.50-15.5 Points.
(tie). Alex Marcilio, 0-86.5-0-0-86.50-14.5 Points.
13. João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-86.25-0-86.25-14 Points.
14. Clayton Sellars, 0-86-0-0-86.00-12 Points.
15. Conner Halverson, 0-0-85.75-0-85.75-12.5 Points.
16. Matt Triplett, 0-85-0-0-85.00-11 Points.
17. Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-84.5-0-84.50-9 Points.
18. Luciano De Castro, 0-84-0-0-84.00-10 Points.
19. Ky Hamilton, 0-83.75-0-0-83.75-9 Points.
20. Cody Nance, 0-78.25-0-0-78.25
Dalton Kasel, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Manoelito de Souza Junior, 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
Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 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
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
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
Dakota Eagleburger, 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