LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) second trip to STAPLES Center on Saturday evening in Los Angeles, Cole Melancon (Paris, Texas), making his Unleash the Beast debut, won the prestigious Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat.
Melancon is only the second rookie in the sport’s history to win a PBR Major.
After bucking off Big Black Cat (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/Clay Struve/ Heald Pro Bulls) in Round 3 and being eliminated from the competition, Melancon received a reprieve when he was moved on to Round 4 as an alternate replacing Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma), who had been slammed to the dirt and was unable to compete further.
The 25 year-old Texan made the best of the opportunity. He was the only cowboy to cover his bull in Round 4 in delivering a stunning 89.75-point ride aboard Spotted Demon (Julio Moreno/Dallas Schott).
Earlier in the evening, Melancon had conquered Bad Decisions (TNT Bucking Bulls/ Hart Cattle Co) in Round 2 for 88.25 points. Despite not making the 8 aboard Rising Sun (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Clay Struve/ Heald Pro Bulls) in Round 5, his aggregate score in going 3-for-5 on the weekend propelled him to the win.
“Getting on all these bulls at the Iron Cowboy takes a lot out of you, but we train all year for opportunities like this,” Melancon said while holding his six-figure winner’s check. “This is an awesome event I grew up watching. It’s a dream come true standing here. Words can’t explain it. I’m here to stay.”
Melancon entered the weekend No. 29 in the world standings and moved to No. 6, earning 200 world points and $123,407.69.
Three-time Iron Cowboy champion Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) came within seconds of capturing his fourth title but will leave L.A. with the second-place finish and the world No. 1 ranking. The veteran Brazilian also went 3-for-5, coming down early in Rounds 4 and 5 on Saturday night. In Round 2, Vieira rode M.A.G.A (TNT Bucking Bulls/ Hart Cattle Co) for a monstrous 90.25-point ride and then later in Round 3, he made the 8 aboard War Cry (Julio Moreno/Dallas Schott) for 86.5 points.
Despite not capturing the fourth Iron Cowboy title of his career, Vieira moved from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world standings, dropping Jose Vitor Leme to No. 2. He earned $7,046.89 and 131 world points.
Third place went to two-time, reigning World Champion Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana), who fired out of the chutes aboard Soup in a Group (Dakota Rode/ Chad Berger/ Clay Struve/ Wilks Ranch) for 84 points in the opening round on night two. Determined to hold his place on the leaderboard, the talented young Montanan conquered Fist City (Dakota Rodeo- Chad Berger/ Clay Struve/ Ken Barnhard) in Round 3 for 87.5 points to win the round.
Round 4 was the end of Lockwood’s weekend after he bucked off High Razor (Humpz and Hornz/ Sis ‘N’ Stan Bucking Bulls) at just 3.29 seconds.
The 3-for-4 weekend moved Lockwood from No. 2 in the standings to No. 3. He earned $14,695.85 and 49 world points.
Fellow Montana cowboy Matt Triplett (Columbia Falls, Montana) came in fourth for the weekend after going 3-for-4. In Round 2, Triplett earned an 86.25-point score for riding Slappy (Crown 7 Bucking Bulls) and went on to successfully ride Budakon (Hart Cattle Co./Hale) for 87 points in Round 3. Despite coming down early off Bad Brad (Humpz and Hornz/ Sis ‘N’ Stan Bucking Bulls) in Round 4, Triplett will leave the Golden State with $8,832.91 and 46 world points. He moved from No. 16 in the world standings, to No. 9.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma) with a 2-for-3 performance. In Round 2, Dirteater earned the highest ride score of the event, and a $26,000 bonus, with 92.75 points aboard Smooth Over (Hart Cattle/GT Bucking Bulls), which won the round.
The veteran rider was no match for Mason’s Missouri Golden (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/ Clay Struve/ Heald Pro Bulls) in Round 3, hitting the ground hard after just 3.04 seconds. Dirteater was unable to continue on to Round 4 and is questionable for the 2020 WinStar World Casino and Resort Global Cup USA, presented by Monster Energy, in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas next weekend.
Beginning the weekend at No. 14 in the world standings, Dirteater moved to No.10 and collected $36,856.41 and 31.5 world points.
In the bull pen, Smooth Wreck (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Clay Struve/Diamond Willow) and Bad Brad (Humpz and Hornz/ Sis ‘N’ Stan Bucking Bulls) shared the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event honors with matching 46.25 point bull scores. Smooth Wreck dispatched Brennon Eldred (Sulphur, Oklahoma) in a swift 2.84 seconds in Round 2, while Bad Brad dominated Triplett.
The PBR next travels to Arlington, Texas, and AT&T Stadium for the Winstar World Casino and Resort PBR Global Cup USA, presented by Monster Energy, on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 6:45 p.m. CST and Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1:45 p.m. CST.
PBR Unleash The Beast - Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat
STAPLES Center -Los Angeles, CaliforniaEvent Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Cole Melancon, 85-88.25-0-89.75-0-263.00-200 Points.
2. João Ricardo Vieira, 84.25-90.25-86.5-0-0-261.00-131 Points.
3. Jess Lockwood, 86-84-87.5-0-0-257.50-49 Points.
4. Matt Triplett, 87-86.25-87-0-0-260.25-46 Points.
5. Ryan Dirteater, 84-92.75-0-0-0-176.75-31.5 Points.
6. Cody Jesus, 88.5-0-0-0-0-88.50-30 Points.
7. Eduardo Aparecido, 88.25-83.75-0-0-0-172.00-28 Points.
8. Ramon de Lima, 84.75-84-0-0-0-168.75-15 Points.
9. Brock Radford, 86.75-0-0-0-0-86.75-11.5 Points.
(tie). Luciano De Castro, 86.75-0-0-0-0-86.75-11.5 Points.
11. Silvano Alves, 85.5-0-0-0-0-85.50-8 Points.
12. Brady Sims, 84-0-0-0-0-84.00-1.5 Points.
13. Brennon Eldred, 83.75-0-0-0-0-83.75
14. Jose Vitor Leme, 83.25-0-0-0-0-83.25
15. Claudio Montanha Jr., 82.5-0-0-0-0-82.50
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dener Barbosa, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Fabiano Vieira, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Aaron Kleier, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Joao Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Nathan Burtenshaw, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Jake Lockwood, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Devon Weaver, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Santana, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Fielder, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Alisson De Souza, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Kasel, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00