(Editor's note: PBR release)
LAS VEGAS – On the opening night of competition for the 2019 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast World Finals, the Top 3 bull riders went jump-for-jump, and blow-for-blow as each made the 8-second buzzer aboard their Round 1 draw inside T-Mobile Arena, further intensifying the already feverishly contested world championship race.
While Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) won the round with a 91.25-point ride aboard Chiseled (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.), the world leaders, No. 3 Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas), No. 2 Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) and No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (RIbas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) closed the night out with qualified rides of 88.5, 86.5 and 88 points respectively.
The momentum amongst the world’s best began when Outlaw gritted out his qualified ride aboard Foghorn Leghorn (Dennis & Jan Owens), followed by Lockwood’s trip atop Silver Back(Mason/Smith Bucking Bulls) and capped by Leme’s ride aboard Skyfall (Silver Creek/Winston/Melton Bull Co.) which brought the raucous crowd to its feet.
For their efforts, Outlaw concluded the round tied for second, netting 152.2 world points and $17,500, while Leme was fifth, collecting 75 world points and $6,000. Lockwood rounded out the trio leaving the Sin City venue with 35 world points and a check for $1,000.
As the 40-man field gears up for Round 2, Leme now holds a 789.16-point lead over No. 2 Lockwood and 1,715.83-point advantage over No. 3 Outlaw. As Outlaw looks to climb the rankings, he is now within 926.67 points of the No. 2 ranking.
Their next bovine athlete opponent will come from Thursday evening’s rank pen. Outlaw has drawn Magic Train (Phenom Genetics/Sankey Pro Rodeo), while Lockwood will attemptSpotted Demon (Julio Moreno/Dallas Schott) and Leme will face Danny Boy (D&H Cattle Co./Gordon/OK Corralis).
Historically, two of the draws have propelled riders to the most recent Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Awards, which is given to the rider who records the high-marked ride at the PBR World Finals. In 2018, Spotted Demon propelled Marco Eguchi (Poa, Brazil) to the top-score honor when he was covered for a Round 2-best 94 points, while Leme covered Magic Train for a massive 94.5 points in 2017 during the championship round.
Leme's qualified ride in Round 1 further validated his nickname of “Mr. Las Vegas.” In his three qualifications to the PBR World Finals, Leme has gone a cumulative 11-for-13 (84.61%).
While the focus as the night drew to a close was on the world’s Top 3 riders, Aparecido’s opening round win allowed him to gain seven spots in the world standings, climbing from No. 29 to No. 22. The first 90-point ride of the World Finals garnered him $35,000 and 300 world points.
Aparecido's score was earned aboard a familiar foe; the Brazilian covered the bovine athlete for 91.5 points in August during the Touring Pro Division event in Allen, Texas. He will attemptSoup in a Group (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Wilks Ranch) in Round 2 as he looks to maintain his standing atop the leaderboard.
Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) tied for second in the round alongside Outlaw, recording a matching 88.5-point score. Marking his first out at the most prestigious event in bull riding, the 20-year-old covered Too Dirty (Cord McCoy/Bruce Wold/HR Bulls) to collect $17,500 and 152.5 world points.
While Kasel remains ranked No. 7 in the world, he furthered his lead in the prestigious Rookie of the Year race. Entering the round with a 410.41-point lead over No. 2 Daylon Swearingen(Piffard, New York), who was bested in a heart-breaking 7.49 seconds by Sin City(Halpain/Harmon), Kasel is now 562.91 points out front.
On a night that saw 11 qualified rides, two additional top contenders for the honor amongst first-year pros also reached the 8-second buzzer. Twins Alisson De Souza (Taubate, Brazil) and Alan De Souza (Taubate, Brazil) finished tenth and eleventh after riding Soy El Fuego (Silver Creek/Winston/Melton Bull Co.) for 79.75 points and Mad Child (K-C Bucking Bulls/Joe & Nina Webb) for 79.25 points, respectively. Alisson earned 5 world points, while Alan finished just outside of the positions that garnered a rider points.
Cody Teel (Kountze, Texas) finished fourth to earn $10,000 and 95 world points. The world No. 6 bull rider rode Skeeter Peter (Owens/Smith) for 88.25 points.
Round 1 also included the first half of the ABBI World Finals Classic event. Preachers Kid (K Bar C/RD Cattle) currently sits in first place with 91.2 points after making quick work of Dylan Smith (Ararat, Virginia). Reigning ABBI Classic Champion Hocus Pocus (Barthold/Almand/D&H Cattle) is in second place with 90.4 points. The Right Stuff(Berger/Struvey/Willow/Smith/Nix/Owens) and El Big Bad (Hudgins Bucking Bulls) are tied for third with 90 points, while Night Hawk (Martinez Bucking Bulls) rounds out the Top 5 with 89.6 points.
The ABBI competition will continue on Saturday night during Round 4 of the PBR World Finals where over half a million dollars will be paid out when the 2019 ABBI Classic Champion and ABBI World Finals Classic Event Champion will be decided.
The 2019 PBR World Finals will continue on Thursday, November 7 with Round 2.
Fans can relive all the action from Round 1 starting at 8:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, November 7 on RidePass.com or via the mobile app.
PBR Unleash The Beast
2019 PBR Unleash The Beast World Finals
T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Round 6-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Eduardo Aparecido, 91.25-0-0-0-0-0-91.25-300 Points.
2. Chase Outlaw, 88.5-0-0-0-0-0-88.50-152.5 Points.
(tie). Dalton Kasel, 88.5-0-0-0-0-0-88.50-152.5 Points.
4. Cody Teel, 88.25-0-0-0-0-0-88.25-95 Points.
5. Jose Vitor Leme, 88-0-0-0-0-0-88.00-75 Points.
6. Leandro Machado, 87.25-0-0-0-0-0-87.25-50 Points.
7. Jess Lockwood, 86.5-0-0-0-0-0-86.50-35 Points.
8. Ryan Dirteater, 86-0-0-0-0-0-86.00-25 Points.
9. Cliff Richardson, 85.75-0-0-0-0-0-85.75-10 Points.
10. Alisson De Souza, 79.75-0-0-0-0-0-79.75-5 Points.
11. Alan de Souza, 79.25-0-0-0-0-0-79.25
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Buttar, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
J.B. Mauney, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Joe Frost, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Michael Lane, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Fielder, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dylan Smith, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Scottie Knapp, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Jared Parsonage, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Ouncie Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Austin Richardson, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Daniel Tinsman, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00