KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On Saturday night inside the Sprint Center, the already heated race to be crowned the 2020 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Champion further intensified, as world No. 2 Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) honed in on the top ranking, winning Round 1 of the elite PBR Unleash The Beast’s Caterpillar Classic.
Marking his seventh round win of the season, Lockwood surged to the top of the event leaderboard when he made the 8 aboard Suns Up (Joe & Nina Webb/BS Cattle Co.) for a massive 90.5 points.
The 90-point effort was Lockwood’s fourth of the season.
Courtesy of the monstrous ride, Lockwood is now tied with Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) for most round wins and 90-point rides on the premier series in 2020.
The qualified ride earned the two-time PBR World Champion $3,580 in addition to 20 world points.
While he remained No. 2 in the world, Lockwood, who was bucked off later in the evening during the 15/15 Bucking Battle, honed in on No. 1 Leme, shrinking his lead atop the standings from 133.5 points to 113.5 points.
Leme did not record a qualified ride during the opening night of action in the Show Me State, bested by Little Hott (TM Cattle Co./BS Cattle Co.) in 2.06 seconds in Round 1 and The Right Stuff (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Diamond Willow) in a close 6.24 seconds in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Colten Jesse (Konawa, Oklahoma) led the field in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, capturing his career-first victory in the special round after riding Lil 2 Train (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) for 89.5 points.
The high-marked ride earned him $7,500 and 50 world points, propelling him from No. 8 to No. 7 in the world.
Jesse, who was bucked off in Round 1, now trails No. 1 Leme by 402.5 points.
Brennon Eldred (Sulphur, Oklahoma) finished second in Round 1, recording his third consecutive qualified ride on the elite Unleash The Beast.
Riding Dirty Sancho (Blake Sharp/Koe Wetzel/High Voltage Cattle) for 88 points, he garnered $2,750 and 10 world points.
The 8-second effort allowed the Oklahoman to gain ground in the world title race, climbing from No. 37 to No. 33 in the standings.
Snapping a six-out buckoff streak, Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas) covered OK Brand (D&H Cattle/Craig Moore) for 87.75 points to finish third in the opening round.
Collecting $2,000, in addition to nine world points, the 22-year-old rose three positions in the world rankings, shuffling from No. 33 to No. 30.
As one of three riders to record two qualified rides in front of the raucous Saturday night crowd in the Show Me State, Australian sensation Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland, Australia) concluded Round 1 fourth.
His 8-second effort was recorded aboard Midnight Rock (Cord McCoy/Shotgun Bulls) for 87.25 points.
Later in the evening, Kleier returned in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, finishing second in the special round after he covered Evil Intentions (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) for 89.25 points.
Collectively, Kleier earned a check for $6,800 and 48 world points. As a result, the two-time and reigning PBR Australia Champion climbed from No. 19 to No. 12 in the world.
Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) and Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) were the remaining two riders to cover both of their Saturday night draws.
Aparecido finished sixth in Round 1 after riding Smooth Gangster (K-C Bucking Bulls/Joe & Nina Webb) for 85 points, and an improved third in the 15/15 Bucking Battle compliments of his 88.75-point trip atop Air Assault (444 Bucking Bulls/Winston/Davis/Durham/Buck/D&H Cattle).
Netting a combined $5,100 and 41 world points, Aparecido rose from No. 10 to No. 8 in the world, now within 438 points of No. 1 Leme.
For countryman Barbosa, he rode Drop Top (Blake Sharp/Chris Mclendon) for 82.5 points to conclude Round 1 ninth, and Cool Customer (D&H Cattle/Flinn) for 88.25 points to finish the 15/15 Bucking Battle fourth.
He left Sprint Center Saturday night $3,500 richer, while having also collected 33 world points.
Barbosa gained one spot in the world standings, ascending from No. 11 to No. 10. He is now 450.59 points behind the No. 1 ranking.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Round 1 was Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas, Brazil).
The rising Brazilian star made the 8 atop White Squirrel (Lonnie & Amy Austin) for 86 points to net $850 and seven world points. Divino remains No. 20 in the world.
Saturday night’s competition also included an American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) Classic event in conjunction with Round 1.
An ABBI Classic competition is the next step in a young bovine’s competitive career with 3- and 4-year-old bulls going up against the top bull riders in the PBR.
Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/Steve Best) posted 90.6 points to win the ABBI Kansas City Classic event, earning more than $12,000. The bovine athlete’s score was earned courtesy of his swift 2.67-second buckoff of three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil).
The event-winning performance allowed Ridin Solo’s lifetime earnings to eclipse $200,000 in just four years of competition.
In second place was Mr. Sister (Diamond D/Benavides/Paradigm Bull Co) with 88.8 points and $8,478.75 in winnings, while Hurricane Party (Stockyards/Pritchett/Melton Bull Co) placed third with 88.4 points to earn $5,801.25.
Top Shelf (OK Corralis/Gordon/D&H Cattle) notched a fourth-place finish with 87.8 points to collect $4,908.75, with Dunnam 630 (Dunnam Bull Co/Bob & Jeri Adams) rounding out the Top 5 after his 87.4-point performance, earning $3,793.13.
Fans can relive all the action from Round 1 starting at 8:00 a.m. EST on Sunday, March 1, on RidePass, at RidePass.com or via the mobile app. Later that day, CBS Sports will air the 15/15 Bucking Battle at 12:30 p.m. EST.
The Caterpillar Classic from Kansas City will conclude on Sunday, March 1, starting at 1:45 p.m. CST, with Round 2 and the championship round.
PBR Unleash The Beast
15/15 Bucking Battle
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
1. Colten Jesse, 89.5-89.50-50 Points.
2. Aaron Kleier, 89.25-89.25-40 Points.
3. Eduardo Aparecido, 88.75-88.75-35 Points.
4. Dener Barbosa, 88.25-88.25-30 Points.
Jose Vitor Leme, 0-0.00
Jess Lockwood, 0-0.00
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0.00
Fabiano Vieira, 0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 0-0.00
PBR Unleash The Beast
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Jess Lockwood, 90.5-0-0-90.50-20 Points.
2. Brennon Eldred, 88-0-0-88.00-10 Points.
3. Ezekiel Mitchell, 87.75-0-0-87.75-9 Points.
4. Aaron Kleier, 87.25-0-0-87.25-8 Points.
5. Lucas Divino, 86-0-0-86.00-7 Points.
6. Eduardo Aparecido, 85-0-0-85.00-6 Points.
7. João Ricardo Vieira, 84.5-0-0-84.50-5 Points.
8. Jake Lockwood, 84.25-0-0-84.25-4 Points.
9. Dener Barbosa, 82.5-0-0-82.50-3 Points.
10. Ramon de Lima, 80.5-0-0-80.50-2 Points.
Jose Vitor Leme, 0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Fabiano Vieira, 0-0-0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Campbell, 0-0-0-0.00
Tye Chandler, 0-0-0-0.00
Joao Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0.00
Bruno Scaranello, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Sims, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0.00
Alisson De Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0.00
Michael Lane, 0-0-0-0.00