GUTHRIE, Okla. – After PBR (Professional Bull Riders) made history in late April in Guthrie, Oklahoma as the first sport to return to competition following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) shutdown, the Lazy E Arena again played host to yet another pivotal night of competition for the league, as a veteran Brazilian rider made a strategic decision and walked off with the win in Round 1 of the revival of the iconic PBR Bullnanza, part of the elite Unleash The Beast.
With just six qualified rides recorded throughout the opening round of the second event of the second half of the 2020 PBR elite tour season, the round was decided on the final out.
As the penultimate cowboy to explode from the chutes, veteran rider Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) reached the 8 aboard Armed & Dangerous (Hart Cattle Company) for 75 points.
However, as the powerful bovine athlete with distinct horns sent bullfighter Frank Newsom (Paoli, Oklahoma) flying as he dramatically made his way to the out gate, Vieira was awarded the option of a re-ride.
Vieira then made a decision which proved dividends. He declined his 75-point score, taking his chances with Marquis Metal Works Draggin Up (Paradigm Bull Co./Marquis Metal Works), the bull who awaited him in the re-ride pen.
As the raucous crowd inside Lazy E Arena inched to the edge of their seats in anticipation, Vieira matched his animal athlete counterpart jump for jump as the seconds ticked by. As he reached the 8, the fans erupted in cheers and Vieira celebrated dirtside, marked a Round 1-winning 88.75 points.
Vieira’s qualified ride propelled him to a $3,246.88 pay day, in addition to earning him 20 world points.
Between Vieira’s low-scored ride and re-ride, world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) failed to deliver a qualified ride, bucked off by Crazy Times (Hart Cattle Co./Randy Wood) in an uncharacteristically quick 2.65 seconds, allowing Vieira to inch closer to reclaiming the world No. 1 ranking. He now trails Leme by 212.25 points.
Vieira has now covered all four bulls he’s attempted since returning to the United States from Brazil for the second-half of the 2020 Unleash The Beast season. Vieira will face off against Speck (Cord McCoy/Gary Scarbro) in Round 2 as he looks to capture his second elite tour event win of the year. Vieira began the year with a victory at the season-opener in New York City at Madison Square Garden in early January, which in tandem with subsequent successes, led him to hold the world No. 1 ranking for three weeks.
Paulo Lima (Bezerros, Brazil) finished second after he covered Shaken (Owens/Wyatt/Smith) for 87.25 points, collecting a check for $2,216.20 along with 10 world points.
Much like his countryman Vieira, Lima is also amidst a hot streak since the start of the Unleash The Beast’s second half last weekend in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he went 1-for-3 to tie for 14th.
Lima, who began the Sooner State event ranked No. 52 in the world, climbed one spot to No. 51, now within 28.16 points of the Top 35 and a more consistent position on the premier series.
Third was 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas).
The Texan rode Heavy D (Paradigm Bull Company) for 86.5 points, netting $1,767.71 and 9 world points.
Davis, who rose one position in the world standings, is now the No. 20-ranked rider in the PBR ahead of his Round 2 out at the PBR Bullnanza, a rematch with Cool Customer (D&H Cattle Co./KB Bulls).
The 26-year-old will be looking to even the score against the bovine athlete who in three prior meetings has bucked off Davis twice.
After the Texan made the 8 in their first showdown, scored 89 points during Round 2 of the 2018 PBR Last Cowboy Standing Major, he has been bested in their next two meetings. Cool Customer first got the better of Davis in 6.55 seconds during the 2019 Days of ’47 Cowboys Games & Rodeo. In their most recent meeting in 2019 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Davis was sent to the dirt in a swift 1.82 seconds.
Dakota Louis (Browning, Montana) delivered the fourth best score of Round 1 of the PBR Bullnanza when he danced with Crazy Doc (Paradigm Bull Company) for 86 points.
The three-time INFR (Indian National Finals Rodeo) Champion left the Friday evening event $1,088.59 richer, having also earned 8 world points.
Louis gained six positions in the world standings, climbing from No. 44 to No. 38, now within 6.66 points of the Top 35. He’ll attempt Losing My Religion (Kruger Bucking Bulls) in Round 2 Saturday afternoon.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Boudreaux Campbell (Crockett, Texas) who covered Bogey (Owens/Wyatt/Smith) for 85.25 points. He earned $816.29 and 7 world points.
Campbell remained No. 54 in the world and will attempt Real Gun (Cord McCoy/Graber/Gallagher) in Round 2.
The PBR Bullnanza will conclude with Round 2 and the championship round on Saturday, August 15. RidePass’ LIVE coverage of Round 2 will begin at 1:45 p.m. ET.
On Sunday, August 16, beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network will broadcast all the action from the final day of competition of the Unleash The Beast’s PBR Bullnanza.
Fans can relive all the action from Round 1 of the PBR Bullnanza, starting at 8:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, August 15, on RidePass at RidePass.com or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.
PBR Unleash The BeastPBR Bullnanza
Lazy E Arena – Guthrie, OklahomaEvent Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. João Ricardo Vieira, 88.75-0-0-88.75-20 Points.
2. Paulo Lima, 87.25-0-0-87.25-10 Points.
3. Cooper Davis, 86.5-0-0-86.50-9 Points.
4. Dakota Louis, 86-0-0-86.00-8 Points.
5. Boudreaux Campbell, 85.25-0-0-85.25-7 Points.
6. Amadeu Campos Silva, 84.5-0-0-84.50-6 Points.
Jose Vitor Leme, 0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 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
Mauricio Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Joao Lucas, 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cerqueira, 0-0-0-0.00
Ryan Dirteater, 0-0-0-0.00
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
Brennon Eldred, 0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Lockwood, 0-0-0-0.00
Cannon Cravens, 0-0-0-0.00
Keith Hall, 0-0-0-0.00
Junio Patrik Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0.00
J.B. Mauney, 0-0-0-0.00