(Editor's note: PBR media release)
As Round 1 of the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Ariat, concluded on Saturday night at the MetraPark in Billings, the Friday night rides of 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) and Montana’s home-state cowboy Dakota Louis (Browning, Montana) clinched a shared win.
In a field of 65 riders split across two nights of competition for the opening round, Pacheco and Louis’s matching 88.5-point scores from Friday night topped the leaderboard as the field of 25 competing Saturday were dominated by their bovine opponents, recording only five qualified rides.
Pacheco’s ride aboard Shake & Bake (Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls) earned the No. 3 man in the world standings 23 world points to narrow the gap between himself and world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) to 97.5 points.
Vieira, who faltered on Friday night, being tossed to the ground by Timber Jam (Vold Rodeo/ Robinson) in a mere 4.29 seconds, will return on Sunday to try and continue the charge to his first world title.
Three-time INFR champion Louis, who began the weekend at No. 39 in the world standings, moved into the Top 35 after his 23 world points for his ride aboard WSM’s Sun Country (WSM Auctioneers/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) pushed him to No. 33.
The weekend in Billings showcases a unique format for fans, with the three-day event also including a 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The draw features 65 riders competing in Round 1, which split riders into two groups for the first two nights of competition.
On Friday night, the 15 riders competing in Saturday evening’s 15/15 Bucking Battle and an additional 25 riders each attempted one bull. Round 1 then concluded on Saturday with the remaining 25 riders who did not compete Friday attempting one bull each.
For Round 2 on Sunday, all seeded riders for the event will automatically advance, along with those competing on injury exemptions or with a Velocity Tour invite and any of the 35 invited competitors who logged a qualified ride in Round 1.
The 12 bull riders with the top combined ride scores following the first two rounds will then advance to the championship round later on Sunday.
Coming in third in Round 1, Josh Frost (Randlett, Utah) collected 17 world points.
After pairing with Poker Chip (Jeb Fredericks/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) for 87.5 points on Saturday night as one of the five cowboys to cover a bull, Frost looks toward Sunday to advance from No. 65 in the world standings into the Top 40.
Colten Fritzlan (Rifle, Colorado) captured fourth in Round 1 after recording an 87-point score Saturday night.
Fritzlan conquered Marquis Metal Works Draggin Up (Paradigm Bull Co/ Marquis Metal Works) to earn 16 world points.
Fritzlan, who began the weekend at No. 54 in the world standings, rolls into Sunday as the No. 48 rider continuing his push to qualify for his very first World Finals.
Three cowboys rounded out the Top 5 of Round 1.
Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas), Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas, Brazil) and Alex Marcilio (Macaubal, Brazil) earned 14 world points apiece for their matching 86.5-point scores.
Moving from No. 16 to No. 14 in the world standings, Taylor is in a battle to launch into the Top 10 before the season's final event concludes. He had fans on the edge of their seats as he conquered Skeeter Peter (Dakota Rodeo/ Mark Baker/ Clay Struve/ Chad Berger) on Friday night.
Divino, who began the weekend at No. 24 and moved up one spot to No. 23, made the 8 aboard Not Today (Nancy Haverty/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger).
Marcilio began the weekend at No. 38 in the world standings and moved up to No. 35 after his success on Saturday night aboard Delbert Sr. (Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Paula Gregory).
The best bull riders in the world will return to MetraPark on Sunday, May 1, for Round 2 followed by the championship round of the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Ariat.
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.
Additionally, Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle will air on CBS on Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. EDT.
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. Kaique Pacheco, 0-88.5-0-0-88.50-23 Points.
(tie). Dakota Louis, 0-88.5-0-0-88.50-23 Points.
3. Josh Frost, 0-87.5-0-0-87.50-17 Points.
4. Colten Fritzlan, 0-87-0-0-87.00-16 Points.
5. Mason Taylor, 0-86.5-0-0-86.50-14 Points.
(tie). Lucas Divino, 0-86.5-0-0-86.50-14 Points.
(tie). Alex Marcilio, 0-86.5-0-0-86.50-14 Points.
8. Clayton Sellars, 0-86-0-0-86.00-12 Points.
9. Matt Triplett, 0-85-0-0-85.00-11 Points.
10. Luciano De Castro, 0-84-0-0-84.00-10 Points.
11. Ky Hamilton, 0-83.75-0-0-83.75-9 Points.
12. Cody Nance, 0-78.25-0-0-78.25
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Kasel, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 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
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Oleson, 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
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 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