(Editor's note: PBR media release)
INDIANAPOLIS - Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) delivered a dominant performance at the 2022 Unleash The Beast (UTB) season-launch event, winning the Monster Energy Invitational inside Gainbridge Field House, marking the first time since 2012 that the world’s premier bull riding league has visited Indianapolis.
The gritty 22-year-old cowboy recently set the PBR world on fire on bull riding’s biggest stage at the PBR World Finals in early November 2021, competing with his broken jaw wired shut. He went 5-for-6 to finish a career-best third at the most grueling event in professional bull riding.
On Saturday night in Indianapolis, Taylor picked up where he left off in Las Vegas as he exploded from the chutes aboard Casper (Gene Owen Bucking Bulls) in Round 1. The monstrous 90.75-point ride, the highest of the round, punched his ticket to the championship round atop the leaderboard.
Taylor then selected Diddy Wa Diddy (Cord McCoy/ Bill McCarty) as his bovine opponent in the championship round.
After a few setbacks in the chutes and on the dirt, judges offered the Texas young gun a re-ride opportunity, which he took and was paired with Theodore (Lari Crane/ Gene Owen).
With fans in Gainbridge Field House on their feet, Taylor dismounted Theodore following the 8-second buzzer, then bounced around the arena with a giant smile on his face. The cheers rose to a deafening roar as his 89.25-point score was announced and he clinched the first event win of the season.
“The bull turned back away from his hand,” said PBR on CBS analyst J.W. Hart. “Mason had a couple of opportunities to get bucked off, but he just didn’t let it happen. He kept focused, he kept his chin down, stayed square, kept moving, and 8 seconds shows up quicker than you think when you put everything together in the right way.”
For his extraordinary night and being one of only two riders to go 2-for-2, Taylor collected 127 world points and a check for $51,962.50. He now tops the world standings in the 2022 race for the world title.
“I’m not looking forward ‘cause I’ll only get in my own way,” Taylor said. “I’m just taking it one bull at a time and having fun.”
Brazil’s Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) also made his mark in Indianapolis, going 2-for-2 for a second-place finish.
Early on Saturday evening, Barbosa was paired with American Gangster (Jane Clark/ Gene Owen) for Round 1. His 87.5-point score paved his way to the championship round.
Barbosa then chose Homegrown (Cord McCoy/ Chad Reese) in the championship round, riding him for an impressive 90.75 points. He was in the driver’s seat and set to win the event until Taylor’s final out of the event. For his efforts, the young Brazilian cowboy earned 88 world points and $25,116.50.
Barbosa now holds the No. 3 spot in the world standings.
2019 PBR Rookie of the Year Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) went 1-for-2 on Saturday night to finish in third place.
After a 90-point ride in Round 1 aboard Gangster Bones (Rickey West/ Steve Freeman/2R Bucking Bulls), Kasel then chose WSM’s Jive Turkey (WSM Auctioneers/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) for the championship round.
The selection did not go as the Texas cowboy had planned as his bovine competitor dispatched him into the dirt in a mere 4.68 seconds. WSM’s Jive Turkey was named the high-marked bull of the event.
Collecting 55 world points and $13,346, Kasel now sits at No. 5 in the world standings.
Pride of the Navajo Nation Cody Jesus (Window Rock, Arizona) finished fourth in Indiana courtesy of his 1-for-2 night.
Paired with Dagger (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) in Round 1, Jesus launched from the chutes with dirt flying for an 89.5-point score.
The 2016 Indian National Finals (INFR) winner then selected Drago (Jeb Fredericks/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) for the championship round in hopes of catapulting himself to the event win.
While Jesus was seemingly in control at first, the ride did not go as planned as he flew to the dirt after 6.59 seconds.
Jesus now holds the No. 8 spot in the world standings after collecting 38 world points and a check for $7,615.
In his triumphant return after being out for the entire 2021 UTB season, Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas) rounded out the Top 5 of the night with a 1-for-2 performance.
Outlaw was paired with Hell on the Red (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) in Round 1 and reminded fans of the magic of his energetic rides, recording 89 points to sail into the championship round.
In the championship round, his selection of Oilfield Outlaw’s Yellow Feather (Chad Berger/ Oilfield Outlaw’s Bucking Bulls) had the crowd cheering but ended after just 3.48 seconds.
Despite Outlaw’s anticlimactic Saturday conclusion, he earned 33 world points and $5,100. He now sits in the No. 10 spot in the world standings.
PBR RidePass on PlutoTV 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 [pluto.tv]. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule.
The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to New York to the iconic Madison Square Garden for the Monster Energy Buckoff at the Garden, presented by Ariat on Friday, Jan. 7 at 7:45 p.m. EST and Saturday, Jan. 8 at 6:45 p.m. EST.
PBR Unleash The Beast - Monster Energy Invitational
Gainbridge Field House -Indianapolis, Indiana
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Mason Taylor, 90.75-89.25-180.00-127 Points.
2. Dener Barbosa, 87.5-90.75-178.25-88 Points.
3. Dalton Kasel, 90-0-90.00-55 Points.
4. Cody Jesus, 89.5-0-89.50-38 Points.
5. Chase Outlaw, 89-0-89.00-33 Points.
6. Claudio Montanha Jr., 88.5-0-88.50-21.66 Points.
(tie). Keyshawn Whitehorse, 88.5-0-88.50-21.66 Points.
(tie). Cole Melancon, 88.5-0-88.50-21.66 Points.
9. Stetson Lawrence, 88.25-0-88.25-16 Points.
10. Jesse Petri, 88-0-88.00-13 Points.
11. Kaique Pacheco, 87.5-0-87.50-9.5 Points.
(tie). Paulo Ferreira Lima, 87.5-0-87.50-9.5 Points.
13. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 87.25-0-87.25-8 Points.
14. Marco Eguchi, 85-0-85.00-8 Points.
15. Silvano Alves, 84.5-0-84.50-8 Points.
16. Derek Kolbaba, 84.25-0-84.25-8 Points.
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0.00
Kyler Oliver, 0-0-0.00
Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0.00
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0.00
Boudreaux Campbell, 0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0.00
Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0.00
Austin Richardson, 0-0-0.00
Adriano Salgado, 0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0.00
Fernando Henrique Novais, 0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0.00
Jess Lockwood, 0-0-0.00