OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – As one of four Oklahomans competing in front of a home state audience inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, Brennon Eldred (Sulphur, Oklahoma) delivered a monstrous ride during the opening night of competition for the elite PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast’s Express Ranches Invitational, bringing the raucous Oklahoma City crowd to its feet as he won Round 1.
The 25-year-old recorded the night’s top marks, an 88.5-point score, when he reached the 8 aboard GT-698 (GT Bucking Bulls).
For his efforts, Eldred earned a quick $3,580, in addition to 20 world points.
Eldred’s first round win of the 2020 season catapulted him up the world rankings. After beginning the event ranked No. 142 in the world, he is now No. 50 ahead of Round 2 where he’ll attempt Crossfired (JD Nix Rodeo Co.).
Two additional Oklahomans also recorded qualified rides, including two-time reigning Oklahoma City event winner Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma).
Looking to become the first rider in PBR history to win the Sooner State event in three consecutive seasons, the Team USA Wolves competitor for the upcoming 2020 WinStar World Casino and Resort PBR Global Cup USA, presented by Monster Energy, delivered the sixth-best score of Round 1.
Dirteater rode Midnight Rock (Cord McCoy/Shotgun Bulls) for 85.5 points to earn $600 and six world points. He rose from No. 15 to No. 13 in the world.
Recently announcing plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2020 season, Dirteater’s final night of competition in Oklahoma City will begin when he attempts Little Joe (JD Nix Rodeo Co.) in Round 2.
Hailing from nearby Porum, Cannon Cravens was the final home state hopeful to reach the 8-second whistle. He covered Trophy Rack (Frontier Rodeo Company) for 83.25 points to finish 10th and earn two world points.
Colten Jesse (Konawa, Oklahoma), the final Okie in the draw, narrowly missed recording a score on the opening night of action at Chesapeake Energy Arena. He was bested by Tarabull (Rockin T Ranch) in a close 5.35 seconds.
In addition to seeing a strong night of competition delivered by Oklahoma’s top riders, the fans inside Chesapeake Energy Arena also bore witness to a shuffle atop the PBR world standings.
Splitting fourth with fellow Brazilian Ramon de Lima (Rio Branco, Brazil), Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) rose to the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in 2020 courtesy of his 85.75-point ride aboard Smooth Over (Hart Cattle/GT Bucking Bulls).
Garnering $1,075 and 7.5 world points, Leme erased Joao Ricardo Vieira’s (Itatinga, Brazil) lead. He is now a slim 0.25 points in front of the veteran, who slipped to No. 2 in the standings.
Despite relinquishing the No. 1 ranking, Vieira recorded a qualified ride in Round 1. Declining a re-ride, he rode Tried & Tested (D&H Cattle Co./Clapp Cattle) for 75.75 points to conclude the round 12th.
Lima, who is set to contend with the Top 35 cutline at the conclusion of the Oklahoma City event, split fourth with Leme after covering Dunnam 630 (Dunnam Bull Co./Bob & Jeri Adams) for a matching 85.75 points.
He also earned $1,075 and 7.5 world points, climbing from No. 66 to No. 49 in the standings. Lima is now 14 points outside of the Top 35.
Fabiano Vieira (Perola, Brazil) and two-time PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) tied for second after recording matching 87.75-point rides.
Covering Hot Spots (Shuler Bucking Bulls) and Lockdown (Cleve Garey/DD Bucking Bulls), respectively, each rider netted $2,375 and 9.5 world points.
As a result, Vieira rose from No. 22 to No. 20 in the world, while Lockwood honed in on reclaiming the world No. 1 ranking. While the Montanan remains No. 3 in the world, he now trails No. 1 Leme by 17 points.
Friday night also included an American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) Classic event.
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.
OK Brand (Moore/D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle) posted 89.6 points to win the ABBI Oklahoma City Classic Champion title after bucking off Luciano de Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) in 2.54 seconds to collect nearly $10,000.
Top Shelf (OK Corralis/Gordon/D&H Cattle) and Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/Steve Best) tied for second place with 89 points apiece to take home more than $5,000 each.
Homegrown (Prewitt/Barthold/Donaho) and Little Joe (Lonnie & Amy Austin) tied for fourth to round out the Top 5, each notching 87.8 points for a payout of more than $3,000 each.
Fans can relive all the action from Round 1 of the Express Ranches Invitational, Saturday, February 1, starting at 8:00 a.m. EST on RidePass.com or via the RidePass mobile app.
Action inside Chesapeake Energy Arena will continue with Round 2 and the championship round on Saturday, February 1 starting at 6:45 p.m. CST. Fans can tune into the action LIVE via RidePass. The listen LIVE stream of Championship Saturday will begin at 7:45 p.m. EST.
CBS Sports will air the championship round from Oklahoma City at 12:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 2, while CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 2 and the championship round at 4:00 p.m. EST.
PBR Unleash The Beast
Express Ranches Invitational
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
(Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Brennon Eldred, 88.5-0-0-88.50-20 Points.
2. Jess Lockwood, 87.75-0-0-87.75-9.5 Points.
(tie). Fabiano Vieira, 87.75-0-0-87.75-9.5 Points.
4. Jose Vitor Leme, 85.75-0-0-85.75-7.5 Points.
(tie). Ramon de Lima, 85.75-0-0-85.75-7.5 Points.
6. Ryan Dirteater, 85.5-0-0-85.50-6 Points.
7. Derek Kolbaba, 85.25-0-0-85.25-5 Points.
8. Eduardo Aparecido, 85-0-0-85.00-4 Points.
9. Junio Quaresima, 84.5-0-0-84.50-3 Points.
10. Cannon Cravens, 83.25-0-0-83.25-2 Points.
11. Dener Barbosa, 83-0-0-83.00-1 Points.
12. João Ricardo Vieira, 75.75-0-0-75.75
13. Silvano Alves, 74.5-0-0-74.50
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0-0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Buttar, 0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0.00
Aaron Kleier, 0-0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0.00
Nathan Burtenshaw, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Sims, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0.00
Alisson De Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Dylan Smith, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0.00
Gage Gay, 0-0-0-0.00
Leandro Machado, 0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0.00
Scottie Knapp, 0-0-0-0.00