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Walk-off 90-point ride propels Vieira to PBR Oklahoma City win

Round 1 Winner Joao Ricardo Vieira.JPG
Posted at 8:33 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 10:33:51-04

(Editor's note: PBR release)

OKLAHOMA CITY – At the 21st PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast event in Oklahoma City, veteran contender Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) inched one step closer to capturing his career-first PBR World Championship. Going a perfect 3-for-3 at the PBR Express Ranches Invitational, Vieira delivered a walk-off 90-point ride in the championship round to clinch his first elite tour victory of 2021 and surge to the world No. 2 rank.

Vieira began his march to the top of the Can-Am Cage in momentous fashion, winning Round 1 courtesy of an 87.75-point trip aboard Good Whiskey (Hebert Bucking Bulls/Akers).

As Championship Sunday got underway, Vieira was the first rider to deliver a qualified ride in Round 2, posting what would be the eighth-best mark when he covered Stinger (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) for 84.5 points.

With the first pick in the championship round bull draft, Vieira selected Homegrown (Cord McCoy/Chad Reese). While the showdown marked the first between Vieira and the Oklahoma-raised bovine athlete, Vieira had previously seen 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatinga, Brazil) cover the bull for an event-winning score in Louisville, Kentucky, in March.

Vieira, the last man to erupt from the chutes inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, remained poised as the socially distanced crowd’s raucous cheer mounted. Vieira matched the powerful bull jump-for-jump, reaching the 8-second whistle for a monstrous 91-point score as his signature charismatic smile spread across his face.

The 90-point ride was Vieira’s second of the event, as he also recorded head-turning marks in the tour stop’s accompanying 15/15 Bucking Battle following Round 1 Saturday evening. Going the distance aboard Diddy Wa Diddy (Cord McCoy/Bill McCarty) for 91 points, Vieira registered a third-place finish in the special round.

Collectively, Vieira earned $29,246.36 and a critical 182.5 world points, propelling him from No. 4 to No. 2 in the world standings. After beginning the event 183 points behind the No. 1 rank, he is now within a mere 59.5 points of top-ranked Pacheco.

Throughout 2021 to date, Vieira has registered three 90-point rides, the third-most of any rider on the premier series, and alongside Cole Melancon (Paris, Texas) and Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) leads the league in round wins with four.

Vieira, who has twice finished runner-up to the gold buckle, including last season, is also currently amidst a nine-out ride streak.

The stoic Brazilian has not bucked off since March 28 in Louisville, Kentucky, when he was brought down in Round 2 of the event by Red Bones (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Kathy Boone/Joe Beaver) in 3.3 seconds.

Should Vieira, who will celebrate his 37th birthday in July, win the PBR World Championship in 2021, he would become the oldest athlete to accomplish the feat in league history. Three-time World Champion Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira, Brazil) is presently the oldest rider to win the world, capturing the title in 2006 at the age of 36.

While Pacheco retained his world No. 1 rank, he failed to gain any world points in the main event, going 0-for-2. After bucking off Outlaw (Cord McCoy/Big Sky Bulls, LLC) in 3.44 seconds in Round 1, he was unable to reverse his fortunes in Round 2 when he was sent to the dirt in 4.4 seconds by Old Time Religion (Lucas Manning Bucking Bulls).

In the 15/15 Bucking Battle, however, Pacheco delivered one of the most memorable rides of the season to date. In a showdown of titans, the Ice Man drew world No. 1-ranked bull Chiseled (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.), leading to one of the most anticipated matchups of the year.

Exploding from the chutes, Pacheco remained centered and lasted the requisite 8 aboard the fierce bovine as the crowd inside the home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder erupted into a deafening roar. As he celebrated dirtside, Pacheco was awarded a career-best 94-point score, clinching the sixth 15/15 Bucking Battle victory of his career.

Pacheco is now tied with Vieira for most career 15/15 Bucking Battle wins.

Pacheco earned 59 world points, allowing him to remain No. 1 in the world for the third consecutive week.

Further intensifying the world championship race, reigning World Champion Leme delivered a seventh-place finish in the main event and runner-up effort in the 15/15 Bucking Battle to solidify his world No. 3 rank.

In the PBR Express Ranches Invitational, after bucking off Butterfly Kisses (Copenhaver/Rockin T/Hilton) in an uncharacteristic 3.39 seconds in Round 1, Leme regained his winning form in Round 2, riding Smokin’ Gun (Hodges/Shuler) for 87.5 points.

Leme’s event, however, came to a heartbreaking end in the championship round when he was called for a slap at the 7.71-second mark during his trip with Bubba G (M Rafter E/High View Cattle).

In the 15/15 Bucking Battle, Leme registered his league-leading eighth 90-point ride when he covered Top Shelf (D&H Cattle Co./Gordon/OK Corralis) for 92.5 points. The 90-point score is Leme’s second of the season aboard the Oklahoma bovine. In mid-March, Leme covered the bull for 91.75 points during the championship round of the Kansas City tour stop.

Collectively, Leme earned 72 world points. Remaining No. 3 in the world, he is now within 82.5 points of No. 1 Pacheco after beginning the event 95.5 points back.

In second at the PBR Express Ranches Invitational was 2018 PBR World Finals event winner Marco Eguchi (Poa, Brazil), earning $16,204.07 and 86.5 world points.

After bucking off in Round 1, dispatched by Little Voodoo Jacket (6M Ranch/Riley Samford) in 4.21 seconds, Eguchi rebounded in flawless form on Championship Sunday.

Eguchi delivered his first qualified ride of the event in Round 2, covering Amy’s Pet (Universal Rodeo) for 87.75 points to punch his ticket to the championship round.

The 31-year-old then delivered his second 90-point score of the season in the championship round, riding King Brute (Henry Wilson/Blake Sharp/T&M Services) for 91 points.

Compliments of his runner-up finish, Eguchi soared in the world standings, catapulting from No. 15 to No. 7. He now trails No. 1 Pacheco by 368 points.

Rookie of the Year contender Colten Fritzlan (Rifle, Colorado) was third, marking his second Top-5 finish of the year after winning his elite tour debut in January in Okeechobee, Florida.

The Coloradoan, who bucked off Bread Basket (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) in Round 1 in 3.73 seconds, righted his course in Round 2 Sunday afternoon, reaching the whistle atop Funky Cold Medina (Universal Rodeo) for 86.75 points.

In the championship round, Fritzlan drafted Speed Demon (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls), who despite his small stature is known for his swiftness and tremendous power.

Undeterred by the bull’s reputation, Fritzlan reached the whistle, earning a career-best 89.75-point score.

Fritzlan left the Sooner State with a check for $10,878.94, having also netted a critical 67 world points. After slipping outside the world’s Top 10 to No. 12, the young gun surged up the rankings, now holding the No. 6 spot. He trails No. 1 Pacheco by 362 points.

Marking his career-best finish on the premier series, Chase Dougherty (Stephenville, Texas) was fourth, earning $10,784.91 and 63 world points.

Dougherty, who bucked off Crazy Corona (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls) in 3.52 seconds in Round 1, was the last rider to punch his ticket to the championship round, capping off Round 2 with his 85-point ride aboard Slinger (Universal Rodeo).

With the last pick in the final round’s bull draft, Detroit Lean (Blake Sharp/Henry Wilson) was the last bovine remaining when he ascended the Can-Am Cage.

Despite the 11 other contenders in the championship round selecting his draw for him, Dougherty was collected as he climbed atop Detroit Lean, who at the time was unridden in seven attempts across all levels of competition.

Dougherty, the first man to leave the chutes in the final round, set the tone early, snapping the bull’s buckoff streak as he reached the requisite 8 for a career-best, and championship round-winning, 91.25 points.

The Texan’s Top-5 finish propelled him 19 positions in the world rankings, elevating him from No. 44 to No. 25.

Rounding out the Top 5 in the main event was Alex Cerqueira (Iguatemi, Brazil) in fifth.

Going 2-for-3, Cerqueira’s qualified rides bookended the event. He first covered The Juice (Halpain/Kephart) for 87.25 points in Round 1, and punctuated his outing in Oklahoma with an 88.75-point ride on Boogie Bomb (Jane Clark/Gene Owen).

Cerqueira earned 50 world points, gaining three positions in the world standings as he climbed from No. 19 to No. 16.

In the bull pen, 2020 ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.) Classic Champion Woopaa (Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch) is now in sole possession of the world No. 1 rank compliments of his monstrous 47.25-point score in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. He bucked off 2018 PBR Rookie of the Year Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Springs, Utah) in a swift 2.14 seconds.

The effort, a career-best for the young bovine, earned him his second YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event honors of 2021.

After beginning the event tied for the world No. 1 rank alongside Chiseled, Woopaa now leads the D&H Cattle Co. bovine by 0.5 points. Also bucking in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, Chiseled was marked 45.25 points when he was covered by Pacheco.

The PBR Unleash the Beast will next travel to Nampa, Idaho, and Ford Idaho Center for the PBR Nampa Invitational Friday, April 23 at 7:45 p.m. MDT and Saturday, April 24 at 6:45 p.m. MDT.

Elsewhere in the PBR, young gun Austin Richardson (Stephenville, Texas) went a perfect 3-for-3 to win the first-ever PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

As the lone rider to deliver a flawless performance at the Grand Forks Chute Out inside the Alerus Center, the Texan began the event with an 82-point ride aboard Armed & Dangerous (CBT) in Round 1, and remained perfect in Round 2 when he registered an 84-point score atop Rockin Robin (CBT).

The 21-year-old then clinched the victory in the championship round when he registered an impressive 86.5-point score aboard The Muley (T&G Bucking Bulls).

For his efforts, Richardson earned 39.5 world points, climbing from No. 59 to No. 35 in the world. He now trails the Top 30 and a berth to the elite Unleash The Beast by 22.5 points.

Fans can relive all the action from both the PBR Unleash The Beast’s Express Ranches Invitational and Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Grand Forks Chute Out starting at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 19, on RidePass, at or via the mobile app.

PBR Unleash The BeastPBR Express Ranches InvitationalChesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. João Ricardo Vieira, 87.75-84.5-91-263.25-138.5 Points.

2. Marco Eguchi, 0-87.75-91-178.75-86.5 Points.

3. Colten Fritzlan, 0-86.75-89.75-176.50-67 Points.

4. Chase Dougherty, 0-85-91.25-176.25-63 Points.

5. Alex Cerqueira, 87.25-0-88.75-176.00-50 Points.

6. Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-88.75-0-88.75-40 Points.

7. Jose Vitor Leme, 0-87.5-0-87.50-23 Points.

8. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-87.25-0-87.25-21 Points.

9. Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 86.25-0-0-86.25-21 Points.

10. Cody Teel, 86-0-0-86.00-18 Points.

11. João Henrique Lucas, 0-85.5-0-85.50-15 Points.

12. Junior Patrik Souza, 85-0-0-85.00-15 Points.

Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00

Dener Barbosa, 0-0-0-0.00

Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0.00

Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00

Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0.00

Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00

Boudreaux Campbell, 0-0-0-0.00

Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00

Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0-0.00

Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0.00

Jess Lockwood, 0-0-0-0.00

Brennon Eldred, 0-0-0-0.00

Kyle Jones, 0-0-0-0.00

Rodrigo Melgar, 0-0-0-0.00

Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0.00

Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0.00

Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0.00

Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0.00

Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0.00

15/15 Bucking Battle
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. Kaique Pacheco, 94-94.00-59 Points.

2. Jose Vitor Leme, 92.5-92.50-49 Points.

3. João Ricardo Vieira, 91-91.00-44 Points.

4. Dener Barbosa, 88.25-88.25-38 Points.

Cole Melancon, 0-0.00

Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0.00

Silvano Alves, 0-0.00

Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0.00

Junior Patrik Souza, 0-0.00

Derek Kolbaba, 0-0.00

Colten Fritzlan, 0-0.00

Boudreaux Campbell, 0-0.00

Marco Eguchi, 0-0.00

Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0.00

Alex Cerqueira, 0-0.00

PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour – Grand Forks Chute OutAlerus Center – Grand Forks, North DakotaEvent Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. Austin Richardson, 82-84-86.5-252.50-39.5 Points.

2. Joe Hostetler, 86-85-0-171.00-30.5 Points.

3. Hunter Kelly, 88-80-0-168.00-18 Points.

4. Thiago Salgado, 86-0-0-86.00-9.5 Points.

5. Grayson Cole, 85.5-0-0-85.50-4.33 Points.

(tie). Laramie Craigen, 85.5-0-0-85.50-4.33 Points.

(tie). Dirlei Bonani, 85.5-0-0-85.50-4.33 Points.

8. Jake Lockwood, 0-84.5-0-84.50-4 Points.

9. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-84-0-84.00-2.5 Points.

10. Jake Gardner, 83.5-0-0-83.50-1 Points.

11. Conner Halverson, 77.5-0-0-77.50

12. River Stephenson, 75.5-0-0-75.50

13. Bob Mitchell, 64.5-0-0-64.50

Luis Blanco, 0-0-0-0.00

Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00

Michael Lane, 0-0-0-0.00

Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 0-0-0-0.00

Hunter Ball, 0-0-0-0.00

Seth White, 0-0-0-0.00

Justin Houston, 0-0-0-0.00

Alex Cardozo, 0-0-0-0.00

Cole Skender, 0-0-0-0.00

Keith Hall, 0-0-0-0.00

Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0-0.00

Caic Cassio Carvalho, 0-0-0-0.00

Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 0-0-0-0.00

Jorge Valdiviezo, 0-0-0-0.00

Alex Jenks, 0-0-0-0.00

Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0.00

Alex Santana, 0-0-0-0.00

Tyler Werner, 0-0-0-0.00

Junio Quaresima, 0-0-0-0.00

Dylan Madsen, 0-0-0-0.00

Wyatt Gleeson, 0-0-0-0.00

Weston Hartman, 0-0-0-0.00

Cory Price, 0-0-0-0.00

Fernando Henrique Novais, 0-0-0-0.00

Juan Alonzo, 0-0-0-0.00

Devin Hutchinson, 0-0-0-0.00

Cody McCandless, 0-0-0-0.00

Christian Melgarejo, 0-0-0-0.00

Jacob Ramirez, 0-0-0-0.00

Paulo Souza Rodriguez, 0-0-0-0.00

Cimarron Rucker, 0-0-0-0.00

Ty Shaffer, 0-0-0-0.00

2021 PBR World Standings

(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5's, Points, Total Winnings)

1. Kaique Pacheco, 14, 4, 7, 645.50, $104,812.05

2. João Ricardo Vieira, 18, 1, 7, 586.00, $94,376.98

3. Jose Vitor Leme, 8, 2, 6, 563.00, $99,293.69

4. Cooper Davis, 12, 1, 6, 517.50, $66,297.56

5. Dener Barbosa, 17, 0, 5, 320.33, $41,663.32

6. Colten Fritzlan, 12, 1, 3, 283.50, $47,598.30

7. Marco Eguchi, 11, 1, 4, 277.50, $42,983.92

8. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 14, 1, 3, 262.00, $36,579.04

9. Cole Melancon, 13, 0, 3, 260.00, $35,677.78

10. Silvano Alves, 14, 0, 4, 240.00, $25,328.96

11. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 15, 1, 4, 238.50, $40,391.61

12. Junior Patrik Souza, 18, 0, 4, 237.50, $25,746.70

13. Derek Kolbaba, 15, 0, 1, 223.00, $37,682.74

14. Boudreaux Campbell, 9, 1, 2, 214.00, $41,186.24

15. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 19, 1, 3, 196.00, $33,435.83

16. Alex Cerqueira, 13, 0, 3, 184.50, $25,858.52

17. Eduardo Aparecido, 11, 0, 1, 179.00, $22,871.05

18. Taylor Toves, 10, 0, 2, 163.50, $28,260.80

19. Kyler Oliver, 7, 0, 1, 163.00, $23,452.09

20. Cody Nance, 11, 0, 5, 130.16, $22,960.28

21. Jess Lockwood, 7, 0, 1, 119.50, $21,219.20

21. Cody Teel, 11, 0, 2, 119.50, $22,302.81

23. Mason Taylor, 10, 2, 3, 114.50, $24,516.45

24. Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 14, 1, 2, 104.00, $12,308.08

25. Chase Dougherty, 14, 2, 4, 100.50, $20,288.75

26. João Henrique Lucas, 12, 0, 1, 99.00, $14,457.26

27. Claudio Montanha Jr., 13, 0, 0, 92.50, $13,169.25

28. Dalton Kasel, 9, 0, 1, 90.00, $13,651.39

29. J.T. Moore, 12, 1, 3, 82.00, $12,621.85

30. Lucas Divino, 9, 0, 2, 81.00, $23,474.00

31. Ezekiel Mitchell, 11, 1, 1, 78.50, $9,146.15

32. Jesse Petri, 9, 1, 1, 76.83, $9,610.66

33. Brennon Eldred, 9, 0, 1, 70.50, $11,058.93

34. Brady Fielder, 3, 1, 2, 69.00, $6,529.40

35. Austin Richardson, 8, 1, 2, 58.50, $12,120.32

36. Cody Jesus, 6, 1, 1, 54.00, $12,787.73

37. Kyle Jones, 10, 0, 1, 50.50, $7,492.39

38. Luciano De Castro, 11, 0, 3, 49.33, $20,195.00

38. Rodrigo Melgar, 11, 1, 2, 49.33, $7,988.09

40. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 10, 1, 2, 47.83, $7,528.38

41. Eli Vastbinder, 10, 1, 1, 47.50, $6,629.12

42. Kurt Shephard, 3, 0, 2, 44.33, $4,028.40

43. Aaron Kleier, 3, 1, 2, 42.00, $14,105.40

43. Marcus Mast, 12, 1, 2, 42.00, $7,949.59

45. Thiago Salgado, 10, 0, 2, 41.50, $7,026.58