LAS VEGAS – Just when you thought T-Mobile Arena couldn’t get any louder after two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney rode Red Dawn for a historic 90.25 points, Cooper Davis and Kaique Pacheco decided they wanted in on the fun too.
Pacheco and Davis answer Mauney’s ride (11-6-16)
The No. 1 and 2 bull riders in the world standings answered Mauney’s ride – the first 90-point ride in T-Mobile Arena history – by riding Dead Calm and Red Bandana respectively to cap off a frantic finish to the penultimate night of the 2016 season.
Davis didn’t let the roaring crowd rock his focus after Mauney lit up the scoreboard. All the Jasper, Texas, bull rider did was ride Dead Calm for 83.75 points to keep himself in contention for the PBR’s $1 million championship bonus.
“That is J.B.,” Davis said. “That is the moment he lives for. Just like him picking Air Time. It is cool being able to witness it. Having to go after him is tough, but at the same time, you can’t help but be a fan on the chutes. You have to try and keep your mind clear and do what you do.
“Today I definitely didn’t have a bull that was easy to ride,” Davis said. “He was probably one of the harder bulls to get by tonight and to get by him and get a solid draft pick was my mindset going into today.”
The pressure then was all on Pacheco’s shoulder’s as the hyped-up bull riding fans all stood up from their seats to watch Pacheco take his wrap inside the bucking chutes.
For the second time this week, Pacheco had to follow-up strong bull rides from Mauney and Davis.
Pacheco once again showed his focus is unflappable in high-intensity situations.
The world leader made 8 seconds aboard Red Bandana for 86.5 points to finish tied for seventh in the Round.
“I am very happy,” Pacheco said. “I thank God for helping me. I stayed on my bulls. I just ride my bulls. I don’t care about the rest. I need to ride my bulls. I need to keep my score.”
Pacheco extended his lead on Davis to 226.58 points heading into Championship Sunday after earning 18.75 world points in Round 4.
He also leads No. 3 Mauney by 544.08 points.
Mauney needs another round win to help his chances in the title race. He heads into Championship Sunday fourth in the event average, but Pacheco and Davis are tied for fifth in the event average.
Pacheco would be the World Champion by less than 227 points if the season ended on Saturday.
Pacheco and Davis have ridden two consecutive bulls since bucking off Pearl Harbor and David’s Dream respectively in Round 3.
Pacheco selected Wicked (30-8, BFTS) in the Round 5 draft.
Rubens Barbosa rode Wicked for 89 points during Round 2 on Thursday.
“He is a really good bull,” Pacheco said. “Rubens ride him for a good score. I have been on him two times. He buck me off one time. I ride him one time. There is a good chance I ride him again. I have a lot of confidence right now. I want to ride my bull.”
Pacheco rode Wicked for 89.75 points on the way to the Last Cowboy Standing title the last time he was in Las Vegas back in May.
Davis finished tied for 15th in Round 4. He drafted Catfish John (13-4, BFTS), who he rode for 88 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in April.
“Today I said, ‘Screw it,’” Davis said. “If I win, that is cool. If I don’t, I did my part and I can hold my head up high and be ready for next year. I would love to win, but sometimes things don’t always go the way you plan.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Pozzobon wants to be first Canadian World Finals event winner (11-5-16)
LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 3 of the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night.
Ty Pozzobon’s main goal when he returned to PBR competition at the end of May was to simply win the 2016 PBR Canada championship and then decide on his 2017 Built Ford Tough Series future.
That championship eventually evolved into another goal, and it is quite the big one.
Pozzobon aspires to become the first Canadian bull rider to win the World Finals event title.
“That would be huge,” Pozzobon said. “To be the first one to do it, I would go down in history. I am not thinking about anything, but the bulls I have to ride. Like J.B. (Mauney) kind of always says, you just try to ride all of your bulls and the rest will take care of itself.”
Pozzobon has done that thus far in Las Vegas.
The 24-year-old continued his dominance despite a fractured riding hand this week by riding Modified Clyde for 88.5 points a night after splitting the Round 2 win with a career-high 89.5 points on Big Cat.
Pozzobon finished tied for second in Round 3 with Cooper Davis (88.5 points on Hammer Down).
“I am just taking it one at time and not worrying about what can happen,” Pozzobon said. “When I get in the bucking chute, I focus on the task at hand. I have always been able to ride rank bulls, but I have normally been streaky. I haven’t been streaky this year.”
Pozzobon has ridden six of seven bulls since making his return to the Built Ford Tough Series in Nampa, Idaho.
He takes on Rebel Yell (C12) in Round 4.
Prior to his return, Pozzobon went 26-for-51 in 23 PBR Canada events on his way to the 2016 title, and he is 37-for-72 (51.39 percent) at all levels of competition.
Pozzobon is known for studying bull riding footage, and he spent some time Friday watching video of Mauney’s 90.25-point ride on Modified Clyde from September 2015.
“I watched J.B. ride that bull,” Pozzobon said. “I study guys like J.B. Mauney, Chase Outlaw, Jusitn McBride and Chris Shivers. All of the best styles that ride the rank bulls.”
Pozzobon’s goal in 2017 is to chase after a world title and become the first Canadian to win the PBR’s $1 million title.
“That is the next thing I will chase when I am healthy,” Pozzobon said. “I have been healthy one year and that was my rookie year. I was so immature and still wearing my high school rodeo shirts. That is how mature I was.”
Before then, he may just end up making history on Sunday afternoon by winning the event average.
“This is, for sure, the next biggest thing,” Pozzobon said. “Absolutely.”
Oliveira looking to defy father time
Valdiron de Oliveira may be 37 years old, but he doesn’t plan on letting that slow him down as he tries to win the World Finals for the first time.
Oliveira is third in the event average behind Pozzobon and Ryan Dirteater, who rode Jack Daniel’s After Party for 87 points in Round 3, and would be the PBR’s oldest World Finals event winner if he can finish the deal in two days.
“Three more is coming,” Oliveira said. “This ride tonight. I knew the bull before. Guilherme got on him. Kaique told me one thing and Guilherme told me another. They had me confused. I just decided to ride the bull jump for jump and not care what he did. It worked out.”
Oliveira is 3-for-3 at the World Finals following a 2-for-4 performance at the BlueDEF Finals. He has attempted seven bulls in the last seven days with Tuesday being his only day off.
To stay fresh, Oliveira has been going to the spa daily and receiving one-hour massages. He then spends another 35-45 minutes doing 10-minute intervals in the hot tub and pool.
It is the first time he has tried the routine at the World Finals and it appears to be working.
“I have been eating a small amount of rice and beans and getting massages every day,” Oliveira said. “They are keeping my body flexible. Then I go from the hot water to the cold water. Cold, hot, cold, hot, colt hot.
“I need to be more flexible.”
Oliveira’s flexibility was there in Round 2 when he 2016 World Champion Bull contender Crossfire for 85.5 points.
Oliveira has a Round 4 matchup with Flight Plan (8-2, BFTS).
The 10-year BFTS veteran frequently works out at the gym in Decatur, Texas, and focuses his energy on core training.
“I feel like all of this is working,” Oliveira said. “The spa, I feel fresh and flexible. I say, ‘Oh, this is pretty good.’”
Pacheco answers Davis’ challenge; Mauney bucks off
World leader Kaique Pacheco told the CBS Sports Network production team that if he were to feel any pressure during the World Finals that he would be able to handle it.
Well, Pacheco proved his point on Friday night.
Pacheco watched Cooper Davis re-take the world No. 1 lead for a brief two minutes with an 88.5-point ride on Hammer Down before slamming the brakes on Davis’ world title train for one night with a Round 3 winning 89-point ride on Crazy Horse.
The round win pushed his lead on No. 2 Davis to 207.83 points.
“It has been my dream to be the champion and I feel I am realizing my dreams here,” Pacheco said through a translator during a post-event press conference. “I want to keep this up.”
The ride was big for Pacheco seeing as he was a bull behind J.B. Mauney, who is third in the world standings, in the event average heading into Friday night.
Mauney was bucked off by Legacy in 3.51 seconds in Round 3 and is 825.33 points behind Pacheco with three rounds remaining in the season.
Davis is fifth in the event average, Pacheco is sixth and Mauney is seventh.
Mauney would only receive 100 world points for being seventh in the event average and, therefore, needs to make up some ground via round placement if Pacheco and Davis continue to make the 8-second whistle.
All three riders can still earn a maximum of 2,400 points toward the world standings if they were to win every round and finish the event first in the average. However, they are a bull behind Pozzobon, Dirteater and Oliveira.
Pacheco called it a “privilege” to be riding with Mauney during this championship race and opened the press conference by thanking his fan base.
“I am very thankful for my fan base and all the people that have supported me all along,” Pacheco said. “The PBR. PBR Brazil. This week I just had a big boost of confidence.”
Pacheco asked if he was flustered because of his Round 2 buckoff against Pearl Harbor a night earlier.
The 22-year-old admitted he was rattled some inside the bucking chutes by Pearl Harbor, but commended Chad Berger’s bull for having a strong 45-point out.
“Pearl Harbor is a great bull and even though I was bucked a little in the pen, that threw me off a little bit, but I still feel I rode that bull pretty good.”
Pacheco has drawn Red Bandana (4-0, BFTS), while Davis will take on Dead Calm (8-2, BFTS) and Mauney will try for 8 seconds aboard Red Dawn (2-0, BFTS).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Mauney a bull ahead of world title contenders (11-4-16)
LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals at T-Mobile Arena.
J.B. Mauney leaned back in his chair with his brown hair sticking out of his black cowboy hat and sipped on a cold Bud Light.
The two-time World Champion had the Round 3 bull draft in his hands, but he was at total ease with having the fifth pick in the draft.
Mauney was fresh off an 87-point ride on Margy Time in Round 2 for a fifth-place finish and 75 world points.
Meanwhile, on the right side of the locker room world leader Kaique Pacheco, who had the 14th pick in the draft following his 7.45-second buckoff against Pearl Harbor, was consulting with three-time World Champion Silvano Alves over the list of bulls in his hand.
There wasn’t panic on the world leader’s face, but Pacheco certainly knew he let a golden opportunity slip by for a possible round win on Thursday night.
World No. 2 Cooper Davis was still a little red in the face and was wiping off the sweat trickling down his face after lasting just 3.12 seconds on David’s Dream in Round 2.
“He just rolled me into my hand and I fell off,” Davis said.
Frustration certainly was also on his mind as he mulled over what he would be left with at the 31st pick.
The Round 3 draft order was based on Round 2 results at the World Finals, not the overall aggregate per the PBR World Finals ground rules.
Now, Pacheco and Davis will have to come from a bull behind if they hope to fend off Mauney from defending his world title.
Mauney is still 525.33 points behind Pacheco for the world No. 1 ranking, but he is the only rider in the Top 5 of the world standings still a perfect 2-for-2 and he is tied for second in the event average with 172.75.
“I am just confident,” Mauney said after selecting Legacy. “I don’t get cocky and I don’t try to tell anybody I am going to do anything. You have to do it first.”
Mauney also admitted that he has learned some things in his 11 trips to the World Finals.
“It doesn’t matter how worked up I get, you never let them see you sweat,” Mauney said. “And, I don’t know, being here 11 times helps out a lot too.”
Mauney was bucked off by Legacy in Rocksprings, Texas, at a Touring Pro Division event in 7.43 seconds.
“I got on him in Rocksprings this year and he threw me right off at the whistle, but he is going to buck and you can end up being a lot of points on him,” Mauney said.
Mauney was quick to point out that the 2016 world title race is still very far from over even with Pacheco and Davis bucking off.
“They act like just because those guys bucked off of one it is over with,” Mauney said. “It is not even close to being over with. I know that.”
That couldn’t be truer after Pacheco got a possible lucky break during the bull draft.
Thirteen riders passed on the opportunity to select Crazy Horse and Pacheco pounced on the opportunity.
Pacheco rode Crazy Horse for 90.25 points to win the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in Tucson, Arizona, during the regular-season BFTS finale and regain the world No. 1 ranking.
He also rode Crazy Horse for 88.5 points to win the BFTS in Charlotte last month.
Davis is still 60.33 points behind Pacheco and ended up selecting Hammer Down.
“I wish they would draw all them,” Davis said. “There were still a lot of good bulls left and that was one of the top picks I had. I don’t think anybody knew a whole lot about him. From what I have seen of him the one time, he was out of the left and to the right really bucking.”
Ty Pozzobon continuing to battle through a broken hand
In the last two years, Ty Pozzobon has had his head stomped on, his leg broken, a collapsed lung and his shoulder torn out.
So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that he is 2-for-2 at the World Finals with a broken riding hand, right?
“Well, it is, I guess,” Pozzobon said after splitting the Round 2 win with Guilherme Marchi. “It feels better than I was expecting. I iced the hell out of it. They couldn’t inject it because I didn’t get a CT scan today to see if I need surgery or how bad it is broken.”
Pozzobon got confirmation on Wednesday from Dr. Tandy Freeman that he had a broken left hand, which he sustained in Tucson, Arizona, during the regular-season finale.
So far Pozzobon hasn’t let it affect him in Las Vegas. He began the five-day event with an 84.25-point ride on Glory Days on Wednesday night.
“I don’t like losing so if I am here, I am here to win,” he said. “I don’t care about getting hurt.”
Pozzobon’s ride on Big Cat Friday was a career-high.
“I have seen that bull. Cooper rode him the other day. He obviously was bucking in the rank pen, but he was the one to pick out of there.”
Pozzobon selected Modified Clyde with the second pick of the Round 3 draft.
Marchi picked Little Red Jacket.
Pozzobon said his broken hand is nowhere near the top of the list when it comes to his injury-riddled past.
However, a broken riding hand is definitely a major problem.
“I had quite a long line of them, but it is the one that is the biggest pain in the ass,” the 24-year-old said. “My leg, I was riding after four months. This thing is what makes you money.”
Pozzobon is trying to become the first Canadian to ever win the World Finals event title.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself being back at this,” he said. “For all the people that questioned I couldn’t ride these bulls, I think I am proving them wrong.”
SweetPro’s Long John takes early lead in World Champion Bull race
There hasn’t been much talk about SweetPro’s Long John making a run at winning a second consecutive World Champion Bull title, but Thursday night may have just changed that.
“He can,” Page said when asked if he felt his bull could repeat. “He got the best shot. He got a head start.”
The 2015 World Champion Bull bucked off Kasey Hayes in 6.18 seconds for a 45.75-point bull score and was the highest-finishing World Champion Bull contender in Round 2.
“I just didn’t ride long enough,” Hayes said. “I felt good on him, I just got a little behind and gave him too much of my arm. I didn’t get my hips back under my rope quick enough. I just didn’t crash over to that inside horn like I needed to be chasing that front end. That last time he hit me in my back with his but didn’t feel so well.”
Long John was his stereotypical self, an honest bucker with brute strength and the kick of a World Champion bull.
H.D. Page said his bull’s heart was on full display at T-Mobile Arena.
“We did all we could, but there is not much we could do to help him,” Page said. “He has the heart of a champion. He is not 100 percent. He has arthritis and some stuff going on with his feet, but he is no different than any professional athletes in any sport. If they play the game very long they have bumps and bruises.
“He is not 100 percent, but he brought 100 percent when the gate opened.”
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said Long John was “outstanding” and could have been scored even a little higher.
Lambert then added, “The rankest bull in my opinion all night was Asteroid, and he is not in the bull race, but he was the rankest one out.”
On Sunday afternoon, Long John will look to accomplish what Asteroid never could and that is to win back-to-back world titles.
“I don’t know if he cares or not, but he is just going to try his hardest to buck them off,” Page concluded.
WORLD CHAMPION BULL RESULTS
SweetPro’s Long John 45.75 points for 6.18-second buckoff of Kasey Hayes
Pearl Harbor 45 points for 7.45-second buckoff of Kaique Pacheco
Seven Dust 45 points for 1.39-second buckoff of Marco Eguchi
SweetPro’s Bruiser 44.5 points for 5.66-second buckoff of Mason Lowe
Hey Jack 44.25 points for 2.25-second buckoff of Tyler Harr
Stone Sober 43.25 points for Dener Barbosa’s 87-point ride
Air Time 42.5 points for 5.64-second buckoff of Zane Cook
Crossfire 41.75 points for Valdiron de Oliveira’s 85.5-point ride
Cochise disqualified for chute procedure. No score.
Wallace de Oliveira separated his ribs when he was pinned in the chute by Cochise before his second-round out. Oliveira was then bucked off by Frequent Flyer in 1.96 seconds.
Robson Palermo aggravated a preexisting left PCL tear attempting to ride Smokin’ Gun (1.26 seconds) in Round 2.
He is questionable for Round 3 and left T-Mobile Arena on crutches.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
World title race tightens; Oliveira makes history (11-3-16)
LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney started things off with an 85.5-point ride on Valedictorian, but 22-year-olds, Cooper Davis and Kaique Pacheco wouldn’t let the savvy veteran off that easy.
Davis quieted the wild and raucous Mauney fans in attendance by one-upping Mauney’s ride with an 87.5-point ride on Show Kitty immediately after Mauney.
The ever-so-calm Pacheco then showed he too wouldn’t be fazed by the two title contenders breathing down his neck and he concluded Round 1 with an 84.25-point ride on Organized Crime.
In other words, are you having fun yet?
The three 2016 world title contenders concluded the first night of PBR action in T-Mobile history with a high-octane finish.
Davis was sitting on the doorstep of the world No. 1 ranking once the adrenaline subsided.
The Jasper, Texas, native finished second in the round for 180 world points, and he heads into Round 2 a mere 60.33 points behind Pacheco.
“At this point, it doesn’t matter,” Davis said. “As we have seen tonight, there is so many points available in each round that it could change three or four times before it is over with. I am not thinking about it.”
Davis admitted that of course he heard the crowd’s reaction to Mauney’s 42nd career ride at the PBR Finals in the minutes before he nodded his own head, but that it didn’t intimidate him.
In fact, it was the complete opposite.
“That fired me up,” Davis said. “My game never changes whether he stays on or doesn’t stay on, but he has been there and done that so I need to do what he is doing. It was good to see that. It fired me up to go do my job today. I was pumped up from the word go.”
Davis stressed earlier in the week how important it was for him to begin the 2016 World Finals with a qualified ride just like he did last year when he became the fourth rookie to ever win the World Finals.
“As far as getting the first one down and getting him rode, that was my main deal because it sets your tone for the whole week,” Davis said. “I learned that last year that if I can get a good start I will be confident the rest of the weekend pretty much. There is no better feeling than getting the first one rode, especially in a situation like this.
“You certainly don’t want to be the first one to fall off.”
Davis has drawn David’s Dream (50-4, BFTS) for Round 2. Last year, David’s Dream bucked off Davis in 3.88 seconds during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in a meaningful, emotional moment for Davis.
Mauney agreed with Davis about the importance of starting hot at Finals.
“That starts your week off,” he said. “I have said it a million times. Bull riding is all about confidence. You get that first one under your belt, you let out a little sigh, and you keep getting after it.”
Mauney placed fourth in the round for 95 points.
He trails Pacheco by 600.33 points heading into his Round 2 meeting with Margy Time (18-1, BFTS).
“One down, five to go,” Mauney said. “(Valedictorian) was a bull you weren’t going to win the round on, I didn’t know him, but he was hard to ride. He swapped it up and went both ways with me. When he went back right, he quit kicking and tried scooting away from me.
“It was a lot of work for 85 points, but it was one down.”
Pacheco remained calm, confident and collected after his two toughest challengers made the 8-second mark.
The world leader’s 84.25-point ride placed him tied for eighth in the round with Ty Pozzobon (Glory Days) for 17.5 world points.
Pacheco wasn’t fazed by the brand-new arena, the higher stakes or seeing his two challengers put some added pressure on him.
“I wasn’t even thinking about them,” Pacheco said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “I closed my eyes and just concentrated on my bull. I expected to do a good job, just like I do every weekend.”
Pacheco has a monster matchup against Pearl Harbor (16-2, BFTS) in Round 2.
Oliveira joins historic club
Valdiron de Oliveira may be 37 years old, but the 10-year PBR veteran continues to show he has what it takes to compete on the world’s largest stage of professional bull riding.
Oliveira joined an elite group of bull riders on Wednesday night by recording his 400th career ride on the Built Ford Tough Series.
The Brazilian bull rider rode Smooth Over for 84 points.
“Oh yeah, I am very happy,” he said. “400 bulls – it is not easy to stay on 400 bulls. Not many guys have 400 rides.”
Oliveira is the sixth rider in PBR history to reach the iconic number. He joins 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (576), 2004 World Champion Mike Lee (506), two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney (475), two-time World Champion Chris Shivers (412) and PBR Ring of Honor member Ross Coleman (402) to reach 400 rides.
He has averaged 40 riders per season, finished inside the Top-5 of the world from 2008-2012 and has qualified for the World Finals every year since he debuted on the BFTS in Nashville on June 16, 2007 with an 82.25-point ride on Born to Boogie.
Oliveira is also the first rider to cover Smooth Over in six outs.
“It is not an easy bull to ride,” Oliveira said. “He is a rank bull. Nobody stayed on him before. I said, ‘I want to ride this bull tonight.’”
The former perennial contender now turns his attention toward World Champion Bull contender Crossfire (29-2, BFTS) in Round 2 and a possible victory at the World Finals.
“Well, I am here to do my work,” Oliveira said. “I want to stay on my bulls. I have to stay focused.”
Outlaw continues hot streak in and out of the arena; Alves records first ride in T-Mobile history
Not only is Chase Outlaw continuing to light it up in the arena, but he is also tearing it up on the Blackjack table.
However, a $30,000 go-round win in Round 1 is always a lot better than $7,000 playing cards.
Outlaw won Round 1 with an 89.5-point ride on Air Marshall, which was his latest victory in the last two weeks.
“I am just being me and having fun,” Outlaw said. “Man, this is the way to start it off right. There sure as hell ain’t no better way to start it off.”
He is now ranked 14th in the world despite missing the entire first half of the season because of reconstructive shoulder surgery.
Outlaw made it a goal this week to erase his past bull riding demons in Las Vegas. He was previously 4-for-21 at the Finals.
“I am not here trying to prove nothing to nobody, just to myself,” Outlaw said. “That is all I am trying to do.”
Outlaw won the BlueDEF Tour Finals at the beginning of PBR Finals week, the 2016 BlueDEF Tour championship, the BFTS regular-season finale in Tucson, Arizona, two weeks ago, Round 1 on Wednesday and the $7,000 playing cards in Las Vegas the last two days.
If you add up all his winnings, that equates to over $123,000.
Outlaw will look add another $30,000 on Thursday night aboard Magic Train (27-4, BFTS).
“All I know is this feels really freaking good,” Outlaw concluded.
In true Silvano Alves’ fashion, the three-time World Champion picked up the first qualified ride in T-Mobile Arena history with a turned down re-ride option.
Alves’ 63-point ride on Wedding Crasher placed him 12th in the round.
“Oh yeah, I am very happy to get the first ride, but it is a low score,” Alves said before laughing. “I tried to ride good, but my bull didn’t buck good. I stayed on my bull. It is alright. I stayed on 8 seconds. I rode in good position. He was not difficult.”
Alves has drawn Red Rover (11-0, BFTS) for Round 2.
“We have four more days,” he concluded. “Today was a test and tomorrow there are rank bulls. I am very happy to ride my bulls.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Aaron Roy sustained a fractured right femur when he was stepped on while hung up to Locked and Loaded (6.58 seconds). Roy was transported to the University Medical Center’s Trauma Center and was expected to require surgery.
Roy has been replaced in the Round 2 draw by Jorge Valdiviezo.
Stormy Wing broke his nose when he was struck by Uncle Fester’s head in Round 1 during his 4.37-second buckoff. Wing is probable for Round 2.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.