LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Last Cowboy Standing this weekend at Las Vegas Village.
Pearl Harbor caps off first half with another 45-plus bull score (5-14-17)
Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger was curious to see how his bull Pearl Harbor would do after being ridden by Shane Proctor three weeks ago during the Tacoma Invitational.
Well, to Derek Kolbaba’s dismay, Pearl Harbor responded just fine.
The world No. 1 bull only needed three jumps during Round 3 to slide the No. 4 ranked bull rider in the world standings off his back and onto his feet in a quick 2.34 seconds.
“We found out what he is made of,” Berger said. “This was one of his best outs all year. I am pretty happy.”
It was a nice early birthday present for Pearl Harbor – the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event this weekend.
Pearl Harbor turns 6 years old on Sunday.
Kolbaba blamed himself for not putting out the effort necessary to advance in the Last Cowboy Standing competition.
“It was a pretty piss, poor effort,” Kolbaba said. “That is all that is. Yeah, he bucks hard, but it isn’t going to be easy when it comes to bulls like that. It has to be something you fight for. That was pathetic.”
Pearl Harbor was marked 45.75 points to end the first half of the Built Ford Tough Series atop the World Champion Bull race standings with a World Champion bull score average – the average of a bull’s top eight outs – of 46.25 points.
The top bull at the end of the regular-season in November wins a $25,000 bonus.
“I thought he had a great out,” Berger added. “I was thinking he should be 46-plus, but Derek didn’t last really long and we didn’t get to see much. Still, a great out.”
Overall, Pearl Harbor is 8-1 this season with an average bull score of 46.1 points per out.
Pearl Harbor has been marked no lower than 45.25 points this season and is the leading favorite to win the 2017 World Championship.
Pearl Harbor will now rest until facing off against two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney following Round 1 of the Dakota Community Bank PBR Bull Riding Challenge Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event on June 16 in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Mauney’s pursuit of becoming the third rider in PBR history to reach 500 qualified rides on the BFTS came to a screeching halt Saturday in Round 2 when he was eliminated from the competition by Moleek in 2.43 seconds.
He leaves Las Vegas stuck at 498 qualified rides.
Pacheco repeats as Last Cowboy Standing champion and wins career-high $150,100
Kaique Pacheco may have won a career-high $150,100 this weekend by repeating as Last Cowboy Standing champion, but his third PBR Major victory of his career has him that much closer toward the real payday he wants:
A PBR WORLD CHAMPION $1 MILLION BONUS.
The No. 2 bull rider in the world standings is now only 180 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido after being the only rider to cover his bull in Round 3 to cap off the BFTS first half with a PBR Major victory.
“I am very happy for this win,” Pacheco said with the help of a translator. “This is a very important event. This is one of the biggest events of the year. I am very proud of this accomplishment. I am also very happy God has been with me throughout my entire life. This event helps me get more points and more money.”
Pacheco began Round 3 with a 90-point ride on Spotted Demon – his first since last October (90.25 points on Crazy Horse) and third of his career – and then watched on as the seven other riders in the round (Marco Eguchi, Aparecido, Jess Lockwood, Silvano Alves, Cody Nance, Joao Ricardo Vieira and Kolbaba) all bucked off.
The 22-year-old joins Cooper Davis, the man who edged Pacheco for the 2016 World Championship the last time he was in Las Vegas, and Claudio Crisostomo as the only riders to make the 8-second mark on Spotted Demon in 33 BFTS outs.
“He is a really rank bull,” Pacheco said. “I have seen him buck a lot of times. I was thinking of nothing in the bucking chute. I just knew I had to ride him.”
The ride was the best of the event, notching Pacheco the $26,000 prize for the highest-scored ride.
Pacheco earned 825 world points in Las Vegas and now has the most PBR Major victories (3) all-time. He has won a PBR Major every season of his three-year career. Those three wins have netted Pacheco a combined $336,225.
The Itatiba, Brazil, bull rider got a second chance to compete in the event on Saturday after being bucked off by Hard Times (2.34 seconds) in Round 1 Friday.
There were only 13 qualified rides in Round 1, therefore the final 12 spots in the draw for Round 2 were filled based on the PBR world standings following the Tacoma Invitational.
Pacheco didn’t let his second chance go for naught either.
An extremely focused Pacheco brushed off his Round 1 buckoff on Friday night by beginning Round 2 with an 88-point ride on Machinery Auctioneer’s Little Joe, before making easy work of Spotted Demon.
Pacheco – the runner-up in the last two world title races – is set to return home to Brazil on Tuesday before returning to the United States in August to resume his pursuit of his first World Championship.
“I am not going to spend my money,” Pacheco said with a smile. “I am going to bring it home and we will find out what is going to happen to this money.”
Eguchi wins Round 2 to head into summer BFTS break 15th in the world standings
Marco Eguchi was unable to get past Bad Beagle (2.67 seconds) during Round 3, but Eguchi’s Round 2 victory still propelled him to a strong second-place finish in Las Vegas.
Eguchi won Round 2, earning 125 points toward the world standings in the process, by riding Crazy Horse for 88.25 points.
“I knew he was going to come to the left,” Eguchi said. “The last time he bucked me off, I thought he was going to come just to the right. He came to the right and turned left and bucked me off at almost 8 seconds. This time I just tried to be ready for him for when he came.”
It was a strong follow-up to his 84.75-point ride on Silver Back in Round 1.
This weekend was Eguchi’s first two-ride weekend since the Sacramento Invitational in January.
“I started real good, but I got hurt (broken ribs) in consecutive weeks and it made me down a little bit. I kept my head forward and worked hard to get better again.”
Eguchi earned 130 points overall toward the world standings to head into the summer BFTS break 15th in the world standings.
The 27-year-old was ranked 46th last year heading into the break.
“This is really important to start the second half healthy and ready,” Eguchi concluded. “I will stay here (in the U.S. this summer). I won’t go to every Touring Pro like last year. I will rest a little bit, but I will go to the main Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour events.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Mauney two rides away from historic 500th ride (5-12-17)
LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of Last Cowboy Standing Friday night at Las Vegas Village.
J.B. Mauney understands the importance of a milestone like 500 qualified rides on the Built Ford Tough Series, but the two-time World Champion understands the 500-ride mark this weekend won’t be worth anything for his bank account or another world title if he doesn’t win Last Cowboy Standing.
“It don’t pay to ride 500,” Mauney said. “I don’t really worry about it. Yeah, it is a milestone, but all that reminds me is I have been around a long time.”
Regardless, Mauney’s 85.25-point ride on Tap Out pushes him to within two rides of becoming the third rider in PBR history to record 500 rides at the PBR’s highest level of competition.
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi became the first rider to reach the milestone on March 8, 2014, while 2004 World Champion Mike Lee joined Marchi in the prestigious club on April 16, 2016.
Mauney has drawn Moleek (6-0, BFTS) for Round 2 on Saturday night.
If Mauney records two qualified rides on Saturday night, the 30-year-old would be the youngest rider to reach the milestone. Marchi was 31 when he accomplished it, while Lee was 32.
Mauney would be the second-fastest (11 years, 2 months and 25 days) to the mark after Marchi accomplished the feat in 9 years, 7 months and 3 days.
More importantly, the No. 3 bull rider in the world standings remains in striking distance of world leader Eduardo Aparecido heading into the final night of bull riding before the summer break.
Mauney finished sixth in the round for 20 world points.
The 12-year professional has yet to win a Last Cowboy Standing event.
“I really don’t pay attention to what I have or haven’t done,” Mauney said. “Maybe this is a new year. But I start out with the same goal. Every time you nod, you want to win.”
Well, that isn’t necessarily all true.
Mauney does notice when a bull continues to buck him off (see, Bushwacker).
“OK, just to the bulls,” Mauney said. “But, what I win with points and ride numbers, that don’t bother me. I am after gold buckles.”
Mauney didn’t win a PBR Major when he won his last gold buckle in 2015, but he is certainly aware of how much is at stake at Last Cowboy Standing.
The event winner will walk away with a minimum of 625 points toward the world standings.
“They are important,” Mauney agreed. “There are so many points up for grabs at this deal. You better have your hammer cocked and you’re A game on when you show up here. This being the last event before the break can set you up for the second-half run.”
Aparecido extends world lead to 945 points on No. 2 Pacheco
Mauney was unable to gain ground on Aparecido after the world leader made a smooth 86.75-point ride on Calypso to finish Round 1 in third place.
“This is a good score to begin the event,” Aparecido said. “Good points.”
Aparecido earned 60 points toward the world standings with the third-place finish, and increased his lead to 945 points on No. 2 Kaique Pacheco.
Pacheco was bucked off by Hard Times in 2.34 seconds after being forced to take the re-ride per Last Cowboy Standing ground rules after riding Red Dawn. A re-ride flag was thrown because of inferior bull performance.
Mauney trails Aparecido by 1,068.76 points.
Aparecido has been atop the world standings since winning Iron Cowboy back in February.
Iron Cowboy is the same progressive-style format as Last Cowboy Standing where a rider advances to the next round with an 8-second ride.
Saturday night the event could be over following Round 2, or it can go as long as five rounds.
“Tomorrow is a lot of bulls,” Aparecido said. “Hard bulls are waiting.”
Aparecido has drawn Cooper’s Comet (5-3, BFTS) for Round 2.
The four-time World Finals qualifier added the right arm injury that held him out of the Billings, Montana, event is now 100 percent healed.
Aparecido lost out on the 2015 Last Cowboy Standing crown in the final round of competition to Pacheco.
The 26-year-old understands a second consecutive PBR Major victory on Saturday night could put him even farther ahead of the competition during his pursuit of the 2017 World Championship.
“I am concentrating on this event,” Aparecido concluded. “This event is very similar to Iron Cowboy. Iron Cowboy was one day. This is two days. (Saturday) will be good. I am concentrating on winning 600 points.
“Those would be very good for me.”
Wing wins Round 1
The quick two-week Built Ford Tough Series break didn’t seem to bother Stormy Wing one bit.
The Tacoma Invitational winner picked right back up where he left off after going 3-for-3 in Washington by winning Round 1 of Last Cowboy Standing with an 87.25-point ride aboard Captain Jack.
Wing earned 125 points toward the world standings with the round victory.
The No. 7 bull rider in the world standings continues to find success since switching to a Brazilian bull rope, but also because of some minor adjustments he has made with his chute procedure pre-ride.
All five round wins, including both of his event victories, have come since making the switch midway through the season.
The Dalhart, Texas, bull rider used to try and replicate Mauney’s slide-and-ride mentality, but he simply didn’t have the leg or arm length to pull off the technique.
“That wasn’t working, so I went back to sliding up there and trying to gather them up in there, but I was dropping my feet down too much and I was caught sitting on my ass. Then that causes you to lean and your feet to come behind you.”
Wing then decided to make an adjustment to position his feet even higher before he nods for the gate.
“It feels almost weird to keep your feet a little bit higher in the slats above them bulls, but those big bulls, like Bruiser, your legs are above them anyways.
“You just float with them. It is just like dancing. It is an art. It is timing and getting it down.”
Wing will attempt to continue his success in Round 2 against Nailed (4-4, BFTS).
Brennon Eldred, competing in his third BFTS event, rode Mortimer for a career-high 87 points and a second-place finish.
Eldred is trying to earn a full-time spot on the BFTS and the 75 world points he picked up moved him from 41st to 35th in the world standings.
Coming in behind Aparecido was Gage Gay in fourth place. Gay rode Cowboy Phil for 86.25 points and 50 points toward the world standings.
Meanwhile, Claudio Montanha Jr. rode his way to a fifth-place finish (40 world points) after an 86-point trip on Hy Test.
There were a total of 13 qualified rides in Round 1.
Therefore, based on Last Cowboy Standing ground rules, the final 12 riders to compete in Round 2 alongside the 13 that advanced out of Round 1 will be the Top 12 riders from the world standings at the conclusion of the last BFTS event (Tacoma) that failed to make the 8-second mark in Round 1.
Here are the 25 riders advancing to Round 2 on Saturday night.
Stormy Wing, 87.25 points.
Brennon Eldred, 87 points.
Eduardo Aparecido, 86.75 points.
Gage Gay, 86.25 points.
Claudio Montanha Jr., 86 points.
J.B. Mauney, 85.75 points.
Fabiano Vieira, 85.25 points.
Koal Livingston, 85.25 points.
Marco Antonio Eguchi, 84.75 points.
Guilherme Marchi, 84.5 points.
Cody Rodeo Tyler, 83.5 points.
Cody Teel, 81.25 points.
Reese Cates, 81.25 points.
Kaique Pacheco, world ranking
Derek Kolbaba, world ranking
Chase Outlaw, world ranking
Jess Lockwood, world ranking
Matt Triplett, world ranking
Joao Ricardo Vieira, world ranking
Rubens Barbosa, world ranking
Mason Lowe, world ranking
Shane Proctor, world ranking
Cody Nance, world ranking
Silvano Alves, world ranking
Ryan Dirteater, world ranking
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis is out for the remaining of Last Cowboy Standing because of a right groin strain he first sustained in Tacoma.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Brazilian dominance has been the norm at Last Cowboy Standing; Vegas draw notes (5-10-17)
PUEBLO, Colo. – Call it good fortune, great bull riding or a mere coincidence, but Last Cowboy Standing has simply been dominated by the PBR’s Brazilian contingent for the last five years.
World No. 2 Kaique Pacheco heads into Last Cowboy Standing this weekend as the defending event champion, and a second consecutive Last Cowboy Standing title could push the 2015 Rookie of the Year back into the world No. 1 ranking for the first time since last year’s Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Pacheco has won at least one PBR Major in each of his first two seasons in the U.S., and last year his Last Cowboy Standing victory rocketed him from 13th in the world standings to No. 1.
The 22-year-old trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido, who actually was the final rider eliminated at Last Cowboy Standing last year, by 885 points in the standings.
Luke Snyder won the inaugural 2011 Last Cowboy Standing event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center before Silvano Alves went back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi followed that up with the 2014 crown before Joao Ricardo Vieira extended his lead atop the 2015 world standings with the first LCS title at the outdoor Las Vegas Village.
In fact, if you factor in the last three Iron Cowboy competitions in Arlington, Texas, which switched to a LCS format in 2015, there is an even greater Brazilian dominance. Aparecido claimed the Iron Cowboy title this past February, while Vieira laid claim to the 2015 title.
Grand Coulee, Washington, bull rider Shane Proctor won the 2016 Iron Cowboy.
There are 16 Brazilian-born riders slated to compete at this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing event, which begins Friday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
Last Cowboy Standing is a minimum of two rounds and a maximum of five. At least 25 riders will advance to Round 2, with any draw spots being filled by the current world standings heading into Last Cowboy Standing if there are less than 25 rides in Round 1.
If all riders buck off in Rounds 2, 3 or 4, then all riders that attempted a bull advance to the next round.
If there is more than one ride in the final round (Round 5), then the Last Cowboy Standing will be the rider with the highest-ride score in Round 5. If there are no rides in Round 5, then the Last Cowboy Standing will be the rider with the most round points that had competed in Round 5.
The event winner of the third PBR Major of the season will earn a minimum of $100,000 and 625 points toward the world standings.
Each round winner earns 125 points toward the world standings, as well.
It is the final BFTS event before the summer break. The BFTS will later resume on Aug. 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Pacheco has drawn Red Dawn (5-2, BFTS) for Round 1 on Friday night, while Aparecido will look to extend his world lead in Las Vegas when he takes on Calypso (7-4, BFTS).
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney has the potential to reach the historic 500-ride mark on Saturday night if he gets passed Tap Out (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1 for career ride 498 and advances to Saturday’s final rounds.
As part of the 40-rider draw, four Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour winners received exemptions to Las Vegas – Michael Lane (Milwaukee), Cody Heffernan (Wichita, Kansas), Jesse Tillman (Des Moines, Iowa) and Skeeter Kingsolver (Birmingham, Alabama).
Last Cowboy Standing will be the BFTS debut for Tillman. The 26-year-old is competing in just his eighth PBR event overall and is 4-for-8 in five events this year.
The Auxvasse, Missouri, bull rider is 57th in the world standings and has drawn The Kid (1-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Meanwhile, this weekend will be Kingsolver’s first BFTS event since February 28, 2015, when he competed at Iron Cowboy. Kingsolver takes on Dream Catcher (7-5, BFTS) in Round 1.
There are six alternate spots available for Last Cowboy Standing because of injuries to No. 24 Stetson Lawrence (broken left hip), No. 25 Mike Lee (shoulder), No. 28 Dakota Buttar (torn UCL), No. 29 Brady Sims (broken leg) and No. 30 Troy Wilkinson (left groin/hand).
Buttar confirmed on Tuesday that MRI results in Canada revealed a torn ligament, as well as a broken bone in his riding elbow. The 24-year-old is waiting to hear back from Dr. Tandy Freeman on how much time he will miss, but he hopes to be back in a few weeks.
The sixth alternate spot is available because one of the Velocity Tour winner invites – Joao Ricardo Vieira – was already ranked in the Top 30 and seeded for the event.
Therefore, No. 36 Robson Aragao, No. 37 Alex Marcilio, No. 40 Jake Gowdy, No. 41 Brennon Eldred, No. 44 Alex Cardozo and No. 45 Cody Campbell are all competing in Las Vegas.
Eldred is one of four PBR bull riders also scheduled to compete during this weekend’s PRCA Helldorado Days Rodeo. Joining Eldred are No. 4 Derek Kolbaba, No. 13 Shane Proctor, and No. 14 Cody Teel.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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