SYDNEY – A seesaw battle for supremacy underscored an electrifying opening night of bull riding action at the second leg of the inaugural PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Global Cup in Sydney as Team Brazil staged a comeback to narrowly lead host nation Australia heading into the deciding night of competition.
The home team turned in a solid performance on the first night of competition at Qudos Bank Arena, leading the aggregate scoreboard up until the close of the first round, before world No. 1 Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) covered his bull in the bonus round, allowing Brazil to take a 5.75-point lead over Team Australia.
The world’s best cowboys stepped up with a total of 32 qualified rides on the night, with 27 in the opening round. Team Brazil collectively earned 662.75 points from seven qualified rides, with host nation Team Australia close behind, tallying 657 points from nine qualified rides.
Collectively, Team USA sits third after the first night, earning 585.5 points from six qualified rides, while Team Canada ranks fourth with 555.5 points from five qualified rides, and Team Mexico fifth after notching 168.5 points from two 8-second efforts.
Australian team captain Cliff Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales) led the hometown charge, scoring the high-marked ride of the night on Blossom (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) for 87.25 points in Round 1.
Key contributors to the Australian aggregate also included brothers Justin and Mitch Paton (Nebo, Queensland), with Justin covering Notorious (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) for 83.75 points, and Mitch besting Paradise Outdoors High Class Hooker (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) for 83 points.
Current PBR Australia No.1 Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland) also contributed a score to the nation’s total, marked 83.25 points on SweetPro’s Palooka (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) in the opening round.
The Bonus Round, unique to the PBR Global Cup format, proved to be the critical factor allowing Team Brazil to take the lead over Team Australia after the host nation failed log a qualified ride and Brazil’s Pacheco successfully rode High Flying Akubra (John Gill & Sons) for 83 points to nab the lead after the first day.
Pacheco, the 2015 PBR Rookie of the Year who has made the 8 more than any other rider in the last three seasons in the PBR’s elite series, was Team Brazil’s top rider of the night, going 2-for-2 for an aggregate score of 164.25.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo), a former semi-pro soccer player, contributed the second highest score to Team Brazil’s aggregate, marked 84 points aboard Earth Bound (John Gill & Sons), while Ramon de Lima (Sao Paulo, Brazil) added another 83.75 points to his nation’s total.
Luciano De Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) also went 1-for-2, recording an 83.75-point trip on Domino Effect (Dunne Bulls), while veteran rider Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) logged an identical score on Seek & Destroy (Peter Wallace).
After winning the inaugural event in Edmonton, the American roster was led by team captain and 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis (Buna, Texas), who leads the individual aggregate race after the first night, going 2-for-2 to total 171.5 points.
After covering Lock n Load (Peter Wallace) for 85 points in the opening rounf, Davis broke Unbroken (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) for 86.5 points in the Bonus Round – the highest score of the event’s final round. The qualified ride snapped the bovine’s previous 14-out unridden streak.
Matt Triplett (Columbia Falls, Montana) was the second-highest American scorer, covering 5th Battalion (Dunne Bulls) for 84 points, followed closely by Stetson Lawrence (Williston, North Dakota) who was marked 83.5 points on Light Em Up (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls).
Reigning PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) contributed an additional 82.75 points to Team USA’s opening night aggregate, successfully covering Red Man (Throsby and Russell Bucking Bulls) in Round 1.
Lockwood, however, came up short in the Bonus Round, bucked off by PBR Australia Stock Contractor of the Year Dakota Brandenburg’s Take the Gamble, who earned the top bull score of the night with 44 points.
Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) was the final American to log a qualified ride, also recording an 82.75 score on Dunne Bulls’ Rockslide.
Team Canada, currently sitting in fourth place, was led by 2015 PBR Canada Champion Tanner Byrne (Prince Albert, Saskatchewan), who went 2-for-2 to contribute 163 points to Team Canada’s aggregate.
Jared Parsonage (Maple Creek, Saskatchewan) also added two qualified rides, worth 150.75 points, to the Maple Leaf’s total, while two-time and reigning Canadian champion Zane Lambert (Ponoka, Alberta) was the nation’s next highest scorer with an 82.25 ride on Stir Crazy (John Gills & Sons).
Four riders, Davis, Pacheco, Byrne and Parsonage, were perfect in going 2-for-2 on the night.
Team Mexico’s aggregate score from Night 1 resulted from qualified rides by Jorge Valdiviezo (La Mision, Mexico) on Iron Jacket (Peter Wallace) for 85.5 points and Gustavo Pedrero (Jalisco, Mexico) on SweetPro’s Enemies Everywhere (Peter Wallace) for 83 points.
The second leg of the inaugural PBR Global Cup event concludes Sunday, June 10, 2018.
Each rider from the four visiting nations will once again get on one bull each, while 10 of Australia’s best will attempt one from the rank pen, followed by the Bonus Round where the team’s coach will select two riders who will attempt the nation’s final two draws of the Global Cup.
At the conclusion of the event, the nation with the highest score in the aggregate from their Top 12 qualified rides will be crowned the victors of the Sydney leg of the Global Cup.
The winning team will earn international bull riding bragging rights, a portion of the Australian record $750,000 prize-purse, and the Australian horn from the glittering Global Cup trophy filled with native soil.
2018 Professional Bull Riders Sydney Global Cup
Qudos Bank Arena – Sydney, Australia
1. Team Brazil - 662.75 points
2. Team Australia, 657 points
3. Team USA, 585.50 points
4. Team Canada, 555.50 points
5. Team Mexico, 168.50 points
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