(Editor's note: PRB release)
TACOMA, Wash.– Austin Richardson (Dallas, Texas), who started the weekend outside of the Top 10 of the world standings, surged to the No. 6 spot after winning the PBR Wrangler Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires in Tacoma. Meanwhile, red-hot Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) rode three more bulls and moved up to world No. 3.
As the 2022 Unleash The Beast (UTB) season moves toward a dramatic finish with just three events remaining in the regular season before the May 13 start of the PBR World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, Richardson’s 3-for-4 showing could not have come at a better time.
Rounding out the Top 5 of Friday night’s Round 1, the 22-year-old then dominated the field on Saturday night to win Round 2.
As Sunday began and he sat atop the leaderboard, Richardson was paired with Bubba G (Dakota Rodeo/ Brian & Ashley Pintar/ Clay Struve/ Chad Berger) in Round 3 for a resounding 88.5 points.
Selecting Pookie Holler (Dakota Rodeo/ Brian & Ashley Pintar/ Clay Struve/ Chad Berger) as his opponent for the weekend’s championship round, Richardson was the final rider of the night having already clinched the win before the chutes opened.
As the Tacoma Dome filled with cheers, Richardson blew out of the chutes and battled hard in what appeared to be a qualified ride but was immediately flagged for review. Judges determined that the ride fell just short at a devastating 7.99 seconds.
Despite the disappointment of no score in the championship round, Richardson still clinched the event win – his second of the 2022 UTB season – and set his sights on the world title race ahead.
“It’s just keeping a positive mindset and going at each bull as hard as I can,” Richardson said. “(This win is) a real confidence-booster heading toward World Finals, which is right around the corner. I’ll just try to keep it up and give it everything I’ve got.”
The Texas cowboy earned 160 world points and $44,290 over the three-day weekend in which the world’s top cowboys tallied 52 qualified rides
For video highlights of Round 3 and the championship round, including Richardson’s winning ride, courtesy PBR, click here. [ftp.pbr.com]
With just over four weeks remaining until the PBR World Finals, world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) lost ground in Tacoma. After a rocky weekend, going 1-for-3 and not qualifying for the championship round, Vieira now sits a mere 48.34 points ahead of No. 2 Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) in the world title race.
Swearingen, who also had an uneven go in Tacoma, went 2-for-4 and collected 62.5 world points but fell outside the Top 5 of the event, finishing sixth.
To the dismay of his home state crowd, Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) earned a second-place finish for the weekend, going 3-for-4 and earning 117 world points.
Matched with WSM’s Nasty Wishes (WSM Auctioneers/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger), Kolbaba had the Washington crowd at full volume in Sunday’s opening round. Besting his bovine opponent for 88.75 points, he punched his ticket into the championship round.
While Kolbaba was hot on Richardson’s heels as the championship round rolled to a close, he cemented his runner-up position after bucking off of Safety Meeting (Hruby/ Kainz/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in 4.37 seconds.
Having begun the weekend in the No. 16 spot in the world standings, Kolbaba leaves Tacoma at No. 12, setting his sites on catapulting into the Top 10 before the season ends. The 25-year-old cowboy also earned $21,626.
Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas), carrying on the 3-for-4 streak, claimed third place.
Earlier in the day, Taylor was paired with X-Factor (Paradigm Bull Company) in Round 3, collecting an 84.25-point score and greenlighting his ticket into the championship round.
The 22-year-old then chose Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/ Bill McCarty) for the final round but was dispatched quickly in a mere 1.45 seconds.
Taylor collected $9,000 and 73 world points, moving him from No. 15 in the world standings as the weekend began to No. 14 as Sunday rolled to an end.
Paired with Drago (Jeb Fredericks/Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in Round 3, Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Springs, Utah) launched from the chutes but came down quickly, bested by the powerful bovine at 2.16 seconds.
Entering Sunday as one of nine riders who had covered both of their bulls thus far in the weekend, recording qualified rides in Friday’s Round 1 and Saturday’s Round 2, the 24-year-old Navajo rider selected I’m Busted (Ken Barnhart/ Clay Strive/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) for the championship round knowing he needed to catapult himself up the leaderboard. I’m Busted produced a less-than-ideal out, and Whitehorse was only scored 80.25 points, the only qualified ride in the championship round.
He now holds the No. 20 spot in the world standings after starting the weekend at No. 27, collecting 71.5 world points and a check for $16,992 for his 3-for-4 weekend.
2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) rounded out the Top 5 of the weekend, also with a 3-for-4 performance. The surging Pacheco has now successfully made the 8 on 13 of his last 16 bulls.
The stoic Brazilian, who arrived in Tacoma in the No. 4 spot in the standings, capitalized on Vieira and Swearingen’s shortcomings to move up one spot in the world standings, now sitting 160.5 points from the world No. 1 position.
Pacheco was paired with Facetious (Paradigm Bull Company) in Round 3, recording 85.25 points.
In the championship round, his selection of Mezcal (Paradigm Bull Company) had the crowd cheering, but he came crashing down after 7.51 seconds.
Despite the short round buckoff, the Brazilian former World Champion earned 43.5 world points.
Blue Duck (Cord McCoy/Grin/ Jacobson/ Davis Rodeo Ranch) earned the YETI “Built for The Wild” Bull of the Event title after his matchup with eight-time PBR World Finals qualifier Matt Triplett (Canton, South Dakota). The dynamic animal athlete was marked 45.5 points after launching Triplett to the dirt in 3.02 seconds.
The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and The BOK Center for the PBR Express Ranches Classic, presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, on Friday, April 15 at 7:45 p.m. CDT and Saturday, April 16 at 6:45 p.m. CDT.
The 2022 UTB season will conclude with two regular-season events remaining: the PBR ZipRecruiter Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho, on April 22-23 and the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Ariat, at MetraPark in Billings, Montana, on April 29- May 1.
Elsewhere in the PBR this weekend, the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour was in action in College Station, Texas, while PBR Australia’s season continued in Toowoomba, Queensland.
Veteran Colorado rider Elijah Mora (Wiggins, Colorado) reached a crucial career milestone at the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Boot Barn Classic in Aggieland. Backed by two round-winning rides, Mora won his career-first expansion series event inside Reed Arena, catapulting him more than 20 positions in the world standings.
With just two regular-season events remaining before the 2022 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals in Corpus Christi, Texas, on May 6-7, Mora was quick to strike in Round 1, surging to the event lead when he covered Axel Surgeon (Halpain Bucking Bulls) for 87.5 points. Mora remained atop the leaderboard as Championship Saturday got underway, winning Round 2 when he made the requisite 8 atop Major Nelson (3J Ranch) for an unrivaled 88 points.
While he failed to reach the whistle in the final round, brought down by Bougee (UTC/Sellers Bucking Bulls) in a quick 1.2 seconds, Mora’s opening-round scores proved enough to clinch the victory.
The 27-year-old earned a crucial 44 world points, and he rose from No. 76 to No. 54 in the race for the 2022 PBR World Championship.
In Australia, Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland, Australia) topped two rounds of competition en route to clinching the event win at the Monster Energy Tour’s Toowoomba Invitational at Meatstock, catapulting him to No. 5 in the race for the 2022 PBR Australia Championship.
While Kleier’s outing at the Toowoomba Showgrounds began in less-than-ideal fashion, bucked off by Double Dealings (ST Bucking Bulls) in 5.76 seconds in Round 1, the reserved Queensland contender was quick to rebound as Championship Saturday got underway.
Kleier first topped the field in Round 2 when he covered Mickey Mouse (Peter Wallace) for a commanding 86 points. In Round 3, the 24-year-old again led the draw, conquering Pirate Patch (Running Gold Bucking Bulls) for 83.5 points.
While Kleier was unable to cap his event with a qualified ride, bucked off by Bull of the Event Pretty Boy (Peter Wallace) in 3.14 seconds in the championship round, his back-to-back round-winning scores were enough to clinch the win at the PBR Toowoomba Invitational at Meatstock.
For his efforts, Kleier collected a crucial 100 national points. He is now ranked No. 5 in the national standings, 104.5 points behind the No. 1 position.
In 2022, Kleier is chasing history. Should he win his unprecedented fifth consecutive national title at season’s end, he would become the winningest bull rider in PBR Australia competition. In 2021, Kleier had tied David Kennedy (Kyogle, New South Wales) for most Australian national titles won by one rider in league history, each now with four.
PBR Unleash The Beast - PBR Wrangler Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires
Tacoma Dome -Tacoma, Washington
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Austin Richardson, 88.25-89.25-88.5-0-266.00-160 Points.
2. Derek Kolbaba, 89.5-85.25-88.75-0-263.50-117 Points.
3. Mason Taylor, 84.5-86.5-84.25-0-255.25-73 Points.
4. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 84.75-86-0-80.25-251.00-71.5 Points.
5. Kaique Pacheco, 82.75-73.5-85.25-0-241.50-43.5 Points.
6. Daylon Swearingen, 0-88.75-89.25-0-178.00-62.5 Points.
7. Brandon Davis, 87-89-0-0-176.00-43.5 Points.
8. Clayton Sellars, 86.75-88.75-0-0-175.50-36 Points.
9. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 88.75-86.25-0-0-175.00-32.5 Points.
10. Matt Triplett, 0-86.75-85.25-0-172.00-27.5 Points.
11. Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-86-84.75-0-170.75-21 Points.
12. Eli Vastbinder, 0-85-84.75-0-169.75-18.5 Points.
13. Silvano Alves, 88.5-0-81-0-169.50-24 Points.
(tie). Alisson De Souza, 84.25-85.25-0-0-169.50-16 Points.
15. Alex Marcilio, 88.75-0-0-0-88.75-17.5 Points.
16. João Ricardo Vieira, 0-88-0-0-88.00-14.5 Points.
(tie). Luciano De Castro, 0-88-0-0-88.00-14.5 Points.
(tie). Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-88-0-88.00-16 Points.
19. Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-87.5-0-87.50-15 Points.
(tie). Conner Halverson, 0-87.5-0-0-87.50-13 Points.
21. Casey Coulter, 0-0-87.25-0-87.25-14 Points.
22. Brady Fielder, 87-0-0-0-87.00-13.5 Points.
23. Adriano Salgado, 86.75-0-0-0-86.75-11.5 Points.
24. Dener Barbosa, 85.75-0-0-0-85.75-10 Points.
25. Dalton Kasel, 85.25-0-0-0-85.25-9 Points.
26. Taylor Toves, 85-0-0-0-85.00-8 Points.
27. João Henrique Lucas, 84.75-0-0-0-84.75-8 Points.
28. Marco Eguchi, 84.25-0-0-0-84.25-8 Points.
(tie). Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-84.25-0-0-84.25-8 Points.
30. Brady Oleson, 0-84-0-0-84.00-8 Points.
31. Ramon de Lima, 83.75-0-0-0-83.75-8 Points.
32. Dakota Louis, 0-83.25-0-0-83.25-8 Points.
33. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 66.5-0-0-0-66.50
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Bob Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cardozo, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Sam Woodall, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dawson Branton, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Colten Fritzlan, 0-0-0-0-0.00