LAS VEGAS – With just two days of competition remaining in the 2021 season, the feverish battle for the year’s PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Championship further intensified Friday evening as the world’s Top-3 ranked riders all delivered scores in Round 3 of the 2021 PBR World Finals. Gaining significant ground on his countryman, 2018 PBR World Champion and current No. 2 Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) led the contingent, delivering the night’s top score to win the round and climb within 518 points of No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil).
The “Ice Man” was even-keeled as he climbed atop the chutes to square off against First Down (Hart Cattle Co./Farris) in a new matchup. The bull entered the showdown with a daunting record, having been covered just twice in 18 outs on record across all levels of competition.
Pacheco, however, was undeterred, nodding his head with confidence as the crowd inside T-Mobile Arena looked on in anticipation. First Down went hard into his hand, and Pacheco made the requisite 8 for 91.25 points, his second 90-point ride of the 2021 PBR World Finals.
The score earned Pacheco a much-needed 89 world points along with a $35,000 payday. While he remained No. 2 in the world, Pacheco closed within 518 points of Leme and is now third in the event.
Leme recorded a score of his own – his third in three outs – to prevent Pacheco from making an even greater dent in his lead atop the standings.
Leme finished 14th in Round 3 courtesy of his workmanlike 86.75-point effort atop The Good Stuff (Paradigm Bull Company). While the ride only earned Leme 10 world points, it was his third score at the PBR World Finals, propelling him to second in the aggregate.
Leme, along with Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas), is now one of only two riders a perfect 3-for-3 thus far at the sport’s most prestigious event.
“God has the plans,” Leme said. “I put it in his hands.”
“God has the plans, I put it in his hands.”Jose Vitor Leme
In addition to being on the precipice of history should he repeat as the PBR World Champion, joining three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sol, Brazil) as the only two riders to win the title in back-to-back seasons, Leme is seeking further records should he win the World Finals event title.
If Leme were to win the 2021 PBR World Finals, he would become just the fourth rider in history to win the grueling multi-day event against the world’s best bulls multiple times. To date, Troy Dunn (1995 and 1997), J.B. Mauney (2009 and 2013) and Robson Palermo (2008, 2011 and 2012) are the lone riders to achieve the feat. Leme won the World Finals event in 2017 just days after setting foot on American soil for the first time.
Further, the event victory would mark Leme’s eighth of the season, tying him with two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride (Whitesboro, Texas) for most event wins in a season. McBride won eight events en route to his second world title in 2007.
Pacheco wasn’t the only rider to put pressure on Leme Friday evening.
Tying for eighth in Round 3, 2016 PBR World Champion and current No. 3 Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) netted 26 world points to close within 736 positions of the top spot.
Now fifth in the 2021 PBR World Finals event aggregate, Davis rode Delbert Sr. (Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for 89.25 points.
Meanwhile, riding with his broken jaw wired shut, Taylor took sole possession of the World Finals event lead in Round 3 after recording the second-best score of the evening.
With the round featuring the first bull draft of the year-end event, Taylor architected a rematch in Walking Tall (Davis Rodeo Ranch), a renewal of a rivalry from the 2020 season. The Texan covered the bull for 90.5 points in November en route to winning both the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals and the series’ accompanying championship.
Remaining perfect against Walking Tall, Taylor, who has lost 14 pounds since breaking his jaw, once again went for 90, this time scored 90.5 points.
“Mason’s a great talent, and he’s riding great,” Leme said, before adding in jest, “He might want to keep his mouth wired shut the rest of his life.”
Taylor exited the glittering dirt inside T-Mobile Arena having netted $20,000 and 49 world points for his 8 seconds of work. He catapulted six positions in the world standings, rising from No. 29 to No. 23.
“I’m speechless right now,” Taylor said. “This might be the second time in my career I’m riding ahead of Jose. My job is to stay on everything they put me on. I feel like I’m as good now as I was when I was 16. I’m back, and it feels good.”
“I’m speechless right now,”Mason taylor
Marking both riders’ career-first appearance at the PBR World Finals, Lane Nobles (West, Texas) and Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina) each delivered a 90-point score in Round 3 to finish third and fourth, respectively.
Nobles logged his career-first 90-point ride when he covered Butterbean (Carr Pro Rodeo) for 90.25 points, collecting $15,000 and 45 world points. Vastbinder delivered his second 90-point score at the year-end event when he rode re-ride bull Hell On The Red (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) for 90 points, taking home $10,000 and 41 world points.
In the world standings, Nobles, who qualified for the World Finals via the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour, rose from No. 54 to No. 43.
While Round 1 winner Vastbinder remained No. 13 in the world, he gained standing in the heated Rookie of the Year race. He is now No. 3 in the battle amongst first-year contenders on the premier series, 79.5 points behind standings leader and world No. 9 Junior Patrik Souza (Sonora, Brazil).
The 2020 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast continues with Round 4 on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7:40 p.m. PDT.
The fourth round of the 2021 PBR World Finals will crown the 2021 ABBI Classic World Champion Bull. Courtesy of their performances in Round 1, 16 bulls will vie for the title. The Top 5-ranked bulls that advanced from Round 1 are No. 1 Mike’s Motive (Blake Sharp/Koe Wetzel/High Voltage/American Spirits), No. 2 Bread Basket (TNT/Hart Cattle), No. 3 Fiji (Less Than 8 Cattle Co.), No. 4 (tie) Juju (Julian/D&H Cattle) and No. 4 (tie) Cherry Bomb (Flinn/D&H Cattle).
PBR RidePass on PlutoTV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Unleash The Beast event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule, and click here for on-demand PBR programming.
Stay tuned to PBR.com for the latest news and results and be sure to follow the league on all social media platforms at @PBR.
PBR Unleash The Beast
PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast
T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Round 6-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Mason Taylor, 89.5-87.75-90.5-0-0-0-267.75-105 Points.
2. Jose Vitor Leme, 86.75-88-86.75-0-0-0-261.50-62 Points.
3. Kaique Pacheco, 90.5-0-91.25-0-0-0-181.75-134 Points.
4. Eli Vastbinder, 91-0-90-0-0-0-181.00-130 Points.
5. Cooper Davis, 90.75-0-89.25-0-0-0-180.00-75 Points.
6. Dener Barbosa, 0-89.25-89.75-0-0-0-179.00-74 Points.
7. João Ricardo Vieira, 0-89.25-89.25-0-0-0-178.50-64 Points.
8. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-88.25-89-0-0-0-177.25-44 Points.
(tie). Chase Dougherty, 88-89.25-0-0-0-0-177.25-74 Points.
(tie). Cody Teel, 85.5-91.75-0-0-0-0-177.25-73 Points.
11. Junior Patrik Souza, 84.75-0-87.75-0-0-0-172.50-32 Points.
12. Silvano Alves, 0-85.75-86.25-0-0-0-172.00-21.5 Points.
13. Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-84.25-86.25-0-0-0-170.50-20.5 Points.
14. Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 0-92-0-0-0-0-92.00-89 Points.
15. Lane Nobles, 0-0-90.25-0-0-0-90.25-45 Points.
16. Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-89.5-0-0-0-89.50-32 Points.
17. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-89.25-0-0-0-0-89.25-38 Points.
18. Adriano Salgado, 0-89-0-0-0-0-89.00-28 Points.
19. Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-88.75-0-0-0-88.75-16 Points.
20. Marco Eguchi, 0-0-88.25-0-0-0-88.25-13 Points.
21. Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-87-0-0-0-87.00-11 Points.
22. Claudio Montanha Jr., 86.5-0-0-0-0-0-86.50-28 Points.
23. Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-85.5-0-0-0-85.50-8 Points.
24. João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-85-0-0-0-85.00-8 Points.
25. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-84.75-0-0-0-84.75-8 Points.
26. Dalton Kasel, 0-0-84.5-0-0-0-84.50-8 Points.
27. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 82-0-0-0-0-0-82.00-16 Points.
28. Boudreaux Campbell, 78.75-0-0-0-0-0-78.75-5 Points.
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Austin Richardson, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Thiago Salgado, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Fernando Henrique Novais, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Leonardo Lima, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Rudman, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00v
Release was provided Courtesy of PBR to Tenn Texas Radio
Photo / Video By: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
ABOUT THE PBR
Headquartered in Pueblo, Colo., PBR was created in 1992 by a group of 20 visionary bull riders who broke away from the traditional rodeo scene, seeking mainstream attention, new riches and a livelihood for future generations of cowboys for the most popular discipline in rodeo, bull riding.
“We wanted to create a better product for the fans, so that when they tuned in they were seeing the best of the best every time,” said PBR co-founder and nine-time World Champion Ty Murray. “Those expectations have been exceeded immensely, and the fact that this sport continues to grow is a gratifying notion, one that supports all the hard work and dedication of every member of the PBR.”
The founders believed that bull riding deserved to be in the limelight and could succeed as a standalone sport. Each rider invested a hard-earned $1,000, some borrowing from family and friends, to start the PBR.
“This is the only sport in the world that I can take anyone to see, whether they know anything about it or not, and I guarantee you that they won’t be able to take their eyes off of it,” Murray said.
In 2007, Spire Capital Partners finalized a deal with PBR to acquire the interests of many of the retired founding riders and invest in the growth of the organization. Those first 20 bull riders had turned their $1,000 into millions.
In May 2015, PBR was acquired by Endeavor, a global leader in sports, entertainment and fashion.
More than 500 bull riders from around the world including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico hold PBR memberships. They compete in more than 200 bull riding events each year on the nationally-televised Unleash The Beast series, Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division, in addition to those held by international divisions in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
For every rider, the ultimate goal is to qualify for the PBR World Finals, the richest bull riding event on the planet, with the season champion receiving the golden World Championship buckle and $1 million bonus.
The 20 original founders took a substantial gamble when pooling their limited resources to fund the grassroots operation. Yet, the risk has certainly paid off. Investors like Spire Capital Partners and Endeavor, and partnerships with Ford, Monster Energy, Wrangler, and the city of Las Vegas have helped the PBR annually award more than $10 million.
The success of PBR has made it one of the most prolific sports on television. The premier series is televised weekly on CBS Sports, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. Several times in 2020, PBR was the second most-watched sport on television, trailing only the NFL. In 2019 PBR extended its broadcast relationship with the network inking an agreement ensuring CBS will remain PBR’s television home the next 10 years. Additionally, RidePass, the league’s 24/7 over-the-top (OTT) digital network launched in 2018 brings every moment of elite tour action to fans as well as the Velocity Tour, Global Cup and marquee rodeo events.
Collectively, PBR broadcasts reach 250MM households in more than 20 countries, and RidePass brings its growing subscriber base more than 150 rodeo and PBR events live and on-demand.
On social media, from January through November 2020, PBR generated more than 1.7 billion impressions on social media, 606 million video views and 629 million video minutes viewed. PBR’s channels are recognized to have among the most fan engagement of all major sports.