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Cassio Dias Extends Lead Atop Standings in 2024 PBR World Championship Race with Round 2 Win at the Sold-Out Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden Saturday Night in New York City

Conner Halverson remains atop the event leaderboard by tying for sixth in the Major’s second round

NEW YORK CITY – As a sold-out Saturday night crowd inside Madison Square Garden watched on, Brazilian newcomer Cassio Dias (Sao F. de Sales, Brazil) extended his lead atop the race for the 2024 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Championship by winning Round 2 of the Unleash The Beast’s Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat.


Dias, who rides for the Kansas City Outlaws in the separate PBR Teams league, entered the World’s Most Famous Arena at the start of the night keen to avenge a 7.33-second buckoff dealt to him by Red Mosquito (Zah Muegge/McCoy Rodeo) in Round 1. Rebounding in resilient form, Dias catapulted to seventh on the event leaderboard, winning Round 2 compliments of his unrivaled 87.75-point ride atop Tijuana Two-Step (Blake Sharp/Michael Floyd).


Garnering 38 Unleash The Beast points for the 8-second effort, Dias extended his lead over No. 2 Austin Richardson (Dallas, Texas) to 71 points.


The Austin Gamblers’ Richardson, however, is delivering a statement performance inside Madison Square Garden, positioned tied for second on the leaderboard ahead of Championship Sunday.


After covering Moonlight Party (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) for 88 points in Round 1, Richardson topped Bangarang (Shuler Bucking Bulls) for 86.75 points in Round 2.


Thus far in New York City, Richardson, who is chasing his first World Championship, has earned 40 Unleash the Beast points.


Conner Halverson (Gordon, Nebraska) also improved to a perfect 2-for-2 in New York City, remaining atop the Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden event standings.


Halverson, who won Round 1 Friday night with a monster 90-point ride atop YETI World Champion Bull contender UTZ BesTex Smokestack (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers), defended his top ranking in Round 2 when he dominated Wilson (CCL Bucking Bulls/McCoy Rodeo) for 85.5 points.


The second score in as many attempts netted Halverson 16.5 Unleash The Beast points. He rose from No. 19 to No. 18 in the Unleash The Beast standings, now 306 points back of the No. 1 rank.


In addition to Richardson and Halverson, three riders have also gone a flawless 2-for-2 in the Big Apple.

Mauricio Moreira (Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil) is tied with Richardson for second in the event. After an 88.75-point ride atop Tijuana Two-Step in the opening round, Moreira logged the fifth-best score of Round 2 when he topped Outlaw (Big Sky Bulls, LLC/McCoy Rodeo) for 86 points.


Having earned 44 Unleash The Beast points to date in the Empire State, Moreira is now ranked No. 22 in the Unleash The Beast standings.


The Austin Gamblers’ Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) is fourth in the event via his 85.5-point ride on The Undertaker (Cornwell/Riley/PCP Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 and 87.25-point score aboard Wooderson (Blake Sharp/UB Buckin’ Company) in Round 2.


Kasel’s Round 2 score, the second-best of the night, earned him 28 Unleash The Beast points. He rose from No. 21 to No. 15 in the standings and is now 296.5 points back of No. 1 Dias.


Rounding out the Top 5 in the event and the final rider to be 2-for-2 is Koltin Hevalow (Smithville, Missouri).


After an 83.25-point ride atop Buffalo Chip (Blake Sharp/Robbie Ray/Doug Wilson) in Round 1, Hevalow returned to Madison Square Garden Saturday night with confidence.


Replicating his success from Friday night, Hevalow again made the whistle, bringing the sold-out crowd to its feet when he rode Hoka Hey (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers) for 83.75 points.


Hevalow, who has earned 23.5 Unleash The Beast points through the opening two rounds of action, will begin Championship Sunday ranked No. 10 in the Unleash The Beast standings, 278.5 points back of his Kansas City Outlaws teammate and No. 1 Dias.


Action for the 2024 PBR Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat, concludes with Round 3 and the championship round on Sunday, Jan. 7. Action gets underway at 1:45 p.m. EST.


PBR RidePass on Pluto TV 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.tvClick here for on-demand PBR programming.

Photograph Courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media