No. 1 Kaique Pacheco, injured in championship round, goes 2-for-3, increasing lead over No. 2 Jose Vitor Leme to 182 points with just one regular-season event remaining until the PBR World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.
TACOMA, Wash. – As the second-to-last regular-season PBR (Professional Bull Rider) Unleash The Beast (UTB) event of 2023 concluded on Sunday afternoon in Tacoma, Washington, Chase Dougherty (Decatur, Texas) captured the first premier series event win of his career at the PBR Ariat Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, while Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) rode two bulls to widen his lead in the world standings.
With three of the top five riders in the 2023 championship race – No. 2 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil), No. 3 Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas), and No. 4 Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) – sidelined due to injury, the penultimate regular-season event of the 2023 Unleash The Beast season had the potential to shake up the world standings before the PBR World Finals at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 12-21. Pending practice and updated scans, all three are expected to return next week for the final regular-season UTB event in Louisville, Kentucky.
The thinned field paved the way for world leader and 2018 PBR World Champion Pacheco and current No. 5 Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) to make moves.
While the opportunity was there, Alvidrez faltered across the two weeknights in the Pacific Northwest, going 0-for-2 and collecting no UTB points.
Pacheco went 2-for-3 on the weekend to collect a third-place finish overall and 63.5 UTB points. He advanced his lead over Leme to 182 points, with his next week uncertain due to a leg injury suffered on his third ride of the championship round.
Dougherty’s groundbreaking win comes just three days after fellow 2022 PBR Team Series Arizona Ridge Rider Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) collected his first premier series event win since 2018 at a rare mid-week event in Everett, Washington.
As the only rider to go 3-for-3 at the Tacoma Dome, Dougherty, a Canby, Oregon, native made the move from being on the bubble at No. 44 – unsure of punching his ticket to the World Finals – to No. 26 as he sails into the final event of the regular season in Louisville.
“I’ve got a really good support team, and God’s always watching after me,” Dougherty reflected. “This means the world to me. I’m so glad I got to do it in the Pacific Northwest, too. Work’s not done yet, though.”
Starting the weekend off in determined fashion, Dougherty was victorious in his Round 1 matchup with Don Juan (Legacy Pro Rodeo) to the tune of 84.5 points. The solid score put him firmly in seventh place heading into Sunday.
Paired with Whiplash (Blake Sharp/ Floyd Lowry/ CB & Traci Lee) in Sunday’s opening round, the 24-year-old former Pacific Northwesterner who now resides in Texas was steady and focused. Catapulting from the chutes, his 87.5-point score clinched first place in Round 2 and set him atop the event leaderboard before the final round.
On the last out of the weekend, Dougherty put up a clutch 89.5 points on Short Circuit (D&H Cattle/ McWhorter), solidifying the first premier series event win of his career.
For his efforts, Dougherty collected 148.5 UTB points and a check for $46,913.33.
Pacheco’s fellow countryman and Nashville Stampede teammate, Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil), claimed second place in Tacoma.
Starting things off full steam ahead, Barbosa was paired with Scrapper (Legacy Pro Rodeo) on night one. Launching from the chutes halfway through Round 1, the 29-year-old received an 86.5-point score to win the round.
Sunday started off a bit rocky for Barbosa as Pearl’s Ghost (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) dispatched him after 5.09 seconds in Round 2.
Punching his ticket into the championship round based on his night one win, the Brazilian rider selected Top Shelf (P. Ro Ranch/ OK Corralis/ Gordon/ D&H Cattle) in hopes of climbing the leaderboard.
He did just that with his 88.25-point score, sitting in the No. 1 spot in the aggregate until Dougherty’s winning ride.
While his score wasn’t enough to push him to the win, his 2-for-3 performance earned 96 UTB points.
Beginning the weekend at No. 11 in the standings, the second-place finish moved Barbosa to No. 9.
After a heated start to the weekend on Saturday night when Pacheco finished in ninth place in Round 1 for his 83.75-point matchup with Whatever (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Ken Barnhart), he set his sights on Sunday to increase his lead over Leme and not repeat his cold streak from Everett, where he went an uncharacteristic 0-for-3.
Round 2 was less than ideal for Pacheco. After seeming to best Otis (Legacy Pro Rodeo), judges flagged a review. After careful review and slow-motion clips of when his free hand touched the dirt, it was determined his ride ended at 7.89 seconds, leaving Pacheco with no score.
The lack of score in Round 2 put him at No. 13 on the event leaderboard but he moved forward into the final round when another contender was unable to compete.
The 2022 Nashville Stampede athlete then had a ruthless championship round.
Originally selecting Rock of Ages (D&H Cattle Company) as his opponent, Pacheco’s wild up-and-down out resulted in a re-ride.
Later in the closing round, his re-ride bull Cherry Bomb (Flinn/ D&H Cattle Co) was deemed to have a flawed start, and Pacheco had to climb on his fourth bull of the day.
After two re-rides in the short go, the determined world leader made the 8 but suffered a crucial blow when Razzmatazz (Legacy Pro Rodeo) came crashing down on his leg. With the help of the sports medicine team, Pacheco was helped off the dirt and transported to sports med unable to put pressure on the leg.
With an 83-point score in the championship round, paired with his Round 1 score, he earned 63.5 UTB points.
Kyler Oliver (Roy, Utah) collected a fourth-place finish at the Tacoma Dome.
After besting Nitty Gritty (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in Round 1 for 81.5 points, he came back on Saturday ready to push up the leaderboard.
Paired with Sock Monkey (D&H Cattle Company), Oliver clung to the dynamic animal, making the 8 despite the wild ride.
Declining a re-ride and keeping a less-than-ideal 74.25-point score, the 23-year-old tried to smile through a wired-shut broken jaw and waved to the crowd.
While Oliver did not ride in the championship round, his 2-for-2 weekend earned him 35 UTB points.
Starting the week at No. 23 in the standings, Oliver’s fourth-place finish helped him move to No. 18 as the PBR World Finals nears.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Tacoma was a pair of Brazilian cowboys – Rafael Jose de Brito (Potirendaba, Brazil) and Manoelito de Souza Junior (Itamira, Brazil).
While both cowboys hit the ground early in Saturday’s Round 1, collecting no score, they shared matching 86.25-point scores in Sunday’s Round 2.
Up first in the dynamic duo was Brito. Firing from the chutes aboard Mr. Winston (Dakota Rodeo/ Mark Baker/ Clay Struve/ Chad Berger), the 2022 Texas Rattler that currently leads the 2023 PBR Rookie of the Year race had fans cheering.
Later in the round, Souza bested Skeeter Peter (Dakota Rodeo/ Mark Baker/ Clay Struve/ Chad Berger) to punch his ticket into the championship round as well.
Unfortunately, Brito’s selected matchup in the final round with Mike’s Motive (Blake Sharp/ High Voltage/ Wetzel/ Knott) ended after a mere 1.21 seconds. The impressive 44.25-point buckoff earned the respected animal athlete the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event title.
Souza was seemingly on course with his championship round selection until Tijuana Two-Step (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls) triumphantly tossed him to the dirt at 7.2 seconds.
Despite the 1-for-3 weekend, both cowboys collected 32 UTB points.
Brito, who began the weekend at No. 8 in the standings, moved to No. 7 while Souza, who arrived in Tacoma at No. 32, jumped to No. 28.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR UTB event and is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv.
The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to Louisville, Kentucky, for the final regular-season UTB event of 2023, the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, presented by Kubota, on Saturday, April 29, at 6:45 p.m. ET and Sunday, April 30, at 1:45 p.m. ET will be held at the KFC Yum! Center.
Elsewhere in the PBR, the penultimate regular-season Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event was held in Wichita, Kansas. Delivering a perfect 2-for-2 performance inside INTRUST Bank Arena, Thiago Salgado (Navirai, Brazil) won the PBR Wichita Invitational.
The Nashville Stampede rider delivered the top score in Round 1 when he covered Major Nelson (Hurst Pro Rodeo) for 87 points.
As the last rider to leave the chutes in the championship round, Salgado recorded 84.5 points on Gunner (Hurst Pro Rodeo), enough to maintain his position atop the leaderboard, clinch the event win, and earn a crucial 125 Velocity Global points.
PBR Unleash The Beast – PBR Ariat Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires
Tacoma Dome -Tacoma, Washington
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
(tie). Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-86.25-0-86.25-32 Points.
(tie). Tate Pollmeier, 86-0-0-86.00-21.25 Points.
(tie). Wyatt Rogers, 0-86-0-86.00-20.25 Points.
(tie). Conner Halverson, 86-0-0-86.00-21.25 Points.
(tie). Aaron Williams, 0-83.25-0-83.25-15 Points.
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0.00
Daniel Keeping, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0-0.00
Koltin Hevalow, 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Braidy Randolph, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Colten Fritzlan, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0.00
Chase Outlaw, 0-0-0-0.00
Nick Tetz, 0-0-0-0.00
Flavio Zivieri, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Junior Patrik Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Briggs Madsen, 0-0-0-0.00
Guilherme Valleiras, 0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Turgeon, 0-0-0-0.00
Zane Cook, 0-0-0-0.00
Dawson Branton, 0-0-0-0.00
Ednélio Almeida, 0-0-0-0.00
Lane Lasley, 0-0-0-0.00