After an ice-cold two days in Everett, No. 1 Kaique Pacheco brings the heat in Tacoma, increases lead over Jose Vitor Leme by another 10.5 points headed into Championship Sunday
TACOMA, Wash. – As the 22nd event of the Unleash The Beast (UTB) season got underway, Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) captured his second round win of 2023, winning Round 1 of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Ariat Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, with an 86.5-point ride.
The two-day weekend in Tacoma marks the second-to-last event of the regular season before the 2023 PBR World Finals on May 12-21at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. With tensions high and UTB points on the line, the first night at the Tacoma Dome saw world leader Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) fire back with a vengeance after his falter a few days prior in Everett.
Paired with Whatever (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Ken Barnhart) as the very last man to ride on Saturday night, Pacheco was stoic on the back of the chutes as he prepared to ride. Firing into the arena in complete control, the 2018 PBR World Champion earned 83.75 points for his ride, placing him inside the Top 10 on the event leaderboard heading into Championship Sunday.
The 10.5 UTB points that the 2022 PBR Team Series Nashville Stampede’s first-round draft pick earned for his efforts inched him even further toward his goal of a second world title. Arriving in Tacoma 118.5 points ahead of No. 2 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil), who remains out due to a groin injury, Pacheco is now a solid 129 points in the lead.
Pacheco’s fellow Stampede teammate Barbosa arrived in Tacoma No. 11 in the standings and looking to crack into the Top 10 before the night was out – and he did just that.
Paired with Scrapper (Legacy Pro Rodeo) just a few days after his birthday in Everett, the 29-year-old Brazilian conquered the muscular animal athlete with ease.
Barbosa’s efforts earned 28 UTB points as he heads into Round 2. His Round 1 win moved him to No. 9 in the standings.
Tacoma’s opening night – the 14th time the world’s premier bull riding organization has visited the city – saw three cowboys share second place with matching 86-point scores.
Up first in the trifecta was 19-year-old Tate Pollmeier (Ft. Scott, Kansas), paired with Disco Daze (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/ Legend Rodeo Stock).
Pollmeier, a rookie from Kansas who made his league debut during the inaugural PBR Team Series season in late 2022 as part of the Oklahoma Freedom, began the weekend at No. 14 in the standings and No. 3 in the Rookie of the Year race. He is among many making the charge to close in on the Top 5 as the regular season comes to a close.
Collecting 17 UTB points, Pollmeier moved two spots to No. 12 in the standings and held tight to No. 3 in the 2023 PBR Rookie of the Year race.
Next up in the trio was the pride of the Navajo Nation, Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Spring, Utah).
Whitehorse, who proudly wore the silver and black of the Arizona Ridge Riders in the 2022 PBR Team Series, bested his bovine opponent Devil’s Revenge (M Rafter E/ Rockin’ L Bucking Bulls) as the buzzer sounded.
The 2018 PBR Rookie of the Year held tightly to the No. 15 spot in the standings with his 17 UTB points earned.
Offered a re-ride earlier in the night, Conner Halverson (Gordon, Nebraska) was the last man to collect the matching 86-point ride just prior to Pacheco’s closing ride. Launching from the chutes aboard Sitting Sideways (Legacy Pro Rodeo), Halverson had fans and riders alike cheering as he conquered the matchup.
Beginning Saturday at No. 59 in the standings, Halverson’s 17 UTB points for his Round 1 placing moved him to No. 55 by night’s end.
Rounding out the Top 5 was veteran Brazilian rider Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil).
On the heels of a monumental win in Everett earlier in the week, his first premier series event win since 2018, Aparecido was focused and calm on the back of the chutes as three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) assisted him.
Matched with Busta Rhymes (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/ Legend Rodeo Stock), Aparecido sailed from the chutes in complete control. His fellow athletes celebrated as his 85.5-point ride score was announced and he knelt to pray in the arena.
The 2022 Arizona Ridge Rider athlete held tight to the No. 7 spot in the standings after collecting 15 points for his efforts.
The top bull riders in the world will have the opportunity to gain ground in Round 2 followed by the championship round as the PBR Ariat Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, continues in Tacoma, Washington, on Sunday, April 23 at 7:45 p.m. PT.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR UTB event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv.
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). Keyshawn Whitehorse, 86-0-0-86.00-17 Points.
(tie). Conner Halverson, 86-0-0-86.00-17 Points.
(tie). Chase Dougherty, 84.5-0-0-84.50-12.5 Points.
(tie). Ramon de Lima, 83.75-0-0-83.75-10.5 Points.
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Jose de Brito, 0-0-0-0.00
Daniel Keeping, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0-0.00
Colten Fritzlan, 0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0.00
Braidy Randolph, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Guilherme Valleiras, 0-0-0-0.00
Koltin Hevalow, 0-0-0-0.00
Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0.00
Chase Outlaw, 0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Flavio Zivieri, 0-0-0-0.00
Nick Tetz, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Turgeon, 0-0-0-0.00
Aaron Williams, 0-0-0-0.00
Junior Patrik Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Briggs Madsen, 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