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Kyler Oliver Hones in on World No. 1 Ranking with Round 1 Win at PBR Unleash The Beast Event in North Little Rock

Jose Vitor Leme finishes second to rise one position in the world standings to No.8 as he attempts to become the first rider in history to win three consecutive PBR World Championships

For photos from Round 1, courtesy Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media, click here. For video highlights, courtesy PBR, click here. When sharing photo/b-roll assets on social, please tag @PBR.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As action got underway for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast event in North Little Rock, Arkansas, the feverish 2022 World Championship Race further intensified. While world No. 3 Kyler Oliver (Roy, Utah) won Round 1 of the PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown to inch within 150 points of reclaiming the top spot in the rankings, Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) finished second to gain another position in his quest to become the first-ever rider to win three consecutive PBR World Championships.

As one of the final riders to erupt from the bucking chutes inside Simmons Bank Arena, Oliver was red hot despite the frigid temperatures outside. Matching Renegade (Cord McCoy/Rodosky/Lovell) jump-for-jump, the young Utah native reached the requisite 8 from a monstrous 90-point score.

The 90-point ride was Oliver’s third of the season, tying him for most of any rider alongside Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) and Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas).

Oliver’s third round win of 2022 garnered him a critical 29 world points. While he remained No. 3 in the world, he closed within 149.16 points of reclaiming the world No. 1 rank, a position he briefly held at the start of the campaign.

“This feels great; I’m just glad to be on the shark cage again,” Oliver said moments after the win. “I’m just humbled to be here with the greatest guys in the world. We’re just here to do our best.”

Oliver’s 2022 season is shaping up to be a career best after his 2021 effort came to an abrupt halt. Sustaining a shoulder injury in March 2021, Oliver was relegated to the sidelines for the remainder of the year.

Atop the standings both No. 1 Swearingen and No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) were bucked off. Swearingen was bested by Wilson (CCL Bucking Bulls/Cord McCoy) in a heart-breaking 7.14 seconds, while Vieira was brought down by Black Gold (Cooper/Scruggs Bucking Bulls) in 4.28 seconds.

Two-time and reigning PBR World Champion Leme tied for second, collecting 17.5 world points.

He went the distance aboard re-ride draw Choc Tease (Cord McCoy/BuzzBallz LLC) for 89.75 points to clinch the silver finish.

While the former semi-professional soccer player travelled to the Natural State ranked No. 9, he is now No. 8 in the world, 288.66 points behind No. 1 Swearingen.

Should Leme once again be crowned the PBR World Champion in 2022, the stoic Brazilian would become the first rider in history to win the honor in three consecutive seasons, and just the third three-time PBR World Champion.

Kasel tied for second alongside Leme to leave Simmons Bank Arena with a matching 17.5 world points.

The charismatic Texan remained No. 10 in the world, now 322.16 points behind the No. 1 position.

The 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year earned his 89.75-point score aboard Hurts So Good (Cord McCoy/David Wolfe).

Fourth was Manoelito de Souza Junior (Itamira, Brazil).

Souza rode Homegrown (Cord McCoy/Chad Reese) for a commanding 89.5 points to net 16 world points.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Rafael Henrique dos Santos (Sebastianopolis, Brazil).

Santos, the defending PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown event winner, covered Tortuga (Halpain/Martinelli) for 89.25 points.

He earned 15 world points for the effort, rising from No. 19 to No. 17 in the world ahead of Championship Saturday.

This evening’s performance also included the ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.) Classic Round that had 40 of the top 3- and 4-year-old up-and-coming bulls bucking for a piece of the $40,000 pot. An ABBI Classic competition is the next step in a young bovine’s competitive career that involves bucking with a rider.

Davis Rodeo Ranch’s 8194 Blue Duck led the event for the majority of the night after notching 90.72 points, propelling him to the Little Rock Classic Champion title and earning him more than $9,250 in the victory.

2020 ABBI Cowgirl Futurity Champion 35F Cool Whip (Julian/Staci Addison/D&H Cattle/Crooked W) was second with a 90.4-point performance and $5,550, while 801F Lil 2 Bit (Aduddell/Braindead) earned 88.96 points for third place and $4,440. 829 Smooth It Over (Lazy S4 Cattle Co./Shuler/Samford) placed fourth with 88.56 for $3,700 and 17R Renegade (Cord McCoy/Rodosky/Lovell) rounded out the Top 5 with 88.48 points for $3,145.

Not only did the ABBI Classic bovines compete this evening, the Top 5 two-year-old calves who advanced from the $50,000 added Waco, TX Futurity last weekend bucked in a competition that awarded the top-place animal athlete more than $32,000.

163H Mr. Vaquero (Buck Cattle/D&H Cattle) surpassed 761H Fast Flow (Outlaw/Lone Star/AFCO) in Round 2, who led the event coming into tonight. Mr. Vaquero posted 93.84 points for a 186.08-point average and a colossal check to go along with his win. Fast Flow, son of the legendary Air Time, notched a second-place finish with a 184.96-point average, while 74H Shooting Star of Lone Star and FAR Bucking Bulls landed third place with 181.52 points.

Action for the 2022 PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown, will conclude with Round 2 and the championship round on Saturday, February 26. Action gets underway at 6:45 p.m. CST.

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 Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule, and click here for on-demand PBR programming.

PBR Unleash The Beast

PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown

Simmons Bank Arena – North Little Rock, Arkansas

Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. Kyler Oliver, 90-0-0-90.00-29 Points.
2. Jose Vitor Leme, 89.75-0-0-89.75-17.5 Points.
(tie). Dalton Kasel, 89.75-0-0-89.75-17.5 Points.
4. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 89.5-0-0-89.50-16 Points.
5. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 89.25-0-0-89.25-15 Points.
6. Chase Outlaw, 88.75-0-0-88.75-14 Points.
7. Lane Nobles, 88.5-0-0-88.50-13 Points.
8. Francisco Morales, 88-0-0-88.00-12 Points.
9. Claudio Montanha Jr., 87.75-0-0-87.75-10.5 Points.
(tie). Brennon Eldred, 87.75-0-0-87.75-10.5 Points.
11. Mason Taylor, 86-0-0-86.00-9 Points.
12. Bob Mitchell, 82.25-0-0-82.25-8 Points.
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0.00
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0.00
Dener Barbosa, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0-0.00
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0.00
Clayton Sellars, 0-0-0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Fielder, 0-0-0-0.00
João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0.00
Koltin Hevalow, 0-0-0-0.00
Brandon Davis, 0-0-0-0.00
Cole Skender, 0-0-0-0.00