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Oklahoma Wildcatters Make Two Blockbuster Trades During 2024 PBR Teams Expansion Draft as they Assemble Their Initial Seven-Rider Roster

After selecting 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco with the No. 1 overall pick, the Oklahoma Wildcatters made two defining trades with the Austin Gamblers to acquire Austin Richardson, Cort McFadden and Hayden Harris

 

Wildcatters earn No. 2 overall pick in the New Rider Draft Lottery

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – At the first-ever PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Teams Expansion Draft Wednesday evening in Oklahoma City at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma Wildcatters, one of two new expansion teams for the PBR Teams League, assembled their initial seven-rider roster during six rounds of exhilarating selections punctuated with a blockbuster trade of the No. 1 overall pick.

 

“Out of the six guys on my list, I literally didn’t get one, and that was Vitor Losnake,” said Brandon Bates, General Manager of the Oklahoma Wildcatters. “He was really high on my talent board, so kudos to New York for making a great pick there. When we got Josh Frost, that was kind of the icing on the cake for me, and then the dominos really started to fall with Kyler Oliver, the unrestricted free agents and Dener Barbosa and Eduardo Matos– a couple of guys that I really wanted in there. I’ve got a couple of strong righties in Cort McFadden and Austin Richardson. I’ve got a couple of really strong lefties with Josh Frost leading that charge, or until Kyler Oliver shows up and is ready to play that role. And at the same time, this is really all about balance. You have to have balance to make a Championship team, and right now I feel very, very balanced.”

 

“The team we have right now, with the trade and everything, is a really good team,” said J.B. Mauney, two-time PBR World Champion and Head Coach of the Oklahoma Wildcatters. “I drove it into Bates’ head that you want the right guys together. You want the same mentality in the locker room, that brings guys up. As long as you have the same attitude, and same outlook, things go good. But if you throw one negative person in there, it messes everything up. So I’m pretty happy how it turned out. Ready to rock n’ roll now.”

 

Holding the No. 1 overall pick, the Oklahoma Wildcatters selected 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil), who was the Nashville Stampede’s No. 1 pick and No. 2 overall, when the league launched in 2022. 

 

Pacheco’s tenure on his new team, however, was brief. After Oklahoma used the No. 9 pick in the Expansion Draft to take former Stampede rider Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil), they made a blockbuster trade with the Austin Gamblers. Via the trade, the Wildcatters received Cort McFadden (Novice, Texas) and Austin Richardson (Dallas, Texas) in exchange for Pacheco, now united with two-time PBR World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) and annual title contender Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) on the Gamblers.  

 

“I’m just excited to be on the Wildcatters, it’s going to be a new journey for sure,” said Richardson. “I’ve had a great time with the Austin Gamblers, but it’s a new day and time to start something with a new team, and I’m excited.”

 

The trade was one of two that the Wildcatters and Gamblers would make during the 2024 Expansion Draft. During the compensatory pick portion of the evening, the Gamblers used their No. 6 pick to draft Hayden Harris (Tahlequah, Oklahoma) from the pool of unrestricted free agents. Immediately following the selection, Austin traded Harris to Oklahoma in exchange for Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas, Brazil), who the Wildcatters initially took from the Gamblers with their No. 8 overall pick in the Expansion Draft.

 

When the dust settled, the roster for the Oklahoma Wildcatters was assembled as follows:

–             No. 1 Pick: Kaique Pacheco (Nashville Stampede)who was traded to the Austin Gamblers for Cort McFadden and Austin Richardson following the No. 9 pick.

–             No. 4 Pick: Josh Frost (Carolina Cowboys)

–             No. 5 Pick: Kyler Oliver (Unrestricted Free Agent)

–             No. 8 Pick: Lucas Divino (Austin Gamblers) who was later traded back to the Austin Gamblers for Hayden Harris following Austin’s No. 6 overall compensatory pick.

–             No. 9 Pick: Dener Barbosa (Unrestricted Free Agent)

–             No. 12 Pick: Eduardo Matos (Missouri Thunder)

 

At the conclusion of the Expansion Draft, the league held the lottery for the New Rider Draft to be held on May 29 in Nashville. After the Florida Freedom earned the No. 1overall pick, the New York Mavericks and Oklahoma Wildcatters engaged in a league-administered coin flip for the No. 2 and No. 3 picks. Winning the flip, the Oklahoma Wildcatters will hold the No. 2 overall pick in the New Rider Draft, anticipated to be headlined by riders including teenage phenom John Crimber (Decatur, Texas), and fellow young guns Clay Guiton (Cherryville, North Carolina) and Marco Rizzo (Quitman, Georgia).

 

In 2024, the PBR Camping World Team Series will hold 12regular-season events, including 10 team-hosted homestands and two neutral site events.

 

The expanded season, set to begin on July 12-14 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will then conclude with a reformatted four-day, progressive elimination Championship tournament in Las Vegas. Two teams will now need to ride their way into the title-deciding PBR Teams Championship at T-Mobile Arena from October 18-20 and two will go home when the four lowest-ranked teams (No.7 to No. 10) face off at South Point Hotel & Casino in the one-day Ride-In Round on October 17.

 

The Oklahoma Wildcatters will make their league debut when the launch the season July 12-14 at Paycom Center with Wildcatter Days. The bull riding action begins at 7:45 p.m. CT on Friday, July 12, 6:45 p.m. CT on Saturday, July 13, and 1:45 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 14.

 

Tickets for the event are on sale now and start at $20, taxes and fees not included. They can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, at the Paycom Center Box Office, or by calling PBR customer service at1-800-732-1727.

 

Three-day ticket packages are available, offering fans a 15% discount on select price levels.

 

For more information on the 2024 PBR Camping World Team Series, and to purchase tickets to one of the league’s upcoming events, visitPBR.com.

 

For more information about the Oklahoma Wildcatters and the upcoming season, please visit TheWildcatters.com.

 

For more information on the 2024 PBR Camping World Team Series, and to purchase tickets to one of the league’s upcoming events, visit PBR.com.