Rookie Leonardo Castro Ferreira Wins Career-First Unleash The Beast & $100,000 at Sacramento’s Record-Breaking PBR Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic, Rockets to No. 10 in World

Battle of rookie talent breaks out on third and final day of Unleash The Beast Major, with event leader John Crimber again denied a win in the championship round. Press release and photo courtesy PBR. 


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A spontaneous battle of rookies broke out at the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast (UTB) Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic, and Leonardo Castro Ferreira (Cassilandia, Brazil) reigned supreme, going 4-for-4 to win his first premier series event along with a $100,000 check at the second PBR Major of the 2024 season.


Fellow rookie John Crimber (Decatur, Texas) had vaulted to the lead in the championship round on Sunday afternoon, but 19-year-old Ferreira only had to score a qualified ride on his final bull to clinch the win. Ferreira made the whistle, becoming the lone rider to register a qualified ride on all four of his bulls across the three-day Major.


Earlier on Sunday, Ferreira was paired with Blackstone (Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger), recording the 86.5-point score he needed to creep upward in the event standings.


Going into the championship round, Ferreira, who rides for the Kansas City Outlaws in the separate PBR Teams league, was the No. 2 man on the leaderboard. As he prepared to ride near the end of the round, he faced the dauting task of surpassing Crimber’s earlier qualified ride of 89.75 points, which had pushed the 18-year-old rookie phenom atop the leaderboard.


Paired with HomeBru (D& Cattle Co/ Buck Cattle Co.), Ferreira settled in atop the robust animal. Launching from the chutes as his fellow riders cheered, he recorded an 87-point score and immediately slid into the lead, awaiting only Callum Miller (Warwick, Queensland, Australia). The worry of being ousted was short-lived after Miller, who was 3-for-3 at that point, was rolled to the ground in a mere 2.2 seconds.


The three-day event at Golden 1 Center was the second of three Majors in the 2024 UTB season, where added points and payouts are on the line. In addition to a check for $119,950, Ferreira also earned 220 Unleash The Beast points.


The added points on the line in Sacramento launched the young Brazilian cowboy from No. 47 in the world standings to No. 10.


“This is hard to believe,” Ferreira said through a translator. “I just put everything in God’s hands. Whatever happens is His will. I never stopped believing. This is the beginning of a long journey.”


After being pushed from the event lead by Ferreira, Crimber, who had his sights set on his first premier series buckle, finished in second place for his 3-for-4 weekend. Crimber was also runner-up at the Unleash The Beast in Tulsa.


As Championship Sunday began inside of Golden 1 and an atmospheric river storm wreaked havoc on Sacramento outside, Crimber was on fire.


Having bucked off his bull on Friday night and then redeemed himself for 86.75 points on Saturday night aboard Sky Walker (Lacey Scott/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Nancy and Susan Nunnally) – Crimber knew he had to hit the gas on Sunday.


Matched with Regulator (Humpz and Hornz/ Frances Dandy) in Round 3 on Sunday, he recorded a solid 88.75-point ride to win the round. Continuing the heated afternoon, Crimber then bested Chateau Montelana’s Montana Jacket (Vella/ Coleman/ Ogden/ Hart) for a round-high of 89.75 points.


Crimber leaves Sacramento as the No. 4 man in the standings, up from No. 17 courtesy of netting 192 Unleash The Beast points..


Marked as one to watch early on in the weekend, Australia’s Miller earned his very first qualified ride on the premier tour on Friday night after besting Trump Train (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) for 86.5 points.


As Sunday began, the 28-year-old continued to shine as he conquered Sharp Shooter (Humpz and Hornz) for 85.25 points.


Sitting atop the event, Miller selected Manaba (Joe & Nina Webb/ Julian/ D&H Cattle Co) as his bovine partner. With high hopes of earning his first UTB qualified ride and event win all in the same weekend, Miller was stone-faced on the back of the chutes. After being dispatched in 2.2 seconds, Miller rushed to challenge the ride, which judges quickly denied after review.


Despite the final round setback, Miller’s 3-for-4 weekend netted him 115 Unleash The Beast points. Arriving in California unranked, he now sits at No. 30.


The Florida Freedom’s Caden Bunch (Tahlequah, Oklahoma) ended his weekend as the No. 13 man in the world standings after going 2-for-4 for a fourth-place finish.


Having arrived in Sacramento as the No. 15 man in the world, Bunch hit the ground running with qualified rides on both Friday and Saturday. The winner of the UTB season-opener in Tucson conquered Regulator (Humpz and Hornz/ Frances Dandy) for 87.75 points and Dream Walkin (Conaway/ Ogden/ Hart Cattle Co) for 84.25 points, respectively.


The 20-year-old’s energetic weekend then came to a sudden halt, tossed by Full Throttle (Classic Jack Cattle/ Viducic Bucking Bulls) after 5.19 seconds in Round 3. In the championship round, Bunch’s selected partner, Ricky Vaughn (D&H Cattle Co/ Buck Cattle Co), did just the same after 5.5 seconds.


Although his weekend didn’t end on the same positive note on which it began, Bunch garnered 83 Unleash The Beast points and is now No. 13 in the UTB standings.


The number 5 was apparently Boudreaux Campbell’s (Crockett, Texas) lucky number over the three-day weekend.


Having tied for fifth place on Friday night after soaring through the air aboard Oilfield Outlaw’s Yellow Feather (Chad Berger/ Oilfield Outlaws Bucking Bulls) for 85.5 points, Campbell then bested Gangster Time (Classic Jack Cattle/ Viducic Bucking Bulls) for 86 points on Saturday to again round out the Top 5.


The newly traded rider to the Missouri Thunder then hit a slump on Sunday, as he could not stay atop his Round 3 or championship round bulls.


Campbell finished in fifth place after his 2-for-4 weekend, netted 71 Unleash The Beast points and moved from No. 18 in the standings to No. 14.


In the bull pen, Johnny Smooth (D&H Cattle Co/ Buck Cattle Co) was unrivaled, anointed the YETI “Built for the Wild’ Bull of the Event. Bucking in the championship round, Johnny Smith was awarded a stellar 45-point bull score for his 1.6-second buckoff of 19-year-old rookie contender Cort McFadden (Novice, Texas).

The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the PBR Salt Lake City, the 11th event of the 2024 season, on Friday, February 9, at 7:45 p.m. PST and Saturday, February 10, at 6:45 p.m. PST.

Elsewhere in the PBR over the weekend, the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) held events in both North Charleston, South Carolina, and Bakersfield, California, while PBR Canada’s Cup Series began its 2024 campaign in Red Deer, Alberta.


In North Charleston, in front of a sold-out Saturday night crowd, Dustin Herman (Dudley Shoals, North Carolina) rode lights out, delivering a perfect 3-for-3 performance to win the CURT PBR North Charleston.


As the competition got underway, Herman first took on Hells Bells (Blue Ridge Bucking Bulls/Triple T), reaching the requisite 8 with ease for 85.5 points. In Round 2, Herman delivered his second score in as many attempts as he topped Dang, Dang (Burkham Contracting Inc.) for 84.5 points.


The North Carolinian then squared off with Rattlesnake Shake (TDS/Buentello Bucking Bulls 2) in the championship round. His round-best 86.5-point qualified ride clinched the event win.


Courtesy of the golden finish, Herman garnered a crucial 134.5 Velocity Global points.


Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Spring, Utah) was unstoppable in Bakersfield, California, securing his first PWVT event win of the year.


In Round 1 of the night, the 26-year-old Arizona Ridge Riders athlete in the separate PBR Camping World Team Series, was paired with Willie (Naccarato Bucking Bulls), firing out of the chutes for an impressive 84.5 points, finishing in second place for his efforts. 


As the amazing animal athletes of the PBR showcased their supreme agility throughout the final round, the Utah cowboy was the only man to go 2-for-2, matching up with Scarface (Evan Matthews) for an extraordinary 84 points in the championship round.


For his perfect night, Whitehorse netted 125 Velocity Global points. 


In Red Deer, Jake Gardner (Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada) rode supreme, going a perfect 2-for-2 to win the PBR Red Deer Classic.


Gardner began the event inside Peavey Mart Centrium in commanding form, tying for the second-best score of Round 1 as he covered Highway to Heaven (Flying High Rodeo Co.) for 85 points. The charismatic British Columbia native then clinched the event win in the championship round when he conquered Broken Pearl (Kinky Buckers) for 87 points.


The golden finish earned Gardner a crucial 200 national points. He vaulted from No. 5 to No. 1 in the early race for the 2024 PBR Canada Championship and was presented the accompanying $100,000 bonus. He now leads No. 2 Cody Coverchuk (Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan) by 15 national points.


The talented bull riders of the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour will next head to Reading, Pennsylvania, for PBR Reading at Santander Arena on Feb. 9-10. In a double-up weekend, the PWVT will also be in Cedar Park, Texas, for PBR Cedar Park at H-E-B Center on Feb. 9-10. 


PBR Canada’s Cup Series next travels to Lethbridge, Alberta, and ENMAX Centre for the PBR South Country Co-op Showdown, presented by, on Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2. Action will get underway nightly at 7 p.m. MST.  


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.


PBR Unleash The Beast Major– PBR Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic

Golden 1 Center –Sacramento, California

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

1. Leonardo Castro Ferreira, 87-58-86.5-87-318.50-220 Points.

2. John Crimber, 0-86.75-88.25-89.75-264.75-192 Points.

3. Callum Miller, 86.5-85.75-85.25-0-257.50-115 Points.

4. Caden Bunch, 87.75-84.25-0-0-172.00-83 Points.

5. Boudreaux Campbell, 85.5-86-0-0-171.50-71 Points.

6. Cort McFadden, 0-83-86-0-169.00-55 Points.

7. Cassio Dias, 83-0-85.5-0-168.50-45.33 Points.

8. Alan de Souza, 82-0-83-0-165.00-31 Points.

9. Clay Guiton, 0-82-82.5-0-164.50-24 Points.

10. Eduardo Aparecido, 0-89.25-0-0-89.25-44 Points.

11. Daylon Swearingen, 89-0-0-0-89.00-43 Points.

12. Felipe Furlan, 0-0-88-0-88.00-32 Points.

13. Luciano De Castro, 0-87.25-0-0-87.25-31 Points.

14. João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-86.75-0-86.75-24 Points.

15. Alex Cerqueira, 0-86.5-0-0-86.50-21 Points.

16. Kaiden Loud, 0-0-86.25-0-86.25-19 Points.

17. Brady Fielder, 0-0-85.5-0-85.50-14.33 Points.

(tie). Julio Cesar Marques, 0-0-85.5-0-85.50-14.33 Points.

(tie). Ednélio Almeida, 85.5-0-0-0-85.50-18 Points.

20. Jesse Petri, 84.75-0-0-0-84.75-16 Points.

21. Mason Taylor, 0-84.25-0-0-84.25-15 Points.

22. Brady Oleson, 0-83-0-0-83.00-4 Points.

23. Dalton Kasel, 0-82.5-0-0-82.50-9.5 Points.

(tie). Dawson Branton, 0-82.5-0-0-82.50-9.5 Points.

25. Koltin Hevalow, 81.25-0-0-0-81.25-11 Points.

26. Wingson Henrique da Silva, 76-0-0-0-76.00-2 Points.

Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Vitor Losnake, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Conner Halverson, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Sage Steele Kimzey, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Paulo Eduardo Rossetto, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Bob Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Marco Rizzo, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Nick Tetz, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Hunter Ball, 0-0-0-0-0.00



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