Texas Rattlers Crowned 2023 PBR Teams Champions

Rattlers upset regular season No. 1 Austin Gamblers with 90-point win in the Championship game of the PBR Camping World Teams Championship

LAS VEGAS – The Texas Rattlers etched their names in the sports history books, upsetting the Austin Gamblers in the Championship Game of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Camping World Teams Championship at T-Mobile Arena to be crowned the 2023 PBR Teams Champions.

After concluding the regular season No. 3 in the league, the Rattlers, despite narrowly missing a first-round bye in the progressive elimination tournament, were one of the hottest teams, winning three consecutive games before travelling to Las Vegas. They went 4-for-5 in the final playoff game that counted most on Sunday afternoon to beat the Austin Gamblers 355.25 – 265.25 and win the 2023 Teams title.

“This is so exciting,” said Rattlers Head Coach Cody Lambert. “I got the right group of guys – humble men who ride for the love of the game, and they’ll be paid well. These guys love to ride, and they got it done. We used all eight of these guys we brought to Las Vegas.”

Earlier, after a magical run in which they won both Last Chance Games on Friday and Saturday to survive and advance to Championship Sunday, the Missouri Thunder fell to the Austin Gamblers, 256 – 172, setting the stage for an all-Texas final.

On the opening night of game play in Sin City, Texas squared off against the No. 8 Missouri Thunder. Riding to the game lead in the bottom of the first courtesy of a game-best score from Joao Ricardo Viera, Texas never looked back, clinching the game win early, and ultimately defeating Missouri by one ride score, 174-84.5.

The Rattlers advanced directly to the second round, next taking on the No. 4 Oklahoma Freedom in bull riding’s version of the Red River Showdown.

The Rattlers jumped to an early lead in the first via a crucial early score from Vieira, but as quickly as they took the lead, they were overtaken by Oklahoma in the second by 2.5 points compliments of an 8-second effort from the Freedom’s Casey Roberts. Following four consecutive buckoffs, two per team, the Rattlers logged what would be the game-winning score in the bottom of the fourth when Eli Vastbinder put up 86.25 points aboard Lone Star, putting the Rattlers up by 83.75 points and forcing Oklahoma into a must-ride position in the top of the fifth.

The Freedom failed to keep their hopes of victory alive when closer Caden Bunch was tossed by The Maverick. When the dust settled, the Rattlers won 170.75-87, advancing to the PBR Teams Championship Semifinals for the second consecutive season.

On Championship Sunday, the No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders stood between Texas and their first berth to the PBR Teams Championship Game. Via an 8-second effort fromBrady Fielder in the bottom of the second, followed by Vieira covering his re-ride draw immediately after, the Rattlers jumped to a 175.25-poitn lead entering the third. After neither team converted in the third, the Rattlers’ early momentum forced Arizona into a must-ride situation in the top of the fourth, down by two ride scores with only two outs remaining. Marking his debut for Arizona, Hayden Harris was unable to keep the Ridge Riders’ hopes of victory alive, bested in 2.63 seconds by Renegade to cement the game win for Texas, whoearned their first berth to the Championship Game.

Awaiting Texas in the final game of the season was their instate rival and regular-season No. 1 Austin Gamblers.

Following a first-round bye, Austin advanced to the final game via back-to-back walk-off wins against the No. 8 Missouri Thunder, both delivered by their closer Jose Vitor Leme.

As both teams took to the chutes inside T-Mobile Arena, the energy was palpable.

Undeterred by the bright lights, Texas set the tone early for the five-on-five showdown as opener Vieira jumped them to an 88.75-point lead by making the 8 with ease aboardOutlaw. With the score Vieira also clinched the PBR Teams Championship MVP event title, finishing 3.25 points ahead of Missouri’s Felipe Furlan.

As Texas celebrated, Austin was unable to match the score as Dalton Kasel continued to falter, bucked off by Roc Wit It in 4.19 seconds. Texas then grew their lead to two scores and 176 points as Aussie Brady Fielder dominated Ah Hell for 87.25 points. Austin, however, wouldn’t remain shut out for long. In the very next out, the Gamblers’Rafael dos Santos topped Mike’s Motive for a commanding 89.5 points to decimate Texas’ lead to 86.5 points.

In the top of the third, the Rattlers showed a slight chink in their seemingly impenetrable armor as Brady Oleson came down hard atop Hunter in 5.48 seconds. With the door open for Austin to overtake the lead, the Gamblers rose to the occasion, but Lucas Divino’s 86-point ride on Skippy was not enough to take the lead. Following the trip, Austin still trailed by 0.5 points entering the fourth.

Determined to leave T-Mobile Arena the 2023 PBR Teams Champions, Texas reclaimed their early momentum. In the top of the fourth, Cody Jesus rode Tijuana Two-Step for 88.75 points, to increase the Rattlers’ lead to 89.25 points. Needing a score, the Gamblers turned to Ramon de Lima aboard Short Circuit, but the reserved Brazilian came up short, hitting the ground in 3.53 seconds.

The buckoff opened the door for Texas to clinch the Championship early in the top of the fifth. In the pivotal out was closer Daniel Keeping atop Red River. Nodding with confidence, Keeping remained in perfect time with the bull, reaching the requisite 8 and erupting into immediate celebration following his dismount. Marked a monstrous, and game-best, 90.5 points, the score clinched the 2023 PBR Teams Championship for Texas.

While Austin elected to attempt their final out, with closer Leme concluding the season for his squad with a score, it did not change the result of the game.

With the final scoreboard reading a 90-point, 355.25-265.25 Texas win, the Rattlers were crowned the second ever PBR Teams Champions.

The 2023 PBR Camping World Teams Championship, and preceding 2023 PBR Challenger Series Championship, also featured the 2023 ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.) World Finals. Following two rounds of competition, Flyin Wired (Tommy Julian/BS Cattle Co.) bucked supreme, crowned both the ABBI World Finals Classic Champion and ABBI Classic World Champion. Earning a combined 180.4 points at the ABBI World Finals, finishing 0.64 points ahead of runner-up Shazam (Dorman/Weaver/Hilton Bull Co.), Flyin Wired first turned heads at the Challenger Series Championship when he tossed the eventual 2023 PBR Teams Champion Texas Rattlers’ Trace Redd (Malad, Idaho) in 3.47 seconds. The bovine superstar then put the bucking bull world on notice when he teamed with the Kansas City Outlaws’ Wingson Henrique da Silva (Naviraí, Brazil) for a tournament-best 92.5 points during the second Last Chance Game at the PBR Teams Championship Saturday night. The impressive two outs propelled Flyin Wired to the year-end Championship, finishing 0.44 points ahead of reserve World Champion Flapjack (Parker/OK Corralis/Gordon/D&H Cattle Co.).

PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer replays of the entire 2023 PBR Camping World Teams Championship from Las Vegas. Check https://pluto.tv/en/live-tv/pbr-ridepass for the latest programming schedule.

 

SCORE BULLETINS

 

No. 1 Austin Gamblers Defeat No. 8 Missouri Thunder in Walk-Off Form in Second Consecutive Game to Advance to the Championship Game of the 2023 PBR Teams Championship

Missouri Thunder: 172

Austin Gamblers: 256

LAS VEGAS – The regular-season No. 1 Austin Gamblers became the first team to earn a berth to Championship Game at the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Championship Sunday afternoon, defeating the league No. 8 Missouri Thunder in walk-off form for the second consecutive day via a mammoth ride from closer Jose Vitor Leme (RIbas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) in the bottom of the fifth.  Missouri, who had pulled out two Last Chance Game wins on Friday and Saturday, stirring talk of a second Cinderella Teams Champion, began the game with a bang. In the top of the first, Kade Madsen (Honeyville, Utah) repeated his past success aboard Safety Meeting (Hruby/Kainz/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) reaching the requisite 8 to give his team a 83-point lead. Austin was unable to match the quick start by their rivals, asDalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) was upended in 3.61 seconds by Risky Business (Hookin’ W Ranch/Diamond L). The Thunder’s red-hot momentum continued in the top of the second. Felipe Furlan (Sales Oliveira, Brazil) continued his perfect performance in Las Vegas, improving to a flawless 4-for-4 as he dominated Shivers (D&H Cattle Co./Flinn) for 89 points. The score increased Missouri’s lead to 172 points as Austin turned to Rafel dos Santos (Quitman, Georgia) in the bottom of the frame to deliver the league’s regular-season No. 1 team their first points. Answering the call for the Gamblers, Santos rode Pickle Moonshine (Shuler Bucking Bulls) for 85.5 points to propel Austin within 86.5 points of the lead. Missouri’s ride streak came to an end in the top of the third as Qynn Andersen (Koumala, Queensland, Australia) was unable to get past YETI World Champion Bull contender Man Hater (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) whipped to the ground in 3.32 seconds as the powerful animal athlete remained unridden, now 30-0 in PBR competition. While the buckoff opened the door for the Gamblers to potentially overtake the lead, the scoreboard went unchanged as Ramon de Lima (Rio Branco, Brazil) came down in a close 6.72 seconds atop Cool Whip (Julian/Staci Addison/D&H/Crooked W). As the penultimate round of outs began, Missouri looked to CaptainAndrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) to put them ahead by two ride scores. Nodding his head with confidence, Alvidrez initially appeared centered, but came down in 4.35 seconds atop Red Mosquito (Zach Muegge/McCoy Rodeo). Austin capitalized on the buckoff in the bottom of the fourth, but Lucas Divino’s (Nova Crixas, Brazil) 81.75-point ride on Black Gold (Cooper/Scruggs Bucking Bulls) was met with dramatics. The team was awarded a re-ride, but the Gamblers elected to keep the score, and the scoreboard read a 4.75-point Missouri lead, 172-167.25, entering the fifth. The final round of outs began with Missouri closer Briggs Madsen (Tremonton, Utah) paired with I’m Legit Too (Hart Cattle Co./Hale). The elder Madsen, however, failed to deliver for his squad, upended in a quick 3.33 seconds. The buckoff put Gamblers closer Leme in a familiar position, the chance to walk off the win for his team. The crucial out paired him with a familiar foe in Chateau Montelena’s Montana Jacket (Vella/Coleman/Ogden/Hart), a bull he had ridden three times in four prior meetings. After being put on the clock, Leme called for the gate with just 6 seconds remaining. Keeping perfect time with the bull, Leme reached the requisite 8 with ease as the Gamblers erupted into a raucous celebration. The 88.75-point score clinched the win for Austin by 84 points, also earning the team the first berth to the Championship Game in the progressive elimination tournament. Via the loss, the Missouri Thunder returned to the lockeroom to reset ahead of the Third Place Game. Each team’s opponent would be determined via the result of the second Semifinal game which featured the No. 3 Texas Rattlers and No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders.

 

Texas Rattlers Remain Red Hot Advancing to Championship Game of the PBR Teams Championship With Sixth Consecutive Game Win, Knocking Off the Arizona Ridge Riders

Arizona Ridge Riders: 0.00

Texas Rattlers: 175.25

LAS VEGAS – The No. 3 Texas Rattlers continued to ride red-hot Sunday afternoon, logging the team’s sixth consecutive game win and advancing to the Championship Game of the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Camping World Teams Championship as they defeated the No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders by two ride scores. The tone of the game was set in the first out. While Arizona’s opener Chase Dougherty (Decatur, Texas) was initially awarded a score atop Gangster Time (Classic Jack Cattle/Viducic Bucking Bulls), the out was immediately sent into review by PBR’s officials, and  Dougherty was deemed to have slapped the bull at the 7.7-second mark. In the bottom of the first, Texas was unable to strike first, but the team earned a re-ride after Hundred Bad Days (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) stumbled during his out with Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil). In the top of the second, Eduardo Aparecido’s (Gouvelandia, Brazil) post-season, six-out ride streak for Arizona came to an end as he was tossed in 4.5 seconds by War Department (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls/ Rockin T Ranch). Texas then struck in the bottom of the frame. Brady Fielder (Clermont, Queensland, Australia) remained in perfect time with Thunderstruck (Risen Cattle Co./Blue Ridge), reaching the requisite 8 to give the Rattlers an early 86.75-point lead. Before the third began, the Rattlers attempted their re-ride, with Vieira paired with Red Scorpion (Lari Crane/Gene Owen). The duo proved pivotal for Texas as Vieira logged a qualified ride, scored 88.5 points to increase the Rattlers’ lead to 175.25 points. Arizona remained scoreless in the top of the third, as Vitor Losnake (Bauru, Brazil) came down in a heart-breaking 7.65 seconds on Pearl Snap (Blue Ridge/Risen Cattle Co.). The buckoff gave Texas their first opportunity to clinch the game win early in the bottom of the frame. In the potentially Championship Game berth clinching out was 2021 Rookie of the Year Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina) aboard Dirty Sancho (Blake Sharp/Koe Wetzel/High Voltage Cattle). Vastbinder made a mid-out correction, getting back to center, but was ultimately brought down in 5.28 seconds, keeping Arizona’s hopes of victory alive. The Ridge Riders then faced a must-ride situation in the top of the fourth, as Hayden Harris (Tahlequah, Oklahoma) prepared to make his debut for the team. Nodding with confidence atop Renegade (IB Rockin Cattle/Hilton Bull Co.), Harris was quickly upended, hurtled to the dirt in 2.63 seconds inside T-Mobile Arena. The buckoff delivered the game win to Texas and delivered the team its first berth to the Championship Game. The scoreboard went unchanged through the remaining three outs, with the final scoreboard reading a Rattlers victory 175.25-0 as Cody Lambert’s led team readied to compete in the Championship Game, where they would take on instate rival Austin Gamblers. Via the shutout loss, Arizona returned to the lockeroom looking to reset ahead of the Third Place Game where they would play the Missouri Thunder.

 

Arizona Ridge Riders Conclude 2023 Season Victorious, Defeating the Missouri Thunder by Four Ride Scores in the Third Place Game of the PBR Teams Championship

Missouri Thunder: 0.00

Arizona Ridge Riders: 344.75

LAS VEGAS – The No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders concluded the 2023 season in victorious form, going a near-perfect 4-for-5 to defeat the No. 8 Missouri Thunder in the Third Place Game for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Camping World Teams Championship.  The game began unsuccessfully for both squads as Kade Madesen (Honeyville, Utah) bucked off for Missouri, and Jesse Petri (Dublin, Texas) was tossed for Arizona. Missouri again fumbled in the top of the second as Felipe Fulan (Sales Oliveira, Brazil) registered his first buckoff inside T-Mobile Arena, upended in 4.07 seconds by Hoka Hey (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers). Arizona became the first team to convert in the bottom of the frame. Shaking off his buckoff from the Semifinals, Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) remained in perfect time atop Lapua (Blake Sharp/Floyd/Wilson/High Voltage) reaching the 8 with ease to give his team an early 87-point lead. Missouri then looked to Captain Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) to deliver the resurgent team its first score. Alvidrez, however, was unable to deliver for his team, brought down in 3.4 seconds by Tigger (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls). Arizona’s momentum continued to roll in the bottom of the third. Vitor Losnake (Bauru, Brazil) topped Untested (Rafter R Bucking Bulls) for 85.25 points to extend the Ridge Riders’ lead to 172.25 points. Via the Arizona ride, Missouri faced a must-ride situation in the top of the fourth, down by two ride scores with only two outs remaining. In the high-pressure situation was Marcelo Procopio Pereira (Rinopolis, Brazil) tasked with Mr. Right Now (Silent 7/Hilton Bull Co.). Nodding with confidence, Pereira was unseated at the 3.7-second mark, delivering the game win, and third-place season finish to the Ridge Riders. With the game win in hand, Arizona elected to continue game play despite having the option to end the showdown early. The decision proved dividends. Arizona’s final two riders both delivered scores. After Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Spring, Utah) covered Mikey’s Surprise (Hart Cattle Co./Hale) for 85 points, closer Luciano De Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) concluded the Ridge Riders’ season with a score, marked a game-best 87.5 points on Buffalo Chip (Blake Sharp/Robbie Ray/Doug Wilson). The consecutive Arizona scores, coupled with a Missouri buckoff in the top of the fifth, led Arizona to win the game by four ride scores, 344.75-0. When the dust settled, Arizona concluded the 2023 PBR Teams Season No. 3 in the league, and the Missouri Thunder No. 4.

 

Texas Rattlers Put Up Four Ride Scores to Upset Austin Gamblers by One Bull to be Crowned the 2023 PBR Teams Champions

Austin Gamblers: 265.25

Texas Rattlers: 355.25

LAS VEGAS – In the final game of the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Camping World Team Series season, the Texas Rattlers went a near perfect 4-for-5 to upset the Austin Gamblers and be crowned the 2023 PBR Teams Champions. In one of the highest-scoring games of the progressive elimination tournament, Texas and Austin combined to ride 70% of the bulls in the Championship Game. As the game begun, the No. 3 Rattlers were the underdog against the No. 1 Gamblers, defeated by their instate rivals in three of their four meetings this season. But the Rattlers entered the showdown with momentum on their side, amid a six-game win streak, which included a victory against the Gamblers during their early October homestand in Fort Worth, Texas. In the opening frame of the game, both teams looked to their stalwart openers, with veteranJoao Ricard Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) out first for Texas, and 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) in the leadoff role for the Gamblers. Vieira set the tone early for the Rattlers, delivering his fourth ride in as many attempts atop Outlaw (Big Sky Bulls, LLC/McCoy Rodeo) to give Texas an early 88.75-point lead. The ride also clinched the PBR Teams Championship MVP event title and $10,000 bonus for Vieira, having gone a perfect 4-for-4 across the three-day tournament, to finish 3.25 points ahead of the Missouri Thunder’s Felipe Furlan (Sales Oliveira, Brazil). As the Rattlers celebrated across the arena, Kasel nodded aboard Roc Wit It (K-C Bucking Bulls JoZ Bucking Bulls) but was denied a score, hitting the ground in 4.19 seconds. The Rattlers continued to ride red-hot in the second. Brady Fielder (Clermont, Queensland, Australia) burst from the chutes aboard Ah Hell (Cooper/Scruggs Bucking Bulls), matching him jump-for-jump en route to the 8-second whistle. Awarded an 87.25-point score, Fielder grew Texas’ lead to two scores and 176 points. Austin, however, wouldn’t remain shut out for long. In the bottom of the frame, Rafael dos Santos (Quitman, Georgia) teamed with Mike’s Motive (Blake Sharp/High Voltage/Wetzel/Knott) for a commanding 89.5-point score, diminishing the Rattlers’ lead to 86.5 points. The Rattlers then looked to Brady Oleson (Blackfoot, Idaho) to add to their lead in the top of the third, tasked with Hunter (Dozier Cattle Co./Martinez Bucking Bulls) by Head Coach Cody Lambert. Oleson initially appeared centered, but was sent airborne in a hard-fought 5.48 seconds, opening the door for the Gamblers to overtake the lead in the bottom of the third. Austin made the whistle in the very next out, but Lucas Divino’s (Nova Crixas, Brazil) 86-point ride atop Skippy (Skippy & Linda Johnson/Hookin’ W Ranch) was not enough to surge to the top of the leaderboard. As the fourth frame began, Texas held a slim 0.5-point lead. Next out for the white-hot roster was Cody Jesus (Window Rock, Arizona). Less than 24 hours after a wreck in the Semifinals, Jesus rebounded in resilient form, topping Tijuana Two-Step (Blake Sharp/Michael Floyd) for a crucial 88.75 points to grow the Rattlers lead to 89.25 points. In the bottom of the penultimate round of outs, Austin stumbled, failing to keep pace with their instate rivals when Ramon de Lima (Rio Branco, Brazil) was tossed by Short Circuit (D&H Cattle/McWhorter) in 3.53 seconds. Via the buckoff, the Rattlers had the chance to clinch the game win early in the top of the fifth. Should they cover, they would pull ahead by two ride scores, with the Gamblers having just one rider left. In the high-pressure scenario was closer Daniel Keeping (Montague, Texas). After careful preparation in the chutes atop Red River (Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls), Keeping called for the gate. Remaining in perfect time with the powerful animal athlete, Keeping reached the requisite 8 with ease, immediately bursting into celebration following his dismount. The monstrous, and game-best 90.5-point score clinched the game win for Texas as they completed their upset victory against the Austin Gamblers to be crowned the 2023 PBR Teams Champions. While the game had been decided, Austin elected to attempt their final out – closer Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) atop Sugar Smack (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers). The Gamblers may have lost the year-end title, but Leme allowed the squad to conclude the season with a qualified ride as he made the whistle for 89.75 points. When the dust settled, the Rattlers won the 2023 PBR Teams Championship by 90 points, with the final scoreboard reading 355.25-265.25.

 

About the PBR Camping World Team Series:

The PBR Camping World Team Series is an elite league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing on teams in five-on-five bull riding games during an 11-event season beginning in July and culminating in a Team Championship at T- Mobile Arena in Las Vegas October 20-22. During the 2023 season, the league’s second, each of the eight teams – Austin Gamblers of Austin, TX; Arizona Ridge Riders of Glendale, AZ; Carolina Cowboys of Greensboro, NC; Kanas City Outlaws of Kansas City, MO; Nashville Stampede of Nashville, TN; Oklahoma Freedom of Oklahoma City, OK; Missouri Thunder of Ridgedale, MO; and Texas Rattlers of Fort Worth, TX – will host a three-day homestand. There are also neutral-site games in Cheyenne, WY and Anaheim, CA.  The Nashville Stampede are the current 2022 defending champions.

 

The league format, which launched in July 2022, builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. In events staged in a tournament-style format, all teams compete in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game features five riders per team squaring off against another team. Full team rosters are comprised of seven riders on the Protected Roster and five Reserve riders. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders is declared the winner of each game. The event winner is the team with the most game wins across an events. All PBR Team Series events are carried on either the CBS Television Network, streaming live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, or RidePass on Pluto TV.

 

PBR is a subsidiary of IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. For more information, visit PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Twitter atTwitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.

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