World No. 2 Kaique Pacheco Intensifies World Title Race
Cutting Jose Vitor Leme’s Unleash The Beast Lead in Half with Round 1 Win in Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – As Round 1 of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash the Beast (UTB) First PREMIER Bank/ PREMIER Bankcard Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires concluded on Saturday night, 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil), who led the unique two-day opening round after his qualified ride on Friday Night, remained atop the leaderboard to claim the Round 1 victory and narrow the gap between himself and world leaderJose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil).
Arriving in Sioux Falls a mere 61.5 points behind Leme, the “Ice Man” had a lot on the line as Round 1 began. With Leme out for another weekend due to injury, the 18th event of the Unleash The Beast season provided Pacheco the opportunity to gain ground throughout the weekend and potentially surpass him as the world title race heats up with five events remaining until the PBR World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, May 12-21.
On Friday night, the 28-year-old, who led the Nashville Stampede to the inaugural PBR Team Series Championship in 2022, was paired with Soul King (Blake Sharp/ Cody Gill/ Marcus Cannon) as the evening’s last out.
The former World Champion, who has won the annual Sioux Falls event twice, recorded a standout 88.25 points to take the lead in Round 1.
As Saturday night’s continuation of the round played out, the bulls were dominant, yielding only one qualified ride, and none of Pacheco’s fellow competitors were able to surpass him on the leaderboard.
Collecting his fifth round win of the 2023 season, Pacheco garnered 28 UTB points, cutting the distance between himself and Leme virtually in half. Pacheco now sits a slim 33.5 points behind Leme as he heads into Championship Sunday in South Dakota.
The three-day event in Sioux Falls showcases a unique format for UTB fans. The draw featured 60 riders competing in Round 1, which involved riders split into two groups across the first two nights of competition.
Friday’s Round 1 featured the riders who were set to compete in Saturday’s 15/15 Bucking Battle plus 20 additional riders, while Saturday night the 25 riders who did not compete on the opening night finished out Round 1.
On Sunday, all seeded riders and riders with exemptions are guaranteed to ride, plus any of the additional riders who recorded a qualified ride in Round 1. This will be followed by the championship round, featuring the Top 12 in the event aggregate.
Not far behind Pacheco in the chase to dominate Round 1 was fellow Brazilian cowboy Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil), capturing second-place.
The 32-year-old 2022 Arizona Ridge Rider in the separate PBR Team Series was paired with Hard Candy (Braun Bucking Bulls) on Friday night. The seasoned veteran matched his twisting bovine partner jump-for-jump to record an 87.5-point score and sail up the leaderboard.
Aparecido, who began the weekend at No. 15, now sits at No. 13 in the UTB standings after collecting 18 UTB points.
Rounding out the trio of Brazilian riders atop the leaderboard as Round 1 concluded was Rafael Henrique dos Santos (Quitman, Georgia). The 27-year-old cowboy clinched third place with his 87-point ride aboard Show-Off (Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls).
Starting the weekend at No. 23 in the UTB standings, Santos’ success in Round 1 earned him 17 UTB points, inching him up one spot to No. 22.
Oregon cowboy Dawson Branton (Jefferson, Oregon) conquered Battered & Bruised (Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls) on Friday night. His ride score of 85.75 points landed him in fourth place on the leaderboard as he punched his ticket into Sunday’s Round 2.
Arriving in Sioux Falls at No. 68 in the UTB standings, the 16 UTB points that Branton collected for his Top 5 finish in Round 1 moved him to No. 58.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Sioux Falls was Guilherme Valleiras (Pirassununga, Brazil). Paired with Devaronian (Shuler Bucking Bulls), 21-year-old Valleiras recorded an 82.25-point score as Round 1 concluded, collecting 15 UTB points. He now sits at No. 61.
Thirteen American Bucking Bull Inc (ABBI) Classic bulls competed Saturday night with an incredible showing. The event paid out a total of $30,800 in prize money to the animal athletes.
922 Flyin Wired (Julian / BS Cattle Co) posted the highest recorded competition out of the weekend with a marking of 90.88 points, which bested 5G Flapjack from night one, to take home the victory and a check for $9,240. 925 Hunting Trip(Dozier / Martinez) posted a marking of 90.16 points to slide into the No. 3 position overall.
5G Flapjack (Parker / OK Corallis / Gordon / D&H Cattle) finished the event in second place with 62G Whiskey Glasses (89.04 points) and 99G Ricky Vaughn (88.90 points) rounding out the Top 5 finishers.
Round 2 of the PBR First PREMIER Bank/ PREMIER Bankcard Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires continues on Sunday, April 21, at 2:45 p.m. CT, immediately followed by the championship round.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR UTB event and is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv.
PBR Unleash The Beast –First PREMIER Bank/ PREMIER Bankcard Invitational
Denny Sanford PREMIER Center -Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Kaique Pacheco, 0-88.25-0-0-88.25-28 Points.
2. Eduardo Aparecido, 0-87.5-0-0-87.50-18 Points.
3. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-87-0-0-87.00-17 Points.
4. Dawson Branton, 0-85.75-0-0-85.75-16 Points.
5. Guilherme Valleiras, 0-82.25-0-0-82.25-15 Points.
6. Zane Cook, 0-81-0-0-81.00-14 Points.
Dalton Kasel, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Jose de Brito, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Daniel Keeping, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dener Barbosa, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0-0.00
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Wingson Henrique da Silva, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Colten Fritzlan, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Tate Pollmeier, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Koltin Hevalow, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Braidy Randolph, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Flavio Zivieri, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Chase Outlaw, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Nick Tetz, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Adriano Salgado, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Aaron Williams, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Griffin Smeltzer, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Afonso Quintino, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Josh Frost, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cassio Dias, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Elizmar Jeremias, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0-0.00
Casey Coulter, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Trace Brown, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dustin Martinez, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Eagleburger, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Mason Moody, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody McCandless, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brandon Chambers, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Carlos Garcia, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Kyle Jones, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Trent Nugent, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Hooks, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Garrett Jones, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Turgeon, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ray Mayo, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brandon McDowell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alvaro Ariel, 0-0-0-0-0.00