DENVER – Kaique Pacheco didn’t have the kind of start he wanted for the 2017 Built Ford Tough Series this past weekend in New York, but the 2015 Rookie of the Year took care of business Monday night at the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event.
Pacheco rode Insane Hurricane away from his hand for 87.5 points to finish night one of the three-day event at the National Western Stock Show atop the leaderboard.
“I had seen videos of this bull on ProBullstats,” Pacheco said. “He would take two jumps and go back to the left. Today, he was a little lower.”
Pacheco then really turned it up a notch by going to town on Mad Money for 89.5 points for an additional $5,000.
Mad Money was no match for Pacheco when he turned right into the third-year rider’s hand.
“I seen one video of this bull,” Pacheco said. “He is a really good bull. I am very happy.
“Right now, my confidence is good. It is just little things.”
To the shock of many, Pacheco bucked off his first two bulls of the season in New York just past 7 seconds before riding Like a Boss for 85.5 points in Round 3.
“I don’t know,” Pacheco replied with a tad bit of frustration when asked about New York. “It is just the first event of the year. This is no big deal. I have many more events. There are just little things I need to correct. I bucked off one bull because he slipped. The other bull, I didn’t fix (myself) correct. These are little things.
“Everything is OK.”
There were 16 qualified rides in Round 1. Rounding out the Top 5 was Brennon Eldred (87 points on Jungle Can Do), Jake Gowdy (86.5 points on Little Turbo), Zane Lambert (86 points on Big Time), Chase Robbins (85 points on Reaper) and Cody Ford (85.5 points on Big Sexy).
There are two groups of riders competing in Denver this week. One group rode Monday night and the other will ride on Tuesday. A minimum of 30 riders will then compete in Wednesday’s long round. Fifteen riders will advance to the championship round based on their combined ride scores.
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, 2016 Velocity Tour Champion Chase Outlaw, 2016 PBR Brazil champion Dener Barbosa and 2016 PBR Australia Champion Cody Heffernan are a few of the top riders tentatively scheduled to ride on Tuesday night in Denver.
The winner of this week’s Velocity Tour event will receive an exemption to compete at the next PBR Major – Iron Cowboy. The winner of Iron Cowboy on Feb. 18 will take home at least $100,000.
Pacheco said he wanted to fix some tiny things with his bull rope position, but added that Monday night helped him relax a little more.
He has actually ridden all seven bulls he has attempted at the Velocity Tour level this year.
“I stayed relaxed after the Finals and I went to the three Velocity events (before New York),” he said. “I feel good.”
Pacheco lost out on the 2016 world title when he was bucked off by Slinger Jr. in 6.46 seconds during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
The 22-year-old has finished second in the world standings in his first two seasons on tour.
Pacheco, who is currently 18th in the world standings after one BFTS event, quickly brushed off any concern about his recent buckoffs in New York.
He is a career 50 percent (90-for-180) bull rider and is looking forward to redeeming himself at the Chicago Invitational on Friday night at Allstate Arena, which also includes a 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle airs on national television Saturday at noon on CBS.
First, he may just win his second Velocity Tour event on Wednesday night.
“I am very happy. 2-for-2. I am ready for (Wednesday) and Chicago.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour Event Results:
Jan. 9 Denver, Colorado
Results (Round 1)
1. Kaique Pacheco, 87.5
2. Brennon Eldred, 87
3. Jake Gowdy, 86.5
4. Zane Lambert, 86
5. Chase Robbins, 85.5
5. Cody Ford, 85.5
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