PUEBLO, Colo. – The stretch run to the 2018 PBR World Finals begins on Saturday with the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino & Hotel, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
With the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast returning to action, here is a look at the current Top 35 of the world standings and how each rider’s summer went.
1. Kaique Pacheco
World leader Kaique Pacheco’s biggest impact this summer was at the PBR Global Cup in Sydney. Pacheco led Team Brazil to victory with a flawless 4-for-4 showing, while also winning the individual event title. Less than a week later, Pacheco picked up 80 world points by going 5-for-6 at the Americana PBR Brazil Iron Cowboy qualifier and overall event.
The 23-year-old was 9-for-10 during the premier series break.
Outside of those three events, Pacheco spent the majority of the summer resting and preparing for the second half.
2. Claudio Montanha Jr.
Montanha Jr. also helped Team Brazil by going 2-for-2, including a summer-best 85.5-point ride on Bee Sting.
The only other PBR event Montanha competed in was the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo. In Salt Lake City, Montanha rode Make-N-Magic for 85 points to advance to the Gold Medal Round. However, he was then bucked off by Fearless in 1.75 seconds.
Montanha (3-for-4) earned 17.5 world points.
3. Ramon de Lima
Lima joined Team Brazil in celebration in Sydney with a 1-for-2 showing. Outside of that, Lima competed in two other PBR events and various local Brazilian rodeos.
Lima went 3-for-4 at the Calgary Stampede before bucking off Walkin Tall (3.67 seconds) in Amarillo, Texas, last weekend.
The 27-year-old was a combined 4-for-7 for zero world points.
4. Cody Nance
Cody Nance went 3-for-4 to win Pool B at the Calgary Stampede, but he was unable to convert on Showdown Sunday for any world points.
Nance competed in three other events – PBR Global Cup, Bismarck, North Dakota, and Days of’47 – and went 1-for-6.
The Paris, Tennessee, native was a combined 4-for-10 in the summer for zero world points.
5. Luciano de Castro
Castro went 3-for-3 for Team Brazil at the PBR Global Cup in his only PBR event this summer. The 22-year-old had sustained multiple injuries at Last Cowboy Standing and used the summer to heal up.
6. Jose Vitor Leme
Leme was 3-for-4 for Team Brazil at the PBR Global Cup in his only PBR event.
The 21-year-old, though, did win the CRP (Circuito de Rodeio Rancho Primavera) event in Assis, Brazil, in July, with a massive 92.25-point ride on Sistema into his hand. The ride capped off Leme’s 4-for-4 performance in Assis.
7. Jess Lockwood
The reigning World Champion competed sporadically during the summer as he continued to let his injured riding hand heal. Lockwood still flashed moments of success despite the injury.
The 20-year-old went 9-for-17 (52.94 percent) at PBR-sanctioned events with a TPD victory in Sheridan, Wyoming, and two Top-5 finishes. Lockwood earned 77.5 points toward the world standings.
Last year, Lockwood began the stretch run to the PBR World Finals in fourth place in the world standings and 865 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido. Lockwood heads into this weekend’s Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino and Hotel, at No. 7 and 1,187.5 points out of the world No. 1 ranking.
8. Eduardo Aparecido
The only PBR event Eduardo Aparecido competed in was the Global Cup in Sydney. Aparecido went 2-for-2 for Team Brazil.
Aparecido did win the Ekip Rozeta rodeo event in Santa Helena, Brazil, on May 27 prior to making the trip Down Under. The 28-year-old capped off his 4-for-4 performance with 89.75 points on Pai da Mata. He also rode Patrao for 90 points.
9. Cooper Davis
2017 World Champion Cooper Davis competed in four PBR events this summer, going 7-for-11 and earning 15 world points.
Captain America went 3-for-4 for Team USA at the Global Cup as the Americans finished in fourth place. One of his rides came aboard the late Un Broken, who had never been ridden in 14 outs before until Davis took him to the 8-second mark for 86.5 points.
Davis also competed at Chad Berger’s Match of Champions, winning Round 1 with a 91.5-point ride on Stretch. However, he bucked off Livin Large in 6.04 seconds with the chance at a victory.
Two years ago, Davis began his march to the world title ranked eighth in the world at the start of the second half. He trailed then world No. 1 Kaique Pacheco by 795.33 points.
10. Dener Barbosa
Former world No. 1 Dener Barbosa spent the majority of the summer recovering from right foot surgery on March 15. Barbosa went 1-for-2 for Team Brazil at the PBR Global Cup in Sydney, but admitted he still wasn’t 100 percent healthy.
Barbosa next went 4-for-5 at the PBR Brazil Monster Energy event in Frutal for a sixth-place finish (five world points). He also competed at his hometown rodeo (Liga Nacional de Rodeio) in Paulo de Faria in June, where he posted an 89-point ride. He finished in eighth place.
The 24-year-old was bucked off by The Punisher (4.65 seconds) and Margy Stuff (2.6 seconds) last weekend in Allen, Texas, at his first U.S. event since the surgery. It is only the second time this year that Barbosa bucked off consecutive bulls.
In total, Barbosa was 5-for-9 in PBR competition.
11. Cody Teel
2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel and his wife, Kaitlin, had their biggest victory outside of the arena. The couple welcomed their first child, Evelyn Ann, on July 16.
In the arena, Teel took a cautious approach to his return after undergoing surgery on his left ankle in March. Teel returned on June 15 for Chad Berger’s $100,000 Match of Champions and bucked off his bulls.
Teel’s best showing of the summer was a second-place finish at the Rocksprings, Texas, TPD event on June 30.
All told, Teel went 5-for-15 (30 percent) with two Top-5 finishes in nine events.
12. Fabiano Vieira
Vieira competed in eight PBR events in North America, going 6-for-16 (37.5 percent) with two Top-5 finishes and four Top-10s. The 36-year-old’s 89.5-point ride on Huckleberry in Bismarck, North Dakota, propelled him to a summer-best second-place finish.
Vieira earned 118.33 world points.
13. Dakota Buttar
Buttar’s best performance of the summer break was his PBR Canada Touring Pro Division victory at the Calgary Ranchman’s event on July 4. Buttar rode Brahma Boots Chrome for 90 points – his second career 90-point ride at any level.
Buttar competed in eight total events and went 6-for-13 (46.15 percent) with three Top-10 finishes. The 25-year-old and highest-ranking Canadian in the world standings earned 60 world points.
14. Keyshawn Whitehorse
The leading contender for Rookie of the Year earned a prestigious victory at the annual J.W. Hart PBR Challenge by going 2-for-2. Whitehorse earned the win with an 87.5-point ride on Desperado.
Whitehorse, though, failed to ride Seven Dust in a $50,000 bounty matchup and was bucked off in 3.5 seconds.
The 21-year-old then placed sixth in Bismarck, North Dakota, second in Sheridan, Wyoming, and eighth in Binford, North Dakota.
However, Whitehorse then injured his riding hand in Rocksprings, Texas, on June 29, and he will now miss the second-half opener in Tulsa because of the injury.
Whitehorse tried to ride with the injury in Salt Lake City only to be wrecked out by Double Legit in 5.65 seconds.
The McCracken Springs, Utah, bull rider considers himself week-to-week.
Whitehorse concluded the summer 6-for-13 with 97.5 world points. He leads Alex Marcilio by 335.83 points in the Rookie of the Year race.
15. Derek Kolbaba
Derek Kolbaba spent the summer hitting the road hard as he tried to work himself into better riding shape after not getting surgery to repair his torn right ACL and MCL this spring.
It hasn’t been a great run with Kolbaba going only 6-for-22 (27.27 percent) in 10 PBR events, but Kolbaba’s 89.5-point ride on two-time World Champion SweetPro’s Brusier was one of the best of the summer break. The ride earned Kolbaba the $50,000 victory at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo and 120 world points.
The Walla Walla, Washington, bull rider moved up 10 spots in the world standings by earning 130 world points.
Kolbaba also competed at select PRCA rodeos.
He also would have won $40,000 in Vinita, Oklahoma, with a ride aboard Cochise but he wound up slapping the bull leaving the chutes in an exhibition matchup against Stetson Lawrence and Ryan Dirteater. All three riders bucked off their respective bulls.
16. Ryan Dirteater
Dirteater only competed in one event this summer outside of Vinita, but it came with plenty of success. He rode Jungle House (86 points) and Bezerk (89.5 points) to win the Springdale, Arkansas, Touring Pro Division event on July 21 for 60 world points.
17. Stetson Lawrence
Lawrence capped his summer by using two 84.5-point rides to win the Livingston Classic TPD event last weekend. He earned 60 of his 80 summer world points in the victory.
The 29-year-old was 9-for-20 (45 percent) in nine summer events.
18. Brennon Eldred
Eldred competed in five PBR events (3-for-8, 5 world points), but also earned $26,761.72 on the PRCA rodeo trail at 19 rodeos this summer.
The 23-year-old earned the second-most money on the rodeo trail among PBR Top 35 riders.
19. Valdiron de Oliveira
The 39-year-old competed in two summer events, highlighted by a third-place finish at the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge in Decatur. Oliveira was 1-for-3 in the two bull ridings for 20 world points.
20. Guilherme Marchi
The 2008 World Champion served as an alternate for Team Brazil at the Global Cup and helped 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes coach the Brazilians to victory.
In his only summer PBR event, Marchi was 2-for-4 at the Frutal PBR Brazil Monster Energy Event for a 17th place finish.
21. Joao Ricardo Vieira
The 34-year-old had one of his best summer runs in Brazil, and, according to Brazilian rodeo expect Eugenio Jose Santos, Vieira was one of the strongest riders among the PBR Brazilians that were home over the break.
Vieira won PBR Brazil’s Iron Cowboy (120 world points), qualified for the Iron Cowboy by placing fourth in the qualifying event (20 world points) and then placed third in Frutal (20 world points).
The former World Champion contender was 9-for-13 in PBR Brazil events.
Vieira was then 19-for-22 in various open rodeos in Brazil.
Prior to going home to Brazil, Vieira finished second at the Cactus Jack TPD event in Uvalde, Texas, by going 2-for-3, and he just recently won the Koben Puckett Invitational in Amarillo, Texas, last weekend for another 60 world points.
Vieira was 12-for-19 in six PBR events combined for 250 world points – the eighth most earned this summer. He moved up eight positions in the world standings after beginning the break sitting No. 29.
22. Silvano Alves
The three-time World Champion spent the first summer of his career traveling all over the United States in an RV with his family, competing in both PBR and PRCA events.
Alves concluded his summer PBR run by winning the PBR at Cheyenne Frontier Days, $28,816.67 and 120 world points on July 23. The victory came five days after he won the Salinas, California, TPD event with an 89-point ride on Formula 1 Juice.
The 30-year-old had only won one TPD event in his career, and had not won a TPD event in five years before winning two in five days.
Alves’ win in Cheyenne also pushed him over the $6 million mark in career earnings ($6,017,872.96).
He was 6-for-10 in six PBR events with two victories and 200 world points.
He has earned $31,347.02 on the rodeo trail, and took home over $70,000 when you total in his PBR summer earnings.
23. Tanner Byrne
Byrne took the last month off in preparation for the premier series second half. However, he was having a good summer before deciding to rest.
Byrne was the only other rider at the Sydney Global Cup to go 4-for-4 alongside Pacheco. The 26-year-old then rode his first three bulls at the Calgary Ranchman’s PBR Canada TPD event.
The fifth-year pro was 7-for-11 in six events for 30 world points.
24. Alex Marcilio
The No. 2 rookie in the world standings did not compete in any PBR events this summer. Marcilio trails Keyshawn Whitehorse by 335.83 points in the Rookie of the Year race.
24. Sean Willingham
Willingham has gone a tad cold (seven consecutive buckoffs) since winning the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, PBR Touring Pro Division event with a 90-point ride on Midnight Rain.
The 90 was his first at any level in four years and the TPD win was his first in almost five years.
Willingham said earlier this year that 2018 would be his last, but the 37-year-old hinted after the victory that maybe he will need to reconsider things come the end of the season so that he can compete one final time at Madison Square Garden in 2019.
The Summerville, Georgia, bull rider went 6-for-22 (27.27) in 11 events for 105 world points. Willingham began the summer with three consecutive Top-5 finishes.
26. Nathan Burtenshaw
The highest-ranking Australian in the world standings nearly propelled Team Australia to a memorable victory at the Global Cup before his 84.75-point ride on SweetPro’s Enemies Everywhere on the final ride of the event wound up being 0.75 points shy of giving the Aussies the victory.
What made Burtenshaw’s 3-for-3 performance at the Global Cup also stand out was the fact that he tore his left ACL a week earlier at the Cairns Invitational.
Cairns was Burtenshaw’s first event after undergoing surgery 46 days earlier to fix his broken right collarbone.
Burtenshaw, though, didn’t let the torn ACL hold him back, and he competed in six more events. The 24-year-old won the Mount Isa PBR Australia TPD event for 60 world points and most recently finished in sixth place at the Livingston Classic (2.5 world points).
Burtenshaw went 10-for-20 (50 percent) this summer for 132.5 world points.
27. Gage Gay
The former world leader returned to competition during the PBR at Cheyenne Frontier Days on July 23 following a six-month recovery from reconstructive right knee surgery.
Gay went 1-for-2 in Cheyenne and competed in two more events – Big Sky and Livingston, Montana.
The 23-year-old is 2-for-6 in his comeback bid with two 13th-place finishes.
27. Marcos Gloria
Gloria earned a PBR-best 630 points this summer to move from 94th in the world standings to No. 27. Gloria moved up 67 spots in the world standings by coming through with various clutch, and at times lucky, performances.
The 630 points is a new PBR summer record for the current points system, breaking Chase Outlaw’s 2016 performance of 512.5 points.
The Central de Minas, Brazil, bull rider earned 370 world points by going 2-for-4 to win the PBR Canada Iron Cowboy. Gloria lasted 6.26 seconds on Happy Camper in the championship round to defeat Brock Radford for the PBR International Major victory.
Gloria followed that victory up by winning the PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour event in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with an 86.5-point ride on Ulterra’s Night Vision. It was his only ride in three rounds, but it was still enough to earn the victory and 120 world points.
The Alberta, Canada, resident then became the first Brazilian bull rider since Adriano Moraes (1994) to win the Calgary Stampede by riding Rattler for 76 points in the Final Four Round on Showdown Sunday.
Gloria went 9-for-21 (40.91 percent) in seven events.
29. Brock Radford
Brock Radford went a combined 21-for-45 (46.67 percent) across PBR events in Canada, Australia and the United States this summer to earn him a spot on the premier series after appearing in six UTB events in the first half.
Radford picked up 425 world points via a victory at the PBR Canada TPD event in Czar, Alberta, plus three second-place finishes and eight Top-5s.
30. Emilio Resende
Emilio Resende did not compete this summer and remains out of competition following reconstructive left shoulder surgery in the spring. Resende is hopeful to return to competition come the second week of October.
31. Lachlan Richardson
Richardson jumped up 49 spots in the world standings after earning 497.5 world points since May 12. The No. 31-ranked rider in the world standings roared back from the No. 80 ranking by winning three events and posting 15 Top-5 finishes.
The Gresford, Australia, native most recently won the Santa Barbara, California, Touring Pro Division event with an 87-point ride on Hillbilly Rock last week.
Richardson went 25-for-46 (54.35 percent) this summer. The 25 rides were the most by any rider.
32. Marco Eguchi
Like Teel, Eguchi and his wife, Amanda, also celebrated the birth of their first child. Isaac Eguchi was born on June 26.
In the arena, Eguchi went 3-for-13 in eight events for 20 world points. UPDATE: Eguchi went 2-for-2 to win the Sterling, Colorado, TPD event on Tuesday night for an additional 60 world points.
33. Lonnie West
West joined countryman Radford in the Top 35 by earning 340 world points. West, who also competed in the U.S., Canada and Australia, is ranked No. 33 in the standings after finishing the Livingston, Montana, TPD event in second place on Saturday night with an 89.5-point ride on Cooper Tire’s Semper Fi.
The second-place showing was West’s fifth Top-5 finish and third runner-up placement. West also picked up victories in Kinsella, Alberta, and Moncton, New Brunswick.
The 22-year-old went 13-for-32 (40.63 percent) in 17 events.
34. Koal Livingston
Livingston has impressed many experts in the PBR this summer and finished with the sixth-most world points during the break as he continues to rocket up the standings after returning to competition from offseason shoulder surgery on April 28.
The 20-year-old went 15-for-33 (45.45 percent) with a victory (Benton, Pennsylvania, TPD), three runner-up finishes and four third-place finishes. Livingston earned 317.5 world points in 16 events.
35. Matt Triplett
Triplett, who made his season debut on April 28 following offseason shoulder surgery as well, tied with West for the fourth-most summer points earned (340) and now sits at No. 35 in the world standings.
The Columbia Falls, Montana, native is coming off a third-place finish in Livingston, Montana, where he rode Redneck for 87 points. Triplett wasn’t able to win a summer event, but he earned world points in 12 of the 16 events he competed in (not including the Global Cup).
Triplett was 21-for-36 (58.33 percent) with 11 Top-5 finishes. The 21 rides is tied with Radford for the second-most behind Richardson.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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