Bull Riders Look To Turn Things Around At “The Pit”

Over the last two weeks, we have seen many of the top bull riders in the world struggle with confidence and injuries making the first part of the 2018 Professional Bull Riders 25th Anniversary Unleash The Beast Tour look like it is making the late season push to the World Finals In Las Vegas.  That being said, the look of contestants will begin to make a dramatic change with many of the top ten riders out of action which will give any one of the cowboys in the locker room the chance to make huge moves within the 2018 world point standings.  Each year we see an injury-plagued time but not many times do we see it this early in the season and not to the extent that we have seen here already in the 2018 season with those affected that left competition within the top ten in the world standings.

Each and every year that we come to Albuquerque we can expect the crowds to be electric and watch some of the most gut-wrenching bull riding action that we see throughout the year as we make our way to the Dreamstyle Arena, otherwise known as “The Pit”.  This tour stop is like no other with the unique style of arena that allows the riders to climb stairs from the bottom of the arena to the top of the concourse to exit or enter the arena floor.  It also offers a chance for the fans to get up close and personal as they walk right through the fans, and in some instances, get thrown into the fans from a bull after a buck which we saw a couple of years ago right here in Albuquerque!  Once the time came for round one to begin earlier tonight, the energy level that this event brings could be felt all across town!

Cody Jesus Takes Advantage Of His Alternate Opportunity In Round One

Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media

Earlier, we spoke about how injuries and illnesses have come at a costly expense already this season that is just over a third of the way through and how it gives many up and coming riders a chance to make a huge statement within the world point standings.  Coming into this weekend, the overall look of the roster will be vastly different than what we are normally used to seeing at the premier level events that the Professional Bull Riders put on.  Here in Albuquerque, nearly a third of those competing are cowboys that have been invited to compete as an alternate or have earned their way on tour courtesy of a Velocity Tour event win earlier in the season.  With a majority of the top ten out, every one of these cowboys have a great opportunity to earn some world title race points and move within the top 35 in the world standings, thus, securing their spot in the Unleash The Beast Tour for many weeks to come!

Beginning tonight here in round one, fourteen of the contestants are competing either with an alternate invite or a Velocity Tour event win, giving each of them a fantastic chance at earning some needed world title race points throughout the three-day event here in Albuquerque.  Things began quite quickly as a few of those fourteen would make good on the opportunity that was placed before them, missing out on the two Velocity Tour events that are taking place this weekend as well, making it a smart choice to move up to the Unleash The Beast Tour event.  Overall, the cowboys put up solid efforts while earning some points with a qualified ride that would be led by alternate Cody Jesus who would tame Diamond g Rodeo Company’s War Party for an eight-second ride to the 86.25 point score he would carry over to tomorrow night’s round two action.

Dakota Buttar And Jess Lockwood The Round One Win

Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media

Once things were set to begin, the seats inside of the Dreamstyle Arena a.k.a. “The Pit” began to fill rapidly in anticipation of watching the best bull riders in the world compete for a round one victory at the Ty Murray Invitational presented by Isleta Resort and Casino.  As the fans began to file in, there were many opportunities to meet some of their favorite superstars around the upper level of the concourse as they made their way to the locker room area to begin preparations for round one that would happen later in the evening.  Once things began to settle down and the hustle and bustle subsided, it was time for everyone to take their seats and get ready for the opening ceremonies and the round one performance to see who would take home the round win here in a fateful Friday night!

From the get-go here earlier tonight, it was quickly made evident that both the cowboys and the bovine athletes came to play while many four-legged athletes were hoping to make a name for themselves in order to be invited back again in the near future.  Of the thirty-eight riders here this weekend we were able to watch sixteen of them make it to the eight-second buzzer to earn a qualified ride and carry scores over to tomorrow night’s second round.  After everything was said and done, we were able to watch Halpain/Long’s Barn Cat earn the top bull score of the round with a 44.50 point effort while we also were able to crown two round one winners and award each of them 80 world title race points.  Tonight, those lucky men would be Dakota Buttar, who proved having his own equipment back was the key, and the reigning PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood who would each bring home 88.25 point rides sending them into tomorrow night’s round two as the men to beat!

Complete Breakdown Of Qualified Rides In Round One At Albuquerque:

Dakota Buttar (88.25)                                                         Jess Lockwood (88.25)

Brennon Eldred (87.75)                                                      Nathan Burtenshaw (86.75)

Cody Jesus (86.25)                                                              Cody Teel (86.00)

Cody Nance (85.50)                                                            Jose Vitor Leme (85.50)

Colten Jesse (85.25)                                                           Fernando Novais (85.25)

Lucas Divino (85.00)                                                         Silvano Alves (84.75)

Juan Contreras (84.00)                                                    Kaique Pacheco (83.50)

Valdiron de Oliveira (81.50)                                            Ueberson Duarte (44.75)

Watching tonight’s round one action from Albuquerque renewed some trust that many fans were beginning to loose with some of the top bull riders in the world but many continue to struggle through the lowest of lows in hopes that tomorrow will have a different outcome.  Even though the faces and names were new to many of us in round one, they did not come in to lose and each of them put out a valiant effort in search of earning qualified rides that would give them a huge advantage heading into tomorrow night at “The Pit”!  It will be fun to watch what happens over the next two days of bull riding action as we all wait to see who will make it to the championship round and ultimately leave Albuquerque with the 2018 Ty Murray Invitational event champion title!

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