The First Event Of The 2018 PBR Season Crowns A $100,000 Winner In New York City

As we prepare for the Championship Sunday performances we stop to take a moment to reflect on everything that we have witnessed here so far this weekend which included a few notable things that we want to recap with you as the first event of the 2018 season draws to a close.  First and foremost, the elephant in the room was regarding the significant name change to the tour that used to be known as the Built Ford Tough Series.  On night one I reached out to my PBR contacts and they confirmed that Ford was dropped as the title sponsor but would remain the official truck of the PBR.  Everyone wondered what that would mean and our questions would be answered prior to the start of round one when the official name was unveiled to all inside of the arena, the PBR 25th Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour would now take its place.

Along with the major announcement of the tour name change, we all knew we were going to witness history here in New York City inside of the arena as well.  2002 PBR World Champion Ednei Camhinas would make his return after winning a Velocity Tour event late last year, making him the oldest bull rider to ever compete on the elite tour at 41 years of age.  That being said, there was yet another history-making moment that the fans were hoping to see that would, in fact, be granted early on in the first round.  2-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney would have nerves of steel to obtain his 500th career bull ride on the Unleash The Beast tour Friday night which set up the rest of the weekend as one of the greatest events in recent memory.  All would be capped off later this afternoon with the crowning of the 2018 Buck Off At The Garden event champion!

Claudio Montanha Jr.  Brings Home The Round Three Win On Sunday Afternoon

Photo Credit: Rokin’ K Photos / Jeana Wilson-Kilcrease

After two days of action inside of Madison Square Gardens Arena we were able to watch as the top 35 bull riders in the world began their journey that we call the 2018 Professional Bull Riders Monster Energy Unleash The Beast season as they quest for the title of World Champion.  Although we witnessed some major moments and watched many great rides, it call came down who would walk out later this afternoon as the Buck Off At The Garden event champion, winning the first major of the year and leaving New York City $100,000 richer.  We have seen everything from J.B. Mauney earning his 500th career ride to Ednei Camhinas king history being the oldest competitor to ever compete on the elite series tour, but later in the afternoon, we would be able to crown another event champion and art the 2018 season off with a bang!

All of that being said, the main attraction here Sunday afternoon would be the final two rounds that remained where we would see the best of the best bucking bulls from the first two rounds come back and give it another go against the best bull riders in the world.  Once things began, round three would progress much like the two before, giving us another impressive list of qualified rides with another eleven posting up scores up on the board.  After everything had concluded we would see what the stage would look like for the first championship round performance of the year moments later.  In round three, Claudio Montanha Jr. would manage to rise to the top with an impressive 87.75 point bull ride atop of K-C/Jo-Z Bucking Bulls/Spark-lin Acres’ Ram It to claim the round three win, sending him into the Championship Round full of energy and confidence!

Complete List Of Round Three Qualified Rides From New York City:

Claudio Montanha Jr. (87.75)                                     Ryan Dirteater (87.25)

Jess Lockwood (87.00)                                                 J.B. Mauney (86.75)

Cody Campbell (85.75)                                                 Valdiron de Oliveira (85.75)

Eduardo Aparecido (85.75)                                         Shane Proctor (85.00)

Gage Gay (85.00)                                                          Reese Cates (82.75)

Alex Marcilio (79.00)

Joao Ricardo Vieira Shows Dominance In The Championship Round

Photo Credit: Rokin’ K Photos / Jeana Wilson-Kilcrease

When things were all said and done it was time to put pencils on paper to see who would earn one of the fifteen spots available in the championship round.  As the numbers were crunched it quickly became evident that it was almost a must to have two qualified rides to even be considered for the final round here in New York City.  Much like any other time we have been to Madison Square Gardens, it always seems to be a magical place, putting up some of the biggest numbers of qualified rides we see throughout the season.  After three great rounds, the fans inside of the venue on Sunday afternoon expected to see one of the best championship rounds they could see here at the first stop on the 2018 season tour.  We would all find out how it would play out moments later as we sat in awe of the talent that was placed before us!

Once things began to happen down on the arena floor, the anticipation and excitement of what they were about to witness rose to an all-time high as the lights shined bright and the music began to blare through the sound system.  As every match-up was displayed on the big screen cheers began to fill the air every time they saw their favorite rider and/or bovine athlete displayed.  When things began and the latches began to crack, we were able to watch six of the fifteen riders in the Championship Round post a qualified ride to earn points that were then added to their totals from the weekend.  After all was said and done, Joao Ricardo Vieira would be able to bring home the Championship Round win here inside of Madison Square Gardens in the heart of New York City!

Gage Gay Celebrates His First Event Win Of The 2018 Season

Photo Credit: Rokin’ K Photos / Jeana Wilson-Kilcrease

After three grueling days of competition struggles to get many from across the country to New York City, and the resilience of those living on the east coast, the first event of the 2018 Professional Bull Riders 25th Monster Energy Unleash The Beast tour is finally in the books.  Although the competition has been fierce this weekend, a few of the best bull riders in the world managed to rise above the rest which made for an exciting run to the event championship earlier this afternoon.  Along with many of the riders that were trying to make a name for themselves we were able to see some new bull power unleashed as well, which were trying to catch the attention of Cody Lambert, the Director of PBR Livestock, in order to remain on tour for the weeks to come and throughout the remainder of the 2018 season.

When things were all said and done earlier this afternoon, there was only one thing left to do, crown the 2018 Buck Off At The Garden event champion and award him his cool $100,000 check that went along with winning the first PBR Major of the season!  Although the money is great, it is not what many of the guys here this weekend were striving for as it was all about starting the season off with a good point total.  That being said, along with the $100,000+ payday Gage Gay received for winning the event here in New York City, he would also take the early lead in the world standings as we head to Chicago next weekend for a quick two-day event.  Overall this weekend, Gay would earn 700 points which put him solidly ahead of the number two man Valdiron de Oliveira by 336.67 points!

In a weekend where everyone was left scrambling to begin the journey that we call the 2018 PBR season, we all were able to head out of New York City with a renewed sense of what dedication the folks in the eastern United States have to make the show go on!  Throughout each day of the three-day event here at Madison Square Gardens the fans came in droves and did not disappoint by, once again, showing us all how passionate they are about the sport of professional bull riding.  We have all seen the development of what this event stop has become from when we first were here over ten years ago, bucking bulls outside in the cold in the middle of the street in Times Square.  Now that we close the curtain on another year we look ahead to next weekend’s event in Chicago, Illinois to see if Gage Gay can carry over the momentum from his event win here this weekend.

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