As the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series rolled into Arkansas there were many much anticipated returns that were set to take place as things kicked off earlier tonight. The Verizon Arena was the place to be as the top bull riders in the world made their way back to Little Rock for the first time in over a decade. The loyal fans here rolled out the red carpet for all those involved for the first time since 2003. Tonight the Bad Boy Mowdown lit a fire among the sold out crowd as round one started underway.
Along with the much anticipated return of the PBR itself there were many fans that were beyond words and on the edge of their seats as some of their favorite bull riders would make their return to the arena following injury as well. That being said a few riders sustained injuries last week in Sioux Falls and will unfortunately not be able to participate in this weekend’s festivities. This dynamic will leave the door wide open for those outside of the top 35 to gain some much needed points and secure their position on the Built Ford Tough Series tour for the weeks to come.
Mike Lee Tames Black Cat In Round One
Photo Credit: Bull Stock Media / Andy Watson
Many fans were in the stands to see the returns of world number nine bull rider Canadian Tanner Bryne and 2008 PBR World Champion Brazilian Guilherme Machi. Nagging injuries have been hindering their 2016 seasons but as these two came back to action in Little Rock earlier tonight they were feeling good and ready to make huge impacts from here forward. Along with comebacks it was the night that the 3 and 4 year old ABBI bovine athletes would make their return the 2016 BFTS season to compete for the ABBI World Champion Bull title. A total of eight new stock contractors made their presence known tonight as the bulls proved to be rough on the contestants once again in round one.
The 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee came into tonight’s round with 497 career PBR qualified rides while searching for the milestone of 500 to be among the greats like Guilherme Marchi that did it just a year ago. Tonight Lee would be able to make it another step closer as his match up with RU Rockin’s Black Cat by managing to ride to a a 85.50 score. Along with Lee there would be 12 others that would manage to do just that as well ending out a stacked night of competition.
Wallace Vieira de Oliveira Wins Round One
Photo Credit: Bull Stock Media / Andy Watson
As the round began inside of the Verizon Arena here in Little Rock it was made clear that both the bucking bulls as well as the bull riders were on board to make this two day event one that no one would soon forget. Right from the very first ride there would be amazing efforts put out by both sides as the 19 year-old rookie sensation Derek Kolbaba would set the crowd ablaze with his tremendous try and effort that managed to get him an 86.50 score aboard Whiskey Trip.
After things were all said and done and the final ride was completed it would only be one man that would be invited across the arena atop the shark cage for the round winning interview. Tonight that man claiming that honor would be Brazilian Wallace Vieira de Oliveira as he gained 100 championship points in the world standings race by covering D&H Cattle Co./Flinn’s Sketchy Bob to the tune of 88.50 huge points. Tonight’s win puts him on top as the man to chase going into tomorrow’s Championship Sunday performances and shoots him all the way up to number three in the world standings as round two and the championship rounds begin!
Complete Round One Qualified Ride Recap:
Wallace Vieira de Oliveira (88.50) Tanner Bryne (87.75)
Gage Gay (87.50) Derek Kolbaba (86.50)
Mike Lee (85.50) Douglas Duncan (84.75)
Ryan Dirteater (84.00) Kaique Pacheco (83.75)
Silvano Alves (83.50) Kasey Hayes (83.50)
Lachlan Richardson (82.50) J.B. Mauney (75.00)
Justin Paton (72.50)
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