Oklahoma City Ignites The Flames On Some Tour Newcomers As The Event Draws To A Close

Last night we kicked off another year here in the Okie State as the Express Employment Professionals Invitational kicked off inside of the Chesapeake Energy Arena in front of a sold-out crowd.  Along with the energy that the fans brought to the event, the top bull riders in the world that were here also made history once again which gave those fans watching live and across the world something to talk about.  Immediately after the round one performance ended social media was set ablaze with talk of everything that happened last night and how many of the 12 alternates that are here stepped up to earn their own spot in the Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour for many weeks to come.  One of those cowboys that put everyone else on notice was actually a personal invite from the CEO of the PBR Sean Gleason himself, who took full advantage of the opportunity that was given to him here this weekend in Oklahoma City!

The world first met Juan Contraras on the world stage when he competed at the first annual Global Cup event in Canada a couple short months ago, following the 2017 PBR World Finals.  He proved throughout that weekend that the bright lights and the grand stage would not distract him from his goal of becoming one of the best bull riders in the world.  CEO Sean Gleason saw his determination and talent and invited him to his first main event of his career in the United States. Last night he took full advantage of it and came out a round one winner with an 88 point ride at his first round on the elite Unleash The Beast Tour on the PBR’s 25th Anniversary season!  This afternoon, the question remains on if he can carry that momentum to reach the ultimate goal, his first career Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour win here at the Express Employment Professionals Invitational in Oklahoma City!

Derek Kolbaba Takes Home The Top Spot In Round Two

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

Less than 24-hours ago we again saw a round of bull riding action that left us all speechless while watching history unfold before our very eyes as Juan Contraras would come into his first-ever elite level event and win his debut round in front of a sold-out crowd.  Round one featured the up and coming bovine athletes of the American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) Classic bulls who are in a fight of their own to receive top honors in that organization.  Historically, this pen has given the top bull riders in the world headaches as they try to figure out how to stay aboard for the required eight-seconds to earn a score.  Last night, however, the tides felt as if they turned a little as thirteen riders were able to make the needed adjustments to carry over a score into this afternoon’s Championship Sunday performance!

Today, the Oklahoma fans were hoping to see a wish come true and watch one of their own bring home an event win but before that could happen there was some unfinished business to attend to, that being the second performance.  We would all need to get through round two to be able to set the stage for another exciting championship round here inside of the Chesapeake Energy Arena where we were again expecting huge ride totals and many memorable moments.  All the hype lived up to the expectations as fifteen more qualified rides were made earlier this afternoon, making the path to the championship round an absolute shoot-out.  The man of the hour, however,r would be Derek Kolbaba as he would leave the crowd in amazement with a huge 91 point ride aboard jane Clark / Gene Owen’s Big Dutch to take home the round two win here in OKC!

Complete List Of Round One Qualified Rides From Oklahoma City:

Derek Kolbaba (91.00)                                          Dakota Buttar (88.50)

Stetson Lawrence (88.00)                                    Jose Vitor Leme (87.00)

Fabiano Vieira (86.50)                                          Edgar Durazo (86.25)

Ryan Dirteater (86.25)                                          Cody Tyler (86.00)

Eduardo Aparecido (85.00)                                 Silvano Alves (84.50)

Alex Marcilio (83.25)                                             Cody Teel (82.50)

Valdiron de Oliveira (81.50)                                 Wallace Vieira de Oliveira (80.25)

Dener Barbosa (76.00)

Ryan Dirteater Outlasts The Others In The Championship Round

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

Once the excitement of the first two rounds was concluded, it was time to turn to the main event as we all waited to see who would advance to the Championship Round and what the final match-ups of the weekend would look like.  After the mandatory intermission to prep the arena and give the television crews time to regroup, it was the moment everyone had been waiting for all weekend long.  The top fifteen bull riders from the weekend would make their way up atop the shark cage one by one to handpick their bovine opponents for the Express Employment Professionals Championship Round!  After all picks were made and the bulls began to load, the energy inside of the arena began to amp up as everyone waited anxiously for the start of the final round of competition!

When the music began to get louder and the pyrotechnics were displayed, it signified that the moment was upon us, the Championship Round, to determine who would leave Oklahoma City with an event win under their belts!  We all were not expecting to see very many qualified rides with the amount of bull power that was going to be displayed here this afternoon.  Many of the top bucking bull contenders would go head to head in hopes of earning the top bull score of the weekend.  That being said. there were only a total of four out of the fifteen attempts that would last long enough for a score.  Out of those four, the home-state cowboy Ryan Dirteater would stun the crowd after riding D&H Cattle Company / Buck Cattle Company’s Sweet Pros Bruiser, the reigning world champion bucking bull, for a walloping 93.25 points, giving Bruiser an event-winning 45.50 point bull score!

Ryan Dirteater Celebrates His Round Win In Oklahoma City

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

Once the championship round match-ups were all said and done, there was talk about this being one of the greatest events that we have ever seen in Oklahoma City.  From many new faces to a slew of new bovine athletes we saw history being made all while celebrating with the 2018 event winner.  This weekend alone gave many invitees and alternates a chance to stay on the 25th Anniversary Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour for many more weeks to come.  All that being said, there would only be able to be one man that would be able to walk out of the Chesapeake Energy Arena with the title of event champion but that would not shadow all the fantastic things that we were able to see in the third event of the very new 2018, 25th Anniversary PBR season!

After all the rides were concluded and the scores were calculated, the moment that everyone had been waiting for was finally upon us as we were ready to crown the 2018 Express Employment Professionals Invitational event champion.  The nerves were on high alert as the Oklahoma fans waited nervously to find out if a home state cowboy could be the one taking home the event win this weekend.  After the scores were calculated it would be announced that Oklahoma’s own Ryan Dirteater would, in fact, be taking the event win with him as we head to Sacramento, California next weekend!  The news sent shock waves across the arena and the noise was something that we had not heard all weekend as the fans yelled and cheered in excitement along with their favorite cowboy as he celebrated in the center of the arena with all of his fans around him!

After another history-making event here in Oklahoma City, the lights have dimmed on the 2018 Express Employment Professionals Invitational as we look to head west next weekend to sunny Sacramento, California.  After not only this weekend’s event but the two previous as well, I personally do not know how anything can top what we have seen so far in the 25th Anniversary year of the Professional Bull Riders organization!  As we look ahead to the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic we will see many new faces on tour for quite some time as the up and comers have come to play with the big boys and have put them all on notice.  This will be a very exciting year and all of us at the Rodeo Round-Up look forward to bringing you all of the action from across the country as we make our way towards the PBR World Finals this coming November in Las Vegas, Nevada!

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