The time has come once again to dust off the cowboy boots and grab gear bags to hit the road as the 2018 Professional Bull Riders 25th Anniversary Tour was set to begin in New York City inside of the legendary Madison Square Gardens Arena! At the end of last year’s World Finals, we were all left wanting more as many records were within reach of being matched and the excitement of what we all wanted to see this year simmered throughout the winter months. During the last week in Las Vegas, there was a Brazilian by the name of Jose Vitor Leme who came from a virtual unknown to take center stage and steal the show inside of the T-Mobile Arena last November. His quick rise left many wondering if he could continue his dominance as the 2018 season begins, which we were moments away from answering that very question!
Another storyline that many will be watching closely this year will be that of the young guns and if they can continue to prove themselves on the top-tier level tour of the PBR. Last year’s champion, Jess Lockwood, looks to reign in another world title but his close friend and traveling partner Derek Kolbaba wants what slipped through his hands just a few short months ago. That being said, everyone on tour needs to keep an eye out for Leme who completely dominated throughout the six rounds of action, coming in out of the top 35 in the world standings to win the World Finals average and just up within the top ten in the world standings in just over a week’s time! This weekend we are almost guaranteed to also see history made as another member of the top 35 in the world standings will reach the 500 career ride milestone inside of the Madison Square Gardens Arena!
Cooper Davis Brings Home The First Round Win Of The Season
Photo Credit: Rokin’ K Photos / Jeana Wilson-Kilcrease
Hoping to carry on the momentum that the top 35 bull riders in the world gained towards the end of the season last year, the first event of 2018, 25th anniversary season had once again come upon us. It is always a great time when the PBR comes to New York City and all of those in the area totally embrace us each and every year. Once the much-anticipated opening ceremonies were concluded it was time to turn the bull power up to see who would be able to match the efforts put up by their cowboy opponents. From the early get go we got the feeling that this would be a special night inside of the historic Madison Square Gardens! That being said, each and every one of the bull riders here this weekend came in hoping to take home the first PBR Major event of the year and the early world title lead heading into Chicago.
Once things began to happen down on the arena floor it would many of the top bulls in the country that would match wits with the best bull riders in the world. These match-ups would be what would give the sold-out crowd inside all they had to cheer about as 17 of the top 35 bull riders in the world would manage to make qualified rides and carry over a score into tomorrow night’s second round here in New York! After all was said and done, it would be the 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis who would come out the victor while earning an 89.75 point bull ride atop of K-C Bucking Bulls’ Ram It to take home the round win and the 125 world title points that would go along with it. Upon the conclusion of the round one action, those in attendance would be treated to the first 15/15 Bucking Battle of the 2018 season as well. In this round, six of the fifteen competing would be able to earn a qualified ride while Brazilian Kaique Pacheco picked up the win with an 87.75 point ride aboard Jane Clark/Gene Owens’ Moto Moto!
J.B. Mauney Earns His 500th Career Ride Earlier Tonight
Photo Credit: Rokin’ K Photos / Jeana Wilson-Kilcrease
As the 2017 PBR World Finals approached just a couple of months ago, many fans were renewed with the exciting news that fan-favorite bull rider J.B. Mauney would return to action in a quest for his 500th Built Ford Tough Series qualified ride, the name that the tour had up until this year. Throughout the five-day event, it was apparent that Mauney may have had a little rust to knock off or was tentative with his early comeback. Even though he had a rough World Finals, he would manage to post up enough rides to get within one of the mark he was hoping to obtain here this weekend. Coming into tonight’s round he had posted a staggering 499 qualified rides, coming up just one short at the end of the season last year, making the anticipation for this weekend’s event that much more.
All of that built up excitement and nervousness anticipation was able to be released tonight as Mauney would in fact finally obtain the much-awaited 500th career ride on the elite Professional Bull Riders tour! On paper, this was the match-up, if any this weekend, that everyone thought it could happen to be able to cement his name in the history books once again. As Mauney climbed aboard K-C Bucking Bulls’ All The Way Up everyone came out of the locker room and many of his close friends were behind the bucking chutes for the moral support that he was hoping for as he nodded his head. As the chute gate cracked open, you could tell that tonight would be the night it would happen as the old vintage J.B. Mauney showed himself as he could feel the seconds ticking away towards the eight-second mark. Once the arena cleared many of those cowboys behind the chutes would rush the arena floor to celebrate along with him and the thousands of fans watching live from their seats! Our Rodeo Round Up team was on hand and able to capture the historic ride on video and we wanted to share it with all of you so sit back and enjoy watching history unfold before your own eyes!
Complete Round One List Of Qualified Rides
Cooper Davis (89.75) J.B. Mauney (87.25)
Dakota Buttar (87.25) Ryan Dirteater (87.00)
Alex Marcilio (84.75) Dener Barbosa (84.25)
Guilherme Marchi (83.75) Gage Gay (83.25)
Derek Kolbaba (83.00) Luciano De Castro (82.50)
Tanner Byrne (82.50) Valdiron de Oliveira (82.50)
Mason Lowe (82.25) Joao Ricardo Vieira (81.50)
Ramon de Lima (81.50) Shane Proctor (81.00)
Silvano Alves (66.50)
Tonight’s start to the 2018 Professional Bull Riders 25th Anniversary Tour was nothing short of amazing as the Big Apple played host for another year. Our entire Rodeo Round Up team knew what was at stake here this weekend and knew we had to make the trip east for the first time. To say that every one of us was in awe as we walked into Madison Square Gardens to get ready for the first event of the 2018 season. The excitement and anxiety that was expected completely as we all look ahead to tomorrow night’s second round and ultimately the first championship round after watching the first 15/15 Bucking Battle of the 25th Anniversary Season. We all wait in anticipation to see of J.B. Mauney will have what it takes to earn his 500th career ride as he currently sits at 499 rides!
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