In last night’s first round here at the Chicago Invitational we, once again, were treated to a huge number of qualified rides as the heat is turned up to see who will leave as the event champion here later this afternoon following the Championship Sunday performance. Along with the numerous rides, those fans in attendance were able to watch some of their favorite bovine athletes get the weekend started as well as these four-legged animal athletes have gained a huge fan base of their own. For those that were not able to attend the event in person, the Professional Bull Riders staff treated everyone at home with a surprise live feed broadcast of the round one performance if you were lucky enough to see the announcement of the link earlier on in the day. This was much to the delight of many bull riding fans across the world as the new RIDE PASS platform is set to debut in early February!
Although the action was hot and heavy for the entire round last night there were some cowboys that were missing in action due to injuries sustained last week which we talked about in detail last night but after round one just 24-hours ago another huge name was added to that list. Following a powerful weekend where Gage Gay would take home the first major win of the 2018 season, giving him his first-ever taste of the world number one, everything came crashing down that halted his season early on. Following his ride attempt which he was DQ’d for hooking his knots, by the way, Gay landed awkwardly in the sand which kept his knee in one position while his body went the other way. After a look-over by Dr. Tandy Freeman and his staff, it was announced that he had torn both his ACL and MCL which would require an MRI later in the week to determine if surgery would be needed or not.
Jess Lockwood Brings Home The Round Two Win In Chicago
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
When the doors began to open and the fans started to pour into the Allstate Arena, the energy surrounding what was witnessed last night and what was expected to be seen this afternoon was filled with electricity as the draw notes and day sheets were being gone through as the fans began to make their picks for the day. Coming into this afternoon’s rounds many questions still remained but everyone knew who came into Chicago with the swagger that was needed to take home a round two win and move forward to the Championship Round that would ultimately determine who the event champion would be. Once again, the round two match-ups gave us the opportunity to see many more qualified rides and as the action began it looked bleak but did a complete 180 as the round progressed.
As the first section of the day began the hopes of the fans in attendance seeing their favorite bull riders make the eight-second buzzer quickly diminished as only one out of the first ten bull riders would manage to make it to the much-elusive mark. Hoping that things would turn around, the nine riders in section two followed along the path of what was seen just before them in section one with only three more riders making it to the mark, bringing the total of qualified rides to four as we neared the half-way mark of the round. That being said, section three began to turn the day around and going forward it carried that same momentum. After all was said and done there would be sixteen qualified rides in the round with the reigning and defending PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood taking home the round win with a stellar 87.50 point ride atop of his re-ride bull Slip Out from the Torres Brothers Bucking Bulls LLC clan of bovine buckers!
Complete Qualified Rides Break Down From Round Two In Chicago
Jess Lockwood (87.50) Claudio Montanha Jr. (86.50)
Derek Kolbaba (86.25) Dakota Buttar (86.00)
Brennon Eldred (86.00) Fabiano Vieira (85.75)
Dener Barbosa (85.50) Marco Eguchi (84.25)
Stetson Lawrence (84.00) Cody Campbell (83.75)
Cooper Davis (83.50) Jose Vitor Leme (83.00)
Cody Nance (81.50) Silvano Alves (81.50)
Valdiron de Oliveira (81.25) Ramon de Lima (67.00)
Cooper Davis Is Crowned The 2018 Chicago Invitational Champion
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
After all of the excitement and adrenaline was amped up following another fantastic round just moments before, it was time to put the pencils to paper to determine who would be invited back to the second Championship Round of the season as one of the fifteen best bull riders from the weekend’s event. Once the short break was concluded and the arena floor was prepped for the CBS Sports Network telecast we would all find out together what the Championship Round match-ups would be as the draft was set to begin atop of the shark cage in the center of the Allstate Arena floor! When the choices were made and the bucking bulls began to load, the cowboys of the Championship Round made their way back behind the bucking chutes in anticipation of what was about to come.
As things began to unfold, it was quickly known that the cowboys would have their hands full in the final round of the 2018 Chicago Invitational here on Sunday afternoon inside of the Allstate Arena. Many past world champion bucking bull contenders were in this pen along with some that have already made a statement for themselves here in 2018 to be a part of the talk come this November. That all being said, it was another fantastic round where six of the fifteen riders competing would be able to make it to the eight-second buzzer. Although many of the riders had a weekend that they want to remember, no one would have quite the weekend that the 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis had. Davis would split the round one win, make a solid ride in round two and come back to win the Championship round that would bring him to
This weekend proved once again that the top bull riders in the world came into the 2018 Professional Bull Riders 25th Anniversary Monster Energy Unleash The Beast tour with clear minds and healthy bodies in hopes of claiming a World Championship title. Throughout the Chicago Invitational event, we saw some invitees that were making their Premier Tour debuts along with numerous veterans of the game. Many would take full advantage of the opportunities of the “rider-friendly” bucking bulls that they faced to earn some world title race points and secure their spot on the elite tour for the foreseeable future! After two events that are now completed we will again head south to Oklahoma City next weekend for the iconic Express Employment Professionals Invitational for another two-day event in front of a sold-out crowd inside of the Chesapeake Energy Arena!
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