Lima’s first Unleash The Beast Victory in more than five years nets the veteran Brazilian 264 points, catapulting him 30 positions in 2021 World Championship race to world No. 16
For the first time in more than five years, veteran Brazilian Paulo Ferreira Lima (Bezerros, Brazil) was standing atop the Can-Am Cage, victorious in premier series competition, when action for the week’s PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast event wound to a close in Fort Worth, Texas. Punctuating his 4-for-5 effort inside Dickies Arena with a monstrous, walk-off 90-point ride, Lima won the PBR Tractor Supply Co. Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat, garnering a critical 264 world points to catapult 30 rankings in the world standings.
Making the most of his alternate position in the draw, Lima rose to the occasion in Round 1 Saturday evening, covering Marquis Metal Works Draggin Up (Paradigm Bull Co./Marquis Metal Works) for 87.25 points.
While he was bested in Round 2 by Grand Theft (D&H Cattle Co./Phillip Elkins) in 3.44 seconds, Lima’s opening-round score was enough to position him within the event’s Top 8 and advance him to Round 3.
Lima next climbed aboard Homegrown (Cord McCoy/Chad Reese), regaining his winning form en route to the 8-second whistle and resulting in an 88.25-point score.
As Round 4 got underway, Lima continued his climb up the leaderboard. Winning the round, Lima clinched one of the final two positions in Round 5 when he rode Silver Lining (Stockyards/Winston/Melton Bull Co.) for 88.25 points.
Positioned second in the event, Lima found his name across from that of 2020 ABBI Classic Champion Woopaa’s (Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch) in the winner-take-all round of the progressive elimination-formatted Major.
With a propensity to propel riders to big scores, Woopaa had been ridden for 93.75 points or more in his last three trips, including his historic, 97.75-point out with 2020 PBR World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) in Tulsa that obliterated the league’s all-time high-marked ride record.
Continuing the streak, Lima matched the powerful bovine athlete jump-for-jump en route to a career-best 95.25-point score. The 90-point ride was the seventh of Lima’s career on the premier series and first since January 2016. Not only did the score elevate Lima to the PBR Iron Cowboy victory, but it also clinched him the $20,000 bonus presented to the high-marked ride of the event.
Lima’s golden finish earned him a check for $126,576.92, along with a critical 264 world points. While he traveled to the event ranked No. 46 in the word, Lima surged 30 positions in the world rankings, now ranked No. 16. Seeking his fifth qualification to the PBR World Finals in 2021, and first since 2018, Lima is now within 1,370.17 points of No. 1 Leme.
After a valiant, hard-fought effort, Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina) finished a career-best second in the Lone Star State.
Electric in Round 1, Vastbinder delivered the second-best score of Saturday evening’s 40-rider field when he outlasted Juju (Tommy Julian/D&H Cattle) for a career-best 89.5 points.
As Championship Sunday got underway, Vastbinder vaulted to the top of the event leaderboard when he won Round 2 courtesy of an 87.75-point score atop @PBR on TikTok (Paradigm Bull Co./Lansman Land & Cattle).
Remaining red hot in both Round 3 and Round 4, Vastbinder solidified his position as the No. 1 rider inside Dickies Arena when he covered Oreo (Brian Shaw/Red Laces Cattle Co.) for 89 points and Zorro (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) for 87.5 points.
Vastbinder’s successes, however, came to an abrupt halt in Round 5 when 2019 ABBI Classic Champion Chiseled (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.) thwarted the North Carolinian’s aspirations of his first Unleash The Beast victory.
Despite appearing in command for the majority of the trip, Chiseled proved the more dominant athlete, brining Vastbinder down in a heartbreaking 7.06 seconds.
The 4-for-5 showing netted Vastbinder a check for $25,344.82 along with a critical 116 points. Not only did the silver finish allow the 30-year-old to gain ground in the race for the 2021 PBR World Championship, but also in the contentious battle for the year’s PBR Rookie of the Year honor.
In the broader world standings, Vastbinder climbed from No. 31 to No. 21, while in the race amongst first-year pros on the elite tour, he is now ranked No. 6, 189 points behind standings leader Chase Dougherty (Decatur, Texas).
Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) regained his championship-contending form in Fort Worth after being sidelined the majority of the first half, undergoing both hip and shoulder surgery following the 2020 PBR World Finals.
Competing via exemptions, Swearingen, who traveled to the event ranked No. 54 in the world, brought the raucous Dickies Arena crowd to its feet in Round 1 when he rode Charlie Brown (Lonnie & Amy Austin) for 86.75 points.
While his Round 2 effort left much to be desired, dispatched by Mezcal (Paradigm Bull Co.) in a quick 1.89 seconds, Swearingen was fast to rebound in Round 3.
Delivering the sixth 90-point ride of his career on the elite Unleash The Beast and first since Round 4 of the 2020 PBR World Finals, Swearingen won the third round of the PBR Tractor Supply Co. Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat, when he went the distance aboard Diddy Wa Diddy (Cord McCoy/Bill McCarty) for a head-turning 90.75 points.
Swearingen was quick to ready himself for Round 4, but his 6.09-second buckoff atop Nervous Wreck (CG Bucking Bulls/Big Rafter Rodeo) ended his hopes of his first Major win.
The Texas resident’s third-place finished earned him $10,200 and 55 world points. He climbed 11 positions in the world standings to No. 43 and is now within 95 points of the Top 30 and a seeded position on the elite tour.
Fourth was 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas).
As one of nine riders to deliver a score in Round 1, Kasel advanced to the next round of the progressive-elimination Major via his 87.75-point ride on Schott in The Dark (Julio Moreno/Schott Bucking Bulls).
While his Championship Sunday campaign began with a buckoff in Round 2, dispatched by Bentley (Viducic Bucking Bulls) in 2.73 seconds, Kasel delivered under pressure in the third round, making the 8 atop Monkey Island (Lari Crane/Gene Owen) for 89.5 points.
In visible pain after getting his ankle stepped on by Monkey Island, Kasel was unable to convert on Stetson (CG Bucking Bulls/Big Rafter Rodeo) in Round 4, bucked off at the 2.28-second mark.
Kasel may have concluded his campaign short of the whistle, but his 2-for-4 showing earned him an ever-important 49 world points. He is now ranked No. 15 in the world standings, up two positions after beginning the Major inside Dickies Arena at No. 17.
Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth and keeping his World Championship hopes alive was Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas).
The 2016 PBR World Champion began his Iron Cowboy Major with back-to-back qualified rides, winning Round 1 via a 90.5 point ride on County Jail (Frontier Rodeo Company) before going the distance on Struttin Stuff (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) for 82.5 points in Round 2.
Davis, however, was narrowly denied a position in Round 4 after being bucked off by Young Man’s Blues (Paradigm Bull Co./Jess Lockwood/Parker McCollum) in 4.85 seconds in Round 3.
The Texan left Dickies Arena with a check for $13,478.26 and a crucial 67 world points. Davis remained No. 3 in the world, but closed within 615.5 points of No. 1 Leme, who went an uncharacteristic 0-for-2 at the Major.
Davis was the lone rider inside the world Top 3 to earn points in Fort Worth. No. 2 and 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) was also shut out, going 0-for-2.
In the bull pen, Woopaa earned his league-leading sixth YETI “Built For the Wild” Bull of the Event title, extending his lead over No. 2 Chiseled in the feverish YETI PBR World Championship Bull Race.
For the fourth time this season, Woopaa delivered a score marked 47 points or higher, a feat only two other bulls have achieved in 2021. Woopaa earned 47 points in his trip with event winner Lima.
After beginning the event 0.53 points ahead of No. 2 Chiseled, who was scored 46.25 points in his out with Vastbinder, Woopaa is now 0.59 points out front.
In a season-first, Round 1 of the PBR Tractor Supply Co. Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat, included a special showcase as three of the top ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.) Futurity calves competed at Dickies Arena for their share of a $50,000 purse. Round 1 took place at Cowtown Coliseum Friday afternoon, with the Top 3 calves all earning 93 points or more to advance to Round 2 during the PBR Major.
2021 ABBI American Heritage Futurity Champion Down Payment (Joe & Nina Webb/Zane Walker/BS Cattle Co.) landed a first-place overall finish with his 94.4-point performance and combined score of 187.8 points for $12,500 and the Cowtown Showdown Champion title.
Dirty Beaver (Barthold/Wilson) notched 91.8 points and a total score of 185.6 points for second place and $7,500. Sonny B (Less Than 8 Cattle/Wilson) rounded out the Top 3 with a score of 91 points and an aggregate score of 184 points for $6,000.
PBR RidePass on PlutoTV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Unleash The Beast event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule.
Following a one-week break, the PBR Unleash the Beast will next travel to Anaheim, California, and Honda Center for the PBR Monster Energy Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires. The event will be on Friday, September 10 at 7:45 p.m. PDT and Saturday, September 11 at 6:45 p.m. PDT.
Elsewhere in the PBR, after a nearly nine-month hiatus from competition, the elite PBR Canada Cup Series returned in momentous fashion in Lethbridge, Alberta at ENMAX Centre for the two-day South Country Co-op Showdown, presented by VisitLethbridge.com. Backed by a monstrous 90-point ride in the championship round, two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert (Ponoka, Alberta) clinched the season-launch event victory, catapulting to the No. 1 rank in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, and accompanying $50,000 bonus.
Lambert began the tour stop in dominant fashion, tying for the Round 1 win compliments of an 84-point effort atop Gandy (Skori Bucking Bulls). As Championship Saturday got underway, however, the Ponoka native was unable to continue his hot streak, dispatched by Bob Rock (Skori Bucking Bulls) in a quick 1.84 seconds.
With his opening-round score enough to secure his spot in the championship round, Lambert drafted a familiar opponent in reigning PBR Canada Bull of the Year Catch My Drift (Two Bit Bucking Bulls/K Rose Ranch). In June, the veteran Canuck delivered the first 90-point ride of the Canadian season atop the striking bovine athlete, scored 91 points in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Replicating his past success, Lambert once again matched the bull jump-for-jump, making the requisite 8 for an event-best 90 points in Lethbridge.
For his efforts, Lambert netted a critical 85.5 national points, catapulting him from No. 9 to No. 1 in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship. The 35-year-old now leads No. 2 Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta) by a mere 1.34 points.
Should Lambert earn the national title in 2021, he would tie three-time Champion Aaron Roy (Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan) for most Canadian Championships won by one rider in league history. Lambert won the honor in 2013 and 2017, while Roy was the top Canadian in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Stay tuned to PBR.com for the latest news and results, and be sure to follow the league on all social media platforms at @PBR.