JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In front of a raucous crowd inside Jacksonville’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Joao Henrique Lucas (Bastos, Brazil) delivered the high-marked ride of his career to win Round 1 of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast Bad Boy Mowers Invitational, presented by Union Home Mortgage.
At the conclusion of the explosive event, which was headlined by 16 qualified rides, the ferocious 2021 PBR World Championship race further intensified, as 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) battled through two re-rides to tie for fourth in the opening round and inch within 23 points of the world No. 1 rank.
Lucas captured his first round victory of 2021 when he became the first rider in five attempts to make the 8 aboard Gangster Bones (Rickey West/Steve Freeman/2R Bucking Bulls), marked an impressive 88.75 points.
“I want to thank this beautiful crowd, all the fans for coming out,” Lucas said moments after the ride. “It’s amazing to have a full house. It makes a difference in how we ride to have all these people cheer for us.”
Lucas’s efforts earned him 28 world points, elevating him one position in the world standings from No. 21 to No. 20.
The anticipation was undeniable as world No. 2 Pacheco and No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) ascended the chutes for their outs to close out Round 1 at the PBR’s first Unleash The Beast visit to Jacksonville in four years. Embroiled in a fierce battle atop the standings, the duo of stoic Brazilians entered the event separated by a mere 28.5 world points.
Initially drawing Troll (5S Bucking Bulls/Tex Brothers Ranch), Pacheco was awarded a re-ride as reigning World Champion Leme settled in aboard Walks Far (5S Bucking Bulls/Tex Brothers Ranch).
Leme erupted from the chutes and appeared in firm control of his bovine athlete counterpart until he came down in an ever-close 7.41 seconds, opening the door for Pacheco to cut the reigning PBR World Champion’s lead atop the world rankings.
Matching up against Caddyshack (Blake Sharp/Paige Stout) for his first re-ride of the evening, Pacheco came down short of the whistle but was awarded yet another re-ride and chance to reclaim the world No. 1 rank, which he held for four weeks earlier this season and for one day last weekend in Billings until Leme again vaulted ahead of him.
In what would be his final bull of the evening, Pacheco regrouped, collected himself, and returned determined to end the evening with a qualified ride, drawing Dirty Sancho (Blake Sharp/Koe Wetzel/High Voltage Cattle).
Capitalizing on Leme’s stumble, Pacheco covered Dirty Sancho for 87.75 points, tying for fourth in Round 1.
Pacheco’s gritty efforts earned him a crucial 15.5 world points allowing him to nearly halve Leme’s lead atop the world standings. The “Ice Man” is now within 23 points of the No. 1 rank.
Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) and Rafael Henrique dos Santos (Sebastianopolis, Brazil) tied for second, each scored 88.25 points and earning 17.5 world points.
They covered Experiment 626 (Rickey West Bucking Bulls/Hatcher Porter) and Bad Bet (Martinez/Rockin T), respectively.
The silver finish allowed 2016 World Champion Davis to solidify his world No. 3 rank, now 286.5 points back of No. 1 Leme, and Santos remained No. 12.
Also finishing fourth in Round 1 in the Sunshine State was Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas).
Snapping an eight-out buckoff streak, Mitchell rode Express Lane (Rickey West Bucking Bulls) for 87.75 points.
Mitchell earned 15.5 world points and elevating six positions in the world standings as he climbed from No. 36 to No. 30.
Fans can relive all the action from Round 1 of the PBR Bad Boy Mowers Invitational, presented by Union Home Mortgage, starting at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday, May 23, on RidePass, at RidePass.com or via the mobile app.
PBR Unleash The Beast action from Jacksonville, Florida, and VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena will conclude on Sunday, May 23, starting at 1:45 p.m. EDT, with Round 2 and the championship round.
PBR Unleash The Beast
PBR Bad Boy Mowers Invitational, presented by Union Home Mortgage
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, Florida
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. João Henrique Lucas, 88.75-0-0-88.75-28 Points.
2. Cooper Davis, 88.25-0-0-88.25-17.5 Points.
(tie). Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 88.25-0-0-88.25-17.5 Points.
4. Kaique Pacheco, 87.75-0-0-87.75-15.5 Points.
(tie). Ezekiel Mitchell, 87.75-0-0-87.75-15.5 Points.
6. Caic Cassio Carvalho, 87-0-0-87.00-14 Points.
7. Mason Taylor, 86.25-0-0-86.25-13 Points.
8. Taylor Toves, 85.75-0-0-85.75-11.5 Points.
(tie). Matt Triplett, 85.75-0-0-85.75-11.5 Points.
10. Dener Barbosa, 85.5-0-0-85.50-10 Points.
11. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 85.25-0-0-85.25-9 Points.
12. Michael Lane, 85-0-0-85.00-8 Points.
13. Kyle Jones, 84.75-0-0-84.75-8 Points.
14. Marco Eguchi, 83.5-0-0-83.50-8 Points.
15. Boudreaux Campbell, 82.75-0-0-82.75-8 Points.
16. Dakota Louis, 82-0-0-82.00-8 Points.
Jose Vitor Leme, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Junior Patrik Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-0-0-0.00
J.T. Moore, 0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0.00
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0.00
Hunter Ball, 0-0-0-0.00
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0.00
Leonardo Lima, 0-0-0-0.00
Joe Hostetler, 0-0-0-0.00
Logan Biever, 0-0-0-0.00
Cole Skender, 0-0-0-0.00
Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0.00
Alecio Ferreira da Costa, 0-0-0-0.00
Lane Nobles, 0-0-0-0.00
Eli Byler, 0-0-0-0.00
Thor Hoefer II, 0-0-0-0.00
Article Courtesy of PBR
Photo: Bullstock Media