TUCSON, Ariz. – Not long ago, Brady Oleson (Blackfoot, Idaho) was sitting on the sidelines recovering from a major shoulder surgery and dealing with personal life struggles. This afternoon in Tucson, Arizona, Oleson finished an impeccable 3-for-3 weekend at the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast (UTB) season-launch event with a 90.75-point ride in the championship round, winning the Monster Energy Invitational.
As Championship Sunday began, the 2023 season was already off to an electric start for Oleson, courtesy of a shared Round 1 win on Saturday night with his Texas Rattlers’ teammate Daniel Keeping (Montague, Texas) and 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas).
The Idaho man, who had knocked down 44% of his rides with the Rattlers in the recently concluded Teams season, picked up where he left off the night before as he exploded from the chutes Sunday afternoon aboard White Face (Shuler/ Pedra Bucking Bulls) in Round 2. The solid 88-point ride punched his ticket to the final round.
Oleson then selected Pickle Moonshine (Shuler Bucking Bulls) as his bovine opponent in the championship round.
With fans inside Tucson Arena cheering him on, Oleson dismounted the talented animal athlete following the 8-second buzzer and walked out of the arena with a giant unmistakable smile on his face, proudly displaying a gap from a top tooth that had been knocked out. The cheers rose to a roar as his 90.75-point score was announced.
Unsure if the monster score would be enough to clinch the win, the 26-year-old cowboy sat on the back of the chutes calmly grinning and watching as the three remaining riders attempted to overcome his spot on the leaderboard.
Despite their best efforts, Vitor Losnake (Bauru, Brazil), Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas) and Boudreaux Campbell (Crockett, Texas) were all bested by their bulls to close out Sunday’s short round– giving Oleson his first career UTB win.
On Sunday, he was handed a check for $43,570.33 as one of only four riders to go 3-for3. He also collected 133 points and now tops the UTB standings in the 2023 race for the world title.
Brazil’s Thiago Salgado (Navirai, Brazil) also made his mark in Arizona, going 3-for-3 for a second-place finish.
Early on Sunday, Salgado was paired with Skull Crusher (Shuler Bucking Bulls) for Round 2. His 87-point score paved his way to the championship round.
While missing his brother’s wedding in an effort to capture crucial points at the first event of the 2023 season, Salgado had a lot on the line as he chose Razzmatazz (M Rafter E/ High View Cattle) in the championship round.
The 20-year-old Brazilian cowboy’s flawless 91.50-point score, the highest of the event, put him in the driver’s seat and set to win until Oleson’s out. For his efforts, he earned 101 points and $19,820.
Salgado now holds the No. 2 spot in the UTB season standings.
2018 PBR Rookie of the Year Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Spring, Utah) continued the 3-for-3 streak in Tucson to finish in third place.
After an 85.25-point ride in Round 2 aboard Big Pokey (Cooper / Scruggs Bucking Bulls), his spot was secured in the championship round.
Whitehorse carefully selected Kid Knapper (Phillips/Cooper/Scruggs/Bucking Bulls) as his matchup for the final round. Matching the crowd’s energy, the Utah cowboy and pride of the Navajo Nation was ecstatic as he flipped to the ground and heard his 91-point ride score announced, his highest-scored ride in two years.
Collecting 71 points and $11,836, Whitehorse now sits at No. 3 in the UTB standings as the battle for the next world title begins.
In all, there were three 90-point rides in Sunday’s championship round.
Texan Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, TX) finished fourth courtesy of being the final man to go 3-for-3 during the two days of competition.
Paired with Empty Glass (Hart Cattle Company) in Round 2, Alvidrez launched from the chutes with dirt flying for an 88.25-point score.
The 25-year-old then selected Malaki (Jenkins Cattle Co/CIL Cattle) for the championship round in hopes of catapulting himself up the leaderboard to the event win.
While remaining in control for the 8 seconds aboard his bovine athlete, kicking his outside leg for style points, an 89.75-point score was awarded, which wasn’t enough to secure the win.
Headed into the second event of the season, Alvidrez now holds the No. 4 spot in the standings after collecting 61.5 UTB points.
2020 PBR Rookie of the Year Boudreaux Campbell rounded out the Top 5 with a 2-for-3 weekend.
After leaving the arena Saturday night with no points on the board, Campbell was paired with Lights Out (Hawkins Bucking Bulls / Premier Ag) in Sunday’s long round. He recorded a crowd-pleasing 89.75-point score to sail into the championship round.
As the very last ride of the weekend, his selection of Soul Train (Shuler Bucking Bulls) did not go as planned. The massive bovine launched from the chutes, unseating Campbell from the start.
After judges determined the out garnered a re-ride opportunity, Campbell, who was holding his arm and in visible pain, nodded his head to ride again.
Matched with Hundred Bad Days (TNT Bucking Bulls / Hart Cattle Co), the crowd was on his side at full volume but Campbell was throttled to the ground after a mere 1.29 seconds.
Despite Campbell’s less than ideal conclusion on Sunday, he earned 50.5 points and now sits in the No. 5 spot in the UTB standings.
Arizona’s own Cody Jesus (Window Rock, Arizona) had a disappointing Sunday after he positioned himself for a big ending to the weekend. Jesus tied with five other cowboys for third place on Saturday night with an 88.50-point score, but his matchup in Round 2 with Black Gold (Cooper/ Scruggs Bucking Bulls) ended after a mere 2.82 seconds, and he did not advance to the final round.
PBR RidePass on PlutoTV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR UTB event including the season opener in Tucson. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule.
The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to St Louis, Missouri for the PBR St. Louis Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:45 p.m. CST and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 1:45 p.m. CST.
During the 2023 UTB season, the PBR is celebrating its 30th anniversary since 20 cowboys broke away from the traditional rodeo with the belief that bull riding could be a standalone sport. Throughout the seven-month individual season, UTB will hold 23 events, travelling to cities across the country including New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, culminating in the 2023 PBR World Finals May 12-21 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
PBR Unleash The Beast – Monster Energy Invitational
Tucson Arena -Tucson, Arizona
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Brady Oleson, 89.75-88-90.75-268.50-133.5 Points.
2. Thiago Salgado, 88.25-87-91.5-266.75-101 Points.
3. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 87.75-85.25-91-264.00-71 Points.
4. Andrew Alvidrez, 85.5-88.25-89.75-263.50-61.5 Points.
5. Boudreaux Campbell, 89.5-89.75-0-179.25-50.5 Points.
6. Cooper Davis, 89.75-0-89-178.75-48 Points.
7. Chase Outlaw, 88.5-90-0-178.50-47 Points.
8. Vitor Losnake, 89.5-88.25-0-177.75-37 Points.
9. Daniel Keeping, 89.75-86.25-0-176.00-35 Points.
10. Mason Taylor, 85.75-88-0-173.75-24.5 Points.
11. Wyatt Rogers, 82.25-83.5-0-165.75-17 Points.
12. Kaique Pacheco, 88.5-0-0-88.50-12 Points.
(tie). Cody Jesus, 88.5-0-0-88.50-12 Points.
(tie). Eli Vastbinder, 88.5-0-0-88.50-12 Points.
(tie). Colten Fritzlan, 88.5-0-0-88.50-12 Points.
16. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-86.5-0-86.50-11.5 Points.
(tie). Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-86.5-0-86.50-11.5 Points.
(tie). Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 86.5-0-0-86.50-8 Points.
19. Junior Patrik Souza, 0-86-0-86.00-9 Points.
20. Daylon Swearingen, 85.75-0-0-85.75-8 Points.
21. Wingson Henrique da Silva, 84.5-0-0-84.50-8 Points.
22. João Henrique Lucas, 84-0-0-84.00-8 Points.
23. Bob Mitchell, 0-83.5-0-83.50-8 Points.
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00
Kyler Oliver, 0-0-0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Ednei Caminhas, 0-0-0-0.00
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0.00
Koltin Hevalow, 0-0-0-0.00
Casey Roberts, 0-0-0-0.00
Briggs Madsen, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0.00
Braidy Randolph, 0-0-0-0.00
Article Courtesy of the PBR
Photo By Andy Watson/ Bull Stock Media