FORT WORTH, Texas – The Texas Rattlers rode unstoppable at their second PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Camping World Team Series homestand in Fort Worth, Texas, going a perfect 3-0 in gameplay and dominating Extra Outs to repeat as PBR Rattler Days, presented by Ariat, event winners. They also remain undefeated inside their home, Dickies Arena, now a perfect 6-0 since the league’s inception in 2022.
Sunday afternoon’s games also determined the regular-season Champion and 2023 PBR Teams MVP. After a tight race with
the Kansas City Outlaws, the Austin Gamblers repeated as the league’s regular-season No. 1 courtesy of a narrow 0.25-point win against the Missouri Thunder. After a season-long battle with the Outlaws’ Cassio Dias, the Gamblers’ Jose Vitor Leme also repeated as the PBR Teams MVP, edging his main rival by 87 points to win the individual honor.
The Texas Rattlers began their homestand in captivating form, winning bull riding’s Red River Showdown with a shutout victory against the Oklahoma Freedom.
On the opening night of the last event of the 2023 Teams season, the Rattlers outscored the Freedom by 262.75 points. Brady Fielder and Trace Redd delivered early scores, clinching the game win for Texas in the fourth, while Cody Jesus added to the team’s margin of victory in the fifth.
As action continued, the hometown Texas Rattlers continued to ride lights out, trouncing their in-state rivals and league No. 1 Austin Gamblers by two ride scores to improve to a perfect 2-0.
The Rattlers set the tone for the game early and never looked back. Texas pulled to an early lead in the bottom of the first, compliments of an 88.25-point ride from Joao Ricardo Vieira. The Rattlers’ early success, coupled with four consecutive buckoffs by Austin, gave Texas the chance to clinch the game win early in the bottom of the fourth. Delivering for his team, Braidy Randolph covered Centerfold for 83.5 points to cement the upset win.
Austin prevented a shutout in the top of the fifth when closer Leme rode Outlaw for 89.25 points. The Rattlers added one more score to their tally, an 88.5-point score from Brady Oleson atop Smooth Over It, to ultimately defeat their in-state rivals by 171 points, 260.25-89.25.
On Championship Sunday, the Rattlers punctuated their perfect performance inside Dickies Arena with a 95-point win over
the league’s reigning Champion Nashville Stampede, 264-169. After a slow start to the game, Texas rode to the win when they delivered three consecutive scores with Jesus, Oleson and Randolph all making the whistle.
The Rattlers concluded gameplay as one of two teams with a perfect 3-0 record, forcing Extra Outs against the Kansas City Outlaws.
The Outlaws traveled to Fort Worth with two titles in their sights: a team regular-season Championship and the 2023 Teams MVP honor for their closer, Dias. Kansas City began the regular-season finale three games behind Austin, who traveled to the event having already clinched a first-round bye. To surpass the Gamblers for the No. 1 rank, Kansas City would need to go 3-0, while Austin would need to go 0-3. Austin would need either a victory of their own or a loss by Kansas City to sew up the title for the second straight season.
As gameplay began on Friday, Oct. 6, Kansas City was the first to take to the chutes, squaring off against the Arizona Ridge Riders. Fresh off their event-winning, 3-0 effort the weekend prior in Glendale, Arizona, the Outlaws continued to ride lights out, defeating Arizona by two ride scores, 262.5-89.75.
While Kansas City trailed following the first frame, as Nick Tetz delivered Arizona’s lone score of the game, scores from Sandro Batista in the second, Bob Mitchell in the fourth and closer Dias in the fifth delivered them the come-from-behind win. Dias’s 86.75-point score on Skippy also kept his hopes of winning the 2023 PBR Teams MVP title alive, pulling within a then-83.5-points of leader Leme.
After watching Kansas City throttle Arizona by two ride scores, Austin took to the chutes for their showdown against the league’s reigning Champion Nashville Stampede, the very team that upset them in the second round of the 2022 PBR Teams Championship.
Nashville again rode in seemingly unstoppable form, going a near-perfect 4-for-5, to thrash Austin 342.25-88 and upset the Gamblers for the second time this season. Nashville clinched the game win early by beginning the game with three consecutive qualified rides from Chase Outlaw, Mason Moody and Kaiden Loud, matched with three straight buckoffs by Austin.
The game, however, ended in dramatic form. In the fifth frame, after Austin’s closer Leme rode Whiplash for a game-best 88 points, growing his MVP lead back to 171.5 points, he was jerked toward the bull, knocked out, and left motionless on the dirt, ultimately carried out by PBR’s sports medicine team. As the crowd awaited an update on Leme, Nashville’s closer Silvano Alves made history, becoming just the fourth rider in history to deliver 500 qualified rides in premier PBR competition as he topped True Religion for 84.75 points.
The loss prevented Austin from clinching the regular-season No. 1 title Friday evening in Fort Worth, while also keeping Kansas City’s title hopes alive.
On the second night of competition, Kansas City again took to the dirt first, squaring off against their in-state rival Missouri Thunder before Austin’s showdown against the host Rattlers.
Kansas City beat the Thunder in walk-off form by 85 points to clinch a first-round bye in the 2023 PBR Teams Championship this October.
In their five-on-five showdown, Kansas City claimed an early 87.25-point lead in the bottom of the first, compliments of an 87.25-point ride atop Rank Frank by team newcomer Batista. Missouri, however, quickly tied the game in the top of the second, as Briggs Madsen logged a matching 87.25-point effort aboard The Maverick.
The Outlaws retook the lead in the top of the second via an 84.25-point score from 2022 PBR Rookie of the Year Mitchell. With neither team converting in the third or fourth, Missouri closer Kade Madsen delivered in a must-ride position in the top of the fifth, keeping his team’s hopes of victory alive when he covered Electric Avenue for 87.75 points. Via the score, Kansas City trailed by 3.5 points as their closer Dias settled in aboard Pickle Moonshine. Dias rode the powerful animal athlete with ease, reaching the requisite 8 for 88.5 points to walk off with the win, 260-175.
The Rattlers’ victory against Austin, during which Leme grew his MVP lead to 172.25 points over Dias, paired with the Outlaws’ win over the Thunder, meant the 2023 regular-season championship would be determined on the final day of the season.
For the third consecutive day, Kansas City played first. They improved to a perfect 3-0 at Rattler Days, presented by Ariat, and remained in the hunt for the regular-season title as they knocked off the Oklahoma Freedom by 89.75 points, 174.75-90. Their win was headlined by key scores from Batista and Dias.
The ride from Dias, an 85.25-point effort aboard Dream Walkin’ in the top of the fifth, allowed him to inch within 87 points of Leme in the Teams MVP race.
Two games later, in what proved to be the closest contest of the event, Austin extinguished Kansas City’s hopes of a come-from-behind title bid, winning the regular-season Championship in consecutive seasons when they beat the league No. 8 Missouri Thunder by a mere 0.25 points. With each team delivering just one score, it was Rafael dos Santos’ 88.5-point effort on No Cigar for Austin that beat out Andy Bohl’s 88.25-point ride atop Little Bit.
While Austin may have cliched the regular-season championship with the win, the game did not determine the Teams MVP race as Leme was uncharacteristically bucked off by Orca. With Kansas City already having advanced to Extra Outs, Dias would have one final opportunity to ride and surpass Leme in come-from-behind form.
As Extra Outs began, Texas earned the first pick having amassed more points in the aggregate than Kansas City. They elected to pair Trace Redd with Mike’s Motive, while the Outlaws tasked Dias with Nefarious.
The Rattlers’ Redd erupted from the chutes but failed to deliver for his team, brought down in 4.2 seconds. With both the event win and Teams MVP title on the line, Dias nodded aboard Nefarious, but he hit the dirt in 2.21 seconds. The buckoff not only initiated a second round of Extra Outs, but also clinched the Teams MVP title for Leme for the second season. Accumulating 1,765.25 points, he finished 87 points ahead of No. 2 Dias.
Extra Outs then featured Texas’s Oleson aboard Smooth Over It and Kansas City’s Leonardo Castro Ferreira atop Knockin Boots. With both riders reaching the 8, it was Oleson’s 88.75-point ride besting Ferreira’s 86-point effort to deliver the PBR Rattler Days, presented by Ariat, win to the home team.
The ride also clinched Oleson the event MVP title at his team’s homestand. He finished 1.5 points ahead of No. 2 Batista, who also went 3-for-3.
The perfect 3-0 weekend led the Texas Rattlers to finish the regular season No. 3 in the league with a 16-12 overall record. Kansas City, who also went 3-0 inside Dickies Arena, concluded the regular season No. 2 with an 18-10 record, trailing the No. 1 Austin Gamblers, who went 1-2 at the event and 19-9 throughout the season, by one game.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer replays of all the PBR Camping World Team Series action from Fort Worth, Texas. Check https://pluto.tv/en/live-tv/pbr-ridepass for the latest programming schedule.
The PBR Camping World Team Series next travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, and T-Mobile Arena for the 2023 PBR Teams Championship. Competition begins Friday, Oct. 20, at 7:45 p.m. PDT, Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7:45 p.m. PDT and Sunday, Oct. 22, at 12:45 p.m. PDT.
No. 1 Austin and No. 2 Kansas City both earned first-round byes. They will play the lowest two advancing teams on the second night of the PBR Camping World Teams Series Championship. The matchups for the first round of the progressive elimination tournament inside T-Mobile Arena are:
No. 3 Texas Rattlers vs. No. 8 Missouri Thunder
No. 4 Oklahoma Freedom vs. No. 7 Nashville Stampede
No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders vs. No. 6 Carolina Cowboys
Article Courtesy of PBR