By: Justin Felisko
January 07, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – The 2016 Built Ford Tough Series season kicks off Saturday night inside Chicago’s Allstate Arena and PBR.com will be counting down the final days of the offseason by taking a look back at the Top 5 bull riders at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
Today, we look at Kaique Pacheco, who finished the 2015 season second in the world standings.
No. 2 Kaique Pacheco
World Championships: 0
Best World Standings Finish: second (2015)
2015 BFTS Stats:
Riding Percentage: 47.44 percent
Top Ride: 90 points on Compact in Tucson, Arizona
Wins: 3 (St. Louis; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina)
15/15 Bucking Battle Victories: 0
Round Wins: 7
Top 10: 11
Top 5: 6
90-point Rides: 1
2015 Recap: Kaique Pacheco was not your average rookie in 2015.
Pacheco concluded the year second in the world standings, the highest finish by a PBR rookie, by using a combination of consistency and clutch-performances.
He used a victory at the Music City Knockout – the final PBR Major of 2015 – in Nashville, Tennessee, to put himself in the thick of the world title race with J.B. Mauney and Joao Ricardo Vieira and finished the season with the fourth-most qualified rides on the BFTS (37).
Pacheco finished Nashville only 2-for-5, but he was able to eliminate Aaron Roy, Tanner Byrne, Matt Triplett, Stetson Lawrence and Fabiano Vieira along the way. He earned 650 points toward the world standings to move to No. 3 in the world standings. At the time of his victory, he was within 707.5 points of Mauney’s world lead.
Pacheco’s 47.44 percent riding average was also the third-highest among BFTS riders.
However, what also extremely helped Pacheco rise to a second-place finish in the world standings was his dominance at the PBR’s developmental tour levels. Pacheco went a combined 41-for-60 (68.33 percent) on the BlueDEF Tour, Touring Pro Division and international events. The 21-year-old won nine non-BFTS events in 2015.
His 12 PBR wins at all levels was an organizational best. So too were his 78 qualified rides.
Other noteworthy facts of Pacheco’s rookie year are that he was the fifth Brazilian-born bull rider to win the Rookie of the Year title in the past six years, and he was the third consecutive rookie to finish inside the Top-5 of the world standings.
Outlook: While Mauney begins 2016 as the favorite to win the World Championship, both nine-time World Champion Ty Murray and two-time World Champion Justin McBride said this week that Pacheco is a rider to keep an eye on this year.
Pacheco will look to become the second rider in PBR history to win the world title the year after claiming top rookie honors. The only rider to do that thus far is three-time World Champion Silvano Alves.
Alves spent 2015 mentoring the young bull rider from Itatiba, Brazil, and the two spent the BFTS offseason competing in two PBR Australia events.
The time spent together in Australia should only help Pacheco, who rode five of six bulls attempted in the Land Down Under, continue to grow and mature as a professional.
Last year, Triplett credited his time with Alves in Australia as a major learning curve and contributor to his early-season success.
Pacheco was a proven winner in the PBR in 2015 and that will be key in 2016.
Not only did Pacheco win those 12 events, but he finished just one event win behind Mauney for the BFTS lead and didn’t seemed phased by the big stage when all eyes and cameras were focused upon him.
He finished 78-for-138 at all PBR levels and if he can bring that 56.52-percent riding average to the BFTS level, where he had a 47.44 percent ratio, Pacheco likely will be able to once again be a Top-5 contender.
Regardless of where he finishes in 2016, the future certainly appears bright for Pacheco, who won’t turn 22 years old until Sept. 18.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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