By: Justin Felisko
May 10, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Call it good fortune, great bull riding or a mere coincidence, but Last Cowboy Standing has simply been dominated by the PBR’s Brazilian contingent for the last five years.
Brazilian dominance has been the norm at Last Cowboy Standing; Vegas draw notes (5-10-17)
World No. 2 Kaique Pacheco heads into Last Cowboy Standing this weekend as the defending event champion, and a second consecutive Last Cowboy Standing title could push the 2015 Rookie of the Year back into the world No. 1 ranking for the first time since last year’s Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Pacheco has won at least one PBR Major in each of his first two seasons in the U.S., and last year his Last Cowboy Standing victory rocketed him from 13th in the world standings to No. 1.
The 22-year-old trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido, who actually was the final rider eliminated at Last Cowboy Standing last year, by 885 points in the standings.
Luke Snyder won the inaugural 2011 Last Cowboy Standing event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center before Silvano Alves went back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi followed that up with the 2014 crown before Joao Ricardo Vieira extended his lead atop the 2015 world standings with the first LCS title at the outdoor Las Vegas Village.
In fact, if you factor in the last three Iron Cowboy competitions in Arlington, Texas, which switched to a LCS format in 2015, there is an even greater Brazilian dominance. Aparecido claimed the Iron Cowboy title this past February, while Vieira laid claim to the 2015 title.
Grand Coulee, Washington, bull rider Shane Proctor won the 2016 Iron Cowboy.
There are 16 Brazilian-born riders slated to compete at this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing event, which begins Friday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
Last Cowboy Standing is a minimum of two rounds and a maximum of five. At least 25 riders will advance to Round 2, with any draw spots being filled by the current world standings heading into Last Cowboy Standing if there are less than 25 rides in Round 1.
If all riders buck off in Rounds 2, 3 or 4, then all riders that attempted a bull advance to the next round.
If there is more than one ride in the final round (Round 5), then the Last Cowboy Standing will be the rider with the highest-ride score in Round 5. If there are no rides in Round 5, then the Last Cowboy Standing will be the rider with the most round points that had competed in Round 5.
The event winner of the third PBR Major of the season will earn a minimum of $100,000 and 625 points toward the world standings.
Each round winner earns 125 points toward the world standings, as well.
It is the final BFTS event before the summer break. The BFTS will later resume on Aug. 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Pacheco has drawn Red Dawn (5-2, BFTS) for Round 1 on Friday night, while Aparecido will look to extend his world lead in Las Vegas when he takes on Calypso (7-4, BFTS).
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney has the potential to reach the historic 500-ride mark on Saturday night if he gets passed Tap Out (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1 for career ride 498 and advances to Saturday’s final rounds.
As part of the 40-rider draw, four Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour winners received exemptions to Las Vegas – Michael Lane (Milwaukee), Cody Heffernan (Wichita, Kansas), Jesse Tillman (Des Moines, Iowa) and Skeeter Kingsolver (Birmingham, Alabama).
Last Cowboy Standing will be the BFTS debut for Tillman. The 26-year-old is competing in just his eighth PBR event overall and is 4-for-8 in five events this year.
The Auxvasse, Missouri, bull rider is 57th in the world standings and has drawn The Kid (1-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Meanwhile, this weekend will be Kingsolver’s first BFTS event since February 28, 2015, when he competed at Iron Cowboy. Kingsolver takes on Dream Catcher (7-5, BFTS) in Round 1.
There are six alternate spots available for Last Cowboy Standing because of injuries to No. 24 Stetson Lawrence (broken left hip), No. 25 Mike Lee (shoulder), No. 28 Dakota Buttar (torn UCL), No. 29 Brady Sims (broken leg) and No. 30 Troy Wilkinson (left groin/hand).
Buttar confirmed on Tuesday that MRI results in Canada revealed a torn ligament, as well as a broken bone in his riding elbow. The 24-year-old is waiting to hear back from Dr. Tandy Freeman on how much time he will miss, but he hopes to be back in a few weeks.
The sixth alternate spot is available because one of the Velocity Tour winner invites – Joao Ricardo Vieira – was already ranked in the Top 30 and seeded for the event.
Therefore, No. 36 Robson Aragao, No. 37 Alex Marcilio, No. 40 Jake Gowdy, No. 41 Brennon Eldred, No. 44 Alex Cardozo and No. 45 Cody Campbell are all competing in Las Vegas.
Eldred is one of four PBR bull riders also scheduled to compete during this weekend’s PRCA Helldorado Days Rodeo. Joining Eldred are No. 4 Derek Kolbaba, No. 13 Shane Proctor, and No. 14 Cody Teel.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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