By: Justin Felisko
November 06, 2016
LAS VEGAS – There have only been 19 different PBR World Finals event winners in the history of the PBR, but there will always be only one that can claim to be the first winner at T-Mobile Arena.
Ryan Dirteater capped off a dominant week in Las Vegas by riding Brutus for 89.75 points to finish the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals a perfect 6-for-6 and win the first World Finals event held at the state-of-the-art arena on the Las Vegas Strip.
“It is huge,” Dirteater said. “It is in the history books. To win the first ever PBR World Finals here at T-Mobile is a great accomplishment also. It is an honor to be up there at the top.”
Dirteater won a career-high $317,916.67. He earned $250,000 for winning the event, as well as an additional $67,916.67 in round money.
The total payday pushed him past the $1 million mark in career earnings.
2002 World Finals event winner J.W. Hart shook Dirteater’s hand in the hallway outside the locker room following the event and said he was impressed by the 27-year-old’s fight to make the whistle in the championship round.
“Today was good because he had a chance to bail and a chance to weaken,” Hart said. “He had an opportunity to jump off and want a re-ride and he stood up on his legs and stuck it out. That is why he won.”
Dirteater used a nifty readjustment from the get-go and handled all that Brutus threw at him.
“I think he hipped himself and really ended up underneath himself and I just kept going to the front,” Dirteater said. “I just kept going to the front and I had to fight my way through it and I won the battle.”
The victory was the fourth of the season for Dirteater. He concludes 2016 a career-best fourth in the world standings.
Dirteater began Championship Sunday with an 87.25-point ride on Minion Stewart. He previously rode Swashbuckler (87.75 points), Jack Daniel’s After Party (87 points), Billy Bat Skat (86 points) and High Test (86.75 points) on his way to the event title.
“Ryan just took care of business,” PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said. “There were some guys that came in here and the stage got to them. Some young guys and stuff like that. Ryan is a veteran and he has been here so many times and it was about riding bulls and it was about making the whistle every time. He got it done.”
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, newly minted 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis, 2016 PBR Canada champion Ty Pozzobon and two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney rounded out the Top-5.
Dirteater is just the third rider in PBR history to ride all of his bulls at the World Finals.
“That is the mental approach you have to have to win anything,” Lambert added. “That has to be your mental approach and Ryan took care of it from the beginning to the end and he deserves a lot of credit. I know it is a great feeling. He won a lot of money and he should feel really good about it.”
Mauney was the first to accomplish the feat when he went 8-for-8 to win the 2009 World Finals. He then was 6-for-6 when he won the 2013 World Finals and World Championship.
“That is a big feat,” said Mauney. “These are the greatest bucking bulls in the world in one week, and you ride all of them in one week that is saying something.”
2014 World Champion Silvano Alves also went 6-for-6 on his way to his record-tying third World Championship.
“Oh, he was great,” Alves said. “He was very impressive. He rode all six bulls and perfect. He had good scores for all. It is a good job for him because it is hard to ride six bulls in the Finals. Only three guys have done that now. I am very happy for him. I am proud of him. He is a good guy. I like him a lot.”
Dirteater believes he will one day be able to join the two riders on the list of World Champions.
“It is an honor to be there with those guys because they are World Champions,” Dirteater concluded. “That is my next step, and I will take off this World Finals buckle and put that one on.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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