By: Darci Miller
June 14, 2018
PUEBLO, Colo. – This weekend, the best bull riders in the world will converge on Bismarck, North Dakota, for Chad Berger’s $100,000 Match of Champions. Each of the 15 riders is a champion in his own right, and Bismarck will surely be the site of some unforgettable riding.
But Bismarck is already no stranger to incredible rides. The North Dakota capital has been a mainstay on the PBR schedule for 18 years and has seen its share of iconic performances.
Check out the Top-5 highest-scoring rides in Bismarck, and get ready to watch the Match of Champions exclusively on RidePass beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on June 15-16.
1. Robson Palermo 94.5 points on Smackdown (June 18, 2011)
Palermo has a history of success in Bismarck, winning the event twice in four attempts and earning two 90-point rides. His top ride is what Chad Berger calls the best ride in the history of his event, telling PBR.com in 2016 that it “nearly blew the roof off the Bismarck Civic Center.” Palermo’s 94.5 points on Smackdown is the highest-scoring ride of his career, the highest-scoring ever in Bismarck and an iconic moment in the history of the event.
2. Kasey Hayes 94 points on Fire & Smoke (June 13, 2014)
In 2014, Hayes was 10 years deep into his PBR career when he climbed aboard Fire & Smoke in Bismarck. A promising contender as early as 2007, he had been continuously slipping in the world standings, falling from 12th in 2007 to as low as 43rd in 2011. But after cleaning up his personal life, he experienced a career renaissance in 2014 and rode Fire & Smoke to a career-high 94 points in Bismarck.
3. Jess Lockwood 93 points on Siouxper Stinger (June 18, 2016)
Lockwood made his PBR debut in the fall of 2015. In June of 2016, he earned his first career 90-point ride, a 92-point affair on the back of Crossfire. The next night, he took on the previously-unridden Siouxper Stinger and upped the game, earning 93 points for a career high at non-premier series events that still stands.
4. Cooper Davis 92.5 points on Beaver Creek Beau (June 18, 2016)
Davis fell just half a point shy of his career high score when he rode Beaver Creek Beau for 92.5 points in Bismarck. At the time, the bovine had only been ridden five times in 72 attempts. “I will tell you what. Very few people have rode that bull the last couple of years,” Chad Berger told PBR.com at the time. “Ben Jones and Cooper Davis are the last I can remember. Both of them guys rode him by floating their knees right in him and floating their feet. When you stick your feet and bear down, he is just going to yank you down. Cooper Davis took the Ben Jones rulebook and showed us how to ride that bull.”
5. Poncho Limas 92.5 points on Prince Albert (June 15, 2012)
2012 was the most successful year Limas enjoyed in the PBR, and his 92.5-point ride on Prince Albert was the crown jewel of that season. He was the only rider out of 12 to post a qualified ride in the championship round, earning him the event win with his career-high score.
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