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Pacheco Holds on to Top Spot

By: Justin Felisko
August 28, 2016

Kaique Pacheco's 66-point ride on Midnight Moon wasn't his best, but it was enough to keep pace Sunday. Photo: Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com

Kaique Pacheco’s 66-point ride on Midnight Moon wasn’t his best, but it was enough to keep pace Sunday. Photo: Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com

TULSA, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino, this weekend at the BOK Center.

Pacheco keeping pace with Davis (8-28-16)

World No. 1 Kaique Pacheco’s grasp of the top ranking in the world standings is shrinking, but it certainly isn’t because of a lack of riding.

Pacheco went 3-for-3 in Tulsa and earned 260 world points for a third-place finish to help stay atop the world standings for at least one more week despite Cooper Davis’ second consecutive event victory.

The 21-year-old brings a 20.33-point lead in the world standings over Davis into next weekend’s Winstar World Casino and Resort Invitational in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

“I am very happy to ride three this week,” Pacheco said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “I rode good. I finished my work. I am working well. This is very important that I stay on my bulls and ride my bulls.”

Pacheco was in the lead briefly on Sunday afternoon following his 66-point ride on Midnight Moon in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. However, his decision to turn down his re-ride option wound up hurting him as Stormy Wing and Davis each rode their final championship-round bulls.

The Itatiba, Brazil, bull rider said he had no regrets about his decision, explaining that he wasn’t sure if re-ride bull Margy Time would be a good fit for him and decided instead to keep his points.

“I didn’t take a re-ride because of Margy Time,” Pacheco said. “He is a rank bull and very difficult. He was coming back for the first time after being injured. I kept my score because I knew I would still get points and move up a little bit.”

Pacheco earned 180 of his world points by finishing third in the event average. He then picked up an additional 80 points with two fourth-place round finishes in Tulsa. He finished fourth in the championship round after beginning Sunday with a fourth-place finish in Round 2 with an 85.25-point ride on JJ’s Pride.

“He is a really good bull,” Pacheco said. “I rode him this year (90 points) in Denver and I see this bull sometime bucks. I need to stay on him all the time because he is a rank bull. I was focused and knew I could be a good amount of points.”

Pacheco began Tulsa with an 83.5-point ride Saturday night on Purina Athlete.

Davis wins second consecutive event despite separated shoulder

With two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney unable to compete Sunday because of a left hip pointer and abdominal contusion, it was the young kids Pacheco and Davis going punch-for-punch.

Davis got the last word against Pacheco for the second week in a row following a gritty, event-winning 86.75-point ride on Machinery Auctioneer’s Little Joe.

“I knew I had a good bull and not something I wanted to slip through my fingers,” Davis said. “I have had enough things go through my fingers before. I wasn’t about to let it happen. I just kept going at him until I heard the whistle.”

Davis entered the weekend with only one championship round ride in 13 attempts this year.

It was impressive performance by Davis after he separated his right riding shoulder during his get-off at the conclusion of his Round 2-winning ride on Psycho Path (87.25 points).

“He slammed me pretty good,” Davis said. “He bucked really hard around to the right and last time I was on that bull he did the same thing. He was just going straight. He kept getting stronger as the ride went and that is all you can ask for.”

The 22-year-old has now won two consecutive events and picked up a massive 1,535 world points to jump from eighth to a career-best second in the world standings. Davis has earned 47.3 percent of his points in the last two weeks.

Davis earned 630 total world points in Tulsa, 400 points for winning the event average, followed by another 180 points for winning round one and two. He also earned 50 points for placing third in the championship round.

Not that he needed any further motivation, but Davis said seeing Pacheco cap his weekend with a third qualified ride had him fired up to make sure he too left the BOK Center perfect.

“I wanted to stay on regardless,” Davis said, “but if I am going to stay in this race, you have to keep staying on bulls. That is all that matters.”

Lockwood wins championship round; Wing earns valuable points

Jess Lockwood won the championship round with the third 90-point ride of his young career when he went to town on Legacy for 90 points.

The rookie said he had to thank PBR legend J.W. Hart and Davis for giving him some advice after the two noticed an error with his rope position during his 4.11-second buckoff against Majestic in Round 2.

“I started setting my rope a little too far down on the side this summer and I wasn’t noticing it,” Lockwood said. “When you do that with a Brazilian rope, it is going to tip you into your hand right away and stick you over there. Luckily enough, I have good friends like Cooper Davis and J.W. Hart and they told me that.”

All Lockwood had to do was set his rope a half-inch over and then he was off to the music of 90 points and his sixth BFTS round victory.

“That half inch was going to make a huge difference and it felt so good,” Lockwood said. “You are supposed to be 90 when you get on these short-round bulls. If you are not going to be 90 then you are doing something wrong.”

Wing finished second in the championship round with an 88-point ride onAfter All to cap a season-best 3-for-3 weekend.

“He was right around to the left and was blowing, kicking and showy,” Wing said.

The Dalhart, Texas, cowboy earned 385 points toward the world standings – 240 for finishing second in the event average and 145 thanks to three Top-5 round finishes. Wing rode Twenty to Life for 86.75 points in Round 2 and Little Tim’s All Nighter for 85.75 points in Round 1.

The timing couldn’t have been better either. Wing began the weekend 37th in the world standings and was competing as an alternate. Now he is ranked 22nd and firmly within the Top 35.

“I needed it,” Wing said. “If not, I would have been going to Belton, Texas, for a Touring Pro for two days next weekend. I have said it a million times. It is always the same. You are your own worst enemy and this sport is humbling. I am just happy.”

Injury Updates

Mauney and world No. 7 Paulo Lima missed the final day of competition because of injuries sustained during Round 1 on Saturday night.

Mauney sustained a left hip pointer and abdominal contusion following his 86.75-point ride on Rocco when the bull stepped on Mauney’s hip during the 29-year-old’s dismount.

Lima sustained a concussion when he was bucked off by Deep Water (1.81 seconds) in Round 1.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, both riders are questionable for Thackerville.

Robson Palermo and Derek Kolbaba are probable for Thackerville after sustaining injuries during the championship round.

Palermo suffered bruising of his chest and lower back when he was stepped on after being thrown from Cochise during the championship round.

Kolbaba bruised his right thigh (quadriceps) when he was struck by Big Benny’s horn during his 3.19-second buckoff.

Wing (aggravated right PCL sprain) and Davis (separated right shoulder) competed during the championship round despite their Round 2 injuries.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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