PUEBLO, Colo. – With four days remaining until the Built Ford Tough Series resumes in Biloxi, Mississippi, PBR.com will take a look at the Top 5 riders in the world standings before the stretch run to the 2014 Built Ford Tough World Finals officially begins.
Today, we look at Kaique Pacheco, who is currently fourth in the world standings.
FIRST HALF RECAP: Pacheco has made things look relatively easy in his first full season on the BFTS. After riding Rough ‘em Up Tuck for 87.75 points to win Round 3 in New York during his BFTS- debut, Pacheco has since won his first event (St. Louis), posted three Top-5 finishes, picked up seven Top-10 finishes and has risen as high as No. 3 in the world standings. Pacheco has been one of the best PBR rookie talents since Joao Ricardo Vieira arrived on tour in 2013. However, unlike Vieira, who was 29 years old at the time, Pacheco is only 20 years old. Pacheco has a commanding lead in the Rookie of the Year race with a 1,037.5-point advantage on Cooper Davis, and he also sits atop the BlueDEF Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division standings.
BEST FIRST HALF PERFORMANCE: In an unusual turn of events inside Scottrade Center, Pacheco won his first career BFTS event despite not winning the event average in St. Louis. Pacheco earned the victory with 490 points, 200 of which he earned by winning two of the four rounds in St. Louis.
Pacheco, who finished second in the event average for an additional 290 points, won the championship round with an 89.25-point ride on Who Dey and Round 2 with a career-high 89.5 points on Little Red Jacket.
There was some confusion at first about Pacheco’s victory, seeing as Stetson Lawrence had gone 4-for-4 compared to Pacheco’s 3-for-4 performance.
However, Lawrence had earned no round points compared to Pacheco and he finished with only 400 points for a second-place finish.
FIRST HALF TOP RIDE: 89.75 points on Brutus in Kansas City, Missouri
PACHECO POSTS TOP RIDE OF THE SUMMER: Kaique Pacheco took most of the summer off from competing on American soil, but he did put forth the highlight of the BFTS break when he rode Bruiser for 94 points at the Kasey Hayes / Stormy Wing BlueDEF Velocity Tour event in Guymon, Oklahoma.
Pacheco was able to not get toppled over during Bruiser’s initial strong exit out of the bucking chute into his right hand before handling H.D. Page’s bull’s powerful spin away from his hand. Then after demonstrating dominant poise and posture for most of the ride, Pacheco was able to hang on in the final seconds as Bruiser resulted to two final heavy-dosed leaps off his four legs.
He is the first right-handed rider to ride Bruiser, and it was Pacheco’s first rank ride since riding Brutus for 89.75 points in Kansas City.
Pacheco would earn 50 points for his second-place finish in Guymon and he placed third this weekend at the Amarillo, Texas, Touring Pro Division event for 20 points.
Striving for Rookie of the Year and World Champion: A PBR rookie has never won the World Championship, and Pacheco aspires to become the first rookie to win both titles in the same season.
To do so, Pacheco will likely need to put together rides on the BFTS like he did on Bruiser in Guymon if he hopes to overcome the 1,400-point deficit between him and Vieira.
Vieira finished third in the world during his rookie season and the current world leader calls Pacheco a stiff competitor during the upcoming stretch run to the World Finals.
“I consider him to be a very good rider,” Vieira said. “He goes and stays on his bulls. I consider him a good adversary – a good competitor for everyone (like) J.B. (Mauney) (Matt) Triplett, Valdiron (de Oliveira), Guilherme (Marchi) and Nathan Schaper.”
Pacheco’s potential is very high, but experts still are unsure if Pacheco has what it takes at this point in his young career to put together a full run at the world title. Pacheco has yet to experience the grind and glamour of competing on the PBR’s biggest stage – the Built Ford Tough World Finals – and it will be interesting to see how the rider fares during his first World Championship hunt.
Pacheco said that he is trying not to look too far ahead this season and he has adapted the mindset of his mentor Silvano Alves as he continues his pursuit of a rookie title and a world title.
“I am working hard at winning both,” Pacheco said. “If I stay on my bulls, I will be happy to achieve my dream.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.