Pacheco Taking Steps Forward in St. Louis

By: Justin Felisko
February 25, 2017

Kaique Pacheco is one of four riders who are 2-for-2 so far in St. Louis. Photo: Andy Watson /

ST. LOUIS – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires, on Saturday night at Scottrade Center.

Pacheco regaining his form following groin injury (2-25-17)

Kaique Pacheco sat down inside the locker room and began to unravel his ACE bandage that was wrapped around his pelvis.

Pacheco has been trying to ride through a groin injury that has been hindering him since Oklahoma City last month and the bandage, which PBR sports medicine gave him last week at Iron Cowboy, is the latest remedy the 22-year-old has tried.

Regardless, Pacheco appears to be getting back on track as the rider that has finished two consecutive seasons second in the world standings.

Pacheco followed up his 85.5-point ride on Hard Times in Round 1 with an 82.5-point ride on Otis in Round 2 on Saturday night and will head into championship Sunday right on the heels of event leaders Chase Outlaw and Mason Lowe.

“It is getting good, still a little sore,” Pacheco said. “It will burn sometimes after I ride. I am 85 percent healthy.”

Pacheco entered the weekend riding a solid, but un-Pacheco-like 45 percent of his bulls. His 2-for-2 start in St. Louis has him back to 50 percent (12-for-24) on the year.

The injury, which is more of a nuisance to Pacheco than anything else, hasn’t held him back too much in the world title race.

Pacheco earned 35 points toward the world standings in St. Louis and he is ranked sixth in the world standings.

“I am not worried or thinking about it,” Pacheco said. “It is a long season.”

Pacheco said in Kansas City, Missouri, two weeks ago following his 15/15 Bucking Battle victory that bulls that went to the right and into his hand affected his injury less than ones that spin away and to the left.

Otis started out to the left and hugged the bucking chutes before turning back to the right.

Pacheco said it was another good test as he continues to regain strength in the injured groin.

“He was a really good bull that I rode one time before,” Pacheco said. “He went back to the left and stayed close to the chute before going to the right.”

Pacheco takes on Moto Moto, who he rode for 86.75 points to win the Kansas City 15/15 Bucking Battle, in Round 3.

Pacheco has been rehabbing at the Fit-N-Wise Rehabilitation and Performance Center in Decatur, Texas, recently.

Dr. Tandy Freeman also has given him a packet of stretches and exercises to do when Pacheco heads to Stephenville, Texas, this week to spend time with his brother Gabriel.

Pacheco’s 16-year-old little brother is in the United States visiting some friends.

“I am excited,” Pacheco said. “My brother stayed with me at my house during Iron Cowboy and THE AMERICAN. We are going to Stephenville later this week to see friends.”

Outlaw makes it back-to-back round wins

Chase Outlaw became the first rider this season to win back-to-back rounds by riding American Sniper for 88 points in Round 2.

“That is another one today,” Outlaw said. “I have one more tomorrow and another in the short round.”

Outlaw won Round 1 with an 87.25-point ride on Gypsy Joe and has ridden 52.63 percent (20-for-38) of his bulls on the BFTS dating back to last year after missing the first half of last season because of shoulder surgery.

The 24-year-old continued his trend of earning high-ride scores this season as well. Outlaw is averaging 86.94 points per ride and eight of his nine rides have been marked 87 points or higher.

“The scoring has nothing to do with my mentality,” Outlaw said. “That is just drawing a good bull and sitting up and doing my job. It is all about good company. Hanging out with winners and putting out good vibes. It is all about having fun and not coming here and being too damn serious.”

Outlaw earned 100 world points and moves to seventh in the world standings.

He and Pacheco are two of four riders a perfect 2-for-2 heading into Round 3. Mason Lowe, who tied for the Round 1 win, rode Booger Red for 86 points and is second in the event average behind Outlaw.

Dener Barbosa, who aggravated his shoulder (free arm) injury in the practice pen this week, turned down a second consecutive re-ride of the weekend when he rode U-Joint for 78.75 points.

Outlaw is also hunting for a nice paycheck this weekend as he continues to save towards building a house in Arkansas. He used some of his winnings from last season to recently purchase 24 acres of land last week.

“That is the plan,” Outlaw concluded. “I want to make sure it is right when we decide to build it.”

Outlaw faces Mr. Big Stuff (0-2, BFTS) in Round 2.

Gowdy uses first ride of career to finish second in Round 2

Jake Gowdy had every intention last year of making his Built Ford Tough Series debut, but a six-month recovery from knee surgery derailed those plans.

A year later, and the 19-year-old finally made his dream come true of riding at the BFTS level.

Now he has a qualified ride at the highest level of bull riding.

Gowdy picked up a second-place finish in Round 2 with the first ride of his career – a beautiful 87.75-point effort on Church Bells.

“Oh, he was bucking in the chute and he hit me in the face two times,” Gowdy said. “I cowboyed up and went ahead and took him. He turned back right there and it worked out.”

Gowdy earned 60 points toward the world standings and is up to 26th in the rankings.

“This is the best feeling ever,” he said. “To make it to this level and ride against these great guys. I haven’t been worried about he points or anything. I just am riding my bulls.”

Fellow Rookie Cody Rodeo Tyler made the 8-second mark on Bullrito for a career-high 87.25 points to finish in third. The second ride of his career notched him 50 world points and pushed him inside the Top 30 (29th overall).

Rookie Claudio Montanha Jr. tied with Lowe for fourth place after his own 86-point ride on Beast of Burden. Montanha earned 35 world points.

Injury Updates

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney, who aggravated an old riding elbow injury Friday in Round 1, says he has every intention of getting on in Round 3 on Sunday afternoon.

Mauney was bucked off by Garber’s Ghost in 3.33 seconds in Round 2 and admitted his arm is still sore.

“I will be alright for tomorrow,” Mauney said. “He just got me there coming out of the chutes.”

Mauney has a rematch against Texicali (12-9, BFTS) on Sunday. The 30-year-old previously rode Texicali for 90.25 points last year in Nashville.

Mauney said prior to Round 2 that he had elected to not wear his elbow brace on Friday night before Round 1.

“Whenever it gets yanked on straight it gets numb,” Mauney said. “I let them tape it, but I guess it wasn’t tape quite in the angle it needed to be. A couple of times I didn’t brace it. I just don’t like wearing it. The tape does the same thing, but the brace is better.”

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Tanner Byrne did not compete in Round 2 because of a left groin (hip injury sustained during his first round ride on Johnny (84.75 points).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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