By: Justin Felisko
April 15, 2018
TACOMA, Wash. – Here are three things we learned from the Tacoma Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, this weekend at the Tacoma Dome.
Pearl Harbor takes over world No. 1 bull ranking with rebound performance
Pearl Harbor regained his World Champion dominance Sunday afternoon less than 24 hours after catching his horn leaving the bucking chute and only being scored 45.25 points for bucking off Jess Lockwood in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The 6-year-old bovine superstar crushed Fernando Henrique Novais to the dirt in 5.89 seconds during the championship round for a 47.5-point bull score to take over the world No. 1 bull ranking from SweetPro’s Bruiser, who was not competing this weekend.
“It is just such power and strength,” reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger said. “He throws them guys so hard. Just look at these guys the last two weeks. (PBR Sports Medicine) has had to carry these guys out. I don’t want that to happen, but I think he has a lot of pure strength.”
Pearl Harbor is now 10-0 this season and has a World Champion Bull average (the average of a bull’s Top 8 outs) of 46.25 points.
“If you keep throwing your name in the hat, it is like winning a door prize,” Berger said. “The more names you have in there; the better chance you have to win. He is feeling good and we will play it by ear if we go to Billings or Columbus with him.”
Berger decided to open the back slide behind Pearl Harbor in the bucking chute on Sunday afternoon and tied a rope on the steel to give his bull a little more room to back up and clear the chute clearly instead of hooking his horn.
“It worked good,” Berger said. “We put that rope behind him and got him a little more room. He busted out of there good. It is something I have done with a lot of my bulls and (PBR Director of Livestock Cody) Lambert mentioned it to me a couple of weeks ago. I figured today would be a good time to try it and see how it works.”
The experiment with the extra room worked on Sunday, and Berger plans to keep that going in the future.
“Oh yeah. I don’t think we will ever try it again without it,” Berger concluded.
Lima takes back the world lead less than 24 hours after losing it
It didn’t take long for Ramon de Lima to regain the No. 1 ranking in the world standings.
Lima rode Rising Sun for 88.75 points to win the championship round and propel himself to a second-place finish overall in Tacoma.
“I was kind of having a bad slump and my shoulder has been hurting a little bit,” Lima said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating on RidePass. “The guys helped me choose a good bull. I picked a good bull and tonight I rode with my heart. Just like a cowboy.”
Lima is once again the No. 1 rider in the world standings after No. 3 Luciano de Castro had leapfrogged him for the top spot by winning Round 1 on Saturday night.
Lima finished 2-for-3 and earned 370 world points to take a 144.17-point lead on No. 2 Cody Nance into next weekend’s Stanley Performance in Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, in Billings, Montana.
Nance rode Red Bandana for 88 points in the championship round to cap his 2-for-3, third-place (230 world points) performance.
Castro dropped two spots in the world standings and was unable to finish the event after sustaining a concussion during his 3.61-second buckoff against Dusty’s Revenge in Round 2.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Castro is questionable for Billings.
Perennial title contender Pacheco wins first event of 2018
Any talk of a slump for Kaique Pacheco can officially be put to rest.
The 23-year-old was flawless and concise during his 3-for-3 performance this weekend at the Tacoma Invitational.
Pacheco notched his first event win of 2018 by riding Indian Medicine for 88.25 points to walk out of the Tacoma Dome with 460 world points.
“I knew about him before that he was a great bull,” Pacheco said with Crimber translating. “My friends in the back told me that it was a great pick and I knew I had everything I needed to win first place and I got the job done. Thank God for that.”
After beginning the season 7-for-27, Pacheco has now posted three consecutive Top 5 finishes and is 10-for-12 in his last three events.
The 2015 Rookie of the Year heads to Billings ranked ninth in the world standings and is only 667.5 points behind Lima.
Pacheco used two 84-point rides in Rounds 1 & 2 aboard Deep Water and Deplorable Me to enter the championship round in third place.
Following his ride on Indian Medicine, Pacheco then looked on as South Texas Gangster disposed of Eduardo Aparecido in 2.48 seconds and Like A Boss took down Sean Willingham in 3.37 seconds to clinch Pacheco the victory.
“I am really happy about this,” Pacheco said. “I am happy about the work I got done. I felt weak in the past and this weekend was good. I always think when you do a great job, winning is a consequence. I focused on doing my job right, and I knew something good would come with it.”
2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood did not compete in the championship round after bruising his left hand, abdomen and groin during his 4.97-second buckoff against Joe Blow in Round 2.
Lockwood had tried to select Talking Smack from the sports medicine room during a confusing championship-round draft scenario before he ultimately chose not to compete in the championship round.
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves was bucked off in 7.48 seconds in the championship round by Shelley’s Gangster after bruising his neck during his 79.75-point ride on Set ‘em Up Joe in Round 2.
Nathan Burtenshaw broke his right collarbone when he was hit by Hell Bound’s horn during his second- round buckoff.
Juan Carlos Contreras sustained a right hip pointer when he was stepped on after being thrown from Pile Driver in 3.73 seconds.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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