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Pearl Harbor and Pacheco Assert themselves as World Champion Contenders at Last Cowboy Standing

By: Justin Felisko
May 14, 2017

Pearl Harbor was named the YETI “Built for the Wild” bull of the event. Photo: Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com

LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Last Cowboy Standing this weekend at Las Vegas Village.

Pearl Harbor caps off first half with another 45-plus bull score (5-14-17)

Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger was curious to see how his bull Pearl Harbor would do after being ridden by Shane Proctor three weeks ago during the Tacoma Invitational.

Well, to Derek Kolbaba’s dismay, Pearl Harbor responded just fine.

The world No. 1 bull only needed three jumps during Round 3 to slide the No. 4 ranked bull rider in the world standings off his back and onto his feet in a quick 2.34 seconds.

“We found out what he is made of,” Berger said. “This was one of his best outs all year. I am pretty happy.”

It was a nice early birthday present for Pearl Harbor – the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event this weekend.

Pearl Harbor turns 6 years old on Sunday.

Kolbaba blamed himself for not putting out the effort necessary to advance in the Last Cowboy Standing competition.

“It was a pretty piss, poor effort,” Kolbaba said. “That is all that is. Yeah, he bucks hard, but it isn’t going to be easy when it comes to bulls like that. It has to be something you fight for. That was pathetic.”

Pearl Harbor was marked 45.75 points to end the first half of the Built Ford Tough Series atop the World Champion Bull race standings with a World Champion bull score average – the average of a bull’s top eight outs – of 46.25 points.

The top bull at the end of the regular-season in November wins a $25,000 bonus.

“I thought he had a great out,” Berger added. “I was thinking he should be 46-plus, but Derek didn’t last really long and we didn’t get to see much. Still, a great out.”

Overall, Pearl Harbor is 8-1 this season with an average bull score of 46.1 points per out.

Pearl Harbor has been marked no lower than 45.25 points this season and is the leading favorite to win the 2017 World Championship.

Pearl Harbor will now rest until facing off against two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney following Round 1 of the Dakota Community Bank PBR Bull Riding Challenge Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event on June 16 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Mauney’s pursuit of becoming the third rider in PBR history to reach 500 qualified rides on the BFTS came to a screeching halt Saturday in Round 2 when he was eliminated from the competition by Moleek in 2.43 seconds.

He leaves Las Vegas stuck at 498 qualified rides.

Pacheco repeats as Last Cowboy Standing champion and wins career-high $150,100

Kaique Pacheco may have won a career-high $150,100 this weekend by repeating as Last Cowboy Standing champion, but his third PBR Major victory of his career has him that much closer toward the real payday he wants:

A PBR WORLD CHAMPION $1 MILLION BONUS.

The No. 2 bull rider in the world standings is now only 180 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido after being the only rider to cover his bull in Round 3 to cap off the BFTS first half with a PBR Major victory.

“I am very happy for this win,” Pacheco said the help of a translator. “This is a very important event. This is one of the biggest events of the year. I am very proud of this accomplishment. I am also very happy God has been with me throughout my entire life. This event helps me get more points and more money.”

Pacheco began Round 3 with a 90-point ride on Spotted Demon – his first since last October (90.25 points on Crazy Horse) and third of his career – and then watched on as the seven other riders in the round (Marco Eguchi, Aparecido, Jess Lockwood, Silvano Alves, Cody Nance, Joao Ricardo Vieira and Kolbaba) all bucked off.

The 22-year-old joins Cooper Davis, the man who edged Pacheco for the 2016 World Championship the last time he was in Las Vegas, and Claudio Crisostomo as the only riders to make the 8-second mark on Spotted Demon in 33 BFTS outs.

“He is a really rank bull,” Pacheco said. “I have seen him buck a lot of times. I was thinking of nothing in the bucking chute. I just knew I had to ride him.”

The ride was the best of the event, notching Pacheco the $26,000 prize for the highest-scored ride.

Pacheco earned 825 world points in Las Vegas and now has the most PBR Major victories (3) all-time. He has won a PBR Major every season of his three-year career. Those three wins have netted Pacheco a combined $336,225.

The Itatiba, Brazil, bull rider got a second chance to compete in the event on Saturday after being bucked off by Hard Times (2.34 seconds) in Round 1 Friday.

There were only 13 qualified rides in Round 1, therefore the final 12 spots in the draw for Round 2 were filled based on the PBR world standings following the Tacoma Invitational.

Pacheco didn’t let his second chance go for naught either.

An extremely, focused Pacheco brushed off his Round 1 buckoff on Friday night by beginning Round 2 with an 88-point ride on Machinery Auctioneer’s Little Joe before making easy work of Spotted Demon.

Pacheco – the runner-up in the last two world title races – is set to return home to Brazil on Tuesday before returning to the United States in August to resume his pursuit of his first World Championship.

“I am not going to spend my money,” Pacheco said with a smile. “I am going to bring it home and we will find out what is going to happen to this money.”

Eguchi wins Round 2 to head into summer BFTS break 15th in the world standings

Marco Eguchi was unable to get past Bad Beagle (2.67 seconds) during Round 3, but Eguchi’s Round 2 victory still propelled him to a strong second-place finish in Las Vegas.

Eguchi won Round 2, earning 125 points toward the world standings in the process, by riding Crazy Horse for 88.25 points.

“I knew he was going to come to the left,” Eguchi said. “The last time he bucked me off, I thought he was going to come just to the right. He came to the right and turned left and bucked me off at almost 8 seconds. This time I just tried to be ready for him for when he came.”

It was a strong follow-up to his 84.75-point ride on Silver Back in Round 1.

This weekend was Eguchi’s first two-ride weekend since the Sacramento Invitational in January.

“I started real good, but I got hurt (broken ribs) in consecutive weeks and it made me down a little bit. I kept my head forward and worked hard to get better again.”

Eguchi earned 130 points overall toward the world standings to head into the summer BFTS break 15th in the world standings.

The 27-year-old was ranked 46th last year heading into the break.

“This is really important to start the second half healthy and ready,” Eguchi concluded. “I will stay here (in the U.S. this summer). I won’t go to every Touring Pro like last year. I will rest a little bit, but I will go to the main Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour events.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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