By: Justin Felisko
January 12, 2016
DENVER – A slew of Built Ford Tough Series veterans took control of the Denver BlueDEF Tour event a night after the PBR’s young up-and-comers shined.
Shane Proctor led the charge Tuesday at Denver Coliseum with an event-best 88.5-point ride on Little Turbo to move into the event lead heading into Wednesday night’s finale.
“It was a good bull,” Proctor said. “I had seen him at the NFR and Clayton Foltyn got on him. He looked like a lot of fun. He said that when he bucked him off he went to the left, so I was kind of just waiting on it. Luckily he came back to the left and I picked him up.”
Rounding out the Top-5 on Tuesday night was Kaique Pacheco (87.5 points on Perfect Storm), Sean Willingham (86 points on Smoke Wagon), Bryan Titman (86 points on Thunderstruck) and Silvano Alves (85.5 points on Haunted Mesa).
Proctor and Pacheco squared off in a $5,000 bonus round.
Pacheco earned the bid by being the highest-ranking PBR rider from last season competing.
Proctor bucked off Butcher’s Nightmare, while Pacheco earned the check with an emphatic 90-point ride on JJ’s Pride.
Pacheco was happy to bounce back with a strong showing after going 1-for-2 at the BFTS season-opener in Chicago and failing to qualify for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
“I am really happy to complete my work really good,” Pacheco said with the help of Robson Palermo translating. “I am really happy I ride this bull for this $5,000 and I got 90 points on this bull.”
It was an impressive showing by Pacheco after 10 minutes earlier he had ridden Perfect Storm.
The 21-year-old said he wasn’t tired despite the lack of recovery time or the sweat running down his face at the end of the night.
“No I didn’t feel tired,” Pacheco said. “This is normal. I sweat a lot.”
Pacheco, Proctor and Alves are three of nine BFTS riders that qualified for Wednesday night’s finale: Derek Kolbaba (86.5 points on Smokin’ Guns on Monday), Tanner Byrne (85 points on Paradise City Slinger), Brady Sims (84 points on Fight Night on Monday), Fabiano Vieira (83 points on Ripslinger), 2004 World Champion Mike Lee (83 points on Buster) and world No. 1 Wallace de Oliveira (82.5 points on Black Rain on Monday).
Fans can catch all of the action from Denver on PBR LIVE starting at 9 p.m. ET.
“There is just so much added money ($80,000). It is one of the biggest (BlueDEF Tour) events of the year and that is why guys come straight from Chicago to ride and compete,” Proctor said. “Then those same guys will be heading back to New York to get on this weekend against guys that will want to take our money.”
The winner of the Denver BlueDEF Tour event will earn an automatic bid to the BFTS event in St. Louis on Feb. 12-14.
There were 26 qualified rides through the first two nights.
Proctor is leading the event average ahead of Roscoe Jarboe (87.5 points), Pacheco (87.5), Cody Johnson (87) and Kolbaba (86.5).
Byrne said he remembers coming to the Denver PBR event when it was then the Touring Pro Division Finals as an 18-year-old.
“I always enjoy coming to Denver every year,” the third-year BFTS pro said. “It is always a great bull riding. I remember coming here when I just turned 18 and seeing all the big guys here. That made me want to be the best. It is a whole new world, especially a guy like me coming from Canada. I didn’t know anybody. Luckily, I had Zane Lambert who knew people. It is a whole new thing and all new bulls. It is a different game. It was nerve racking. Like I said, it took me a long time to settle in on bull riding instead of everything else.”
It is why he can sympathize with some of the younger riders that may have been intimidated getting their ropes ready next to World Champions like Alves and Lee Tuesday.
“I laughed coming to the event today because it is a total opposite of where I was then. Now it is fun and I enjoy it, and I am trying to help the young guys that get to come here and ride with guys like Mike Lee and Silvano because I know how different it is.”
Proctor has never won a PBR event in Denver, however he did win the Denver Rodeo in 2011 – the same year in which he won the PRCA bull riding title.
He is hoping maybe a win this week at the BlueDEF Tour event will be good karma toward his pursuit of his first PBR World Championship this season.
“Oh man, my one goal is to go get that one accomplished,” he said. “I am like J.W. Harris. I am striving to get them both.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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