World Championship Up for Grabs on Sunday

By: Justin Felisko
November 06, 2016

Kaique Pacheco, Cooper Davis and J.B. Mauney are seperated by 544.08 points going into Championship Sunday. Photos: Andy Watson /

Kaique Pacheco, Cooper Davis and J.B. Mauney are seperated by 544.08 points going into Championship Sunday. Photos: Andy Watson /

LAS VEGAS – Just when you thought T-Mobile Arena couldn’t get any louder after two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney rode Red Dawn for a historic 90.25 points, Cooper Davis and Kaique Pacheco decided they wanted in on the fun too.

Pacheco and Davis answer Mauney’s ride (11-6-16)

The No. 1 and 2 bull riders in the world standings answered Mauney’s ride – the first 90-point ride in T-Mobile Arena history – by riding Dead Calm and Red Bandana respectively to cap off a frantic finish to the penultimate night of the 2016 season.

Davis didn’t let the roaring crowd rock his focus after Mauney lit up the scoreboard. All the Jasper, Texas, bull rider did was ride Dead Calm for 83.75 points to keep himself in contention for the PBR’s $1 million championship bonus.

“That is J.B.,” Davis said. “That is the moment he lives for. Just like him picking Air Time. It is cool being able to witness it. Having to go after him is tough, but at the same time, you can’t help but be a fan on the chutes. You have to try and keep your mind clear and do what you do.

“Today I definitely didn’t have a bull that was easy to ride,” Davis said. “He was probably one of the harder bulls to get by tonight and to get by him and get a solid draft pick was my mindset going into today.”

The pressure then was all on Pacheco’s shoulder’s as the hyped-up bull riding fans all stood up from their seats to watch Pacheco take his wrap inside the bucking chutes.

For the second time this week, Pacheco had to follow-up strong bull rides from Mauney and Davis.

Pacheco once again showed his focus is unflappable in high-intensity situations.

The world leader made 8 seconds aboard Red Bandana for 86.5 points to finish tied for seventh in the Round.

“I am very happy,” Pacheco said. “I thank God for helping me. I stayed on my bulls. I just ride my bulls. I don’t care about the rest. I need to ride my bulls. I need to keep my score.”

Pacheco extended his lead on Davis to 226.58 points heading into Championship Sunday after earning 18.75 world points in Round 4.

He also leads No. 3 Mauney by 544.08 points.

Mauney needs another round win to help his chances in the title race. He heads into Championship Sunday fourth in the event average, but Pacheco and Davis are tied for fifth in the event average.

Pacheco would be the World Champion by less than 227 points if the season ended on Saturday.

Pacheco and Davis have ridden two consecutive bulls since bucking off Pearl Harbor and David’s Dream respectively in Round 3.

Pacheco selected Wicked (30-8, BFTS) in the Round 5 draft.

Rubens Barbosa rode Wicked for 89 points during Round 2 on Thursday.

“He is a really good bull,” Pacheco said. “Rubens ride him for a good score. I have been on him two times. He buck me off one time. I ride him one time. There is a good chance I ride him again. I have a lot of confidence right now. I want to ride my bull.”

Pacheco rode Wicked for 89.75 points on the way to the Last Cowboy Standing title the last time he was in Las Vegas back in May.

Davis finished tied for 15th in Round 4. He drafted Catfish John (13-4, BFTS), who he rode for 88 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in April.

“Today I said, ‘Screw it,’” Davis said. “If I win, that is cool. If I don’t, I did my part and I can hold my head up high and be ready for next year. I would love to win, but sometimes things don’t always go the way you plan.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko