By: Mandi McCary
BISMARCK, N.D. – As the second half of the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) 2020 schedule officially began on Friday night, energetic and socially distanced North Dakota fans cheered as Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas Goias, Brazil) claimed the Round 1 win at the PBR Dakota Community Bank & Trust Invitational presented by Cooper Tires in Bismarck.
Nine-time PBR Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger, a North Dakota native, made history becoming the first contractor to supply all of the bulls for a premier series event, and only 10 qualified rides were recorded throughout the first round.
Divino had his work cut out for him aboard one of Berger’s best bovines, Safety Meeting (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Hruby/Kainz).
After the steadfast Brazilian rider fired out of the chutes, fans cheered inside of the Bismark Events Center as the ride score of 88.5 points was announced.
The Round 1 effort earned Divino $3,580 in addition to 20 world points, moving from No. 8 in the world standings to No. 6.
Equally as impressive as Divino’s round win was fellow countryman and world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme’s (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) matchup in the bonus round of action.
For the past two seasons, the Bismarck event, which until this weekend has always been a Touring Pro Division event coordinated by Berger, has featured a bonus round that keeps fans on the edge of their seats.
On Friday night, following the conclusion of Round 1, that excitement rose to a new level as Leme squared off against Good Night Robicheaux (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Diamond Willow) in a $10,000 bonus round showdown. The bull, just as athletic as the world leader himself, has developed into one of the hardest bulls to ride, a perfect 20-0 on the premier series, and a flawless 35-0 across all levels of competition in the PBR.
Leme was triumphant is in his quest to be the first rider on the premier series to conquer Robicheaux, recording an 87-point score and carrying the bounty check high over his head as he left the arena.
Keeping the Brazilian streak going on Friday night, Rafael Henrique dos Santos (Sebastianopolis, Brazil) claimed the second-place finish with his ride aboard South Texas Gangster (Dakota Rodeo/Julie Rosen/Clay Struve/Chad Berger) for 88.25 points. His efforts resulted in 10 world points and $2,750. Beginning the night at No. 42 in the standings, the ride launched him to No. 36, just one spot outside of the coveted Top 35.
Cannon Cravens (Porum, Oklahoma) finished third in Round 1 courtesy of his 88-point trip on Red Bones (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Kathy Boone/Joe Beaver). The young gun earned nine world points and a check for $2,000.
Cravens is now ranked No. 58 in the world, rising from the No. 64 position at the start of the event.
Cravens’ fellow Oklahoman cowboy Colten Jesse (Konawa, Oklahoma) conquered Delbert (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) to place fourth in the round. The No. 5-ranked rider held his world standing strong as he made the 8 for 87.25 points to earn $1,300 and eight world points.
Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas) enters Round 2 on Saturday night in fifth place after riding Red Dawn (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls) for 87 points in Round 1.
The Top 5 finish earned the Texas cowboy $850 and seven world points. Mitchell climbed from his No. 22 spot in the world standings to No. 21.
The best bull riders in the world will return to the Bismarck Events Center on Saturday, Aug. 8 for Round 2 and the Championship Round of the PBR Dakota Community Bank & Trust Invitational presented by Cooper Tires beginning at 6:45 p.m. CDT.
Fans can relive all the action from Round 1 starting on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 8 a.m. EST on RidePass.com or via the RidePass mobile App.
PBR Unleash The Beast – Dakota Community Bank & Trust Invitational presented by Cooper Tires
Bismarck Events Center -Bismarck, North Dakota
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Lucas Divino, 88.5-0-0-0-88.50-20 Points.
2. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 88.25-0-0-0-88.25-10 Points.
3. Cannon Cravens, 88-0-0-0-88.00-9 Points.
4. Colten Jesse, 87.25-0-0-0-87.25-8 Points.
5. Ezekiel Mitchell, 87-0-0-0-87.00-7 Points.
6. Cole Melancon, 86.5-0-0-0-86.50-6 Points.
7. Jose Vitor Leme, 85.5-87-0-0-172.50-5 Points.
8. Joao Henrique Lucas, 85-0-0-0-85.00-4 Points.
9. João Ricardo Vieira, 84.25-0-0-0-84.25-3 Points.
10. Junio Patrik Souza, 82.75-0-0-0-82.75-2 Points.
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cerqueira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Amadeu Campos Silva, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brennon Eldred, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Jake Lockwood, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Devon Weaver, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0.00
J.B. Mauney, 0-0-0-0-0.00
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