By: Easton Colvin
DEL RIO, Texas – The bulls like it cold. The riders, not so much.
As PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast (UTB) American Roots Edition swung into Del Rio, Texas, with the mercury barely breaking the freezing point, Rafael Henrique dos Santos (Sebastianopolis, Brazil) hit pay dirt, taking his first premier series round win in Round 1 of the 2021 Built Ford Tough Invitational.
The 25-year-old drew Mike’s Motive (Blake Sharp/High Voltage Cattle) in Round 1, and got fans on their feet when he conquered the bovine to the tune of 89.5 points.
He was one of only seven riders to earn a qualified ride this afternoon, starting the first of PBR’s three consecutive events scheduled in Texas.
The first premier series round win of Santos’s young career netted 28 world points, moving him up 16 spots to No. 25 in the world.
Riding in his home state, 2020 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Champion Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) finished second in the opening round of the two-day event. Battling the looming first round of cuts on the elite UTB, Taylor blasted out of the chutes on the back of Mr. Right Now (Silent 7/Hilton Bull Co.) for an 89.25-point score.
The young Texan earned 18 world points, moving inside the cutline of the Top 30 to No. 28.
Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Springs, Utah) returned to his form from the 2020 PBR World Finals as the Navajo man bested Cherry Bomb (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co) for 87 points Saturday afternoon. The ride earned Whitehorse a split of the third-place prize and 16.5 world points, holding him in the No. 12 spot in the world.
Returning after missing two events with a broken jaw suffered in the opening event of the season, two-time World Champion Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) was the other rider to split third.
Lockwood matched up with Skull Crusher (Shuler Bucking Bulls) and, despite exiting the chutes backward, came out on top with an 87-point ride.
Lockwood picked up 16.5 world points – his first of the season – and is now the No. 34 rider in the world.
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) turned back the clock in the freezing temperatures, getting the event started with an 86 point trip aboard Bread Basket (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co) early in the round.
Alves earned 15 world points, and with a fourth-place finish moved from No. 12 to No. 8 in the world standings.
Fellow Brazilian Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) continued his hot start to the season, taking care of business aboard Hurts So Good (Cord McCoy/Dennis Wolfe). The 84.75-point ride earned Barbosa sixth place in Round 1 and 14 world points. Barbosa now sits No. 9 in the world standings, less than five points behind Alves.
Alex Cerqueira (Iguatemi, Brazil) rounded out the qualified rides in Round 1. Making the 8 aboard Outlaw (Cord McCoy/Big Sky Bulls, LLC), Cerqueira was marked 82 points for a seventh-place finish.
Adding 13 world points to his 2021 total, the young gun moved up two spots to No. 10 in the world.
Round 1 also included the American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) Classic Round that featured 30 of the top 3- and 4-year-old up-and-coming bulls. An ABBI Classic competition is the next step in a young bovine’s competitive career that involves bucking with a rider.
2019 ABBI Futurity World Champion 705E Manaba (Julian/Webb/D&H Cattle) took home the title of Del Rio Classic Champion after his 90.2-point performance against Cody Jesus for more than $9,000.00 in winnings. 2018 ABBI Cowgirl Futurity World Champion 710 Yadi (Dennis & Jan Owens/Berger) placed second with 89.2 points for $6,050.00, while Hundred Bad Days (TNT/Hart Cattle) earned a third-place finish with 88.4 points and $4,840.00
There was a three-way tie for fourth place between 34E Juju (Julian/D&H Cattle), E18 Cuttin Torch (Flinn/D&H Cattle), and -748 Knee Deep (Stockyards/444/Winston/Gallagher/Melton) with 88 points and $2,722.50 apiece.
Every out from Round 1 of the 2021 Built Ford Tough Invitational can be relived on RidePass.com or the RidePass mobile app starting at 8 a.m. ET, Sunday, February 14.
Round 2 of the 2021 Built Ford Tough Invitational starts Sunday at 2 p.m. CT from Val Verde County Fairgrounds.
Professional Bull Riders
PBR BUILT FORD TOUGH INVITATIONAL
Del Rio, TX, 2021 – Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 89.5-0-0-89.50-28 Points.
2. Mason Taylor, 89.25-0-0-89.25-18 Points.
3. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 87-0-0-87.00-16.5 Points.
(tie). Jess Lockwood, 87-0-0-87.00-16.5 Points.
5. Silvano Alves, 86-0-0-86.00-15 Points.
6. Dener Barbosa, 84.75-0-0-84.75-14 Points.
7. Alex Cerqueira, 82-0-0-82.00-13 Points.
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0.00
Junior Patrik Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00
Colten Fritzlan, 0-0-0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0.00
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0.00
Brennon Eldred, 0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Kasel, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
J.T. Moore, 0-0-0-0.00
Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-0-0-0.00
Kyler Oliver, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0.00
João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0.00
Aaron Pass, 0-0-0-0.00
Rodrigo Melgar, 0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cardozo, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0.00
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