By: Kacie Albert
CASPER, Wyo. – As the first weekend of competition for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Casper Invitational, driven by Wyoming Ford Dealers, wound to a close, 21-year-old Kyler Oliver (Roy, Utah) captured his first-ever victory on the league’s expansion series, chartering a course for the surging young gun to qualify for his first-ever PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast on Nov. 12-5 in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium.
The Utah native made a splash in Round 1 when he covered Quid Pro Quo (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) for 86.5 points, punching his ticket to the championship round.
Composed in the high-pressure moment, Oliver then went the distance aboard his second bovine athlete opponent, making the 8 aboard Omaha Beach (Hensen Owen Team 1) for 87 points as the socially-distanced crowd inside the Casper Events Center erupted in raucous cheer.
Oliver’s career-milestone victory netted him $4,041.38, in addition to a critical 37 world points. Additionally, the third-year professional also earned an invite to compete on the elite Unleash The Beast on Oct. 10-11 at the PBR Express Ranches Classic, presented by Bass Pro Shops, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Ranked No. 87 in the world prior to the second installment of the Cowboy State event, Oliver catapulted up the standings 31 positions, now ranked No. 56. Seeking his first-ever qualification to the PBR World Finals, set to debut inside the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys in November, Oliver is now within 39.66 points of the Top 35, the threshold for earning a berth to the sport’s most prestigious event.
Oliver is now also ranked No. 23 on the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour, which will hold its finals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Nov. 6-7 when four riders will earn trips to the broader 2020 PBR World Finals.
Australian sensation Ky Hamilton (Mackay, Queensland) was second, earning a check for $2,860.05, in addition to 28 world points.
Following an 85-point trip on Major Threat (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls) in Round 1, the 20-year-old delivered the high-marked ride of the championship round, an 88-point effort aboard Fat Boy (Okeechobee Bull Co.).
Hamilton, who had yet to earn world points in 2020, catapulted from unranked to No. 76 in the world. Also looking to make his PBR World Finals debut, Hamilton trails the Top 35 by 70.66 points.
Third was Marcus Mast (Middlebury, Indiana), the final rider to go a perfect 2-for-2 Saturday night inside the Casper Events Center.
In Round 1, Mast rode Wack-A-Do (Okeechobee Bull Co.) for 80.5 points. In a business decision which paid dividends, the Indianan then declined a re-ride awarded in the championship round after his 8-second effort aboard Pillow Drift (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) was marked 48.5 points.
His efforts propelled him to a $1,492.20 payday, while also earning him a crucial 12 world points, allowing him to crack into the Top 35.
Now ranked No. 35 in the world, Mast leads No. 36 Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) by a slim 0.66 points.
Should Mast remain inside the Top 35 he would reach the PBR World Finals for the first time in his seven-year career with the PBR.
Luciano de Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) and Sean Willingham (Summerville, Georgia) tied for fourth after recording matching, Round 1-best, 88-point rides. They rode Calico Kickin (Team Alaska) and Dirty Blonde (Mason/Smith Bucking Bulls), respectively.
The Top 5 finish earned each rider $1,349.20 and 10.5 world points.
Castro, who is seeking his fourth consecutive qualification to the PBR Word Finals, rose from No. 57 to No. 51 in the world. Still on the outside of the Top 35, Castro closed the gap, now within 37.16 points.
For Willingham, he is eager to qualify for his 13th career PBR World Finals prior to his retirement at season’s end. Battling numerous injuries throughout the 2020 season, Willingham is now No. 121 in the world, 87.16 points outside of the Top 35.
The weathered veteran, however, is now No. 59 in the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour standings, with a potential late-season run through the expansion series’ South Dakota finals being a potential catalyst for his return to the PBR World Finals where his illustrious career would culminate.
In the bull pen, Wicked Dreams (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) was the high-marked bull of the event. Bucking in Round 1, the bull sent Gage Gay (Staley, North Carolina) to the dirt in a swift 1.79 seconds en route to an impressive 45-point score.
The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Casper Invitational, driven by Wyoming Ford Dealers, was also a stop on the 2020 Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge.
Team Alaska won the performance with 278.90 points courtesy of the trips notched by Calico Kickin, Church Bells and Silent Night.
Fans can relive all the action from the second night of competition in the Cowboy State on Sunday, October 4 at 8:00 a.m. EST on RidePass, at RidePass.com or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.
PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour action from Casper, Wyoming, and the Casper Events Center continues on Friday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10. Action gets underway nightly at 7:30 p.m. MDT.
PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour – PBR Casper Invitational, driven by Wyoming Ford Dealers
Casper Events Center – Casper, Wyoming
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Kyler Oliver, 86.5-87-173.50-37 Points.
2. Ky Hamilton, 85-88-173.00-28 Points.
3. Marcus Mast, 80.5-48.5-129.00-12 Points.
4. Luciano De Castro, 88-0-88.00-10.5 Points.
(tie). Sean Willingham, 88-0-88.00-10.5 Points.
6. Ricky Aguiar, 85.5-0-85.50-5 Points.
7. Francisco Garcia Torres, 84.5-0-84.50-3 Points.
8. Alex Cardozo, 0-84-84.00-3 Points.
(tie). Laramie Craigen, 84-0-84.00-1 Points.
10. Alex Santana, 82-0-82.00
Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 0-0-0.00
Keith Hall, 0-0-0.00
Chase Dougherty, 0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0.00
Kyle Jones, 0-0-0.00
Tyler Werner, 0-0-0.00
Gage Gay, 0-0-0.00
Dylan Smith, 0-0-0.00
Lucas Fideles Souza, 0-0-0.00
Ouncie Mitchell, 0-0-0.00
Hunter Ball, 0-0-0.00
River Stephenson, 0-0-0.00
Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0.00
Francisco Morales, 0-0-0.00
Josh Frost, 0-0-0.00
Michael Lane, 0-0-0.00
Kache Moosman, 0-0-0.00
Caleb Christian, 0-0-0.00
Andre da Cruz de Souza, 0-0-0.00
Thor Hoefer II, 0-0-0.00
Zac Harris, 0-0-0.00
Dalton Rudman, 0-0-0.00
Dylan Madsen, 0-0-0.00
J.T. Pettitt, 0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0.00
Jake Goodson, 0-0-0.00
Leonardo Lima, 0-0-0.00
Weston Hartman, 0-0-0.00
Anthony Hopen, 0-0-0.00
J.T. Stevens, 0-0-0.00
Zac Osborne, 0-0-0.00
Zach Valderas, 0-0-0.00
Justin Willis, 0-0-0.00
Mason Ward, 0-0-0.00
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