By: Kacie Albert
NEWARK, N.J. – For the first time in league history, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) elite Unleash The Beast will travel to Newark, New Jersey, welcoming fans to Prudential Center on September 18-19 for the fan-attended PBR Newark Invitational.
While the event will mark the PBR premier series’ debut in Newark, the Garden State city is no stranger to PBR action. In 2014, Newark hosted a stop for the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour, with Rowdy Rice (Easly, South Carolina) capturing the event win.
Positioned in the second half of the 2021 season, the PBR Newark Invitational is crucial in the championship race to the PBR World Finals in early November, awarding a gold buckle and million-dollar bonus to the world’s best bull rider.
With 15 Unleash The Beast events already complete, the race for the 2021 PBR World Championship is one of the most fiercely contested in league history. With No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) and No. 2 Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) separated by a mere 66.5 world points, looking further down the standings, No. 3 Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) remains hot on their spurs, within 186 points of No. 2 Pacheco and 252.5 points of No. 1 Leme.
This season’s current top three riders – 2020 PBR World Champion Leme, 2018 PBR World Champion Pacheco and 2016 World Champion Davis – are all attempting to become just the seventh rider in league history to have won the coveted gold buckle in multiple seasons.
Further, should Leme repeat as the league’s World Champion, he would join Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) as the only riders to win the coveted gold buckle in back-to-back seasons. Alves who won his first two titles in 2011 and 2012.
As the No. 1 ranked rider in the world three weeks thus far in 2021, Leme is mounting a potentially record-setting season in his quest to make further league history.
Leme has logged 10 round wins and 12 90-point rides to date in 2021 – on pace to break the season-record in both statistical categories. In 2013, two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney (Statesville, North Carolina) registered a league-best 19 round wins, while in 1999 Cody Hart (Gainesville, Texas) registered a PBR best 16 90-point rides.
In addition to Leme, Pacheco, Davis, Vieira and Alves, event-goers to the PBR Newark Invitational can anticipate watching one rider with ties to the tristate area competing inside the home of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
Hailing from Piffard, New York, Daylon Swearingen has been electric at PBR events since making his league debut in 2018. A two-time PBR World Finals qualifier, 2019 PBR Canada Champion Swearingen finished a career-best No. 9 in the world in 2020, logging his first Unleash The Beast victory in Chicago, Illinois.
The 21-year-old young gun began his 2021 season in early June after being sidelined at the conclusion of 2020 due to hip and shoulder surgery.
The bull riding action for the PBR Newark Invitational begins with Round 1 at 6:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 18, concluding with Round 2 and the championship round at 1:45 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 19. All 30 bull riders will get on one bull each in Round 1 and 2. Following Round 2 on Sunday afternoon, the riders’ individual two-round scores will be totaled with the Top 12 advancing to the championship round for one more out and a chance at the event title.
Tickets for the two-day event go on-sale Wednesday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m. EDT, and start at $15, taxes and fees not included. They can be purchased at the Prudential Center Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
PBR Elite Seats are available for avid fans who want an exclusive VIP experience while enjoying the world’s top bull riding circuit. These tickets offer premium seats, a question and answer presentation with some of the top bull riders and stock contractors in the world, behind-the-scenes look at the event from the back of the bucking chutes, and souvenir credential and lanyard.
For an enhanced PBR experience, fans can now purchase add-on PBR Premium Experiences which will include the Elite Experience on both Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19.
The Elite Experience, available for $75, will include a Q&A session with a select group of the league’s top riders, bullfighters and stock contractors, exclusive merchandise item, arena concession voucher and commemorative lanyard.
For more information on PBR Premium Experiences and to purchase the Elite Experience for the PBR Newark Invitational in New Jersey visit https://pbr.com/tickets/premium-experiences/.
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