By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – Mason Taylor will have plenty of confidence when he heads to Glendale, Arizona, for the PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, this coming weekend.
Taylor went 2-for-2 to win the Touring Pro Division event held during the ABBI Spring Fling in Abilene, Texas, this past Friday and Saturday night. The 21-year-old earned the victory after his two rides aboard Ranch Water (89 points) and Hashtag (87 points) on Friday night held up as the best aggregate score among 90 entries during the two-day event.
Taylor was one of only three riders to be a perfect 2-for-2 in Abilene, and he picked up 15 world points to move to No. 28 in the world standings.
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Taylor has now won both marquee ABBI Classic Touring Pro Division events this season after claiming the victory in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 2 at the Cowtown Coliseum.
2013 Rookie of the Year Joao Ricardo Vieira and 2015 PBR Brazil champion Luciano de Castro each rode both of their bulls in Abilene to tie for second place.
Vieira earned 7.5 world points to jump to No. 10 in the world standings, while Castro’s 7.5 world points push him to No. 42.
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Rounding out the Top 5 were Andy Guzman (1-for-2, 87 points) and Alecio Ferreira da Costa (1-for-2, 86.5 points).
Not to be forgotten: Taylor is in contention for his first Unleash The Beast victory of the season when the PBR’s top series heads to Gila River Arena in Glendale. Friday night will be the conclusion of the Del Rio, Texas, UTB event, which had to postpone its final day of competition because of inclement weather on Feb. 14.
Taylor, who is only 1-for-9 this year on the premier series, is sitting in second place in the Del Rio event after he rode Mr. Right Now for 89.25 points on Feb. 13.
Meanwhile, Rafael dos Santos leads the Del Rio event after winning Round 1 with 89.5 points on Mike’s Motive.
There were seven qualified rides in Round 1 in Del Rio last month. Friday night in Glendale will feature 28 riders from the original event competing in the long round (Del Rio Round 2). The Top 12 riders in the event aggregate will qualify for the championship round. Injured riders Brennon Eldred, Alex Cerqueira and Aaron Pass will not be replaced in the draw.
Friday night’s conclusion of the Del Rio event in Glendale will be available to fans exclusively on RidePass beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET.
Saturday night will then be the beginning of the two-day Built Ford Tough Invitational in Glendale, with 40 riders competing. Round 1 Saturday airs on RidePass (8:45 p.m. ET) and CBS Sports Network (11 p.m. ET).
Here is a look at the event standings from Del Rio:
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
Rodrigo Melgar, 0-0-0-0.00
Aaron Pass, 0-0-0-0.00
João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cardozo, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0.00
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
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