By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – The PBR’s Unleash The Beast: American Roots Edition continues its Florida swing this weekend with the PBR Pendleton Whisky Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at Mosaic Arena in Arcadia.
The PBR competition department announced Thursday an amendment to the 2021 Unleash The Beast season format. Event winners on UTB event weekends will be determined via the highest aggregate ride score, not total world points earned during the weekend’s individual competitions, beginning with this weekend’s event in Arcadia, Florida, after the league discussed the topic with Top 30 riders and the Competition Committee.
Therefore, the rider with the highest combined aggregate score will be named the event winner, earning a $10,000 bonus, and presented with a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle. The event winner will not receive additional world points.
Total world points available at UTB events and the overall weekend event format will remain the same as they were in Ocala. Each daily competition during a UTB event weekend will consist of a long round and a 12-rider championship round, with fans able to see a nightly competition winner crowned. Round wins are still worth 30 world points, and the winner of each competition’s event average picks up 80 world points. If fewer than 12 qualified rides are logged in the first round, the remaining positions will be filled based on buckoff time.
Arcadia Saturday Broadcast Info
RidePass (2 p.m. ET)
CBS Sports Network (10 p.m. ET)
Championship Round airs Sunday on CBS (check local listings)
WHO’S IN & OUT THIS WEEKEND
Riders from last year’s Top 30 that are not competing
2020 World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (broken ankle)
Two-time World Champion Jess Lockwood (broken jaw)
No. 3 Boudreaux Campbell (right hand/wrist surgery)
No. 9 Daylon Swearingen (right shoulder surgery)
No. 14 Colten Jesse (hip)
No. 22 Fabiano Vieira (head injury)
No. 23 Ramon de Lima (travel issues)
No. 24 Matt Triplett (hip surgery)
No. 26 Andrew Alvidrez (broken neck)
No. 27 Aaron Kleier (remaining in Australia)
No. 29 Stetson Lawrence (left shoulder surgery)
Alternates this weekend
Junior Patrik Souza
Claudio Montanha Jr.
Joao Henrique Lucas
Rafael Henrique dos Santos
*Making premier series debut
Alternates for the first four UTB event weekends in 2021 are based on a rotation between the 2020 world standings and the current 2021 world standings.
Five of this weekend’s alternates are already ranked inside the Top 25, including world No. 2 Junior Patrik Souza. They will officially be seeded on the Unleash The Beast if they remain ranked inside the Top 25 once the first UTB cutline (riders who finished 2020 No. 26-30 in the world standings) comes following the fourth event weekend (Del Rio, Texas, on Feb. 13-14).
Kasel looks to continue battling his way back on tour
2019 Rookie of the Year Dalton Kasel is using the second of his three injury exemptions to begin the 2021 season.
However, Kasel is quickly reasserting himself as a premier series-caliber bull rider capable of competing alongside the best riders in the world.
Kasel is 14th in the early 2021 world standings following a 1-for-3 showing in Arcadia. He earned 21.5 world points with his 87.5-point ride on La Grande during Competition 2.
The 22-year-old has a rematch against Soup in a Group, who he rode for 90.75 points in Guthrie, Oklahoma, last season, for Round 1.
Moreira is your world No. 1 bull rider
New world No. 1 Mauricio Moreira will look to build off his first event win, which came courtesy of a Competition 1 victory in Ocala, and extend his lead atop the early world standings.
Moreira faces Dutch in Round 1, and he has a 6.5-point lead on world No. 2 Junior Patrik Souza. Dutch bucked Ezekiel Mitchell off in 5.34 seconds last weekend.
Five rematches for Round 1
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis (3-for-4) would have been last weekend’s event winner in Ocala based on the rule amendments passed this week by the PBR competition department. Regardless, Davis will turn his focus toward a tough rematch against Talking Smack – a bull often seen in championship rounds in past seasons – on Saturday afternoon. Talking Smack bucked Davis off in 2.69 seconds at the 2019 PBR World Finals.
Here are the five rematches in Round 1:
Davis vs. Talking Smack (2.69 seconds at 2019 PBR World Finals)
Kasel vs. Soup in a Group (90.75 points in Guthrie, Oklahoma, last year)
J.B. Mauney vs. Marquis Metal Works Coriolis Effect (0-2; 4.14 seconds most recently in Billings, Montana, last year)
Mason Taylor vs. Two Socks (2.82 seconds in Guthrie, Oklahoma, last year)
Silvano Alves vs. Coy Dog (7.51 seconds last year in Des Moines, Iowa)
PBR history in Arcadia
This weekend is the PBR’s first premier series event in Arcadia in league history. The PBR Touring Pro Division held an event in Arcadia in 2009. Clay McIntyre went 2-for-2 for the event victory. It was one of two career victories for the Florida native.
None of this weekend’s riders in the UTB draw competed at the 2009 event.
Mosaic Arena is hosting this weekend’s PBR event, and it is also is home to the 93rd annual Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo on March 11-14. The arena opened in 2018 as a replacement to Arcadia’s previous rodeo arena, which had been around for 59 years and was battered during Hurricane Charley in 2004.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
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