Austin Gamblers’ Dalton Kasel Wins Second Consecutive PBR Unleash The Beast Event in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Vault to No. 2 in World Championship Race

Chasing his first PBR World Championship this May, Kasel now trails No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme by a mere 56.6 points

For photos from Championship Saturday, courtesy Josh Homer/Bull Stock Media, click here. For video highlights, courtesy PBR, click here. When sharing photo/b-roll assets on social, please tag @PBR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Fresh off his event win in Los Angeles, Austin Gamblers sensation Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) continued his winning ways in Little Rock, Arkansas, going a perfect 3-for-3 to win his second consecutive PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast event, victorious at the U.S. Border Patrol Invitational. Kasel, who entered the event No. 4 in the world, climbed to No. 2 in the fierce 2023 World Championship race.

Kasel first put points on the board in Round 1 on Friday night, tying for fifth when he covered Old School Cool (Tom Baker Bucking Bulls) for 85.5 points.

The 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year then rose to second on the event leaderboard when he rode Black Ice (BMC Bucking Bulls/Jenkins Cattle Co.) for 88.25 points in Round 2 on Saturday.

With the second pick in the championship round bull draft, Kasel selected reining PRCA Bull of the Year UTZ BesTex Smokestack (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Garrett Carey). In a decision that paid dividends, Kasel covered the striking animal athlete for a monstrous 91.25 points, tying for the round win and ultimately cementing his second consecutive Unleash The Beast event win.

Kasel’s golden finish garnered him a check for $44,148 along with a crucial 135 Unleash The Beast points, vaulting him to second place in the fierce 2023 PBR World Championship race. He is now within a mere 56.5 points of No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) as he seeks his first gold buckle this May at the PBR World Finals.

Leme earned just 3 points with his 17th-place finish. While he rode Ain’t No Joke (Harrison Cattle Co.) for 80.5 points in Round 1, his event ended in Round 2 when he was called for a slap at the 2.37-second mark atop Baptism By Fire (BMC Bucking Bulls/Jenkins Cattle Co.).

Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) parlayed his own perfect 3-for-3 effort into a runner-up finish, falling 1 point short of his first Unleash The Beast win of the season.

The reserved Brazilian advanced to the championship round atop the U.S. Border Patrol Invitational leaderboard courtesy of his 85.25-point ride aboard Cool Hand Luke (Bar Seven Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 and 89-point score aboard John 14:6 (Jenkins Cattle Co./CIL Cattle) in Round 2.

As the last man to leave the chutes inside an electric Simmons Bank Arena, Barbosa needed a score of 91 points or more aboard I’m Legit Too (Cart Cattle Co./Hale) to win the event.

While Barbosa made the 8 as the crowd erupted in raucous cheer, he earned just a 90-point score and was narrowly denied the victory.

The silver showing earned Barbosa 103 Unleash The Beast points. He catapulted nine positions in the standings, cracking the Top 10 in climbing from No. 19 to No. 10. Barbosa is now 373 points back of No. 1 Leme.

As the final rider to cover all three of his draws in Arkansas, Texas Rattler Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) was third, garnering 86 Unleash The Beast points.

Vieira’s sweep of scores included an 87-point ride atop Joker’s Alibi (Harrison Cattle Co.) in Round 1, an 81.75-point score atop Choc Tease (Cord McCoy/BuzzBallz LLC/McCoy Rodeo) in Round 2, and a mammoth 91.25-point ride on Chateau Montelena’s Montana Jacket (Vella/Coleman/Ogden/Hart) in the final round.

Seeking his first World Championship, Vieira rose from No. 22 to No. 16 in the tight title race.

Sandro Batista (Pedra Preta, Brazil) was fourth, collecting 46 Unleash The Beast points.

Despite bucking off Back Time (Young Cattle/Crooked Crown) in 5.34 seconds in Round 1, Batista returned determined on Championship Saturday.

Batista punched his ticket to the championship round when he rode Twisted Feather (Blake Sharp/Michael Floyd/Cain Kobert) for 81 points in Round 2.

Continuing his momentum, Batista then recorded his second consecutive score when he conquered UTZ BesTex Legend (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Garrett Carey) for 89 points in the final round.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Tate Pollmeier (Fort Scott, Kansas).

Going 1-for-3, Pollmeier’s event was headlined by his Round 1 win when the Oklahoma Freedom rider posted the top score of his career, covering Huckleberry (Buckin Fun Group/Twisted Horn Ranch) for a commanding 91.25 points.

The young Kansan netted 46 Unleash The Beast points.

In the bull pen, Fastfire (Glover Cattle/D&H Cattle Co.) was anointed the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event. The powerful animal athlete was marked an event-best 46.75 points in Round 1 when he tossed Arkansas’ own Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas) in 4.92 seconds.

Elsewhere in the PBR, the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour stopped in Knoxville, Tennessee, while PBR Canada’s elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, traveled to Lethbridge, Alberta.

Delivering a perfect 2-for-2 effort in front of a raucous Tennessee crowd, Brandon Davis (Cabot, Arkansas) won the Velocity Tour’s Knoxville Invitational inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

Davis first put points on the board in Round 1, tying for the second-best score when he dominated Matthew (Generations Pro Rodeo, Inc.) for 85.5 points.

The surging Arkansas native was then tasked with Oreo (Dustin Denning Bucking Bulls/Burnt Chimney Bucking Bulls) in the championship round. In a perfect pairing, Davis matched the animal athlete jump-for-jump en route to the whistle, marked a Knoxville Invitational-best 88 points to clinch the event win.

The golden finish garnered Davis 125.5 points as he chases his first Velocity Tour Championship this May.

North of the border, 2022 PBR Canada Champion Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta) delivered a perfect 3-for-3 effort at the elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, event inside ENMAX Centre, to defend his PBR South Country Co-op Showdown, presented by, victory.

Having won both Cup Series events in Lethbridge in 2022, Tetz picked up right where he left off, winning Round 1 of the event courtesy of an 86.5-point ride atop Sure Shot (Skori Bucking Bulls).

The reserved Albertan continued his momentum in Round 2, recording his second score when he covered Tractorlands Freakshow (Wild Hoggs Bucking Bulls) for 83.5 points.

With the first pick in the championship round bull draft, Tetz renewed his rivalry with Sure Shot from Round 1, electing to go head-to-head with the bovine athlete for the second time that weekend. Replicating his earlier success, Tetz matched the powerful bull jump-for-jump en route to the 8 second whistle for 86 points to clinch the victory.

The golden finish garnered Tetz 140 national points. Unranked prior to the tour stop, Tetz vaulted to No. 2 in the national standings, now within a mere 8 points of the top spot as he chases his unprecedented second consecutive PBR Canada Championship.

The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to Fiserv Forum for the PBR Brew City Classic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event will be on Saturday, March 11, at 6:45 p.m. CST, and Sunday, March 12, at 1:45 p.m. CST.

The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour next travels to Bangor, Maine, and Dayton, Ohio.

The PBR Kubota Classic at Cross Insurance Center in Maine gets underway on Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m. EST, Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m. EST and concludes on Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m. EST. The Dayton Rumble at Nutter Center in Ohio begins on Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m. EST.

The PBR Canada Sup Series, presented by Wrangler, will next travel to Brandon, Manitoba, and Westoba Place at Keystone Centre for the PBR Mazergroup Chute Out on Saturday, May 27. Action will get underway nightly at 7 p.m. CST.   

PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Unleash The Beast and Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tvClick here for on-demand PBR programming.