by KACIE ALBERT
PENSACOLA, Fla. – SPORTS – Competing at his first PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event of the 2021 season, surging Canadian Jake Gardner (Fort St. John, British Columbia) registered his career-best finish on the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour this past weekend in Pensacola, Florida, going 1-for-3 to tie for 11th at the PBR Pensacola Invitational at the Pensacola Bay Center.
Gardner began the event on a high note, recording the sixth-best score of Round 1 when he made the 8 aboard Rag Doll (Tom Baker Bucking Bulls) for 85 points.
Despite the early momentum, however, Gardner was not able to duplicate his initial successes on Championship Sunday, bucked off by Got It Handles (Halpain Bucking Bulls) in a close 6.28 seconds in Round 2, and by Tik Tok (Sho-Me Rodeo/Rafter J) in 2.36 seconds in the championship round.
For his efforts, Gardner earned 1 world point towards the early 2021 PBR World Championship race.
Fellow Canuck Logan Biever (Claresholm, Alberta) also competed at the Sunshine State event, however, went 0-for-2. First bucked off by Shake Down (D4 Cattle/Tomaski) in 4.32 seconds in Round 1, Rag Doll sent the Albertan to the dirt in 4.3 seconds in Round 2.
Atop the leaderboard, nine-time PBR World Finals qualifier Shane Proctor (Grand Coulee, Washington) was flawless, going a perfect 3-for-3 to win the PBR Pensacola Invitational.
Proctor began his march to his career-first win on the league’s expansion series in Round 1, covering Turbo Blast (Tom Baker Bucking Bulls) for 83 points. In Round 2, the 35-year-old veteran climbed the leaderboard when he made the 8 aboard Wine Time (JQH Bucking Bulls – Skip & Elaine Jones) for 84.5 points.
The Washington native then clinched the win when he went the distance aboard Cido 545 (Rockin R/Jim & Shannon Barr) for 89.5 points, surging to the top of the leaderboard for the first time during the two-day event.
For his efforts, Proctor earned 37.66 world points, gaining 54 positions in the 2021 PBR world standings as he catapulted from No. 94 to No. 40. Proctor is now 21.34 points outside of the Top 30 and a seeded position on the league’s elite Unleash The Beast.
Seeking his 12th career qualification to the PBR World Finals in 2021, Cody Nance (Paris, Tennessee) was second, earning 23.66 world points.
As the only other rider to be flawless in the Sunshine State, Nance delivered qualified rides aboard Turbo Steel (Tom Baker Bucking Bulls) for 80.5 points in Round 1, Church Bells (Team Alaska) for 84.5 points in Round 2, and Domino (Okeechobee Bull Co.) for 86 points in the championship round.
Nance’s silver finish allowed him to gain significant ground in the world standings. After beginning the two-day event ranked No. 38, he climbed seven positions to No. 31. He now trails the coveted Top 30 by a slim 4.34 points.
Michael Lane (Tazewell, Virginia) and Luis Blanco (Iacanga, Brazil) tied for third.
Lane registered his best finish to date in 2021, going 2-for-3 to earn 16 world points.
After tying for the Round 1 win on Saturday evening courtesy of an 87.5-point score on Gone Rogue (Red Laces Cattle Co.), Lane continued the momentum Sunday afternoon when he rode Cow Dog (Rockin R/Jim & Shannon Barr) for 86.5 points.
Lane’s quest for victory, however, came to an abrupt halt in the championship round when he was dispatched by Blame It On The Whiskey (JQH Bucking Bulls – Skip & Elaine Jones) in a swift 1.98 seconds.
In the early 2021 PBR World Championship race, Lane gained 21 positions, climbing from No. 69 to No. 48.
For Blanco, his 2-for-3 effort netted him 15 world points. In Round 1, the poised Brazilian registered the third-best score when he covered Hickory (Oilfield Outlaw’s Bucking Bulls) for 86.5 points. Improving in Round 2, Blanco combined with Bean (Sho-Me Rodeo/Rater J) for the second-best score, reaching the 8-second whistle for 87.5 points.
Masimodo (Tom Baker Bucking Bulls) was the lone bovine athlete to get the better of Blanco in Florida, bucking him off in 4.87 seconds in the championship round.
Blanco is now ranked No. 50 in the world, climbing 29 positions after beginning the event ranked No. 79.
Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Alex Cardozo (Indaiatuba, Brazil).
After bucking off Domino in 2.94 seconds in Round 1, Cardozo was flawless on Championship Sunday, riding Turbo Blast for 84.5 points in Round 2 and Cadillac Jack (TDS Bucking Bulls) for 89 points in the championship round.
For his efforts, Cardozo earned 8.66 world points.
Elsewhere on the leaderboard, Austin Richardson (Stephenville, Texas) concluded the event eighth, earning seven world points, after recording the high-marked ride of the PBR Pensacola Invitational.
Drawing Bring The Bling (GEM Bucking Bulls) in Round 2, Richardson recorded the high-marked ride of his career, and his first-ever 90-point score, when he made the 8 for 90.5 points.
In the bull pen, Amato (Red Laces Cattle Co.) was the high-marked bull of the event. Scored 45.5 points, the bovine athlete dispatched Richardson in 1.7 seconds to earn an impressive 45.5-point score.
The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Pensacola Invitational was also a stop on the 2021 Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge.
GEM Bucking Bulls won the performance with 277.41 points courtesy of the trips notched by Bring The Bling, Red Line and Whacked Out.
Second place was Oilfield Outlaws’ Bucking Bulls with 274.98 points, while Rockin R/Jim & Shannon Barr was third with 273.38 points. Oilfield Outlaws’ Bucking Bulls’ team included Hickory, Pat’s Dream and Oilfield Outlaws’ Yellow Feather, while the bronze effort from Rockin R/Jim & Shannon Barr was earned courtesy of outs recorded by Cow Dog, Buddy’s Pet and Cido 545.
Fans can relive all the action from the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Pensacola Invitational Monday, March 22 at 8:00 a.m. EDT on RidePass, at RidePass.com or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.
The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour next travels to College Station, Texas, and Reed Arena on April 9-10. Action gets underway with Round 1 at 8:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 9, followed by Round 2 and the championship round on Saturday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m. CDT.
PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour – Pensacola Invitational
Pensacola Bay Center – Pensacola, Florida
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
- Shane Proctor, 83-84.5-89.5-257.00-37.66 Points.
- Cody Nance, 80.5-84.5-86-251.00-23.66 Points.
- Michael Lane, 87.5-86.5-0-174.00-16 Points.
(tie). Luis Blanco, 86.5-87.5-0-174.00-15 Points.
- Alex Cardozo, 0-84.5-89-173.50-8.66 Points.
- Marcus Mast, 86-86.5-0-172.50-7 Points.
- Clayton Sellars, 84.5-84-0-168.50-2 Points.
- Austin Richardson, 0-90.5-0-90.50-7 Points.
- Cole Skender, 87.5-0-0-87.50-5.5 Points.
- Devon Weaver, 86-0-0-86.00-1.5 Points.
- Francisco Garcia Torres, 85-0-0-85.00-1 Points.
(tie). Jake Gardner, 85-0-0-85.00-1 Points.
(tie). Eduardo de Oliveira, 0-85-0-85.00-1 Points.
- Dylan Smith, 84-0-0-84.00
- Anthony Lyons, 83.5-0-0-83.50
- Juan Carlos Contreras, 0-83-0-83.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0.00
Thor Hoefer II, 0-0-0-0.00
Keith Hall, 0-0-0-0.00
Eli Byler, 0-0-0-0.00
Justin Houston, 0-0-0-0.00
Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0-0.00
Logan Biever, 0-0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Fideles Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Alecio Ferreira da Costa, 0-0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0-0.00
Caleb Christian, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Davis, 0-0-0-0.00
Alex Jenks, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Lockwood, 0-0-0-0.00
Triston Dean, 0-0-0-0.00
Laramie Craigen, 0-0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Campbell, 0-0-0-0.00
Romildo Rodrigues, 0-0-0-0.00
Allen Burkholder, 0-0-0-0.00
Max Castro, 0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Phipps, 0-0-0-0.00
Rosendo Ramirez, 0-0-0-0.00
Lane Nobles, 0-0-0-0.00
Ednei Caminhas, 0-0-0-0.00
Anthony Hopen, 0-0-0-0.00
Braden Richardson, 0-0-0-0.00
Ty Shaffer, 0-0-0-0.00