Austin Gamblers’ Perfect Season Rides On with Narrow Victory Against In-State Rival Texas Rattlers

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PBR World Camping Teams 2023 - Image Courtesy Bull Stock Media
PBR World Camping Teams 2023 - Image Courtesy Bull Stock Media

Austin Gamblers: 173.25

Texas Rattlers: 171.25

By Kacie Albert

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Austin Gamblers continued their white-hot momentum as PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Camping World Team Series action concluded Saturday evening in Kansas City, Missouri, keeping their perfect season intact with a 2-point win against their in-state rival Texas Rattlers, presented by Ariat.

The first frame featured back-to-back rides for both teams. After the Austin Gamblers’ lead-off rider Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) dominated White Face (Flying S/Pedra Bucking Bulls) for 85.75 points, the Texas Rattlers quickly responded, rising to a 1.25-point lead when Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) rode Outlaw (Big Sky Bulls, LLC/McCoy Rodeo) for 87 points. While the scoreboard went unchanged through the second, both teams logged crucial outs.

The Gamblers lost their challenge when Head Coach Michael Gaffney called for a review of Lucas Divino’s (Nova Crixas, Brazil) 1.97-second buckoff atop Heater (D&H Cattle Company). While Gaffney thought the bull hipped himself, the judges disagreed, keeping their initial call in place. In the bottom of the frame, the Rattlers were awarded a re-ride after Black Jack (D&H Cattle Co./Flinn) stumbled with Brady Fielder (Clermont, Queensland, Australia) aboard. For the second attempt, Rattlers Head Coach Cody Lambert selected Braidy Randolph (Jonestown, Pennsylvania) to climb aboard Canadian-born Moonlight Party (Jane Clark/Gene Owen).

As the third got underway, Ramon de Lima (Rio Branco, Brazil) was unable to give the Gamblers back the lead as he was tossed by UTZ BesTex Legend (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers) in 2.24 seconds.

The Rattlers then posted their second score of the game, growing their lead to 85.5 points as Alvaro Ariel (Itumirim, Brazil) rode Creed (Hart Cattle Company) for 84.25 points in his league debut. After Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas) bucked off No Cigar (D&H Cattel Co./Payson Parker) in the top of the fourth, Randolph readied to attempt Texas’s re-ride.

Randolph, however, couldn’t continue the Rattlers’ momentum, bested in a close 6.54 seconds. Texas then looked to young gun Dawson Gleaves (Amarillo, Texas) in the very next out, but he couldn’t find the 8 atop Short Circuit (D&H Cattle/McWhorter), tossed in 3.1 seconds. Reigning PBR Teams MVP Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) then faced a must-ride situation for Austin, needing a score to keep his team’s perfect season intact.

Rising to the occasion for the second consecutive night aboard Martini Houdini (Flying C/Tom Baker), Leme logged a qualified ride, marked 87.5 points to put his team back in front by 2 points. As the last man out of the chutes, the Rattlers’ hopes of victory rested in the hands of Daniel Keeping (Montague, Texas) aboard two-time reigning YETI PBR World Champion Bull Ridin’ Solo (Bill McCarty/McCoy Rodeo).

For the third time in his career, however, Keeping was bested by the powerful animal athlete, bucked off in 4.27 seconds to clinch the Gamblers win, 173.25-171.25. Compliments of the win, Austin improved to a perfect 3-0 at PBR Outlaw Days and is now a flawless 5-0 thus far in 2023. The Texas Rattlers concluded competition inside T-Mobile Center 1-2 and are now 2-3 across the campaign.

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