Arizona Ridge Riders Topple League-Leading Gamblers for the Third Time this Season
By Andrew C. Hatfield
RIDGEDALE, M.O. – On the first day of the second annual PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series event at the scenic Thunder Ridge Nature Arena in Ridgedale, Missouri, the hometown Missouri Thunder fell to the Kansas City Outlaws in heartbreaking fashion, while the Arizona Ridge Riders remained red-hot and bested the league-leading Austin Gamblers.
All four games went down to the final out, and three were dramatically decided on walk-off rides.
Returning from the IR after missing the past two events, the Thunder’s Joao Lucas Campos (Porto Feliz, Brazil) matched the Outlaws’ Wingson Henrique da Silva’s 87-point effort to knot the score in the second frame with three riders left on either side. After four straight buckoffs, the Outlaws’ Cassio Dias was awarded a re-ride, taken by Kyler Oliver, who delivered, walking off the battle of the Show Me State 172.50 – 87.
In the first matchup of the evening, the Arizona Ridge Riders handed the Austin Gamblers their fourth loss, beating the league’s top team for the third time this season, 262 – 175.25. Despite a slow start, the Ridge Riders received strong performances from Vitor Losnake, Eduardo Aparecido and Leandro Machado, who broke a tie with a walk-off ride to end the game and best Austin despite 2023 MVP leaders Jose Vitor Leme and Dalton Kasel both making the 8 for the Gamblers.
It was the fifth straight win for the surging Ridge Riders, who started the season very slow but are now 8-9 on the season.
Cooper Davis got the Carolina Cowboys off to a strong start but was bested by the Oklahoma Freedom’s Caden Bunch, who delivered a clutch ride to give his team an 87.75 – 82.5-point victory.
In Friday night’s penultimate game, both Joao Ricardo Vieira of Texas and the Nashville Stampede’s Silvano Alves climbed the career-rides leader board, while the Rattlers’ closer Daniel Keeping stole the show, delivering a walk-off 87-point ride to give Texas a 248.25 – 171.25 victory.
Thunder Days continues on Saturday, September 16 at 6:45 p.m. CDT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, at the Thunder Ridge Nature Arena box office, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer replays of all the PBR Teams Camping World Series action from Ridgedale, Missouri. Check https://pluto.tv/en/live-tv/pbr-ridepass for the latest programming schedule.
Arizona Ridge Riders Continue to Roll, Defeat Gamblers for the Third Time This Season
The Arizona Ridge Riders (8-9) proved once again that they have the Austin Gamblers’ (13-4) number, handing them their fourth loss of the season and the third in the head-to-head matchup in the opening game of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Thunder Days in Ridgedale, Missouri.
Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) got the Gamblers off to a hot start, covering Milk Mustache (Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls) for 88 points. Nick Tetz (Calgary, Canada) was thwarted in Arizona’s first out of the evening by Rockville (Blake Sharp/Koe Wetzel/Giovanni/Morris), but Austin’s Cort McFadden (Novice, Texas) was unable to extend the lead after being bested by American You (Universal Pro Rodeo/Rachel & Dustin Powell) in 2.56 seconds. Vitor Losnake (Bauru, Brazil) was able to break through for Arizona in their second out, sitting tall atop Cooter Brown (Lucas Manning/Waller Brothers Cattle Co) for a game-high 88.5 points to give the Ridge Riders the lead.
After Ramon de Lima (Rio Branco, Brazil) was offered a re-ride, Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandio, Brazil) rocketed out of the chutes atop Skippy (Skippy & Linda Johnson/Hookin’ W Ranch) for 86.75 points to extend Arizona’s lead 175.25 – 86.75 at the end of the third. Both Austin and Arizona were then awarded re-rides in their next outs, so the Gamblers turned to Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) to close the gap.
Sporting newly bleached-blonde hair, the 2022 PBR Teams MVP shot out of the chutes and made it look easy, topping No Doubt (Richard & Teri Braun/Jenkins Cattle) for 87.25 points to tie the game. De Lima was unable to follow suit, and after Austin Richardson (Dallas, Texas) bucked off Dirty Sancho (Blake Sharp/Koe Wetzel/High Voltage Cattle) in 2.59 seconds, Arizona turned to Leandro Machado (Nova Esperanca, Brazil), who joined the team just this week, with a chance to walk it off. Machado locked in and burst out of the chutes atop Hoka Hey (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers), making the horn and securing the 262 – 175.25 victory for Arizona – the team’s fifth straight – with a heart-stopping 86.75-point outing.
The Austin Gamblers will look to bounce back against the Oklahoma Freedom (10-7) on Saturday, while the Ridge Riders look to extend their win streak to a season-high six games against the Nashville Stampede (5-12).
Freedom Top Cowboys Courtesy of Bunch’s Clutch Ride
Oklahoma Freedom: 87.75
Carolina Cowboys: 82.50
In the second game of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) return to Ridgedale, the Carolina Cowboys’ (7-10) Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) got his team off to a hot start by topping Express Lane (Classic Jack Cattle/Viducic Bucking Bulls) for 82.5 points, Davis’ fourth qualified ride in a row on the bull.
However, the Oklahoma Freedom (10-7) were able to steal the victory in their second to last out. Earlier, in the Freedom’s second out, standout-rookie Elizmar Jeremias (Anapu, Brazil) was bucked off by Stand Off (Universal Pro Rodeo) in 3.6 seconds. The dominant animal athletes bested their cowboy counterparts in the next three outs as well, with the Cowboys’ Boudreaux Campbell (Crockett, Texas), the Freedom’s Casey Roberts (Mumford, Alabama) and Carolina’s Trey Kimzey (Strong City, Oklahoma) all failing to make the 8.
With just four riders to go, in the top of the fourth, Oklahoma then turned to Caden Bunch (Tahlequah, Oklahoma) to take back the lead. Representing his home state, the rookie burst out of the chutes atop Neon Street (Sho-Me Rodeo) for a game-high 87.75 points to give his team a lead they would never relinquish. After the dust had settled, the Freedom had bested the Cowboys 87.75 – 82.50 in the second game on Friday. Oklahoma takes on the No. 1 ranked Austin Gamblers (13-4) on Saturday, while Carolina looks to right the ship against the Kansas City Outlaws (10-7).
Rattlers Cover Three to Outpace Stampede on Keeping’s Walk-off Ride
Nashville Stampede: 171.25
Texas Rattlers: 248.25
In the second-highest scoring affair of the evening at PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Thunder Days, the Texas Rattlers (9-8) walked-off the defending-champion Nashville Stampede (5-12).
After Nashville’s Mason Moody (Letcher, South Dakota) was bucked off in 5.0 seconds by Red Scorpion (Lari Crane/Gene Owen), Rattlers’ veteran Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) recorded his 399th career ride for 74.5 points on Skinny Kenny (Lucas Manning Bucking Bulls) to put Texas on the board. Joao Henrique Lucas (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) attempted to respond for the Stampede but failed to make the horn on Mahan (Jane Clark/Gene Owen), losing the rope after 5.12 seconds.
With a chance to give the Rattlers a commanding two-ride lead, Brady Fielder (Clermont, Australia) delivered, topping Flashbang (GN Livestock & Bucking Bulls/Lucas Manning Bucking Bulls) for 86.75 points. Nashville, ever resilient, then battled back, as Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) covered Sergeant Matt (Lucas Manning Bucking Bulls) for 84.75 points and Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) bested Kevin (Paige Stout/Lukas Banning Bucking Bulls) for 86.5 points to give the Stampede the lead 161.25 – 87.75 heading into the Rattlers’ final out. Texas turned to Daniel Keeping (Montague, Texas) with the game on the line, and the young Texan steadied himself in the chutes.
As the crowd at Thunder Ridge Nature Arena built to an uproar, Keeping rocketed out of the gate atop Black Ice (BMC Bucking Bulls/Jenkins Cattle Co) and made the 8 for a game-high 87 points to secure the win for the Rattlers. Keeping had also scored a dramatic walk-off ride win during the Rattlers’ first trip to Ridgedale in 2022. The Stampede look to bounce back against the red-hot Arizona Ridge Riders (8-9) on Saturday, while the Rattlers will try to keep it rolling against the hometown Missouri Thunder (4-13).
Outlaws, Oliver Walk-off Thunder in Show-Me State Showdown
Kansas City Outlaws: 172.50
Missouri Thunder: 87
In the final matchup of the evening of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Teams action in Missouri, the hometown Missouri Thunder (4-13) fell to the Kansas City Outlaws (10-7) in a Show-Me State Showdown. After both the Outlaws’ Mauricio Gulla Moreira (Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil) and the Thunder’s Kade Madsen (Honeyville, Utah) failed to reach the horn, the Outlaws’ Wingson Henrique da Silva(Navirai, Brazil) broke through for 87 points aboard Outlaw (Big Sky Bulls, LLC/McCoy Rodeo).
Kansas City’s lead was short-lived, as Joao Lucas Campos (Porto Feliz, Brazil) returned from injury and matched Silva’s 87 points on Hou’s Magic (Robinson Bucking Bulls) to tie the game. After four straight buckoffs, Outlaws’ closer and rookie sensation Cassio Dias (Sao F. de Sales, Brazil) attempted to give his team the lead but was ousted in 6.13 seconds by JAG Metals Hard Way (Paige Stout Bucking Bulls/Philip Elkins). However, after a successful challenge from head coach J.W. Hart, the team was offered a re-ride opportunity.
After the Thunder’s final rider, Briggs Madsen (Tremonton, Utah) was bested in 3.4 seconds by Buffalo Chip (Blake Sharp/Robbie Ray/Doug Wilson), Kansas City turned to Kyler Oliver (Roy, Utah) to secure a walk-off victory. Rocketing out of the chutes atop Tijuana Two-Step (Blake Sharp/Michael Floyd), it initially appeared that Oliver’s off-hand had hit the bull after five seconds, stopping the clock.
However, after a video review, the decision was overturned, and Oliver was awarded 85.5 points and sent the Thunder home with a loss in front of a stunned Thunder Ridge Nature Arena crowd. The hometown Thunder look to turn their homestand around against Texas Rattlers (9-8) on Saturday, while the Kansas City Outlaws dance with the Carolina Cowboys (7-10).
Ridgedale Team Standings:
Here are the current Team standings for the Ridgedale PBR Camping World Team Series event after the opening day of competition for PBR Thunder Days:
1 Arizona Ridge Riders 1-0-0
1 Kansas City Outlaws 1-0-0
1 Oklahoma Freedom 1-0-0
1 Texas Rattlers 1-0-0
5 Austin Gamblers 0-1-0
6 Nashville Stampede 0-1-0
7 Missouri Thunder 0-1-0
8 Carolina Cowboys 0-1-0
PBR Teams Season Standings:
Here are the current Team standings for the regular season after the opening day of competition for PBR Thunder Days in Ridgedale, Missouri:
1 Austin Gamblers 13-4-0 – 2,879.75
2 Kansas City Outlaws 10-7-0 – 2,862.50
3 Oklahoma Freedom 10-7-0 – 1,725.25
4 Texas Rattlers 9-8-0 – 2,941.00
5 Arizona Ridge Riders 8-9-0 – 1,989.50
6 Carolina Cowboys 7-10-0 – 2,333.25
7 Nashville Stampede 5-12-0 – 1,639.75
8 Missouri Thunder 4-13-0 – 1,208.75
September 16 Game Schedule:
Here are the game matchups for the second day of action for PBR Thunder Days in Ridgedale, Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 16:
Kansas City Outlaws @ Carolina Cowboys
Austin Gamblers @ Oklahoma Freedom
Arizona Ridge Riders @ Nashville Stampede
Texas Rattlers @ Missouri Thunder
September 17 Game Schedule:
Here are the game matchups for the third day of action for PBR Thunder Days in Ridgedale, Missouri on Sunday, Sept. 17:
Carolina Cowboys @ Austin Gamblers
Nashville Stampede @ Kansas City Outlaws
Texas Rattlers @ Arizona Ridge Riders
Oklahoma Freedom @ Missouri Thunder
About the PBR Camping World Team Series:
The PBR Camping World Team Series is an elite league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing on teams in five-on-five bull riding games during an 11-event season beginning in July and culminating in a Team Championship at T- Mobile Arena in Las Vegas October 20-22. During the 2023 season, the league’s second, each of the eight teams – Austin Gamblers of Austin, TX; Arizona Ridge Riders of Glendale, AZ; Carolina Cowboys of Greensboro, NC; Kanas City Outlaws of Kansas City, MO; Nashville Stampede of Nashville, TN; Oklahoma Freedom of Oklahoma City, OK; Missouri Thunder of Ridgedale, MO; and Texas Rattlers of Fort Worth, TX – will host a three-day homestand. There are also neutral-site games in Cheyenne, WY and Anaheim, CA. The Nashville Stampede are the current 2022 defending champions.
The league format, which launched in July 2022, builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. In events staged in a tournament-style format, all teams compete in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game features five riders per team squaring off against another team. Full team rosters are comprised of seven riders on the Protected Roster and five Reserve riders. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders is declared the winner of each game. The event winner is the team with the most game wins across an events. All PBR Team Series events are carried on either the CBS Television Network, streaming live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, or RidePass on Pluto TV.