Flawless Cassio Dias Wins PBR-Best Fifth Unleash The Beast Event of 2024 in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Furthering his Stronghold on the No. 1 Rank in the World Championship Race

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By Kacie Albert

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In front of an electric Saturday night crowd in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Cassio Dias (Sao F. de Sales, Brazil) furthered his stronghold on the No. 1 rank in the race for the 2024 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Championship, going a perfect 3-for-3 to win his PBR-best fifth Unleash The Beast event of the season at PBR Little Rock.

Dias cemented the win inside Simmons Bank Arena with a monstrous walk-off 90-point ride in the championship round, breaking his previously unridden bovine athlete counterpart’s eight-out career buckoff streak.

In Round 1, Dias, who rides for the Kansas City Outlaws in the separate PBR Teams league, first put points on the board when he conquered T-Wrecks (D4 Cattle Co./Double F Ranch) for 83 points.

Positioned eighth on the event leaderboard as Championship Saturday got underway, Dias surged to the top position when he won Round 2, besting Tulsa Time (Kelly & Cami Heath/McCoy Rodeo) for 89.25 points.

Dias, however, was not alone atop the standings prior to the championship round. He was locked in a three-way tie with fellow Kansas City Outlaw Koltin Hevalow (Smithville, Missouri) and the Austin Gamblers’ Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas).

For Hevalow, he rode Woody (Flinn Cattle Co.) for a Round 1-best 87.75 points before he outlastedCliff Hanger (Pioneer Bulls/McCoy Rodeo) for 84.5 points in Round 2.

Mitchell’s scores were earned on Spendin’ Cash (Kelly & Cami Heath/McCoy Rodeo) for 86 points in Round 1 and Gangster Time (Classic Jack Cattle/Viducic Bucking Bulls) for 86.25 points in Round 2.

With the tie broken by Unleash The Beast ranking, No. 1 Dias earned the first pick in the championship round draft, followed by No. 5 Hevalow and No. 39 Mitchell, who was a last-minute addition to the action in North Little Rock. On Friday morning, he had landed in Philadelphia, heading for the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event in Wheeling, West Virginia, when told of an opening in Little Rock. The 26-year-old cowboy immediately booked another flight to make it to Simmons Bank Arena on time.

Dias used his first selection to draft Dark Thoughts (Blake Sharp/Henry Wilson), a bull who was unridden in eight career outs. Hevalow selected Doze You Down (Dozier Cattle Co./Martinez Bucking Bulls) and Mitchell elected to go head-to-head with UTZ BesTex Smokestack (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers).

Before these three riders could take to the chutes, they were overtaken by the Florida Freedom’sThiago Salgado (Navirai, Brazil) for the event lead. Salgado had advanced to the championship round sixth on the event leaderboard, having gone 1-for-2. While he rode Cracker Jack (Ogden Ranch/Hart Cattle Co.) for 87.25 points in Round 1, he was bucked off by Watch Out (Nothin’ But Try Ranch/Diggers/4 Diamonds) in a heartbreaking 7.64 seconds in Round 2.

Salgado overtook the event lead in the final round when he dominated I’m Legit Too (Hart Cattle Co./Hale) for 88.25 points, forcing Dias, Hevalow and Mitchell into a must-ride position to remain in the hunt for the victory.

Mitchell was the first to leave the chutes, but he came up short against UTZ BesTex Smokestack, hitting the ground in 5.6 seconds.

As the penultimate rider to leave the chutes, Hevalow appeared centered atop Doze You Down, but ended up hitting the ground in a close 7.7 seconds.

Dias then settled in atop Dark Thoughts as the last rider to compete at PBR Little Rock. Bursting from the chutes, Dias matched the bovine athlete jump-for-jump en route to the requisite 8 as the crowd erupted in raucous cheer. Dias cemented his win in walk-off fashion, awarded a monstrous and event-best 90.5 points.

Compliments of his golden finish, Dias earned a check for $52,290 along with a crucial 149 Unleash The Beast points. While he traveled to the Natural State with a 264.5-point lead over No. 2 John Crimber (Decatur, Texas), he left having nearly doubled his lead atop the standings, pulling 413.5 points ahead of his fellow rookie.

Crimber was shut out in North Little Rock, going 0-for-2. After bucking off Man Eater (Halpain Bucking Bulls/Jane Clark/Gene Owen) in 3.71 seconds in Round 1, he was bested by Ugly This (Cord McCoy/McCoy Rodeo) in Round 2, hitting the dirt in 5.76 seconds.

Salgado finished second, netting 86 Unleash The Beast points. He surged from No. 51 to No. 37 in the standings as he continues his late-season push to a return to the PBR World Finals: UnleashThe Beast.

Hevalow and Mitchell tied for third, earning 69.5 Unleash The Beast points and 59.5 Unleash The Beast points, respectively.

Hevalow rose from No. 6 to No. 5 in the standings, climbing within 515.83 points of No. 1 Dias, while Mitchell climbed from No. 42 to No. 33.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil).

Vieira, who was a key member of the 2023 PBR Teams Champion Texas Rattlers, was flawless through the opening two rounds of competition, riding California Hearthrob (Less Than 8 Cattle Co.) for 85.5 points in Round 1 and Coca Cola Cowboy (Wacey Hart/Plummer) for 84.75 points in Round 2.

The veteran, however, fell short in the championship round, tossed by Chateau Montelena’s Montana Jacket (Vella/Coleman/Ogden/Hart) in a close 7.61 seconds.

Vieira earned 45 Unleash The Beast points, remaining No. 8 in the battle for this season’s coveted gold buckle and accompanying $1 million bonus. He is now 605.83 points back of No. 1 Dias.

In the bull pen, UTZ BesTex Legend (Blake Sharp/Chris Utz/Carey Brothers) and Flyin Wired(Tommy Julian/BS Cattle Co.) bucked supreme, tying for the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event honors, each marked a commanding 45.25 points in the championship round.

UTZ BesTex Legend posted the marks for his 1.99 seconds of work against the Arizona Ridge Riders’Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Spring, Utah), while Flyin Wired earned the points for his 4.65-second buckoff of the Florida Freedom’s Caden Bunch (Tommy Julian/BS Cattle Co.)

Also in the bull pen, Round 1 of PBR Little Rock included an ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc) Classic competition, featuring 37 up-and-coming 4-year-old bovine athletes competing for a separate prize purse of more than $40,000.

Delivering an 88.72-point score for his 3.15-second buckoff of Wyatt Rogers (Hulbert, Oklahoma), Goin’ Solo (McCoy Rodeo/Van Zanten/Lowell) was crowned the PBR Little Rock Classic Champion, earning a check for more than $10,626. The bovine athlete is the son of two-time YETI PBR World Champion Bull Ridin’ Solo (Bill McCarty/McCoy Rodeo).

Goin’ Solo has now won back-to-back ABBI Classic event titles, also winning earlier this season in Tulsa, Oklahoma, propelling himself into the No. 1 rank in the ABBI Classic world standings after traveling to Arkansas No. 5. He now leads No. 2 Fast Flow (AFCO/Outlaw/Lone Star) by $7,384.

The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the PBR Albuquerque Ty Murray Invitational, the third and final Major of 2024. The event is on Friday, March 22, at 7:45 p.m. MDT, Saturday, March 23, at 6:45 MDT and Sunday, March 24, at 1:45 p.m. MDT.

Elsewhere in the PBR, the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour held events in both Wheeling, West Virginia, and Palm Springs, California.

In West Virginia, in front of a sold-out WesBanco Arena for the second consecutive night, Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) surged up the leaderboard to win PBR Wheeling, brought to you by Oglebay Resort, going 2-for-3. After bucking off Bullet (Just For Kicks/J-M/DD) in 3.21 seconds in Round 1, Alvidrez roared out of the gates in Round 2 on Time For Religion (Dana White/DD Bucking Bulls), making the 8 for 82 points to begin his perfect Saturday.

In the championship round, the veteran of the Missouri Thunder made the 8 on Kephart’s Lego Armor (G&H Cattle) for an event-best 86.5 points to cement the event win. The Texan returns home with a critical 125 Velocity Global points, maintaining his position inside the Top 15 of the Velocity Global standings.

The event in Palm Springs is still in progress.

The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour next travels to Dayton, Ohio, on March 22-23. Action for PBR Dayton at Nutter Center gets underway at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 22 and 7:00 p.m. EDTon Saturday, March 23.

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.tv. Click here for on-demand PBR programming.

PBR Unleash The Beast
PBR Little Rock
Simmons Bank Arena – North Little Rock, Arkansas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

  1. Cassio Dias, 83-89.25-90.5-262.75-149 Points.
  2. Thiago Salgado, 87.25-0-88.25-175.50-86 Points.
  3. Koltin Hevalow, 87.75-84.5-0-172.25-69.5 Points.

(tie). Ezekiel Mitchell, 86-86.25-0-172.25-59.5 Points.

  1. João Ricardo Vieira, 85.5-84.75-0-170.25-45 Points.
  2. Caden Bunch, 0-87.25-0-87.25-30 Points.
  3. Eduardo Aparecido, 87-0-0-87.00-22.5 Points.

(tie). Felipe Furlan, 0-87-0-87.00-22.5 Points.

  1. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 86.75-0-0-86.75-20 Points.
  2. Leonardo Castro, 0-85.75-0-85.75-17 Points.
  3. Kaiden Loud, 84-0-0-84.00-14 Points.
  4. Dener Barbosa, 0-82.75-0-82.75-12 Points.
  5. Alan de Souza, 78.5-0-0-78.50-10 Points.

John Crimber, 0-0-0-0.00

Dalton Kasel, 0-0-0-0.00

Brady Fielder, 0-0-0-0.00

Julio Cesar Marques, 0-0-0-0.00

Wingson Henrique da Silva, 0-0-0-0.00

Alex Cerqueira, 0-0-0-0.00

Ednélio Almeida, 0-0-0-0.00

Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00

Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00

Conner Halverson, 0-0-0-0.00

Paulo Eduardo Rossetto, 0-0-0-0.00

Bob Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00

Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0.00

Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0.00

Callum Miller, 0-0-0-0.00

Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00

Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0.00

Marco Rizzo, 0-0-0-0.00

Mason Taylor, 0-0-0-0.00

Kyler Oliver, 0-0-0-0.00

Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0.00

Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0.00

Hunter Ball, 0-0-0-0.00

João Paulo Fernandes, 0-0-0-0.00

2024 PBR Unleash The Beast Standings

(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5’s, Points, Total Winnings)

  1. Cassio Dias, 16, 5, 6, 1,030.83, $288,222.67
  2. John Crimber, 14, 1, 5, 617.33, $163,383.00
  3. Dalton Kasel, 14, 1, 5, 563.50, $136,275.33
  4. Austin Richardson, 8, 2, 3, 533.50, $188,437.00
  5. Koltin Hevalow, 17, 1, 6, 515.00, $103,534.67
  6. Eduardo Aparecido, 14, 0, 3, 469.50, $81,171.67
  7. Caden Bunch, 15, 2, 3, 430.83, $110,764.17
  8. João Ricardo Vieira, 14, 1, 4, 425.00, $93,501.67
  9. Alan de Souza, 14, 0, 3, 382.00, $58,326.33
  10. Brady Fielder, 16, 2, 4, 327.16, $72,640.33
  11. Cody Jesus, 10, 0, 3, 327.00, $59,803.00
  12. Julio Cesar Marques, 16, 0, 3, 323.32, $44,076.33
  13. Kaiden Loud, 15, 0, 2, 278.50, $42,809.00
  14. Leonardo Castro, 5, 1, 1, 274.50, $122,815.00
  15. Wingson Henrique da Silva, 13, 1, 3, 263.83, $61,151.00
  16. Alex Cerqueira, 15, 0, 2, 245.00, $34,528.00
  17. Clay Guiton, 10, 0, 3, 238.66, $32,232.33
  18. Daylon Swearingen, 15, 0, 1, 237.50, $26,627.00
  19. Cort McFadden, 9, 0, 2, 234.00, $25,610.00
  20. Vitor Losnake, 13, 0, 2, 223.50, $23,457.67
  21. Felipe Furlan, 13, 0, 2, 220.00, $35,079.00
  22. Boudreaux Campbell, 15, 0, 1, 217.00, $20,543.00
  23. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 10, 0, 3, 199.66, $28,294.33
  24. Ednélio Almeida, 15, 0, 2, 177.00, $17,679.50
  25. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 13, 0, 0, 176.00, $21,488.33
  26. Kaique Pacheco, 10, 0, 1, 166.33, $24,783.33
  27. Jose Vitor Leme, 4, 0, 1, 147.00, $19,903.67
  28. Conner Halverson, 15, 0, 1, 144.50, $12,010.00
  29. Paulo Eduardo Rossetto, 16, 0, 1, 143.50, $10,832.83
  30. Bob Mitchell, 16, 0, 1, 135.50, $8,915.00
  31. Sage Steele Kimzey, 7, 0, 1, 132.00, $18,569.17
  32. Jesse Petri, 14, 0, 0, 130.50, $10,050.00
  33. Ezekiel Mitchell, 9, 0, 1, 125.50, $15,606.00
  34. Luciano De Castro, 11, 0, 0, 125.33, $13,953.33
  35. Callum Miller, 8, 0, 1, 115.00, $16,400.00
  36. Silvano Alves, 13, 0, 0, 112.50, $7,275.00
  37. Thiago Salgado, 7, 0, 1, 111.00, $24,722.00
  38. Eli Vastbinder, 13, 0, 0, 105.83, $4,550.00
  39. Braidy Randolph, 5, 0, 0, 92.50, $10,321.33
  40. Marco Rizzo, 5, 0, 1, 83.83, $13,010.00
  41. Mason Taylor, 7, 0, 0, 75.00, $5,780.00
  42. Kyler Oliver, 6, 0, 1, 72.33, $8,634.00
  43. Wyatt Rogers, 11, 0, 0, 69.50, $3,505.00
  44. Dawson Branton, 4, 0, 0, 65.00, $6,410.00
  45. Lucas Divino, 10, 0, 0, 56.00, $2,660.00

PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour

PBR Wheeling, brough to you by Oglebay Resort
WesBanco Arena – Wheeling, West Virginia
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

  1. Andrew Alvidrez, 0-82-86.5-168.50-125 Points.
  2. Michael Lane, 0-84.5-83-167.50-85.5 Points.
  3. Ramon de Lima [2], 0-85.5-79-164.50-72 Points.
  4. Claudio Montanha Jr., 81-0-83-164.00-53 Points.
  5. Jake Morinec, 86.5-0-0-86.50-45 Points.
  6. Dustin Herman, 85-0-0-85.00-30 Points.
  7. Alvaro Ariel, 84.5-0-0-84.50-23 Points.
  8. Leandro Zampollo, 81.5-0-0-81.50-21 Points.
  9. Eli Byler [1], 81-0-0-81.00-18.5 Points.
  10. Christian Clay Oliveira, 78-0-0-78.00-7 Points.

Andy Bohl, 0-0-0-0.00

Ramon de Lima [1], 0-0-0-0.00

Brandon Chambers, 0-0-0-0.00

Tyler Manor, 0-0-0-0.00

Zane Cook, 0-0-0-0.00

Justin Ethridge, 0-0-0-0.00

Ueberson Duarte, 0-0-0-0.00

Josh Stepp, 0-0-0-0.00

Max Castro [1], 0-0-0-0.00

Max Castro [2], 0-0-0-0.00

Paulo Rodriguez, 0-0-0-0.00

Cash Keeling [1], 0-0-0-0.00

Cash Keeling [2], 0-0-0-0.00

Eder Barbosa [1], 0-0-0-0.00

Eder Barbosa [2], 0-0-0-0.00

Tyler Crank, 0-0-0-0.00

Elizmar Jeremias, 0-0-0-0.00

Cole Devlin, 0-0-0-0.00

Eli Byler [2], 0-0-0-0.00

Bennie Shetler, 0-0-0-0.00

Matt Oliver, 0-0-0-0.00

Cody West, 0-0-0-0.00

Joshua Spears, 0-0-0-0.00

Michael Phillips, 0-0-0-0.00

Winston Speicher, 0-0-0-0.00

Brylee Smith, 0-0-0-0.00

Kyle Toth [1], 0-0-0-0.00

Kyle Toth [2], 0-0-0-0.00

Eli Hershberger, 0-0-0-0.00

Hagen Braswell, 0-0-0-0.00

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