Riding in front of a home state crowd at the inaugural event for a new era of Western sports at iconic Cowtown Coliseum, Rockdale-native Ezekiel Mitchell delivered a perfect performance Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd, winning the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Touring Pro Division’s Stockyards Showcase in Fort Worth, Texas.
On Thursday, PBR, ASM Global and Stockyards Heritage Development Co. announced a joint venture to expand programming in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards District that will double the number events at Cowtown Coliseum, including events such as tonight’s Touring Pro Division competition.
Mitchell, a self-made sensation, got off to a hot start in Round 1, delivering the third-best score when he covered Freddy Fender (XTB Cattle Co.) for 86.75 points.
After dazzling the fans with his customary celebration dance, Mitchell regrouped, readying for his championship round draw – RLC-604 (Red Laces Cattle Co.).
Mitchell clinched his first event victory since 2019 when he made the 8, marked a championship-round best 87.75 points, leading the electric crowd to erupt in cheer.
The 24-year-old earned 15 world points and gained one position in the world standings, rising from No. 27 to No. 26.
With a feverish 2021 PBR World Championship race brewing, the battle atop the rankings intensified as three of the riders inside the Top 10 delivered qualified rides to earn crucial world points.
As the only other rider to be flawless, 2018 PBR World Finals event winner Marco Eguchi (Poa, Brazil) inched closer to cracking the Top 5 compliments of his runner-up effort.
Tying with event victor Mitchell for third in Round 1, Eguchi recorded his 86.75-point ride aboard Whacked Out (Gem Bucking Bulls).
Once again reaching the 8 in the championship round, a picture-perfect Eguchi covered Texas Red (XTB Cattle Co.) for 85.25 points to cement his silver finish.
Eguchi netted 8 world points, and while he remained No. 6 in the world, he honed within 224.83 points of No. 5 Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil).
Also competing at the PBR Stockyards Showcase, Barbosa was fifth, earning 3 world points.
The 2016 PBR Brazil Champion earned his qualified ride in Round 1 when he reached the whistle atop Home Wrecker (Barker/Sharp/Wilson) for 86.5 points.
Barbosa’s hopes for victory, however, ended abruptly in the championship round when he was bested by Hey Bartender’s (JQH Bucking Bulls-Skip & Elaine Jones) scallywag-like antics in a quick 3.74 seconds.
Ahead of the return of elite PBR Unleash The Beast action in Las Vegas next weekend at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Barbosa is now within 408.17 points of 2018 PBR World Champion and current world No. 1 Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil).
Further down the leaderboard, three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) was seventh.
Riding Bring The Bling (GEM Bucking Bulls) for 84.25 points in Round 1, the stoic Brazilian earned 1 world point, allowing him to take sole possession of the world No. 10 rank. Seeking his unprecedented fourth PBR World Championship in 2021, Alves is now 701 points removed from the No. 1 rank.
Clayton Sellars (Fruitland Park, Florida) parlayed a Round 1 win into a third-place finish overall, collecting 7 world points. Sellars topped the field in the opening round when he matched Limo (Red Laces Cattle Co.) move-for-move, marked 87.75 points.
The 22-year-old climbed five positions in the world standings, now No. 62 after entering the event ranked No. 67.
Fourth was four-time PBR World Finals qualifier Luciano De Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil).
He netted 4 world points compliments of his 87-point ride on Hannibal (Cannon Cattle Co.) in Round 1.
The PBR Touring Pro Division’s Stockyards Showcase was also a stop on the 2021 Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge.
Red Laces Cattle Co. won the performance with 369.65 points courtesy of the trips notched by Oreo, Limo, Gone Rogue and RLC-604.
Second place was Barker/Sharp/Wilson with 366.55 points, while XTB Cattle Co. was third with 361.62 points. Barker/Sharp/Wilson’s team included Mr. Nasty, Home Wrecker, Dirty Sancho and Godzilla, while the bronze effort from XTB Cattle Co. was earned courtesy of outs recorded by Freddy Fender, Flyover, Wayward Son and Texas Red.
PBR Touring Pro Division
PBR Stockyards Showcase
Cowtown Coliseum – Fort Worth, Texas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2- Event Aggregate-Event Points)
- Ezekiel Mitchell, 86.75-87.75-174.50-15 Points.
- Marco Eguchi, 86.75-85.25-172.00-8 Points.
- Clayton Sellars, 87.75-0-87.75-7 Points.
- Luciano De Castro, 87-0-87.00-4 Points.
- Dener Barbosa, 86.5-0-86.50-3 Points.
- Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 85.25-0-85.25-2 Points.
- Silvano Alves, 84.25-0-84.25-1 Points.
- Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 81.25-0-81.25
Courtesy Kacie Albert