Whitehorse claims victory at PBR event
Casper – The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) kicked off at the Ford Wyoming Center on April 2. The 2018 PBR Rookie of the Year, Keyshawn Whitehorse of McCracken Springs, Utah, took home the victory after delivering two qualified rides to win the PWVT’s Casper Invitational.
Tournament style format
The tour consisted of several sections of bull riders with the top 15 coming back to the championship round. Seventeen of the 35 cowboys covered their bulls throughout the event, with only three contestants covering both animal athletes.
Whitehorse was quick to perform in round one, delivering the fourth-best score with an 85.5-point ride on bull Light It Up, owned by Nothin’ But Try Ranch/Kinser/McCall. The bull has a 75 percent buck off rate. Whitehorse rode the bull Kenny, owned by H&D Bucking Bulls/Dickie Williams/Phillips, in the championship round and rode for an 88.5-point ride. As a result, he earned a much-needed 35.5 world points to move up 10 positions in the world standings – from number 39 to number 29. Whitehorse rode for a total of 174 points in Casper.
Taking home second place honors was Taylor Toves from Stephenville, Texas. In round one, he rode Jingle and Go, owned by JQH Bucking Bulls, Skip and Elaine Jones of Amarillo, Texas. With a 72 percent buck off rate, Toves covered the bull for an 87-point ride. In the championship round he rode the bull Silver Buckle, owned by Just For Kicks/J-M, for an 85.5-point ride. In total he earned 172.29 points with 29 points going towards the world standings. The Texas cowboy is now ranked number 54 in the world and moved up 11 positions after competing in Casper.
Rounding out the top three was Gordon, Neb. cowboy Conner Halverson. In round one, he rode Bring the Bling, owned by the Ultimate Bull Team, for an 85-point ride. In the championship round he rode Contusion, owned by S.A.W. Bucking Bulls, for 86 points. The Nebraska cowboy who earned an aggregate score of 171 points earned 14 world points.
Rounding out the top eight cowboys in the event and earning world points were: Alisson De Souza of Taubate, Sao Paulo, Brazil with 13 points; Jesse Petri of Dublin, Texas with eight points; Dawson Branton of Jefferson, Ore. with six points; Gage Gay of Staley, N.C. with 3.5 points; and Cody Hudson of Camas, Wash. with one point.
Top performing stock
In addition to the cowboys performing well, stock contractor Topline Steel Buildings won the Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge performance with 279.35 points, courtesy of bulls Eager Snake, Midnight Chaos and Yukon Jack.
Second place was awarded to Nothin’ But Try Ranch/Diggers Bucking Bulls with 278.43 points with bulls Blessed, Slumlord and Hard Labor, and third-place honors was awarded to H&D Bucking Bulls/Dickie Williams/Phillips with 276.3 points from Yippee High Cowboy, Flash and Kenny.
The PWVT season continued April 8-9 in College Station, Texas. Other stops will be April 23 in Wichita, Kans. and April 30 in Grand Forks, N.D.
The finals will take place May 6-7 in Corpus Christi, Texas at the American Bank Center Arena.
“It was a fantastic night with the amount of enthusiasm and the amount of fun everyone in the crowd was having,” said Ford Wyoming Center General Manager Brad Murphy. “When you talk about entertainment and how PBR presents their show – they have it dialed in, it’s one of the best we do on an annual basis.”
Murphy shared the center can hold nearly 5,000 people and hosted just over 4,000 attendees for the PWVT Casper Invitational.
“Our goal is to be sold out next year,” he added. “I think once people get back to normal, we will do that.”
In 2020, the center provided a service to those riders and the PBR by welcoming the tour to compete at the Ford Wyoming Center while many other event centers didn’t allow competition due to COVID-19.
Murphy shared, “The PBR even announced during the event how thankful they were the center was able to host the event in 2020 under some tough conditions for everyone [given COVID-19]. It was more about having the event and having a place for their riders to compete at.”
“There is still some trepidation out there about having a live event, but we’re going to get back. We just need to continue to have events like this and get people reinvolved and reinstated in coming back to live entertainment,” he added.
For more information on future events at the Ford Wyoming Center, visit fordwyomingcenter.com.
For more information on PBR events, visit pbr.com.
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.