There was a double sense of satisfaction for North Carolina cowboy J.B. Mauney on Saturday night at the 2016 Built Ford Tough Professional Bull Riders World Finals. Not only did J.B. become the first bull rider to score more than 90 points at T-Mobile Arena, but his 300 points earned $30,000 for Round 4 and made him the first rider to achieve $7 million in career earnings.
Despite the win, it is still the tightest points race in PBR history as the 2016 world champion will not be decided until the final moments today as the Top Three are still very much in the hunt. Defending and two-time world champion J.B.’s 300 world points atop Red Dawn put him within 544 points of current world leader Kaique Pacheco of Brazil.
World No. 2 Cooper Davis of Texas rode Dead Calm for 83.75 points, but it did not earn him any world points. He now trails Kaique by 226.58 points heading into the very tight championship rides today.
Fresh on the high of his 3-for-4 performance so far at the World Finals here, Brazilian star Valdiron de Oliveira announced that this would be his last World Finals as the 11-year veteran has decided to retire after the event wraps today.
It will all come down to the 12:30 p.m. start on CBS Sports Network today as the Top 40 bull riders in the world gather for one final time to settle the scores. Along with the world champion riders, the world champion bulls also will be decided today. Nine of the best bucking bulls in the business will have one last outing to determine the 2016 PBR champion.
Each rider will face one more bull in Round 5 before the Top 15 move on to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, where the World Finals event winner and the 2016 PBR world champion will be crowned and the $1 million prize and championship belts are handed out.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was the headliner entertainer Saturday night. Our thanks to PBR Digital Editor Kristian Limas, who contributed to this report, and to photographer Sam Morris of Las Vegas News Bureau for the ringside action photos.