Arizona Ridge Riders trade 2024 first-round draft pick to Oklahoma Wildcatters in exchange for veteran Dener Barbosa

Experienced cowboy set to join one of league’s most talented, consistent squads in year three.

Mandi McCary | PBR

GLENDALE, Ariz.– Western media and entertainment company Teton Ridge, owner of Arizona’s professional bull riding team, the Arizona Ridge Riders, announced today a trade of their first round draft pick at the upcoming May 29, 2024 PBR Teams League New Rider Draft in exchange for Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil).

“We look at any draft pick as an opportunity to obtain the very best athlete we can,” said Ridge Riders Coach Colby Yates. “Just like last year, when we traded our first-round pick to obtain Colten Fritzlan, we felt this was the best acquisition for our team. Dener is a proven veteran of the sport with seven PBR World Finals qualifications – five of which he finished within the Top 15 in the world. Consistency like that, both individually and on a team, is what wins games and ultimately the championship.”

Having arrived in the U.S. in 2016 after being crowned the PBR Brazil Champion, all eyes were on Barbosa for his impressive 80% riding percentage that championship season in Brazil. Despite battling some injuries over the years, the now 30-year-old Brazilian phenom has logged 19 event wins and twenty 90-point rides. He sports a riding percentage of 56% – with a 63% success rate on bulls that turn into his riding hand.

Barbosa was a member of the Nashville Stampede for two seasons. In the 2024 PBR Teams Expansion draft held earlier this month, the Oklahoma Wildcatters used their No. 9 pick to take Barbosa. He’ll suit up for the 2024 season, the league’s third, as an Arizona Ridge Rider.

The PBR Teams League launched in 2022, featuring the world’s top bull riders competing on eight teams in five-on-five bull riding games. Following expansion to 10 teams, the 2024 season begins in Oklahoma City on July 12, culminating in a team championship Oct. 18-20 in Las Vegas.

Having narrowly lost the inaugural season championship in the final game in November 2022, and repeating the same down-to-the-wire loss in 2023, the Ridge Riders are invested now more than ever in strengthening and training their team for the upcoming 2024 season.

“Our roster is one of the deepest in the sport,” remarked Ridge Riders General Manager Casey Lane. “We are one of only two teams that have made it to the final day of the PBR Team Series Championship in each of the first two seasons. The goal this offseason was to keep the core team together and add a key piece or two in an effort to push us over the edge. Dener Barbosa is one of those key pieces.”

In addition to Barbosa, the 2024 athlete lineup is a collection of the world’s top competitors; including the return of powerhouse riders including Luciano De Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil), Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil), Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Spring, Utah), Colten Fritzlan (Rifle, Colorado), Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) and Chase Dougherty (Decatur, Texas). Coach Yates (five-time World Finals Qualifier) continues to lead the all-star squad.

The Ridge Riders represent one of several elevated Western sports properties that Teton Ridge has assembled under its portfolio with the ultimate goal of elevating the western lifestyle and culture to a global stage. From acquiring and producing The American Rodeo and The American Contender Tournament, which awarded more than $4.6 million in cash and prizes in 2024, to assembling a team of the most accomplished and elite champions in the industry, Teton Ridge is committed to strengthening, enriching, and furthering western sports for future competitors.

Tickets for the action-packed, three-day Ridge Rider Days homestand event in Glendale Oct. 4-6, can be purchase at Ticketmaster. To follow the Ridge Riders journey throughout the 2024 season and beyond please visit them online or follow @arizonaridgeriders on Facebook and Instagram, or @AZRidgeRiders on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Andre Silva/Bull Stock Media

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