By the Numbers: No. 2 Eduardo Aparecido doubles down in Billings with HUGE late-season win

Now just 525.33 points behind No. 1 Cassio Dias, the veteran has his eye on a gold buckle!

James Youness | PBR

PUEBLO, Colo. – Fans looking for a little extra intrigue as the best bull riders in the world have just three regular season Unleash The Beast events remaining got their wish last weekend, as No. 2 Eduardo Aparecido surpassed both No. 3 John Crimber and No. 4 Dalton Kasel en route to securing his second win of the 2024 season!

Riding with Determination: Keyshawn Whitehorse’s Stellar 85-Point Ride on Bootstrap Bill

Continuing to get his end-game affairs in order, the 33-year-old veteran is now just 525.33 UTB points behind 22-year-old Cassio Dias, who sits atop the Unleash The Beast World Championship standings.

Aparecido may be 11 years older than the skilled rookie he’s chasing down. But if the elder Brazilian is able to outperform his fellow countryman over this final stretch, there’s a chance that Dias may not be able to run away with this thing quite so easily.

RELATED: #InCaseYouMissedIt: Aparecido intensifies world title race with win in Billings

Bringing his season-long buckoff streak (0-for-5) into Billings, as he was a combined 0-for-3 last weekend in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, after finishing his 1-for-3 effort in Nampa, Idaho, the week prior, Fast Eddy wasted no time in ensuring himself a hot start this time around.

Fast Eddy Strikes Again: Eduardo Aparecido Conquers Wild Card for 88.5 Points

Eduardo Aparecido rides Wild Card for 88.5 points in Round 1 of the 2024 PBR Unleash the Beast Season Wrangler PBR Billings Presented By Cooper Tires in Billings, MT

Winning the opening round courtesy of a strong 88.5-point pairing with Wild Card, Aparecido ripped off his eighth ride of the season scored 88 or more points on his way to picking up his fifth round win of 2024. And while 88-point strikes aren’t exactly 1:1 in comparison to the coveted 90-point mark, these types of elite rides still give Eddy and his competitors plenty of confidence while continuing to keep them in the mix for these round victories.

Riding some of the opening night momentum when his Saturday slot dawned, he again bested his animal athlete for a quality score, this time earning a sound 85.25 points for his 8 seconds of work atop Benjamin Ranklin.

“Eduardo ‘Fast Eddy’ Aparecido’s Hot Streak: Leading Billings after riding Benjamin Ranklin

Eduardo Aparecido rides Benjamin Ranklin for 85.25 points in Round 1 of the 2024 PBR Unleash the Beast Season Wrangler PBR Billings Presented By Cooper Tires in Billings, MT

Finding himself atop the event leaderboard when Championship Sunday rolled around, the veteran understood the importance of sealing the deal.

Especially with Kasel out due to injury and Crimber starting the weekend 0-for-2 before doctoring out of the remainder of the Billings-based event.

Seeing Wyatt Rogers bring a matching 3-for-3 record into the short round, a few points ahead of Aparecido in the aggregate score, the veteran watched on as Rogers selected Dark Thoughts with the first overall selection in the event’s bull draft. But with plenty of bull power remaining, the veteran opted into a head-to-head showdown with the world’s No. 3-ranked bull, none other than Flyin Wired (just one weekend after seeing fellow Top 5 talent Alan de Souza conquer him for a healthy 88.75 points in Sioux Falls).

A decision which quickly proved dividends!

Eduardo Aparecido: All Grit, No Quit! 89.25 Winning Ride on Flyin Wired in Billings

Eduardo Aparecido rides Flyin Wired for 89.25 points in the Championship Round of the 2024 PBR Unleash the Beast Season Wrangler PBR Billings Presented By Cooper Tires in Billings, MT

One-upping Souza’s effort by half of a point (.5) en route to earning a round-winning 89.25-point go, Aparecido not only improved his 88-point-plus mark to nine but collected his second round win of the event and now sixth round of 2024 for his elite effort.

“It’s been very fun and enjoyable to see the guys ahead of me. I’ve seen John (Crimber) grow up and Cassio, they’ve inspired me to be better,” Aparecido shared with Kate Harrison on the CBS Sports Network broadcast, thanks to some translation assistance from Paulo Crimber.

“I haven’t been here in Billings for the past four years because I got hurt really badly here, but this year, I prayed really hard for God to take those bad thoughts off my mind. I came here with the purpose of winning first place and it worked out. I thank God for that.”

Just one of two cowboys to manage 3-for-4 slates inside First Interstate Arena at MetraPark, the Brazilian brought home a thrilling 171 UTB points and hefty check inked for $58,033 for his first-place finish, now the second of the season as he continues to chase down Dias for what would be the veteran’s first gold buckle honors.

Quite literally the definition of consistency this season at 25-for-54 overall (46.3%), his (and all of the 30-some riders expected to ride up to six bulls in four days this week) biggest task all season is quickly approaching, as he’ll need to meet his consistent performances with a hint of stamina as the premier series pack prepares to compete in both Everett and Tacoma, Washington, this week ahead of the tour’s regular season finale April 26-27 in Louisville, Kentucky!

With Unleash The Beast embarking upon its first and only double-header of the season, next set to invade Angel of the Winds Arena April 17-18 during the 21st regular season event of the 2024 premier series slate in Everett, Washington, we’re taking a quick look back at some of the numerical takeaways from last weekend’s Wrangler PBR Billings, presented by Cooper Tires during this week’s By the Numbers!

Top 5, Top Finishes: Wyatt Rogers hadn’t had enjoyed the greatest start to his season top-to-bottom, by any means. But when you consider he produced a then-career-best, fifth-place finish in Sioux Falls before parlaying himself into another favorable finish this past weekend in Billings, (a runner-up effort, now officially the best on his UTB resume), he’s suddenly one of the hotter riders on tour, now 4-for-9 throughout his past two appearances. Picking up a UTB-first round win (via his flashy 88.25-point win aboard Watch Out), he made his way up to the No. 37 rank in Sioux Falls, just inside the 2024 PBR World Finals cut line. But after beginning his weekend 2-for-2 in Billings, he was all the way up to the official Qualifier List bubble itself, occupying the No. 32 spot by besting Shake n Bake for 83.75 points and later Electric Kitty Saturday night for 84.25 points.

And after telling Kate Harrison on the CBS Sports Network broadcast that his goal was to finish his performance stronger than the weekend prior, he did just that, eventually improving a sound 3-for-3. Representing the first time he’s ridden three bulls within the same premier series event, he exited his showdown with Buffalo Heifer for 85.75 points. While he was later sent to the dirt, dispatched from his short round opponent Dark Thoughts, he still managed to secure a key second-place finish and corresponding 105 UTB points. All the way up to No. 26 in the standings, Rogers will look to stay hot as the tour continues its invasion of northern states. Which, when you consider each of Rogers’ Top 4 UTB finishes have now come in states which border Canada, he’s got every shot in the world to keep his momentum flowing in Everett and Tacoma, Washington.

Year 26 4 No. 26: Similar to Rodgers, Paulo Eduardo Rossetto came into last weekend’s showdown on the outside looking in, as he was ranked No. 34 after slowly falling down the rankings following some spicy first-half flashes. But after exiting last weekend’s contest as the cowboy with the highest-scored pair of rides (as he went 2-for-4 overall), his third-place finish marks the best results of his premier series career, now officially the first time he’s been within the podium when things were said and done.

Down Payment, Big Return: Paulo Eduardo Rossetto’s Impressive 88 Point Ride on Down Payment

Paulo Eduardo Rossetto rides Down Payment for 88 points in Round 3 of the 2024 PBR Unleash the Beast Season Wrangler PBR Billings Presented By Cooper Tires in Billings, MT

Technically a rookie, despite coming into the season at 26 and with plenty of PBR-sanctioned reps under his belt, the talented Brazilian skyrocketed all the way to the No. 26 ranking Sunday afternoon by collecting a career-high 81 UTB points and accompanying check for $14,149, also a personal-best total. Up to 14-for-51 on the season, his two conversions in Billings serve as the first time the trending talent his notched two conversions in the same event since St. Louis, Missouri, back in early December of 2023. More than four months later, he got his unfavorable stretch out of the way by besting Let’s Roll in Round 1 for 88.25 points before lasting the 8 aboard Down Payment in the third round. Having started the season successful riding at least one bull in each of his first five appearances, he’ll want to get back to those type of performances if he wants to exit the Danger Zone and secure a spot within the Top 15 ahead of the 2024 PBR World Finals!

From Outside the 50: Looking at the event-ending results from the Wrangler PBR Billings, presented by Cooper Tires, eight of the weekend’s Top 10 producers were international talents, with six of the riders (Eduardo Aparecido, Paulo Eduardo Rossetto, Alex CerqueiraLeonardo FerreiraEdnelio AlmeidaThiago Salgado) hailing from Brazil, and two representing Australia (Brady FielderCallum Miller). Which left Wyatt Rogers and No. 16 Cort McFadden the two Americans to perform on home soil. While Rogers has come out of nowhere recently, it was McFadden who did quite the same earlier this season.

Winning the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s (PWVT) event at the National Western Stock Show in Denver to cap off his fiery start to the competitive circuit, he hasn’t looked back since, now 16-for-39 (41.03%) during his first three month’s competing amongst the best bull riders in the world. With Austin Richardson out for the remainder of the season due to injury, McFadden is officially the first rider out of the Danger Zone (as the Top 15 riders in the world will be invited to the PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast – Championship May 18-19 inside AT&T Stadium). If he can ride a few more bulls here throughout UTB’s final trio of showdowns, he’s going to be competing inside Cowtown Coliseum for a shot to move on, thus having clinched a berth to the season-culminating showdown during his rookie campaign.

Brady Fielder hunted down another Top 10 effort after starting his weekend 2-for-2. Able to find the buzzer during both of his opening round showdowns paired with Buffalo Chip (84.25 points: Round 1) and later Huckleberry (74 points: Round 2), the Australian opted into accepting the less-than-perfect score, choosing to take the guaranteed points and launch himself into the leaderboard’s Top 3, albeit 16.5 aggregate score points behind Aparecido. While he wasn’t able to further his momentum, he’ll take the 21 UTB points and No. 9 ranking into this week’s double-header.

Thiago Salgado won Round 2 by exiting his head-to-head showdown against Buffalo Heifer inside First Interstate Arena for a monstrous 89.25 points, and thus rounded out the Top 10 with the one-ride effort.

Turning the Tables: Thiago Salgado Gets Redemption on Buffalo Heifer for 89.25 points

Ride No. 1 for Brazil’s No. 1: It wasn’t the highlight of the weekend itself, but anytime one of the new guys can step up and get his name on the leaderboard early into his top-tier experimental visit, it’s a good sign for both the rider and the future prospects for the pack itself. Enter Jose De Castro, who dressed for his second stateside showdown last weekend where he was able to secure the first UTB conversion of his career! Earning a shot at the top tour after working his way to PBR Brazil’s No. 1 rank, he’s now got his first premier series ride out of the way, earned by dancing with Whiskey Throttle for a quality 83 points during Round 2. Taking a similar path to both two-time World Champion Jose Vitor Leme and recent standout No. 1 Cassio Dias, in warming up during their inaugural attempt at the top tour (with Dias going 1-for-6 in 2023), Castro is now 1-for-5, knowing both that he needs to continue to adjust to the bulls on U.S. soil and that he is capable of riding them at this level!

RELATED: Florida Freedom’s Thiago Salgado wins Round 2 at Wrangler PBR Billings, Presented by Cooper Tires

Four-Round Breakdown: After seeing the pack combine for just 21 conversions (Round 1: 7, Round 2: 6, Round 3: 5, Round 4: 3) in Sioux Falls, with each of the three long round efforts ranking among the least productive sessions all season (from a rider’s perspective, at least!), the bulls came out and proved their dominance once again during the Wrangler PBR Billings, presented by Cooper Tires. Allowing just seven cowboys to find the 8 in Friday night’s opening round, the total ties the fifth-fewest earned in any long go in 2024, directly matching the tour’s Round 1 total inside Denny Sanford Premier Center April 5.

Able to kick things up a notch when Saturday dawned, Unleash The Beast riders managed 12 qualified rides on night two, highlighted by a round-winning effort from Thiago Salgado, who continues to make the most of his late-season surge. Albeit just 30 riders competing in Round 3, nine were able to find the buzzer, so some additional faith was restored, as roughly one third of the pack found success to kick off the Sunday slate. That said, the bulls still won just over two-thirds, meaning they definitely have some momentum heading into this weekend’s dual-deal in Washington state. Especially when you consider the event’s eventual winner, Aparecido, was the lone cowboy to convert against the rank pen inside First Interstate Arena at MetraPark.

But any time 18 different riders can get the job done, we have high hopes for what they’ll have in store next month during the epic season-culminating showdown inside both Cowtown Coliseum and AT&T Stadium!

TOP BULL: Rustic Pearl’s Forceful Performance: Callum Miller Tossed Aside with 46-Point Buck Off

Rustic Pearl bucks off Callum Miller for 46 points in the Championship Round of the 2024 PBR Unleash the Beast Season Wrangler PBR Billings Presented By Cooper Tires in Billings, MT

Bucking a cut above the competition, it was trending talent Rustic Pearl who earned the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event title, courtesy of his 46.25-point bull score. Sending Callum Miller to the dirt in a brief 2.79 seconds, Miller had been heating up throughout the weekend, but Rustic Pearl has been on fire all season, now a perfect 9-0 in UTB outs.

Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media

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