LAS VEGAS – It took five days and six rounds after a tight, weeklong battle that went down to the final rides, and Cooper Davis (Buna, Texas) emerged as the 2016 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Champion. Davis went 4-for-6 and won Round 5 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals with a 91-point ride on Catfish John (Dakota Rodeo-Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Miller) Sunday afternoon at T-Mobile Arena, propelling him past former world No. 1 Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) and 2015 World Champion J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, North Carolina).
It was Davis’ first 90-point ride at a Word Finals, capping the closest championship points battle in PBR history.
Davis, a 22-year-old father, becomes the 16th different rider to claim the coveted PBR World Champion gold buckle, along with the $1 million bonus, and the first to be crowned at T-Mobile Arena, the new home of the PBR World Finals. Davis also finished third in the World Finals event, which he won last year.
Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma) won the 2016 World Finals event title after a perfect 6-for-6 week, capped by an 89.75-point trip aboard Brutus to close out a week of intense bull riding in front of the largest PBR World Finals crowd. Dirteater was the only rider to cover all six bulls he faced over the week. He earned $250,000 for the event win, pushing past $1 million in career earnings.
SweetPro’s Bruiser (D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.) was named the 2016 World Champion Bull after a 46.25-point performance for his 7.15-second buck off of 2016 PBR Brazil Champion Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Chad Berger was named the 2016 Stock Contractor of the Year, the sixth time he earned top honors.
Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) was named the 2016 Rookie of the Year. Lockwood did not record a ride at the World Finals but he finished the season eighth in the world standings and 885.83 points ahead of 37-year-old Wallace de Oliveira (Goiania, Brazil) in the Rookie of the Year standings.
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (Itatinga, Brazil) finished second in the World Finals event after a 5-for-6 performance capped by an 87.5-point ride on Red Rover (Curtis Mendell) in the championship round. Marchi ended his season as the sixth-ranked bull rider in the world after closing 2016 on a 12-for-13 run that began back in San Jose, California.
2016 Canadian Champion Ty Pozzobon (Merritt, British Columbia) finished fourth in the World Finals event. Pozzobon, who went 4-for-6, led the event through most of the week before being bucked off by Margy Time (D&H Cattle Co.) and SweetPro’s Long John (D&H Cattle Co.) on Sunday. Pozzobon finished 23rd in the world standings.
Mauney rounded out the Top 5 after his 3-for-6 performance. Mauney was bucked off by Stone Sober (D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.) in 4.42 seconds in the championship round and ended the season third in the world standings.
The Top 35 bull riders in the world will gather next in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the most famous arena in the world, for the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden Jan. 6-8 to open the gate on the 2017 Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS).
PBR Digital Editor Kristian Limas contributed to this report.
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