Though he was dealing with a nagging knee injury and was bucked off during the 25th Professional Bull Riders World Finals’ closing performance on Sunday, Kaique Pacheco, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, clinched the 2018 world title and the $1 million bonus that went with it at T-Mobile Arena.
“I had a dream since I was a kid to wear that gold buckle,” Pacheco said.
Pacheco entered the World Finals ranked No. 1 in the 2018 world title race with 5,327 points, 1,535 ahead of No. 2 ranked Jose Vitor Leme. But that was not an overly safe lead because a rider conceivably could earn 3,300 points at the Las Vegas championships. It also was not a safe lead for Pacheco, who injured his left knee during a buckoff at the 2018 Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour Finals on Nov. 3 at the South Point Hotel Arena.
Dr. Tandy Freeman of Dallas, the PBR’s longtime sportsmedicine physician, said an MRI revealed Pacheco tore his left MCL and PCL during his 7.9-second buckoff at the Velocity Tour Finals. According to Freeman, Pacheco had a “high-grade partial tears of the PCL and MCL,” as well as lesser groin injuries, pbr.com reported.
But Pacheco persevered and turned in notable scores of 87.25 and 88.75 in Rounds 1 and 2 on Wednesday and Thursday. However, he was bucked off in Rounds 3, 4 and 5 on Friday Saturday and Sunday.
“I came into this World Finals with this bad injury and I had to try really hard,” Pacheco said.
However, Pacheco’s rival, Leme, failed to ride strongly enough throughout the World Finals to overtake Pacheco. When Pacheco and Leme both were bucked off in Sunday’s Round 5, Pacheco mathematically clinched the world title at that point though a 15-man final round (Round 6) remained.
When the dust settled, Pacheco clinched his first world championship after earning 5,444.16 points throughout 2018, 422.50 more than Leme who finished second with 5,021.66. Cody Teel of Kountze finished third with 3,516.66.
All in all, Pacheco earned $1,535,094 throughout 2018. Lema, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, pocketed $535,175. Teel collected $413,008.
On the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, Scott Snedecor of Fredericksburg clinched his fourth world title in dramatic fashion at the Nov. 2-3 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane, Kan., in the Wichita area.
Snedecor finished the year with $121,930. Defending world all-around champion Tuf Cooper, who has residences in Decatur and Weatherford, finished second with $113,156. Twenty-three-time PRCA world champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur finished third with $104,118.
Brazile earned $45,477 at the NFSR and moved within close striking distance of Cooper in the world all-around race going into the Dec. 6-15 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center. Cooper, who earned $23,730 at the NFSR, is ranked No.1 in the 2018 world all-around standings with $239,857. Brazile is ranked No. 2 with $234,154. Both Cooper and Brazile have qualified for next month’s WNFR in tie-down roping.
The National Cutting Horse Association World Championship Futurity, which is the sport’s premier show, is scheduled for Thursday through Dec. 9 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. The Futurity features the sport’s most promising debuting 3-year-old horses. The Dec. 9 open division finals is the first jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series. The other two jewels are the April Super Stakes and the July/August Summer Spectacular. All three jewels are in Fort Worth.
The World Finals for open division and non-pro division competitors, which is held in conjunction with the Futurity, is Nov. 23, Nov. 24, Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 at Watt Arena. The Careity Celebrity Cutting is Nov. 30 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. For more information, visit nchacutting.com.