Professional Bull Riding
Madison Square Garden
Jan 5th – 7th 2018
by Otis Dimiters
PBR—the world’s largest bull riding organization– did their annual roll into Madison Square Garden, kicking off its 25th year on its Unleash the Beast tour. Defending champ, Jess Lockwood, went head to head with the world’s best bull riders as well as the world’s toughest bulls. With riders from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia– it was bound to be an exciting three-day event.
Highlights throughout the weekend included J.B. Mauney (Statesville, North Carolina) making sports history earlier in the evening, as he covered his first round draw to become the third rider in PBR history to record 500 qualified rides on the elite tour. Friday night capped off with Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) winning the first PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season. After the second night, it was Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) atop of the leader board for the 25th PBR Unleash The Beast Monster Energy Buck Off, as the only rider to go a perfect 2-for-2. Ultimately though, it was Gage Gay (Staley, North Carolina) who in the end of the third day was on top, winning the first PBR major event of his career at MSG. Gay, one of two perfect riders at the three-day competition, won his first elite series event since 2014, when he captured his first career buckle in Tulsa, Oklahoma.