PBR Unleash The Beast Preview – Anaheim
By: Kacie Albert Friday, September 6, 2019 @ 2:51 PM
NEW YORK CITY – The Canadian invasion will continue this weekend when the elite PBR Unleash The Beast travels to Anaheim, California for the Anaheim Invitational.
After four riders from the nation competed in Nashville for the final Major of the season, top-ranked Canuck Dakota Buttar will once again be joined by three of his countrymen, with world No. 34 Jared Parsonage in addition to Lonnie West and Brock Radford, who will both be competing via injury exemptions, set to ride as the league’s premier series makes its third stop of the year in California.
For Kindersley’s Buttar, he will look to pick-up where he left off in Nashville, finishing seventh at the Music City Knockout.
After becoming the first rider to reach the 8 seconds in Nashville, marked 85.5 points on Newsom in Round 1, the 26-year-old continued the momentum in Round 2, punching his ticket to the Top 8 when he covered Heavy D for 87.5 points.
Despite bucking off Ain’t Easy Being Me in 4.75 seconds in Round 3, the Saskatchewan man advanced to Round 4 via his standing in the aggregate. His event then came to a heartbreaking end when he narrowly missed the whistle atop Soup in a Group, bucked off in 6.77 seconds.
Buttar left the Music City event with a check for $2,221.62 in addition to 55 world points. He rose from No. 31 to No. 27 in the world standings.
During the two-week break, Buttar remained active, riding at the Canadian Touring Pro Division events in Stavely and Magrath, Alberta as he also looks to capture the 2019 PBR Canada Championship.
While he was shut-out at the Glen Keeley Memorial PBR, the Saskatchewan man finished third Thursday night’s Celebration for the Two Bit Nation. The Top-5 finish allowed him to overtake Shay Marks in the national standings, now ranked No. 2 and a mere 144.99 points behind No. 1 Parsonage.
Awaiting Buttar in Anaheim is the first bull set to leave the chutes inside the Honda Center, Beaver Creek Beau.
Ridden 18 times in 136 outs across all levels of competition, Buttar has never faced the Chad Berger bovine athlete and will be on the hunt to reverse his fate from Anaheim in 2018 when he went 0-for-2.
Beaver Creek Beau last bucked in Nashville, dispatching Derek Kolbaba in 3.25 seconds to earn a 41.25-point bull score. The out was the third consecutive buck off for the bull, last ridden by Ezekiel Mitchell for 86.5 points during this summer’s Touring Pro Division event in June in Binford, North Dakota.
While Parsonage has been ranked inside the Top 35 since Last Cowboy Standing in July, he has declined his position on the Unleash The Beast as he pursues a pair of Canadian titles.
This weekend, however, the current Canadian No. 1 will make his triumphant return to the Unleash The Beast in California. Parsonage has ridden on the sport’s elite tour just once prior in his career, making his debut this January in Glendale.
After earning a re-ride for his 71.75-point ride aboard Canadian bull BAMF in Round 1 of the Arizona event, Parsonage failed to reach the 8 in his next two match-ups.
His first round re-ride draw Humdinger dispatched him in 4.61 seconds, while Parsonage’s debut came to a nail-biting end in Round 2 when he was dispatched by Heavy D in 7.26 seconds.
In Round 1 in Anaheim he’ll attempt Rotten Bananas of Weber Bucking Bulls.
Unridden in seven outs on record across all levels of competition, Parsonage will look to become the first rider to reach the 8 aboard the bull who will be making his third trip on the PBR’s premier series.
Rotten Bananas last bucked at the Touring Pro Division event in Grand Junction, Colorado in July. There he dispatched Cody Tesch in 3.79 seconds to earn a 42-point bull score.
The bovine athlete’s two trips on the premier series were seen at last May’s Major in Las Vegas and this April in Billings. In Sin City for Last Cowboy Standing, Rotten Bananas bested 2017 PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood in 4.05 seconds for a 42.75-point bull score, while he most recently bucked off Mitchell this April in Montana. The meeting lasted just 3.65 seconds, earning Rotten Bananas a bull score of 41.25 points.
Both West and Radford will hope to reverse their fates from Nashville, looking to ride the momentum they generated Thursday night in Magrath while competing on the Canadian Touring Pro Division.
In Magrath, West claimed his second consecutive event win on Canadian soil, victorious in late August in Coronation, as the only rider to go a perfect 2-for-2.
After reaching the 8 aboard Flick The Switch in Round 1 for 79 points, West sealed the victory in the championship round when he became the lone rider to deliver a flawless performance. He covered Fidgit Spinner for an 83.5-point score.
The win allowed West to crack the Top 10 in the national standings as the nation’s best jockey for position heading into the 2019 PBR Canada Finals in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Set to buck into the SaskTel Centre on Nov. 22-23, the Top 20 riders from the national standings will compete across the two-day, season-culminating event for both the 2019 PBR Canada Championship and accompanying $50,000 bonus.
West rose from No. 22 to No. 9, and now trails the No. 1 ranking by 1,633.32 points.
After going 0-for-1 in Nashville, bucked off by Cha Ching in 5.28 seconds, this weekend’s tour stop will mark West’s debut in Anaheim.
In Round 1 of the Anaheim Invitational, West will look to cover Diamond Willow.
From Berger’s deep pen of 50 bovine athletes, the bull has been ridden four times in 11 outs on record.
Diamond Willow’s last trip was with current world No. 4 Joao Ricardo Vieira this July at the annual Touring Pro Division event in Big Sky, Montana. At the event, the bull bested the Brazilian star in 6.3 seconds for a 41.5-point score.
Also competing in Magrath, Radford finished 7th after riding Hostile Intentions for 80 points in the event’s opening rounds.
In other similarities to West, Radford was also not on tour last season for the Anaheim event, and went 0-for-1 at the most recent Unleash The Beast event in Nashville.
Radford will attempt Dusty’s Revenge in Round 1 in California.
In his most recent trip, three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves rode the bull for an 85.75-point score during Round 2 of the Houston event.
The Anaheim Invitational gets underway with Round 1 on Friday, September 6 at 7:45 p.m. PDT, concluding with Round 2 and the championship round at 6:45 p.m. PDT on Saturday, September 7.
CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network will bring viewers complete coverage of Championship Saturday on Sunday, September 8. CBS Sports Network will televise all the action from Round 2 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, while CBS Sports will broadcast the championship round at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
Fans will be able to watch the action in its entirety live via PBR’s new streaming digital platform RidePass. Round 1 will be broadcast exclusively on the platform beginning at 10:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 6. The listen live stream of Round 2 and the championship round will begin at 9:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 7.