Canadian Young Gun Griffin Smeltzer Wins Career-First PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Event in Wichita, Kansas

By: Kacie Albert  Saturday, April 23, 2022 @ 11:47 PM

Griffin Smeltzer went a perfect 2-for-2 to win the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event in Wichita, Kansas. Photo: Andre Silva.

WICHITA, Kan. – As action for the penultimate regular-season PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event wound to a close Saturday evening in Wichita, Kansas, Canadian young gun Griffin Smeltzer (Claresholm, Alberta, Canada) reached a crucial career milestone. Delivering a flawless 2-for-2 effort inside INTRUST Bank Arena, Smeltzer earned his first victory on the organization’s expansion series, winning the PBR Nexgrill Invitational.

Smeltzer was sensational as the event got underway in Round 1. Drawing Jingle and Go (JQH Bucking Bulls – Skip & Elaine Jones), the 22-year-old reached the requisite 8 for 86 points.

Advancing to the championship round fifth on the event leaderboard, Smeltzer next readied to climb aboard Axel Surgeon (Halpain Bucking Bulls). In perfect timing with his animal athlete counterpart, Smeltzer brought the raucous crowd to its feet as covered Axel Surgeon for a championship round-best 86.5 points to clinch the event victory.

For his efforts, Smeltzer earned a crucial 38 world points, catapulting him 13 positions in the world standings from No. 64 to No. 51.

Smeltzer, who is seeking his first berth to the PBR World Finals when they debut inside Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, May 13-22, is now within 40 points of the Top 35 threshold to qualify for the sport’s most prestigious event.

Fellow Canuck Blake Smith (Abbey, Saskatchewan, Canada) also competed in Wichita, going 1-for-2 to finish eighth and collect 0.5 world points.

Smith earned his score in Round 1, covering Platinum Edition (Cunningham/Scoggins) for 85 points.

Ednei Caminhas (Indaiatuba, Brazil) was second, collecting 24 world points.

The 2002 PBR World Champion first struck in Round 1 when he covered Devil Dog (3J Ranch) for 84 points.

Caminhas the punctuated his perfect effort with an 83-point ride atop Cimarron (Cunningham/Scoggins) in the final round.

The silver finish allowed Caminhas to crack the Top 100 in the PBR world standings, propelling him 36 positions from No. 116 to No. 80.

As the final rider to cover both of his draws, Lane Nobles (West, Texas) was third.

Nobles was unrivaled in the opening round of competition for the PBR Nexgrill Invitational, delivering what would be the top score of the entire tour stop when he conquered Patches (Team Wyatt) for 89.5 points.

As the last man to leave the chutes in the Sunflower State, while Nobles concluded his showing with a qualified ride, his 70-point ride on Full Count (Rocking F Bucking Bulls LLC) was not enough to reclaim his position atop the leaderboard.

The third-place result garnered Nobles 20 world points. He rose from No. 49 to No. 44 in the world standings, now within 20.5 points of the Top 35 and a berth to the 2022 PBR World Finals.

Fourth was Josh Frost (Randlett, Utah) netting 10 world points.

Frost rode Guess Eyes Right (Rocking F Bucking Bulls LLC) for 87.5 points in Round 1 but was bested by Home Wrecker (Kannglesser Cattle Co.) in the championship round, brough down in a quick 3.64 seconds.

Rounding out the Top 5 and tying for fifth was Fernando Henrique Novais (Pareira Barreto, Brazil) and Kade Alberty (Beggs, Oklahoma).

Novais and Alberty both delivered 86.5-point rides in Round 1, covering Captain Sorrow (Halpain Bucking Bulls) and Midnight Chaos (Topline Steel Buildings/Barrett), respectively, to collect 6 world points.

The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Nexgrill Invitational was also a stop on the 2022 Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge.

Team Wyatt won the performance with 280.46 points courtesy of the trips notched by Patches, Contusion and Harold’s Genuine Risk.     

Second place was Topline Steel Buildings/Barrett with 279.63 points, while Halpain Bucking Bulls was third with 273.65 points. Topline Steel Buildings/Barrett’s roster included Boogieman, Midnight Chaos and Wreck It Ralph, while the bronze effort from Halpain Bucking Bulls was earned courtesy of outs recorded by Captain Sorrow, Little Deer and Axle Surgeon.

The 2022 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour season continues April 30 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Action for the PBR Boot Barn Grand Forks Chute Out at Alerus center begins at 7 p.m. CDT on Saturday, April 30. 

PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour
PBR Nexgrill Invitational
INTRUST Bank Arena – Wichita, Kansas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2- Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Griffin Smeltzer, 86-86.5-172.50-38 Points.
2. Ednei Caminhas, 84-83-167.00-24 Points.
3. Lane Nobles, 89.5-70-159.50-20 Points.
4. Josh Frost, 87.5-0-87.50-10 Points.
5. Fernando Henrique Novais, 86.5-0-86.50-6 Points.
(tie). Kade Alberty, 86.5-0-86.50-6 Points.
7. Leonardo Lima, 85.5-0-85.50-3 Points.
8. Blake Smith, 85-0-85.00-0.5 Points.
(tie). Gage Gay, 85-0-85.00-0.5 Points.
10. Alisson De Souza, 84.5-0-84.50
(tie). Mason Moody, 84.5-0-84.50
12. Alvaro Alvarez Aguilar, 84-0-84.00
13. Daniel Keeping, 83.5-0-83.50
14. Zach Miles, 82.5-0-82.50
15. Elijah Mora, 82-0-82.00
16. Dalton Rudman, 81.5-0-81.50
17. Cladson Rodolfo, 81-0-81.00
18. Conner Halverson, 79-0-79.00
19. Cody Nance, 71.5-0-71.50
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0.00
Francisco Morales, 0-0-0.00
Marcos Gloria, 0-0-0.00
Michael Lane, 0-0-0.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0.00
Trace Brown, 0-0-0.00
Hunter Ball, 0-0-0.00
Dustin Martinez, 0-0-0.00
Dakota Eagleburger, 0-0-0.00
Venn Johns, 0-0-0.00
Deklan Garland, 0-0-0.00
Patterson Starcher, 0-0-0.00
Thor Hoefer II, 0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0.00
Briggs Madsen, 0-0-0.00
Colt Robinson, 0-0-0.00
Cody McCandless, 0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0.00
Dallee Mason, 0-0-0.00
Dakota Warnken, 0-0-0.00
Matt Allgood, 0-0-0.00