- Nathan Meyer
PBR's Last Cowboy Standing
It is my favorite time of the PBR season when the PBR comes to Sioux Falls, South Dakota! The first time the PBR was in Sioux Falls was in 2015, and it was only a two-night event; after two nights of sold-out crowds, Sioux Falls has become a routine stop on the PBR tour. In 2016 Sioux Falls became a three-night event and has been ever since. In 2020, they even hosted the PBR Velocity World Finals, and now they are hosting their first major event, the Last Cowboy Standing.
I grew up only 45 minutes from Sioux Falls, and I have lived in Sioux Falls for the last two years, so the PBR events in Sioux Falls will always be my favorite. Being at every single round except for one in 2016, you could say that I am a little excited to see that Sioux Falls is the location for the Last Cowboy Standing. With the last cowboy standing being a major event, the number of world points and money a rider can earn is enormous. When you add that extra incentive, you can see that the riders put a little more effort to cover their bulls—the unique format adds even more excitement to it all.
For those unfamiliar with the Last Cowboy Standing format, here's a round by round rundown:
(Friday) Round 1: The top 40 riders in the world try to cover their bull. The top 25 riders make it to round 2.
*If there are not 25 rides, the open spots will be based on the world standings.
(Saturday) Round 2: The 25 riders will ride with the top 8 aggregate scores advancing to round 3.
(Sunday) Round 3: The 8 riders will ride with the top 4 in the aggregate advancing to round 4.
(Sunday) Round 4: The final 4 riders will ride, and now is where the actual battle begins. If the rider covers their bull, then they advance to round 5.
(Sunday) Round 5: A minimum of 2 riders will battle it out for the title. The rider with the highest score in the round is THE Last Cowboy Standing.
The winner receives 150 world points, and the runner-up takes home 94 points. As of March 27th, the top 4 in the world standings race is close, with Kyler Oliver only 323 points out of first place. If he were to win the event or even get second place, it could make a huge difference in the world finals race. As cool as it would be to see him win it, I think a couple of other riders should be on the radar for winning this weekend.
Joao Ricardo Vieira is a guy who is super hot right now and always seems to do pretty good in Sioux Falls. Last year he lost to Jose Vitor Leme, who one it on a walk-off ride in the championship round and the year before, he placed 3rd in the 15/15 bucking battle, so it's safe to say he does good in Sioux Falls, and I don't think the trend will end soon. Matt Triplett is another rider that I think everyone should watch for this weekend. He started this season on the Velocity Tour and has slowly been creeping up the world rankings. Last weekend he tied for 4th and 5th in Albuquerque, 12th the week before in KC, and is now ranked 24th in the world. With the arena being only 30 minutes from his current hometown, I think he could make a run for it all, and if he does, he has the potential to jump to number 12 in the world.
The Last Cowboy Standing is always a fun format to watch and should bring a big mix-up to the world standings; it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.