Cooper Davis saved his best for last on the opening night of the Dakota Community Bank & Trust PBR Bull Riding Challenge.
Davis, the No. 6-ranked bull rider on the PBR Tour, posted a score of 90.75 on the final ride of the night aboard Midnight Rain on Friday at the Bismarck Event Center.
The Jasper, Texas, cowboy’s big score put his Team Cooper Tires in the driver’s seat for the $125,000 Bull Rider Team Challenge. Along with Davis, Chase Outlaw (89.25) and Sage Steele Kimzey (87.75) all posted scores in the first round of the team competition, the only team to go 3-for-3 in the opening round of the two-day aggregate competition.
No. 1-ranked Jose Victor Leme’s team posted two strong scores in the opening round – Marco Antonio Eguchi rode Speed Demon for a 90.5 – the second-highest score of the round – and Vitor Leme scored an 89.25 on South Texas Gangster.
In all, eight of the 15 competitors in the team match posted scores on Friday. Cannon Cravens scored an 88 on Sitting Bull, Cody Teel posted an 88 on Stretch and Jess Lockwood scored an 89.25 on Catfish John.
Davis also had a strong showing earlier in the evening in the long-go as one of 10 cowboys to post scoring rides in the individual competition. Davis rode Hitman for an 88 – the fourth-best score of the night among the 45 riders.
Derek Kolbaba, the eighth-ranked rider on the PBR circuit, had the biggest score of the opening night – posting a 90 on Tested Crazy.
Keyshawn Whitehorse of McCracken Springs, Utah – last year’s PBR rookie of the year – and Jess Lockwood both put up an 89, with Whitehorse on Shelley’s Gangster and Lockwood aboard Acting Crazy.
Chase Outlaw rode Jungle Can Do for an 87 and Williston’s Stetson Lawrence – ranked 14th on the tour – posted an 86.5 on Space Force.
Ryan Dirteater posted an 86 on Mental Revenge, Luciana De Castro an 85.5 on Anthrax, Dylan Smith an 84 on Finlander and Dener Barbosa an 81.5 on Southern Style.
The 19th annual PBR Bull-Riding Challenge concludes tonight, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Event Center.