PBR Unleash The Beast Preview – Last Cowboy Standing
By: Kacie Albert Monday, July 22, 2019 @ 10:33 AM
NEW YORK CITY – For the first time since mid-April, Dakota Buttar is gearing up to compete on the elite Unleash The Beast.
On April 14 in Billings, Montana, Buttar had his season nearly derailed when he became hung up while attempting Talking Smack in Round 3 of the Billings Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires.
Sustaining a fractured humerus and torn labrum, Buttar believed he had a season-ending surgery on his horizon.
But in late May, the 26-year-old was told by his surgeon the procedure could be postponed, greenlighting him to return to competition.
Not missing a beat, Buttar won his first event back, victorious on home soil at the Canadian Touring Pro Division event in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
After recording both a third and fourth place finish the very next weekend in Falher, Alberta, Buttar once again found himself atop the shark cage when he won the Touring Pro stop in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Collectively, since returning to competition, Buttar has ridden at 11 events, earning two wins and an additional seven Top 10 efforts. His success on home soil netted him 210 world and 1,310.83 Canadian points.
He is now the No. 5 ranked rider in Canada, and inside the Top 35 in the world standings.
And next on Buttar’s docket -- his return to the premier series for the third Major of the year, Last Cowboy Standing, now part of the iconic Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Should Buttar be crowned the Last Cowboy Standing he would be the first Canadian to win a PBR Major since they were launched in 2015.
This season’s event will debut a new approach to the progressive elimination format.
All 40 competing riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1.
On the second day of competition, the Top 25 from the first round will advance to compete in Round 2.
If at any point in the event fewer riders have recorded a score than required to advance, the remaining positions will be filled based on the world standings as of July 15. Should a rider be unable to advance due to injury, those positions will be filled by the rider with the highest score in the aggregate not already advancing.
Following Round 2, the Top 8 in the aggregate will advance to Round 3, followed by the Top 4 moving on to Round 4.
All riders who cover their bull in Round 4 will automatically advance to Round 5. If only one rider reaches the 8-second whistle, one rider will be drawn back based on aggregate.
Round 5 will feature a sudden death style of competition. The overall winner will be the rider with the highest score in the final round. In the event that all riders record the same score, the winner will be the rider with the highest aggregate score. If there is a tie in both the ride score and aggregate score, the event will end in a tie. If all riders buck off in Round 5, the winner will be the rider with the highest aggregate score from all five rounds of competition.
The Last Cowboy Standing will earn a minimum of $100,000 and 625 points toward the world standings. The rider who records the highest marked ride will also receive a $26,000 bonus.
Last season, Buttar was shutout at the Major, dispatched by Get Shorty in 5.77 seconds and Like a Boss in 1.89 seconds.
In Round 1 of the 2019 edition of the event, Buttar will attempt Udder Lover.
The Hart Cattle Company bovine athlete enters the match-up having bucked off the last four riders to attempt him across all levels of PBR competition.
Ryan Dirteater was the last rider to reach the 8-second whistle atop the bull, marked 87.5 points in January in Sacramento, while Jess Lockwood rode him for 89 points in his trip prior to finish second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle in New York City. In those trips, Udder Lover was marked 43 and 43.5 points, respectively.
While this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing will mark the first time the elite Unleash The Beast has been a part of Cheyenne Frontier Days, let alone stopped in the state of Wyoming, it is not the first time for other PBR tours.
In 2018, PBR returned to Cheyenne for the first time since 2010, holding a Touring Pro Division event in tandem with the CBR Finals. Competing at the event, Buttar finished 17th after riding Big Show for 84 points.
Action at Frontier Park for the 2019 edition of Last Cowboy Standing gets underway on Monday, July 22 at 7:45 p.m. MDT, and concludes on Tuesday, July 23 at 7:45 p.m. MDT.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast all the action LIVE. Preceded by a 30-minute B&W Trailer Hitches Preshow, coverage will begin on Monday, July 22 at 10:00 p.m. EDT. On Tuesday, July 23, the telecast will begin a 10:00 p.m. EDT.
Fans will be able to watch the action in its entirety LIVE via PBR’s new streaming digital platform RidePass.
The listen LIVE stream of the opening rounds on Monday, July 22 will begin at 9:45 p.m. EDT. Coverage of the final day of action on Tuesday, July 23 will begin at 9:45 p.m. EDT.