FORT WORTH, Texas – Riding an incredible post-season wave of momentum, Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) capped a dominant season by winning the 2022 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Finals: Unleash The Beast to be crowned the 2022 PBR World Champion in what was one of the most ferocious championship races in organizational history.
“It was a battle until the end, and it hasn’t quite set in yet,” Swearingen said as he was presented his World Champion buckle. “My grandma passed away this past year, and I know she’s watching over me. It’s really special having my family here. They keep praying for me and pushing me forward.”
Swearingen’s grit and determination was evident before the young New York native even stepped boot inside Dickies Arena for the first-ever PBR World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.
After concluding the regular season No. 2 to Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) by 32.34 points, Swearingen entered the expansion Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals. He finished third, collecting 41.33 points to leapfrog Vieira by a slim 8.99 points to begin his fourth career PBR World Finals as the No. 1 man in the world.
As the 2022 PBR World Finals got underway, Swearingen bucked off in Round 1, bested by Lil 2 Train (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) in a hard-fought 5.22 seconds, surrendering his world No. 1 rank. He then rode six bulls in a row to pull away from the field.
After his initial buckoff, Swearingen was quick to rebound in Round 2, covering Big Black (K-C Bucking Bulls/Joe & Nina Webb) for a career-best 93 points to decimate Vieira’s lead from 36.01 points to a miniscule 3.01 points.
The 22-year-old then reclaimed the No. 1 rank following Round 3 when he covered Hey Bartender (JQH Bucking Bulls/Skip & Elaine Jones) for a commanding 89.5 points, surpassing No. 2 Vieira by 16.99 points.
Through the following five rounds, Swearingen was untouchable but remained in a ride-for-ride battle until the final round on Championship Sunday.
As the marathon event continued with Round 4, Swearingen expanded his lead to 44.99 points over veteran Brazilian Vieira after he rode Train Station (Winston/Melton/Stockyards Pro Rodeo) for 85.75 points.
Swearingen then delivered his second 90-point score at bull riding’s most prestigious event when he matched Lone Survivor (Whitman Bucking Bulls/Jenkins Cattle Co.) jump-for-jump in Round 5 en route to a mammoth 91.5-point score.
As a result, his lead expanded to 85.99 points over No. 2 Vieira. Coupled with Cody Jesus (Window Rock, Arizona) bucking off, Swearingen surged to the top position in the World Finals event aggregate.
And while Vieira began to fade, bucked off three consecutive times in Rounds 4-6 after converting in the opening three rounds, Swearingen was quickly locked in the sights of Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil), setting up a dramatic battle of titans as the season wound to a close.
In Round 6, Swearingen covered Satan’s Seed (Lucas Manning Bucking Bulls) for 87.75 points in an extraordinary feat of never-say-quit determination after he appeared to be bucked off at six seconds then righted himself, netting 18 world points. Meanwhile, Pacheco ended Wicked Dreams’s (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) 34-out buckoff streak across all levels of competition with a clutch 89-point ride to climb to world No. 2 and inch within 86.25 points of No. 1 Swearingen.
Round 6 also included the end of what could have been Jose Vitor Leme’s (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) historic march to a third straight World Championship. After being bucked off by Crossover (Shuler Bucking Bulls) in a hard-fought 6.24 seconds, Leme was stepped on in the abdomen. He was subsequently transported to a local hospital with four broken ribs and did not return for Championship Sunday.
When Championship Sunday got underway with Round 7, Swearingen and Pacheco, the 2018 World Champion, both converted, leaving the buckle up for grabs in the final round.
Swearingen conquered I’m Legit Too (Hart Cattle Co./Hale) for a monstrous 92.25 points, while Pacheco bested Clear Water (Frontier Rodeo Company) for 88.5 points.
For their final outs of the season, Swearingen was tasked with Mike’s Magic (Five Star Ranch/BS Cattle) while Pacheco readied to face off againstManaba (Joe & Nina Webb/Julian/D&H Cattle Co.) in a must-ride situation.
Pacheco was first to leave the chutes, and after being brought down by Manaba in 5.9 seconds, Swearingen clinched the 2022 PBR World Championship before even readying his rope.
With the coveted gold buckle, his name on the Jerome Robinson Cup, and $1 million bonus awaiting Swearingen, he went to work against Mike’s Magic. Despite being brought down in 2.05 seconds and getting roughed up by the rampaging bull, Swearingen’s gutsy 6-for-8 showing at the event earned him the World Finals event title and his career-first PBR World Championship.
Swearingen is now just the seventh rider to capture both honors in the same season, joining Leme (2021), Jess Lockwood (2019 – Volborg, Montana), Silvano Alves (2014 – Pilar do Sul Brazil), J.B. Mauney (2013 – Statesville, North Carolina), Renato Nunes (2010 – Buritama, Brazil) and Mike Lee(2004 – Decatur, Texas).
In the league’s 29-year history, Swearingen is the 20th different rider – and 12th American – to claim the PBR World Champion gold buckle. His title is the 16th time a rider from the United States has won what’s been called the most difficult individual championship in professional sports, and first for a New York native.
Throughout 2022, Swearingen went an impressive 26-for-60, covering 43.33% of his animal athlete opponents. He earned $1,697,481.63, including $1,394,000 for his career-first PBR World Championship and World Finals event win.
Swearingen is now 17th in all-time money earned in PBR competition with his career earnings topping more than $2.21 million.
In the bull pen, Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/Bill McCarty) was anointed the 2022 YETI PBR World Champion Bull. The honor was bestowed upon the animal with the highest average bull score from their six highest-scored regular-season outs and two outs at the PBR World Finals.
Much like the race amongst the riders, the battle between the organization’s animal athletes was equally fierce. Ridin Solo began the World Finals tied with then-reigning World Champion Bull Woopaa (Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch) for the world No. 1 rank, each concluding the regular season with an impressive 46.29-point world average.
First bucking in Round 2, compliments of his 45-point effort with Josh Frost (Randlett, Utah), Ridin Solo broke his tie with Woopaa for the top rank. He concluded the round with a 46.11-point world average, leading No. 2 Woopaa by 0.25 points.
Woopaa was marked an uncharacteristic 43.25 points when he dispatched 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) in 5.64 seconds. The striking animal athlete’s world average consequently slipped to 45.86 points.
Ridin Solo and Woopaa then returned to the lineup in Round 4.
In what was the third-best bull score of the 2022 PBR World Finals, Ridin Solo was marked 47 points after tossing Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas) in 3.35 seconds. Woopaa, however, was unable to match those marks, awarded only 45.25 points for his 3.86-second trip with 2002 PBR World ChampionEdnei Caminhas (Indaiatuba, Brazil).
As a result, Ridin Solo’s world average grew to 46.22 points, increasing 0.11 points, while Woopaa’s slipped 0.08 points to 45.78 points.
On Championship Sunday, Ridin Solo was unrivaled.
Drawn by Vieira, the Cord McCoy standout quickly upended the Brazilian in 4.8 seconds to earn his second 47-point bull score of the weekend.
Ridin Solo’s head-turning out, coupled with Woopaa’s 41.75-point trip that earned Luciano de Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) a re-ride, clinched the striking animal athlete the 2022 YETI PBR World Champion Bull honor and accompanying $100,000 bonus.
Ridin Solo concluded the 2022 season with a 46.47-point world average, 0.69 points ahead of runner-up Woopaa.
Also in the bull pen, Night Hawk (Logan Clancey/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) was named the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Finals, earning a $25,000 bonus.
Earning the top combined score across his three outs logged during the 2022 PBR World Finals, Night Hawk was twice marked 47 points, first in Round 4 for his 2.31-second trip with Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) and then in the championship round for his 3.35 seconds of work against Kasel. He also registered a 44.75-point effort in Round 2 when he tossed Rafael Henrique dos Santos (Sebastianopolis, Brazil) in 3.74 seconds.
Chad Berger and H.D. Page were crowned the 2022 PBR Stock Contractors of the Year. For Berger, the honor is his unprecedented 12th, nine of which have been earned in the past consecutive seasons. Page’s D&H Cattle Co. took the honor for the seventh time and first since 2006.
The 2022 PBR World Finals also concluded the hotly contested 2022 PBR Rookie of the Year race.
Riding a cut above the rest, 19-year-old sensation Bob Mitchell (Steelville, Missouri) earned the coveted honor, concluding the year a career-best No. 21 in the world. He edged out runner-up Clayton Sellars (Fruitland Park, Florida) by 66.92 points.
Mauricio Moreira (Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil) earned the Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award for the top-marked ride of the 2022 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast.
Moreira earned the event’s highest score when he won Round 2 compliments of an unmatched 94.25-point ride on WSM’s Jive Turkey (WSM Auctioneers/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger).
For the third straight year, Leme won the Mason Lowe Award, presented annually to the bull rider who records the highest-scored ride during the PBR Unleash The Beast regular season. Leme earned the honor for his 94.75-point ride atop Ridin Solo during 15/15 Bucking Battle in Oklahoma City in mid-February.
Griffin Smeltzer (Claresholm, Alberta, Canada) was awarded the Glen Keeley Award for the first time in his career. This award goes to the Canadian bull rider earning the most points during the season.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Unleash The Beast event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule, and click here for on-demand PBR programming.
Stay tuned to PBR.com for the latest news and results and be sure to follow the league on all social media platforms at @PBR.
PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast @ Dickies Arena – Fort Worth, Texas
1. Daylon Swearingen, 0-93-89.5-85.75-91.5-87.75-92.25-0-539.75-833 Points.
2. Cody Jesus, 89-90.25-89-84.75-0-90.25-86.75-0-530.00-540 Points.
3. Kaique Pacheco, 0-91.75-89-91.5-0-89-88.5-0-449.75-480 Points.
4. Luciano De Castro, 0-91.25-90.25-0-85.25-0-0-91-357.75-385 Points.
5. Jose Vitor Leme, 85.75-90.25-86-0-92.75-0-0-0-354.75-290.33 Points.
6. João Ricardo Vieira, 90.25-86-87.75-0-0-0-89.75-0-353.75-241 Points.
7. Eli Vastbinder, 87.5-0-0-87.75-89-0-87.25-0-351.50-200 Points.
8. Dalton Kasel, 90.25-0-0-0-92-91.5-0-0-273.75-243 Points.
9. Josh Frost, 88.75-92.75-0-0-0-0-88.75-0-270.25-139 Points.
10. Andrew Alvidrez, 85.75-0-89.25-0-0-91-0-0-266.00-124.33 Points.