Coaches Crimber & Yates dominate internationally, selecting four of Brazil’s top competitors
PBR PRESS RELEASE: FORT WORTH, Tex. (May 23, 2022) –As one of the foundational partners of the first team-based league in the extreme sport of bull riding, western sports and entertainment brand Teton Ridge drafted five skilled, world-class athletes, including four international phenoms, on Monday evening for its 2022 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team, the Ridge Riders.
Ridge Riders General Manager Casey Lane, joined by Technical Coach Paulo Crimber (10-time World Finals qualifier) and Team Manager Colby Yates (Five-time World Finals qualifier) participated in an initial 5-round draft held at Texas Live! in Arlington, Texas alongside the seven other teams of the inaugural PBR Team Series.
“Preparing for the draft Paulo, Colby and I were looking at all possibilities,” said Lane. “We are beyond proud of the team of five extremely talented bull riders who we drafted this evening to launch our franchise. More importantly, we are thrilled to have chosen athletes who are dedicated to their craft, committed to a winning attitude, and exemplify what it means to be a Ridge Rider.”
Prior to the lottery draw, the league issued Draft guidelines which specified that the draft would be conducted in a “snake” format in which the first team to select in Round 1 would receive the last pick in Round 2 (Pick 16), the first pick in Round 3 (Pick 17), etc. The Ridge Riders began the night with the sixth pick in Round 1.
Each team was eligible to select up to five riders unless they traded a draft pick. All PBR riders in good standing with the league were eligible for the draft as long as they declared by May 6.
A combination of grit, determination and resilience wrapped into one steadfast group of athletes with a strong lineage in western sports, the inaugural Ridge Riders team will feature four of the world’s top Brazilian competitors:
Luciano De Castro (Guzolandia, Sao Paulo, Brazil) – Round 1 pick
Starting his career in 2015 when he claimed the PBR Brazil Rookie of the Year and Champion titles, Luciano De Castro has blazed a trail of success ever since. Having grown up watching his father raise bulls, De Castro developed a passion for the sport at a young age and began riding at age 16. Qualifying for four World Finals since his U.S. debut in 2017, the 26-year-old Brazilian finished the 2022 season at No. 4 in the world standings.
Mauricio Moreira (Gaviao Peixoto, Sao Paulo, Brazil) – Round 2 pick
Having started his professional career in 2019, Mauricio Moreira made a splash early on finishing in the Top 5 of the PBR Brazil Finals that year. Finishing the 2022 regular-season at No. 8 in the world standings the 22-year-old young gun first began his career at the age of 15 riding alongside his father who was also a professional bull rider. A career milestone for the legacy athlete was when he qualified alongside his father at the famed Barretos event in Brazil.
Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) – Round 3 pick
11-time World Finals qualifier Eduardo Aparecido watched rodeos on television as a child dreaming of someday standing alongside his idols on the dirt. That dream became a reality for the now 31-year-old veteran rider capturing him a variety of accolades along the way including being a four-time PBR Global Cup qualifier, two-time PBR Global Cup Champion (2018-2019) and many more. Most recently Aparecido finished the 2022 regular-season at No. 14 in the world standings.
Chase Dougherty (Decatur, Texas) – Round 4 pick
With a family history steeped in western sports, Chase Dougherty not only pursued bull riding in his youth but also played football, wrestled and competed in pole vaulting into his college years. Becoming the 2018 NFR aggregate champion, he sparked a path for himself immediately. Having received a scholarship to Montana State University for the rodeo team, Dougherty also went on to be the No. 3 man in the 2021 PBR Rookie of the Year race. The 24-year-old new father finished the 2022 regular-season at No. 16 in the world standings.
Marco Eguchi (Poa, Brazil) – Round 5 pick
2018 World Finals event winner Marco Eguchi is no stranger to what it takes to rise to a champion level. Viewed as one of the veterans of the league Eguchi’s career is rooted in humble origins beginning in local arenas in his home country of Brazil. The 32-year-old, 10-time World Finals qualifier, was also a 2018 PBR Global Cup champion, 2018 Lane Frost/ Brent Thurman Award winner and more. Battling injuries at the start of the 2022 regular-season, Eguhi still finished at No. 34 in the world standings.
The Ridge Riders represent one of several elevated western sports properties that Teton Ridge has assembled under its sports division’s portfolio. This division was created with the singular focus of elevating western sports and western culture to the world stage, while broadening and diversifying audiences through enhanced production, technology, and innovation. From acquiring and producing the crown jewel of Rodeo, The American Rodeo, which awarded more than $3 million in cash and prizes, to assembling a team of the most accomplished and elite champions in the industry, Teton Ridge Sports is committed to strengthening, enriching, and furthering western sports for future competitors across all disciplines.
The athletes drafted on Monday evening will be competing when the PBR Team Series regular season begins on July 25-26 at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
When the 10-event regular season begins, culminating in a Teams Championship in Las Vegas November 4-6, each team will have ten riders in total, including 7 “Protected Roster” riders and 3 “Practice Squad” developmental riders.
The bull riding games that make up the season will feature five-on-five competition between two teams. Each regular season event day will feature all teams in a head-to-head game.
The Teton Ridge-owned Ridge Riders will call Glendale Arizona’s Gila River Arena home and host their homestand event and surrounding festivities, which will serve as the final game for the regular season, Friday, October 14 through Sunday October 16.
To follow the Ridge Riders journey please visit www.tetonridge.com/team,www.ArizonaRidgeRiders.co, @arizonaridgeriders on Facebook and Instagram, or @AZRidgeRiderson Twitter.