Jesse Petri Wins Unleash The Beast Event in New Orleans to Crack Top 10 in the Race for the 2023 PBR World Championship

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Going 2-for-3 at the PBR Union Home Mortgage Invitational, Petri garnered 113.5 Unleash The Beast points, climbing from No. 14 to No. 9 in the gold buckle race

NEW ORLEANS – In front of a boisterous crowd Saturday night in New Orleans, Jesse Petri (Dublin, Texas) rode supreme, going 2-for-3 inside the Smoothie King Center to win the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast’s Union Home Mortgage Invitational and crack the Top 10 in the race for the 2023 World Championship.

As the competition got underway in Round 1, Petri got off to a quick start, delivering the third-best score when he rode Dr. X (Universal Pro Rodeo) for 87.75 points.

Petri then climbed to the top of the event leaderboard when he dominated Soul Train (Shuler Bucking Bulls) for 86.25 points in the second round. 

While the reserved Texan fell short of the requisite 8 in the championship round, tossed by Flapjack (Parker/OK Corralis/Gordon/D&H Cattle) in 4.48 seconds, his first two scores were enough to cement his victory in the Big Easy.

Petri’s win, his second on the Unleash The Beast and first since October 2021, earned him $41,790, along with a crucial 113.5 Unleash The Beast points. He rose from No. 14 to No. 9 in the feverish 2023 World Championship race, now within 416 points of No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil). 

Leme, two-time PBR World Champion and anchor rider for the Austin Gamblers in the separate PBR Team Series, maintained his No. 1 rank courtesy of a third-place effort.

Leme first put points on the board when he declined a re-ride opportunity in Round 1 after being awarded just 72.5 points for his 8-second effort atop Hog Wild (Ogden Ranch/Hart Cattle Co.).

The stoic Brazilian was then red-hot in the second round, logging his fifth round win of the season when he topped Bread Basket (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) for 88.5 points. 

With the third pick in the championship bull draft, Leme selected Fastfire (Glover Cattle/D&H Cattle Co.). However, he was unable to find success, sent to the dirt in a hard-fought 4.57 seconds.

Leme, who netted 64 Unleash The Beast points for the podium finish, returns home to Texas with a 107.5-point lead over No. 2 Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas).

Kasel remains hot on Leme’s spurs, rising from No. 3 to No. 2 in the standings via his fourth-place result in New Orleans.

The 2019 Rookie of the Year’s performance was headlined by his Round 1-winning score, as he teamed with Raven (M Rafter E/Rockin’ L Bucking Bulls) for a monstrous 90 points.

Returning to the top of the event leaderboard, Kyler Oliver (Roy, Utah) was second, collecting 79 Unleash The Beast points.

The Kansas City Outlaws rider went 2-for-3, riding Ninja Cowboy (Universal Pro Rodeo/Rachel & Dustin Powell) for 86 points in Round 1 and The Maverick (Cord McCoy/Birmingham World Deer Expo/McCoy Rodeo) for 86.5 points in Round 2.

Seeking his first World Championship this May in Fort Worth, Texas, during the PBR World Finals, Oliver surged seven positions in the standings from No. 26 to No. 19.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was 2022 PBR Canada Champion Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

Tetz earned his career-best Unleash The Beast finish courtesy of an 88-point ride aboard Sonny B (Shuler Bucking Bulls) in Round 1. 

Earning 35 Unleash The Beast points, Tetz rose from No. 50 to No. 40 in the standings.

In the bull pen, Cool Whip (Julian/Staci Addison/D&H/Crooked W) bucked supreme, crowned the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event. In the championship round, Cool Whip posted an event-best 46-point bull score for bucking off Kasel in 4.36 seconds.

The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the PBR Ty Murray Invitational, presented by The Downs Racetrack & Casino. The event will be on Friday, March 24, at 7:45 p.m. MDT, Saturday, March 25, at 6:45 p.m. MDT, and Sunday, March 26, at 1:45 p.m. MDT.

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.tvClick here for on-demand PBR programming.

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