For the 19th consecutive season, and 21st time in history, the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) elite Unleash The Beast will buck into Kansas City, Missouri, holding the PBR Caterpillar Classic, presented by Union Home Mortgage, on March 18-19 at T-Mobile Center.
For two nights only, the Top 30 bull riders in the world will compete in one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness. Going head-to-head against the sport’s rankest bovine athletes, the tour stop will showcase the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast.
PBR’s return to T-Mobile Center comes on the spurs of a historic season. While Jose Vitor Leme shattered nearly every organizational record en roue to becoming just the second back-to-back World Champion in PBR history, the campaign also included a break-through effort by 2021 PBR Rookie of the Year Eli Vastbinder.
A more established PBR rider, Vastbinder qualified to the PBR World Finals for the first time in his career in 2021. While the now 30-year-old made his PBR debut in 2009, it took more than a decade for him to breakthrough to the sport’s top tour in 2021.
After finding intermittent success in the spring, Vastbinder was resurgent in the summer/fall months surging to No. 19 in the world and qualifying to his first PBR World Finals. His efforts were headlined by a runner-up finish at the August Major in Fort Worth where his toughness was on full display attempting seven bulls in less than 24 hours.
Once in Las Vegas, Vastbinder delivered a World Finals performance that won’t soon be forgotten. Battling through a separated right shoulder and broken ribs, Vastbinder went 4-for-6, with all of his rides marked 90 points or more, winning Round 1 and 5 of the sport’s most prestigious event to clinch the Rookie of the Year title. Vastbinder is the only non-World Champion to produce four 90-point rides during one World Finals and is the only rookie to do so.
After a career of more than a decade, Vastbinder finished the 2021 season a career-best No. 9 in the world. A family man at his core, just days prior to his PBR World Finals debut, Vastbinder and wife Paige welcomed their twin daughters, Blake and Blair, seven weeks earlier than expected.
And his momentum didn’t stop there. Thus far in 2022, Vastbinder has gone a torrid 15-for-25 (60%), including an impressive 9-out ride streak earlier in the season, to establish himself as a contender for the year’s PBR World Championship.
Logging four Top-10 efforts to date, Vastbinder is presently ranked No. 7 in the world, within 262.66 points of the No. 1 position.
Vastbinder has ridden in Kansas City once prior. In 2021, the Kansas City stop was Vastbinder’s third ever appearance on the premier series, however he was shutout, going 0-for-2.