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Derek Kolbaba wins during the 15/15 round of the Nampa Unleash the Beast PBR

Kolbaba Uses Career Best 94 Points to Capture Second Consecutive Win

Oct 292020

Derek Kolbaba did something he’s never done before. Check that. The Monster Energy bull rider did two things he’s never done before.

His 94 points on Canadian Mist was a career-high and the win in the 15/15 Bucking Battle was the second consecutive win he earned in front of a network television audience. And what an 8-second ride it was for the Walla Walla, Washington, cowboy.

As the clock made its way to 8 seconds, CBS broadcaster Craig Hummer predicated, “This is going to be big.” And it was. Judges wasted little time in rewarding Kolbaba with 94 points for his effort. “It’s supposed to be big,” replied Justin McBride, a two-time PBR World Champion and Hummer’s broadcast partner. “That was a great ride.”

Kolbaba won the Nampa, Idaho, 15/15 just weeks after doing the same in Des Moines, Iowa, where he was 92 points on Sky Harbor.

In Nampa, Kolbaba said, “Anytime you can match up with a bull like that it’s all just a blur matching move for move. There ain’t no better feeling in bull riding than stepping off a bull like that.” McBride agreed.


“That feeling that Kolbaba’s got right there is what keeps you coming back,” said McBride. “That’s just an outstanding job by both bull and rider.”


He then explained the difference between 94 points and coming down early was whether or not Kolbaba was going to have “enough give in his riding arm or not.”


He had it. He gave it. And he made it look spectacular.


Kolbaba has now moved up to ninth in the world standings and with those two wins, he’s viewed as a favorite to win the Finals average and poised for his first Top 5 finish in the world standings since finishing second in 2017. He’s been 11th in the world that past two years, but recently he has yet again shown signs of having the skill of a World Champion contender.


This past weekend, Canadians came right around into Kolbaba’s riding hand with a lot of action coupled with enough up and down for him to find a seat in the middle of its back and hold on for the ride.

And the win.


“I didn’t change much,” said Kolbaba, afterward. “Me and my dad always talk about, them rank bulls, you ain’t going to be perfect every jump. You just have to keep fighting, get gritty, and get the job done.”


Kolbaba and the rest of the Top 35 riders will next compete at the World Finals.


This year’s Finals have been moved from Las Vegas — a first in PBR’s 27-year history — to Arlington, Texas, and will be held Nov. 12–15 at AT&T Stadium. Fellow Monster Energy bull rider Jose Vitor Leme will arrive at the No. 1 ranked rider in the world.


Jess Lockwood, 5; Kolbaba, 9; Marco Eguchi, 19, and J.B. Mauney, 29, will also be there. Lockwood and Mauney are both two-time PBR World Champions and Mauney is competing at the Finals for a PBR record-tying 15th consecutive year.