BILLINGS — Alisson Souza does not speak much English.
But the Brazilian bull rider didn’t have to know the language to make his point.
A smiling Souza held up both hands then flashed one more to explain.
It was Souza’s way of saying, “15” as it was a 15-hour drive for a caravan of bull riders who drove from Billings to Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday night.
Bull riders compete on championship day at the Professional Bull Riders event at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark on Sunday. Claudio Montanha J…
Souza was part a group of more than a dozen bull riders who had already entered the Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour scheduled for Iowa on Saturday night.
When the PBR expanded the Billings first-round field to 60 entries earlier in the week, that included a large group making their debuts on the circuit's highest level.
“I’m very happy to be here,” he said of riding at the PBR’s highest level. “It’s a dream come true.”
Souza, along with the rest, kept Iowa on their schedules.
“He’s pushing for points,” explained Paulo Crimber, who served as Souza’s interpreter.
Souza declined a reride after scoring 76 points in the Friday performance. It would stand for 11th place in the round and $822.
Souza said the group left Billings right after the performance and drove into Des Moines right around noon. They took turns driving and just stopped for fuel.
The 24-year-old bull rider placed third in Des Moines with 87 points and earned another $2,800.
And it was back in the vehicle for the 939-mile back to Montana. He traveled with Fernando Henrique Novais, Michael Lane, Danilo Sobrinho and Wallace de Oliveira. Lane was the lone American.
“We got here about 11 a.m.,” Souza said.
Souza tied for fifth in the second round with 85.5 points to earn $725. He advanced to the championship round where he was bucked off by Desperado in 7.84 seconds.
Souza won $2,557 in Billings and earned 72.5 points in the PBR world standings. In less than 45 hours, he climbed from 53rd to 45th in the PBR world standings. Souza is just 68.33 points out of the top 35.
“I’m happy everything worked out,” he said.
Souza then mentioned his group had driven to billings from Texas on Thursday and planned to drive back to Texas following Sunday’s performance.
Among those riding in Des Moines was Jake Lockwood, younger brother of Jess Lockwood, the reigning PBR world champion from Volborg.
The younger Lockwood joined the PBR in February when he turned 18. He was bucked off in Iowa but has ridden three of his seven bulls at PBR lower level events, including one bull at a PBR Canada stop for $581. He is 14th in the PBR Canada standings.
“I’ve been telling him, you know what to do. Go ride and be yourself,” said the older Lockwood earlier in the week.
Kaique Pacheco and Ramon de Lima shared first place in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night.
Both scored 87 points to earn $10,500 apiece.
It was Pacheco’s third 15/15 win of the season and the fifth of his career. He moved from eighth to fourth place in the PBR world standings while in Billings.
However, the bull Big Dutch, which carried Lima to his 87-point ride, suffered a leg injury and had to be put down later that evening.
Jess Lockwood rode Big Dutch for 90.25 points to win the first round of the PBR World Finals last November en route to his world title. Lockwood also rode Big Dutch two weeks ago to win the PBR event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.