Oklahoma Freedom Become First Team to Win Inaugural PBR Team Series Homestand with Historic 3-0, Bonus Round-Winning Performance at Freedom Fest in Oklahoma City
Freedom logged an unprecedented four 90-point rides at Freedom Fest, including Chase Outlaw’s league-leading 94.5-point trip on World Champion Bull Woopaa to win the Bonus Round
OKLAHOMA CITY – Riding for the first time in front of a hometown crowd, the Oklahoma Freedom delivered a historic performance at the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series’ Freedom Fest. The Freedom registered four 90-point rides, logged three walk-off game wins courtesy of closer Derek Kolbaba and won the Bonus Round to become the first team in league history to win their debut homestand.
The Oklahoma Freedom have now won seven consecutive games and are one victory away from tying the league record of eight straight wins set earlier this season by the Austin Gamblers.
Logging four 90-point rides in Oklahoma City, the Freedom also lead the league in 90-point rides with six thus far this season.
When PBR Team Series action got underway Friday evening inside Paycom Center, the Freedom earned their first game win, edging the Gamblers by 2 points. With the Freedom trailing the entire game, Kolbaba readied to attempt the evening’s final bull needing a score in excess of 89 points to propel his team to victory in their first game inside their home Paycom Center.
Kolbaba was tasked with a familiar opponent in HomeBru (D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.). He had covered the bull twice, including most recently for 92.5 points during the 2021 PBR World Finals. This time, Kolbaba dominated HomeBru for a monstrous 91 points to clinch the Freedom victory against the Gamblers, 179.25-177.25.
The very next night, Kolbaba again found himself in a must-ride position in the bottom of the fifth during the team’s Saturday showdown against the Texas Rattlers, presented by Ariat.
After the Rattlers struck in the top of the first, both teams struggled as the game progressed. As a result, the crucial fifth frame got underway with the Rattlers holding a one-bull, 83.25-point lead.
Unable to clinch the win early for the Rattlers, Cody Jesus was bested by his re-ride draw, again setting up a come-from-behind scenario for the Freedom to win a game in walk-off fashion. As the last man out, Kolbaba was tasked with Schott In The Dark (Broken Arrow S Ranch/Sutton Ranch). Matching the bull jump-for-jump, Kolbaba reached the 8 before being slammed hard to the dirt, awarded a crucial 90.25 points to clinch the win for the Freedom, 90.25-83.25.
As Championship Sunday got underway, the Freedom faced a showdown with the league No. 1 Carolina Cowboys. With both teams entering the five-on-five matchup with a perfect 2-0 record, the winner of the game would also be the victor of PBR Freedom Fest.
After early scores from both teams, including the Freedom’s fifth 90-point ride, delivered by Briggs Madsen, Oklahoma held a slim 4.5-point lead as the fifth got underway.
Carolina, however, surged to the top of the leaderboard as 2022 PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen covered Theodore (Lari Crane/Gene Owen) for 89.75 points to put the Cowboys 85.25 points ahead.
For the third straight night, Kolbaba found himself in the high-pressure, must-ride position.
Poised, he burst from the chute, keeping in perfect time with Lone Survivor (Whitman Bucking Bulls/Jenkins Cattle Co.). Reaching the requisite 8, Kolbaba celebrated dirtside as both his teammates and the crowd went wild. Marked 89.25 points, the Freedom improved to a perfect 3-0, beating the Cowboys by 4 points, 180.5-176.5.
Kolbaba is now amidst a four-out ride streak in PBR Team Series competition, dating to his score on Sept. 11 during the Bonus Round at PBR Cowboy Days in North Carolina.
With the event win clinched, Freedom Head Coach Cord McCoy used his first pick in the Bonus Round to match Chase Outlaw with 2021 PBR World Champion Bull Woopaa (Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch).
First out in the Bonus Round, Outlaw erupted from the chutes as Woopaa delivered his characteristic high-flying, powerful out. After initially ruled to have made the 8, the trip went into review as the officials looked for a potential slap. Deemed to have been a clean trip, Outlaw was awarded a career-best 94.5 points to win the Bonus Round for the Freedom, garnering them 8 Bonus Points and completing their clean sweep of PBR Freedom Fest.
Outlaw’s score is now the top in PBR Team Series competition.
Compliments of the 3-0 effort, the Freedom are now 11-8 this season, rising two positions in the league standings from No. 5 to No. 3. They trail the league No. 1 Carolina Cowboys by one game.
The PBR Team Series will next travel to Ridgedale, Missouri, for the sixth team-hosted homestand as the Missouri Thunder welcome the league for PBR Thunder Days. The event will be on Friday, September 23 at 7:45 p.m. CT, Saturday, September 24 at 6:45 p.m. CT and Sunday, September 25 at 1:45 p.m. CT.
The game matchups for the opening night of competition in Ridgedale on September 23 are:
Austin Gamblers @ Kansas City Outlaws
Nashville Stampede @ Oklahoma Freedom
Texas Rattlers @ Arizona Ridge Riders
Carolina Cowboys @ Missouri Thunder
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer replays of all the PBR Team Series action from Oklahoma City. Check https://pluto.tv/en/live-tv/pbr-ridepass for the latest programming schedule. For a behind-the-scenes look at the creation and launch of the new league, tune in to PBR Team Series: Getting the Job Done, presented by ZipRecruiter, Thursdays on PBR RidePass on Pluto TV at 8:30 p.m. ET. Check https://pluto.tv/en/live-tv/pbr-ridepass for the latest programming schedule.