Remote interviews with team leadership, including Head Coach Cord McCoy, and competing riders are available upon request
Photos (Courtesy Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media): Click here to download.
B-Roll (Courtesy PBR): Click here to download.
- Kansas City Outlaws, 2-0-0-350.75 points
- Carolina Cowboys, 2-0-0-606.75 points
- Missouri Thunder, 1-1-0-522.50 points
- Oklahoma Freedom, 1-1-0-347.75 points
- Texas Rattlers, 1-1-0-257.50 points
- Nashville Stampede, 1-1-0-80 points
- Arizona Ridge Riders, 0-2-0-83.75 points
- Austin Gamblers, 0-2-0-172 points
BISMARCK, N.D. – When the dust settled in Bismarck, North Dakota, for the inaugural preseason event for the groundbreaking PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series – a new league of eight bull riding teams from across the country competing for a national championship – the Oklahoma Freedom (1-1) finished fourth. After beating the Austin Gamblers 260-172 in their opening game, Oklahoma City’s first-ever professional bull riding team was not able to continue the momentum on the second day of competition, defeated by the Kansas City Outlaws 173.75-87.75. With first round draft pick Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina) tapped to represent the Oklahoma Freedom in the bonus round, he was unable to find success, bested by Pookie Holler (Dakota Rodeo/Brian & Ashley Pintar/Clay Struve/Chad Berger) in 5.3 seconds, positioning him third amongst the eight competing riders.
When the PBR Team Series preseason continues June 24-25 in Tryon, North Carolina, the Oklahoma Freedom will go head-to-head against the Carolina Cowboys and Arizona Ridge Riders.
The Oklahoma Freedom are based at Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where they will host their inaugural homestand, Freedom Fest, on Sept. 16-18. For more information about Oklahoma Freedom, visit https://pbr.com/teams/freedom/, Oklahoma Freedom on Facebook, @OK_Freedom_ on Instagram, or @OKfreedom_ on Twitter.
GAME RECAP – OKLAHOMA FREEDOM VS. KANSAS CITY OUTLAWS:
Kansas City Outlaws Deal the Oklahoma Freedom First Team Loss
Kansas City Outlaws: 173.75 points
Oklahoma Freedom: 87.75 points
On the spurs of the team’s victory over the Austin Gamblers on Friday night, the Oklahoma Freedom suffered their first loss on the second day of competition for the inaugural PBR Team Series preseason event in Bismarck, North Dakota, bested by the Kansas City Outlaws 173.75-87.75. After the teams’ first two riders bucked off, Freedom young gun Caden Bunch (Tahlequah, Oklahoma) was the first to strike for either roster. Matched up with WSM’S Sun Country (WSM Auctioneers/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger), Bunch reached the requisite 8 for 87.75 points. The Freedom’s lead, however, was short lived. Following the score by Oklahoma City’s first-ever professional bull riding team, veteran rider Cole Melancon (Sour Lake, Texas) was quick to respond for the Outlaws, riding Safety Meeting (Hruby/Kainz/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for 88.5 points, to give the Kansas City team a slim 0.75-point lead. Ahead by less than one point with one ride to go for each team, Kyle McDaniel (Fort Worth, Texas) was unable to convert for the Freedom (1-1) bucked off in 5.34 seconds by Stretch (Heald Pro Bulls/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger). With the Outlaws’ victory already in hand, Marcus Mast (Middlebury, Indiana) notched his second qualified ride of the weekend, matched with Dennis the Menace (Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for 85.25 points. Compliments of the score, the Outlaws earned the team’s second victory 173.75-87.75, while the Freedom (1-1) were dealt their first loss.
NEXT UP: The PBR Team Series preseason will continue June 24-25 in Tryon, North Carolina, for the PBR Tryon Chute Out. Action at the Tryon International Stadium will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday, June 24, and 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 25.
TRYON PRESEASON EVENT MATCH UPS: Here are the game matchups for the second PBR Team Series preseason event to be held in Tryon, North Carolina, on June 24-25.
Friday, June 24:
Arizona Ridge Riders vs. Nashville Stampede
Austin Gamblers vs. Missouri Thunder
Carolina Cowboys vs. Oklahoma Freedom
Kansas City Outlaws vs. Texas Rattlers
Saturday, June 25:
Missouri Thunder vs. Kansas City Outlaws
Oklahoma Freedom vs. Arizona Ridge Riders
Texas Rattlers vs. Austin Gamblers
Nashville Stampede vs. Carolina Cowboys
HOW TO WATCH: RIDEPASS on PlutoTV will televise all the action from PBR Team Series Preseason, LIVE. PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will also offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Team Series event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule, and click here for on-demand PBR programming.
ABOUT THE OKLAHOMA FREEDOM: The Oklahoma Freedom are based at Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, joining team tenants including the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, and their G League affiliate Oklahoma City Blue, where the team will hold its inaugural Oklahoma Freedom Fest homestand September 16-18, 2022, the 8th regular season event of the 10-event PBR Team Series 2022 regular season. The Freedom are coached by Oklahoma native Cord McCoy, a former bull rider and four-time qualifier for PBR World Finals. Under the leadership of General Manager Brandon Bates, the team is operated by Prodigal, a full-service sports and entertainment agency based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The senior staff at Prodigal has more than 100 years of experience managing sport and entertainment events and teams. PBR and Prodigal have a longstanding relationship dating to 2007, partnering annually on Unleash The Beast events in the Sooner State.
ABOUT THE PBR (PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS) TEAM SERIES: The PBR Team Series is an elite new league that will feature the world’s top bull riders competing on teams in five-on-five bull riding games during an 11-event season beginning in July and culminating in a team championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas November 4-6. During the 2022 season, each of the eight teams representing teams in Austin, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Glendale, AZ; Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; Oklahoma City, OK; Ridgedale, MO; and Winston-Salem, NC will host a three-day homestand. There will also be neutral site games in Cheyenne, WY and Anaheim, CA. To determine team rosters, the league held a rider draft on May 23 prior to start of the 2022 season among any bull riders who have declared for the draft during a league eligibility window. The PBR Team Series builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. Events will be staged in a tournament-style format with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game will feature five riders per team squaring off against another team. Full team rosters will be comprised of seven riders on the core roster and three practice squad members. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders will be declared the winner of each game. The event winner will be the team with the most game wins across an event, with a special bonus round designed as a tie-breaker to determine final event standings. All PBR Team Series events will be carried on either the CBS Television Network, streaming live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, or RidePass on Pluto TV.