Rattlers Select World Champion Contender Joao Ricardo Vieira and Surging Rider Cody Jesus
ARLINGTON, Texas (May 24, 2022) – The Ariat Texas Rattlers made a landmark trade during the inaugural PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series Draft, presented by ZipRecruiter, to welcome World Champion contender Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) and surging rider Cody Jesus (Window Rock, Arizona) to the roster for Fort Worth’s first-ever professional bull riding team.
Among eight teams, the Ariat Texas Rattlers had the third pick in the first round of the draft for the new bull riding league that begins competition in late July.
While the Rattlers initially drafted 2022 PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) and Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) with their first two picks, they traded with the Carolina Cowboys for Vieira and Jesus, along with swapping draft picks in the third and fourth rounds of the Draft.
“This is everything that we wanted and more,” said Ariat Texas Rattlers General Manager Mark George. “We always wanted Joao Ricardo Vieira, but we felt like if we could make a move for Daylon and trade for what we wanted, we had to go for it. And this is just a celebration for us because we are sitting pretty.”
Big Expectations Ahead
“I am really excited about the Draft and the team we have,” said Ariat Texas Rattlers Head Coach Cody Lambert. “Seeing how good all the teams are really is impressive; this is going to be fun and good to watch. I would be very happy with Daylon on my team, but I was really excited for where he went, because he wanted to be on Jerome’s team, and Jerome wanted him, and with us having the third pick in the draft we really held the keys to that. I wanted Joao, and I didn’t know if it would work out, and then we get Cody Jesus who I didn’t think I could possibly get and so that was unbelievable for me. I am proud of the team we got together. We got Joao and we got young guys and guys just coming into the best part of their career like Brady Oleson; I expect huge things from him, and everyone else on the team.”
In 2022, Vieira nearly claimed his first PBR World Championship. However he fell just short of the gold buckle, concluding the season No. 3 in the world.
Vieira’s campaign, which nearly concluded with him becoming the oldest PBR World Champion in history, included three event wins, and a victory in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, along with six 90-point rides.
The Ariat Texas Rattlers also selected:
ROUND 2 (6th of the Round, 14th overall) – Vieira/Jesus (TRADE)
ROUND 3 (3rd of the Round, 19th overall) – Brady Oleson (Blackfoot, Idaho)
ROUND 4 (2nd of the Round, 26th overall) – Brady Fielder (Clermont, Queensland, Australia)
ROUND 5 (3rd of the Round, 35th overall) – JC Mortensen (Chino Valley, Arizona)
2022 PBR Team Series Draft was held at Texas Live! in Arlington, Texas, a day after the 2022 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast concluded at Dickies Arena in nearby Fort Worth.
The eight founding teams of the inaugural PBR Team Series – Austin Gamblers, Arizona Ridge Riders, Carolina Cowboys, Kansas City Outlaws, Missouri Thunder, Nashville Stampede, Oklahoma Freedom, and Texas Rattlers – participated an initial 5-round draft, beginning the process of selecting which riders will be competing on their respective teams when the season begins on July 25-26 at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
All PBR riders in good standing with the league were eligible for the 2022 PBR Team Series Draft as long as they declared by May 6, 2022. Riders who declared for fewer than 10 events are eligible for a two-round supplemental draft on June 2.
In tonight’s initial draft, teams were eligible to select up to five riders, unless they traded a draft pick. The June 2 supplemental draft, comprised of riders declaring availability for fewer than 10 regular season events (but no fewer than 5 regular season events), will help teams fill seven protected roster positions.
When they begin their 10-event regular season, culminating in a Teams Championship in Las Vegas November 4-6, teams will have ten riders in total, including 7 “Protected Roster” riders and 3 “Practice Squad” developmental riders.
The bull riding games that make up the 11-event season will feature five-on-five, head-to-head competition between two teams. Each regular season event day will feature all teams in a game.
The inaugural draft order was determined by a lottery held on Jan. 7 in New York City when the Ariat Texas Rattlers were awarded the third pick.
Prior to the lottery draw, the PBR issued Draft guidelines which specified the two PBR-owned teams (Carolina Cowboys and Oklahoma Freedom) would select in the last two positions in the draft order, and, further, that the draft would be conducted in a “snake” format in which the first team to select in Round 1 would receive the last pick in Round 2 (i.e., Pick 16), the first pick in Round 3 (i.e., Pick 17), and so forth.
The Ariat Texas Rattlers will host its inaugural homestand on Oct. 7-9 at Dickies Arena.
The bull riding action for Rattlers Days at Dickies Arena begins at 7:45 p.m. CDT on Friday, October 7, 6:45 p.m. CDT on Saturday, October 8, and 1:45 p.m. CDT on Sunday, October 9, times subject to change.
Tickets for the three-day event are on-sale now, and start at $20, taxes and fees not included. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, at the Dickies Arena Box Office, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
For more information about Texas Rattlers, visit https://pbr.com/teams/rattlers/, Texas Rattlers on Facebook, or @TexasRattlers_ on Instagram and Twitter.
About the Ariat Texas Rattlers:
Under the leadership of General Manager, Mark George the Texas Rattlers, coached by PBR co-founder Cody Lambert, are owned by the Fisher Family, founders of Gap Inc., one of the founding team owners for the launch of the PBR Team Series. Their team will be based in Fort Worth, Texas, competing at Dickies Arena for their inaugural Rattlers Days homestand on October 7-9, the 9th event of the league’s 10-event 2022 PBR Team Series regular season. For decades, the Fisher Family have made investments in footwear and apparel, real estate, and timberland and forest products, and education and sports, including ownership of the Oakland Athletics and San Jose Earthquakes. Through its Ariat brand, the official boot of PBR, the Fisher family have been longtime supporters of PBR. The family is actively involved with a number of philanthropic causes, including SFMOMA, The KIPP Foundation, and UCSF.