Introducing the Oklahoma Freedom Team, PBR Team Series
By Tucker Harris EVENTS AND MARKETING COORDINATOR
On May 23, 2022—the day after the Professional Bull Riding World Finals—the PBR Oklahoma Freedom Team drafted their five core team members from a pool of 267 riders. Under Head Coach, Stock Contractor and former professional bull rider Cord McCoy, the Oklahoma Freedom team has since been built out to 12 team members.
The PBR Team Series is a new elite professional league featuring the world’s top bull riders. Oklahoma Freedom is one of the eight professional teams that will compete in 10 regular season events throughout the season, leading up to the PBR Team Series World Championship in Las Vegas this November.
McCoy is looking forward to bringing his star-studded team to the 11th Annual Big Sky PBR. At the inaugural PBR Team Series draft, McCoy helped pick his starting five riders: Team Captain Eli Vastbinder; Derek Kolbaba, Chase Outlaw, Briggs Madsen and Caden Bunch.
“To start, we wanted a captain; we wanted a leader,” McCoy said of Vastbinder and the draft. “He’s been
in the top 10 in the world standings the past two years in a row and he’s a very versatile rider… he fit the mold of what we wanted.”
In addition to the starting five, McCoy has added two-time PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood via the PBR Teams Supplemental draft. Veteran Trevor Kastner and younger riders Shawn Bennett Jr., Deklan Garland, Kyle McDaniel, Casey Roberts, and Dawson Branton were added through free agency to round out their practice roster.
McCoy is joined by 2009 PBR World Champion, Kody Lostroch as the assistant coach for Oklahoma Freedom.
“In my opinion, Kody is one of the best ever,” McCoy said. “His mindset, his knowledge… he’s going to be my righthand man.”
The PBR Teams Series hopes to build stronger rider passion and competition in a dynamic atmosphere that draws in more fans.
“It’s already been pretty neat to watch these guys bond together as brothers, fighting for the same cause,” McCoy said. “To have the rest of the guys genuinely cheering for them to win; you’re not just riding for yourself… there’s a whole team helping you reach eight seconds, and I think maybe that helps the drive of these guys.”
McCoy is bringing the Oklahoma Freedom team to the Big Sky PBR, but the riders will be competing individually on some of the toughest bulls in the world. McCoy suspects that the team will still be rooting for each other even when not competing together as Oklahoma Freedom.
“I think people are excited about coming to Big Sky more than ever before this year,” McCoy said.
Oklahoma Freedom’s first official matchup will kick off following the Big Sky PBR on July 25 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Learn more about Oklahoma Freedom at pbr.com/teams/freedom.