Walla Walla’s own Derek Kolbaba is headed to the 2022 PBR World Finals

Derek Kolbaba - Walla Walla
Courtesy: PBR
Derek Kolbaba

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Roughly half of the hopefuls competing in the 2022 Professional Bull Riders World Finals are coming from the United States, but only one is representing Washington state: Derek Kolbaba of Walla Walla.

An esteemed competitor with a history of success in PBR events, Kolbaba is one of 40 participants heading to Forth Worth, TX for the Finals from May 13 to 22. At the time of this publishing, Kolbaba is the 11th-ranked rider in the world with 439.16 points through 22 events.

Though he hasn’t won an event outright this year, the Walla Walla native is keeping up with the competition and continuing to put Southeastern Washington on the map.

NOVEMBER 2020: Southeast Washington native wows crowd, places 7th at PBR World Finals

Kolbaba has etched his name into the PBR record books, currently standing at 25th on the all-time earnings chart with a sum of $1,587,924.89. Of that sum, $74,046.41 has come in the 2022 session alone.

During the 2021 session, Kolbaba won two events: The WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi and the Kalispell Automotive Group PBR. So far in 2022, he placed second on two occasions: the PBR Pluto TV Invitational and the PBR Wrangler Invitational.

At the 2022 World finals, competitors will partake in eight rounds of events in which riders earn ‘world points.’ The top-ranked rider will be crowned with 2022 PBR World Champion, receiving the golden buckle and a $1 million bonus. Furthermore, the rider with the most points by the end of the session will earn the PBR World Finals event title and $300,000.

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