Daylon Swearingen Believes in Helmets

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By Kacie Albert; photos from Championship Saturday Feb. 19, courtesy Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media

ST. LOUIS – On February 12, 2022 in Oklahoma City, Daylon Swearingen(Piffard, New York) was carried off the dirt on a backboard. The next weekend, February 19, 2022 in St. Louis, he stood atop the Can-Am Cage holding the buckle presented to the event winner.

Just one week after being involved in a vicious wreck that left his helmet shattered, the 22-year-old was back to his winning ways as the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast returned to St. Louis, Missouri. Compliments of a championship round 90-point ride on Saturday night, Swearingen won the PBR TicketSmarter Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, surging to No. 2 in the world and inching within 61.34 points of the No. 1 rank in the race for the 2022 PBR World Championship.

As action got underway on Friday evening February 18th inside Enterprise Center, Swearingen was unrivaled, winning Round 1 after making the 8 aboard Hurts So Good(Cord McCoy/David Wolfe) for 89.75 points. Swearingen, however, was not able to continue his momentum in Round 2, brought down by Sky Harbor(Wilks Ranch/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) in 5.03 seconds.

With the fifth pick in the championship round bull draft, Swearingen chose deep, opting to go head-to-head with YETI PBR World Champion Bull contender WSM’s Jive Turkey(WSM Auctioneers/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger). Poised, Swearingen erupted from the bucking chute, matching WSM’s Jive Turkey jump-for-jump for a monstrous 90 points. The 90-point ride clinched Swearingen’s first Unleash The Beast win of the season.

But Swearingen would not have been able to accomplish this feat had he not been wearing a helmet when he had his crash the previous weekend. “I am definitely thankful for wearing a helmet,” he said. He had had a vicious buckoff against Vanilla Ice in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Swearingen had to be backboarded out of the arena and was eventually diagnosed with a concussion, but he avoided a possible skull fracture or further injury.

“I am definitely thankful,” Swearingen said. “Everybody coming up should wear a helmet. Ever since I was really young, my mom put helmets on my brother and me when we were riding sheep. It looked ridiculous with us getting on with bike helmets, but I am glad it became normal.”

Swearingen did not realize how bad his injury appeared until he watched his wreck on TikTok on Sunday evening. “When I saw the video, it didn’t even really look that bad from the angle I first saw,” Swearingen said. “I didn’t even think I got stepped on, and then I saw a video that was sent to me of a different angle and realized I definitely got stepped on.”

Swearingen’s helmet was shattered during the buckoff, but that is not out of the ordinary, he explained.

“The way 100X makes the helmets, it is supposed to break like that once it takes a big hit,” Swearingen said. “If it didn’t break, it would absorb all the pressure. When it broke, it relieves it.”

Swearingen proudly wore another new 100x helmet on Friday night, and he won’t be worried about what happened a week ago in Oklahoma City. “I’m thankful for my helmet, Dr. Tandy, and our entire sports medicine team,” Swearingen concluded.

Following are the top five from the PBR Unleash The Beast, St. Louis, February 19, 2022:
1. Daylon Swearingen, 89.75-0-90-179.75-137 Points.
2. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 89.25-0-89.75-179.00-85 Points.
3. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 89.5-0-87.5-177.00-71 Points.
4. Luciano De Castro, 88.5-86.75-0-175.25-53 Points.
5. Jose Vitor Leme, 86.75-88.25-0-175.00-47 Points.

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