DENVER – Guilherme Marchi knows how Kaique Pacheco is feeling this year in many ways.
Marchi finished runner-up in the world title race three consecutive seasons (2005-2007) before eventually winning his 2008 gold buckle.
“For me, it motivated me to getting better and better,” Marchi said of his initial World Championship shortcomings. “I had more dedication to get on bulls and thought about the bull riding more. It is good for him to get his motivation and be successful.”
Pacheco is trying to win his first World Championship this season after finishing runner-up in his first two years on American soil.
Things didn’t go his way at the Monster Energy Buck Off Garden last weekend in New York, but Pacheco rebounded with authority in Denver this week at the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event.
Pacheco (3-for-3) capped off his Velocity Tour victory Wednesday with a 91-point ride on Jack Shot.
“I am very happy I had a good draw and good bulls,” Pacheco said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “I rode all of my bulls here. I have been consistently strong. I bucked off two bulls to start the year, but it is no problem. I fixed the small things. I am very happy because I have more confidence to ride all of the bulls.”
Pacheco earned 80 points toward the world standings with the victory and a $28,967.55 payday. He is sixth in the world standings.
Jake Gowdy (2-for-3, 175 points) Kurt Shephard (2-for-3, 174 points), Chase Robbins (2-for-3, 172 points) and Sean Willingham (2-for-3, 171.5 points) rounded out the Top 5 in Denver.
Not only did Pacheco win two of the three rounds in Denver, but he also rode $5,000 bonus bull Mad Money for 89 points on Monday. Pacheco rode High Razor for 85.5 points in Round 2 two days after winning Round 1 with an 87.5-point ride aboard Insane Hurricane.
Pacheco is 9-for-9 with two Velocity Tour event victories this year.
The 22-year-old said that his emotions have remained even-keeled since bucking off against Slinger Jr., who he faces this weekend in the Chicago Invitational 15/15 Bucking Battle, on the final day of the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
“All the time my confidence is strong,” Pacheco said. “I just keep working toward my dream.”
Pacheco may say his confidence is the same and that he isn’t more motivated than he was the past two seasons, but Pacheco had a fierce, determination in Denver after all four of his rides.
Alves said Pacheco appears to have a greater focus in 2017 than his first two seasons despite bucking off two of his three bulls last weekend at the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden.
“Yes, he is a little more confident,” Alves said. “The last two years, he was in good position. His mentality is good. Right now, he is not nervous. He is stronger. He is more focused to ride his bulls. He is very determined for his bull. He wants to finish all of these bulls. There is no nerves. He is relaxed.”
Pacheco said he didn’t feel the need to change anything after two second-place finishes in the world standings.
“I did not change nothing,” Pacheco said. “I have kept doing the same thing. My strategy is all the same. God will tell me when my time is.”
Pacheco did admit the only small change he has made this year is with his workout routine. During the week, Pacheco is putting a greater emphasis on his core strength in 2017.
Marchi said that he learned during his runner-up performances that sometimes a rider isn’t ready to be a World Champion when they think they are.
You get stronger through every heartbreaking defeat. It isn’t easy, but the gold buckle at the end of the road can erase all the pain and suffering.
“God prepares you for your moment,” he said. “It never, ever happens when we think it is time. Sometimes we think we are ready, but we are not ready.”
With a smile, Marchi added, “Sometimes we need a little luck too.”
Marchi agreed with Alves that Pacheco appears to be riding with an increasing focus in 2017.
“Kaique has ridden so good since last year,” he said. “Every year, he is growing more. He is getting stronger and stronger. I am so proud of this kid. He is not only a good bull rider, but an awesome person.”
Marchi is confident that Pacheco’s time is quickly coming, and there will be more than one gold buckle in his future.
“He focuses to be a champion,” Marchi concluded. “He is going to complete his dream. I hope it is this year. He is one of the best bull riders we have on the tour. He is going to make his career here in the United States.
“He is not going to be a champion one time. He is going to be a champion a couple times.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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