World title race thickens: Five riders separated by 577 points

Eduardo Aparecido rides Burn It Down to help secure his third place finish. Photo: Andy Watson /


  • Eduardo Aparecido finishes in third in Colorado and earns 280 world points to help expand his lead on No. 2 Kaique Pacheco.
  • Derek Kolbaba earns his second consecutive win which propels him into No. 3 and closes the gap on No. 1 Aparecido to just 452.5 points.
  • Kolbaba secured his win with a career-high 93-point ride on 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Here are three things we learned from the Rumble in the Rockies in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this weekend at the Broadmoor World Arena.

World title race thickens: Five riders separated by 577 points (10-1-17)

World leader Eduardo Aparecido bounced back from a Round 2 buckoff against Lifting Lives (4.87 seconds) to ride Burn It Down for 88.5 points during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Sunday afternoon.

The ride propelled Aparecido to a second consecutive third-place finish and the 280 world points he earned helped him extend his world lead on No. 2 Kaique Pacheco to 365 points.

There are three Built Ford Tough Series regular-season events remaining until the 2017 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 1-5.

Aparecido was previously bucked off by Burn It Down in 6.21 seconds last month in Springfield, Missouri.

“I was preparing and worried about Lifting Lives,” Aparecido said with the help of Miriaham Garcia translating. “Last time, I tried to get on him and he bucked me off. Unfortunately, it happened again.

“I knew about Burn It Down and what he was going to do,” Aparecido later added. “Last time, I put my rope to high on him, so this time I made sure I was a little lower on him and would have a better chance at covering him.”

Pacheco was able to ride Hy Test for 86 points in Round 2 after having been bucked off by Milky Jones (3.2 seconds) in Round 1, but he was then bounced by Jack Shot in 7.65 seconds during the championship round.

The 2015 Rookie of the Year finished in 11th place.

Aparecido may have increased his lead on Pacheco, but Derek Kolbaba emphatically parked himself on Aparecido’s doorstep in the title race.

Kolbaba’s second consecutive win, which was highlighted by a monster and career-high 93-point ride on 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser, has the world title contender up to third in the world standings.

“That is an awesome bull and I knew if I could keep my hips down and feet underneath me he would ride pretty nicely,” Kolbaba said. “That is exactly how it went this weekend.”

Kolbaba had previously ridden Bruiser for 92 points for the event victory in Oklahoma City.

The 21-year-old began his Colorado Springs weekend with 87.5 points on Hot Haberno. The Walla Walla, Washington, native then conquered Too Smooth for 85.75 points in Round 2 on Sunday before his heroics on Bruiser.

Overall, Kolbaba walked away with 602.5 points toward the world standings.

Kolbaba has earned 1,237.5 world points in two weeks to erase a 1,280-point deficit in the world standings to 452.5.

He has ridden a career-high six bulls in a row and has won a career-best four events.

Meanwhile, No. 4 Jess Lockwood, who is injured with broken ribs, and No. 5 Cooper Davis are still within a stone’s throw of the No. 1 world ranking.

Lockwood is 495 points behind Aparecido, while Davis dropped 576.67 points behind the Brazilian world leader after going 1-for-3 in Colorado Springs.

Bruiser and Pearl Harbor remain tied in the World Champion Bull race

World Champion Bull contenders SweetPro’s Bruiser and Pearl Harbor both played a significant factor in the rider side of the world title race on Sunday afternoon, but neither bull was able to break the tie atop the World Champion Bull standings.

Bruiser was marked 45.75 points for his event-winning trip with Kolbaba and needed a 46-point bull score or higher to increase his World Champion Bull average (46.28).

Dillon Page of D&H Cattle Company said it is always nice being a part of a rider’s winning weekend.

“Well, I thought he bucked and he just got rode,” Page said. “I am one of those guys that likes to see them ride. That is what sells tickets to all of these deals. I don’t know. I like to throw guys off, but when my bull does his job and that guy gives it his best, that is the best scenario.”

Bruiser has been ridden four times this season for an average of 93.63 points.

Page added that the 2016 World Champion Bull looked good despite having six inches of his horn cut off on Monday because of an infection.

“He looked good,” Page said. “I thought he could have been 46 – 46.5.”

Meanwhile, Pearl Harbor continued to be a pest to bull riders.

Pearl Harbor bucked off Davis in 3.21 seconds during the championship round after Davis struggled to get comfortable inside the bucking chute aboard the black and white bull.

The 6-year-old bull was unable to increase his World Champion Bull average (46.28) despite bucking off the World Champion in his first out after missing a month because of a horn infection.

Pearl Harbor was marked 45.25 points for the buckoff and needed a score of 45.75 points or higher to increase his World Champion average.

A bull’s World Champion Bull average is based on a bull’s top eight BFTS outs.

Wing wins Round 2; but loses some ground in the world title race

Stormy Wing was able to win his eighth BFTS round of the season when he rode Udder Lover for 88.75 points in Round 2 on Sunday afternoon.  

“I just kept thinking keep moving,” Wing said. “Keep moving. He was bucking. He started away from my hand and kind of hit one spot and about whipped my feet behind me. I stuck them back down and did my job.”

Wing went into the championship round in second place after also having ridden Flight Plan for 83 points in Round 1.

However, Wing was unable to ride Mudshark as he was bucked off at the 1.66-second mark during the bovine athlete’s first big jump out of the chute.  

The buckoff hurt Wing’s chances of taking a stab out of Aparecido’s world lead, and the Dalhart, Texas, native finished fourth in the event – 75 points behind Aparecido.

World No. 6 Chase Outlaw placed second in Round 2 with 87.5 points on Mar-A-Lago for his only ride of the weekend.

Outlaw was bucked off by Bad Beagle in 2.82 seconds and finished in eighth place.

The Hamburg, Arkansas, bull rider trails Aparecido by 1,275.84 points.

Aparecido increases world lead with 86.25-point ride on Who Dey (9-30-17)

Eduardo Aparecido may not always be at the front and center of the World Championship conversation, but the current world No. 1 bull rider is continuing to make a forceful charge at the ultimate $1 million prize in professional bull riding.

Aparecido rode Who Dey for 86.25 points and a third-place finish in Round 1 in front of a sell-out crowd.

“This was a real good bull to the left,” Aparecido said. “Silvano got on this bull last year and I knew he was good. I am very happy to ride this bull.”

The ride notched Aparecido 50 points toward the world standings a week after he regained the world No. 1 ranking from Kaique Pacheco in Uniondale, New York.

Pacheco was ruled to have slapped Milky Jones at the 3.2-second mark in Round 1, and Aparecido was able to increase his lead to 180 points on Pacheco as a result.

Aparecido also leads No. 3 Jess Lockwood, who is not competing because of broken ribs, by 265 points.

No. 4 Cooper Davis was bucked off by Rebel Yell in 2.94 seconds during a re-ride attempt on the final ride of the night, and Davis now trails Aparecido by 374.17 points.

Aparecido is trying to not get too stressed out or nervous about the world title race, which is a tightly contested battle with five riders separated by less than 750 points.

The 27-year-old found an escape from bull riding during the week in Decatur, Texas, by team roping with his best friend Emilio Resende and some other buddies at Roy Cooper’s ranch.

“I have been team roping three days a week with Fabiano (Vieira) and Emilio (Resende),” Aparecido said. “This is good for my mind. Team roping is relaxing. It is very good for me.”

Aparecido has drawn Lifting Lives (18-2, BFTS) for Round 2 on Championship Sunday. Lifting Lives has bucked off Aparecido in both of their prior meetings.

Derek Kolbaba continues to gain ground in title race; Vieira bounces back with authority

Derek Kolbaba was on a hot streak in Uniondale last weekend when he went 3-for-3 for his third event win of 2017.

In Colorado Springs, Kolbaba upped his heat level to habanero hot.

Kolbaba rode Hot Habaerno for 87.5 points to split the Round 1 victory with Fabiano Vieira (87.5 points on Sir Mix A Lot) for 80 world points.

The No. 5 man in the world standings was able to escape serious injury when he took shot from the bull on his get off.

“Just trying to sell some tickets,” Kolbaba joked. “Shoot, he was a great little bull right around the left. He had a little suck back to him and I just had to bow that chest and it worked out.”

Kolbaba has now ridden four consecutive bulls after beginning the second-half 1-for-17.

He trails Aparecido by 745 points in the world standings.

“Any time you can start stringing them together it keeps heating that fire,” Kolbaba said. “That is the game plan. Keeping going after it one bull at a time.”

Kolbaba has drawn Too Smooth (7-1, BFTS) for Round 2.

Meanwhile, Vieira returned from a broken jaw/dislocated left shoulder with authority in Round 1.

Vieira was competing in his first event since getting knocked out and sustaining those injuries in Thackerville, Oklahoma, on Sept. 3 when What the Heck bucked him off in 5.62 seconds.

The 35-year-old looked great in Colorado Springs aboard Sir Mix A Lot, but admitted following the ride that his shoulder was still pretty sore.

“I am sore,” Vieira said as he readjusted a fresh ice pack. “I haven’t been on a bull in a month. No practice bulls. Nothing.”

The broken jaw forced Vieira to have only a liquid diet for the first week of his recovery. He finally had some wires removed from his jaw on Friday before coming to Colorado Springs.

“I took my wires off yesterday,” Vieira said. “I had to eat only shakes for a week. It was very hard. I eat rice, beans and steak every day (normally).”

Vieira is seventh in the world standings and still in contention for the 2017 world title. The Perola, Brazil, bull rider is 1,741.67 points behind Aparecido.

He has drawn Joe Blow (13-0, BFTS) for Round 2. Joe Blow bucked off Vieira in 2.67 seconds in Glendale, Arizona, earlier this season.

“I have a strong bull for tomorrow,” Vieira concluded. “I am a little sore, but I thank God for helping me all the time.”

Sonny Schafferius closing back in on Top 35 ranking

Sonny Schafferius knows time is running out if he wants to earn his first trip to the World Finals later this year.

Therefore, when he got the late call on Thursday afternoon that he was an alternate for the Rumble in the Rockies the 28-year-old was quick to accept.

Schafferius did more than accept the offer, though. He capitalized on it.

The Dysart, Australia, bull rider rode American Gangster for 86 points and a fourth-place finish.

Schafferius earned 40 world points, and the No. 45 ranked rider in the world trails the Top 35 by 100 points.

“I had to get something done sooner or later,” Schafferius said. “It is good to get that monkey off my back and get my first one. I didn’t go to Austin because I felt I wasn’t riding good, so I went to a couple of Velocity’s before this.”

The ride was Schafferius’s first of his BFTS career.

Schafferius will look to make it two in a row on Sunday when he takes on Reaper (1-1, BFTS).

Alex Marcilio moved into the crucial No. 35 world ranking by placing seventh in Round 1 with 85 points aboard Beast of Burden.

Marcilio only earned five world points, but the 29-year-old was able to move 3.35 points ahead of Cody Campbell for the final guaranteed spot.

The No. 1 rider in the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour standings and will face Red Bandana in Round 2. Red Bandana bucked him off in 6.35 seconds in Billings, Montana.

Schafferius and Marcilio were the only two riders outside of the Top 35 to earn qualified rides in Round 1.

There were a total of 11 rides Saturday night. 


PUEBLO, Colo. – It has been four weeks since Fabiano Vieira had to be transported to the hospital in Thackerville, Oklahoma, but the 35-year-old still believes there is time to be the latest rider to jump into the jumbled world title race.

RELATED: Click HERE for the complete Saturday daysheet.

The No. 7 bull rider in the world standings is returning to competition this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado, after missing the last three weeks because of a broken jaw and dislocated left shoulder.

“I’m feeling very good,” Vieira said via text message. “I am going to try this week.”

Vieira heads into Saturday night’s Rumble in the Rockies only 1,771.67 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido.

Any rider within 2,000 points at the beginning of the World Finals historically has a chance at winning the world title.

The Perola, Brazil, bull rider added he was “aware” that there was still plenty of time left in the season before a World Champion is crowned.

There are three regular-season events remaining after this weekend before the 2017 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 1-5 in Las Vegas.

Vieira has drawn Sir Mix A Lot (2-1, BFTS) for Round 1 at the Broadmoor World Arena.

The six-time PBR World Finals qualifier has been plagued by shoulder injuries since 2014 and has refused to get surgery. Vieira spent the last three weeks rehabbing his shoulder at Fit-N-Wise Rehabilitation and Performance Center in Decatur, Texas.

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Fans can catch all of the action from Colorado Springs exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

World leader Aparecido will attempt to extend his lead atop the world standings when he squares off against Who Dey (1-0, BFTS)

No. 2 Kaique Pacheco and No. 4 Cooper Davis could easily leave Colorado Springs as the new world No. 1 if Aparecido stubs his toe.

Pacheco trails Aparecido by 130 points and will face Milky Jones (14-3, BFTS) in Round 1.

Meanwhile, Davis – the reigning World Champion – sits 312.74 points out of the top ranking. Davis has drawn Garber’s Ghost (9-3, BFTS) for Saturday night.

No. 22 Ryan Dirteater is returning to competition after missing the last two events because of a right hip flexor strain, while No. 31 Troy Wilkinson is back after sitting out last weekend in Uniondale, New York, because of a duodenal hematoma.

No 3. Jess Lockwood (ribs/lung/kidney), No. 9 J.B. Mauney (reconstructive shoulder surgery), No. 10 Matt Triplett (shoulder), No. 15 Mason Lowe (elbow), No. 30 Koal Livingston (shoulder) and No. 34 Aaron Kleier (personal) are unable to compete.

The race at the bottom of standings to qualify for the World Finals may be even more intense compared to the one for the World Championship.  

Cody Campbell is one man on the hot seat in Colorado Springs. The 30-year-old is clinging to the critical No. 35 spot in in the world rankings.

The Summerville, Oregon, native leads No. 36 Alex Marcilio by an incredibly small 1.65 points in the world standings.

Campbell will take on Texas Tattoo (2-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

Marcilio is competing at the Broadmoor World Arena courtesy of his 3-for-3 victory last weekend at the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event in Portland, Maine.

The No. 1 ranked rider in the Velocity Tour was flawless in Portland with two 88-point rides, including one aboard Richard to win the event.

Marcilio had purposely turned down opportunities to compete at the BFTS the last two weeks so that he could try and earn points at the Velocity level.

After jumping seven spots in the world standings in two weeks, the Macaubal, Brazil, bull rider is arriving in Colorado Spring with some confidence.

Marcilio has ridden 60.47 percent (26-for-43) of his bulls at the Velocity level this season and would currently receive an automatic bid to the World Finals as the Velocity Tour champion if the season ended today.

He has drawn Beast of Burden (0-5, BFTS).

There are five more alternates competing in Colorado Springs: No. 37 Nathan Burtenshaw, No. 38 Cody Rodeo Tyler, No. 41 Lachlan Richardson, No. 43 Luis Blanco and No. 45 Skeeter Kingsolver

There is less than 105 points separating riders No. 35-45.

No. 39 Brock Radford (illness) and No. 40 J.W. Harris (back) had to turn down their alternate invites. No. 41 Kurt Shephard has elected to compete at the Hartford, Connecticut, Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event instead. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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