SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Kaique Pacheco wasn’t sure what to expect last year when all of these video cameras began following him around at select Built Ford Tough Series events.
He also was baffled why producers, researchers and other strangers were continuously texting and calling him in hopes of setting up an interview here and there.
Pacheco was still only 20 years old. He was just beginning to compete on the BFTS for the first time in his career and had only moved to the United States a year earlier.
He was here to win a gold buckle and a World Championship.
Being a celebrity was the last thing on his mind.
Pacheco figured the Netflix documentary series, “Fearless,” would focus more about the World Champions he always looked up to – Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves, 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi and 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes.
They were the Brazilian stars of the PBR, not him.
Pacheco was still an unknown to PBR fans in the United States. He was the talented rookie from Itatiba, Brazil, that nine-time World Champion Ty Murray compared to Chris Shivers early on during the 2015 season.
For the most part, though, Pacheco kept quiet and let his riding do the talking.
The problem was, his riding was doing plenty of talking and the producers of Netflix fell in love with this quiet kid from Brazil, and his pursuit of his bull riding dream.
“I didn’t know it was going to be a big deal,” Pacheco said earlier this month with the help of Robson Palermo translating. “But when I hear about it and watched it a little bit, I like it. It is good.”
Fans can watch the six-episode series exclusively on Netflix.
A large portion of the series follows Pacheco during his first full season on the PBR and it is quickly evident that Pacheco has come to the United States with one goal in mind – become a World Champion.
Pacheco was first viewed as a quiet and stoic young man when he first arrived on the BFTS. During the documentary series, it is quickly evident he is an innocent kid trying to pursue his lifelong dream.
His mother, Giovana, talks about how her son used to be an avid drawer and how she had hoped for him to become an artist one day. Kaique would draw/paint pictures of cattle, nature and other animals.
“Yeah, I used to when I was young,” Kaique said before shrugging his shoulders and laughing. “I was about 9 or 10 years old and I used to draw, paint and all of this stuff. I didn’t proceed in this career.”
The only art Pacheco has made is graceful elegance and beauty on top of a 2,000-pound bucking bull.
“I think that this is my gift,” Pacheco said during the documentary. “I was born to ride bulls. And I’m making my dream come true. It is important to me because it’s what I learned to do and what I love to do. I had to leave my family to make my dreams come true, which is being here.”
He may have come up just short of his pursuit of a World Championship in 2015, but the owner of the best rookie season in PBR history has put to rest any possibility of a sophomore slump in 2016.
Pacheco won Last Cowboy Standing to take over the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in his career in May and he is right in the thick of the 2016 championship race with seven Built Ford Tough Series regular-season events remaining until the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals in November.
He is currently second in the world standings and is 19.67 points behind world leader Cooper Davis heading into this weekend’s PFIWestern.com Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops.
Pacheco is 34-for-67 and is third in the PBR with a 50.75 percent riding percentage. He is slated to face Swamp Wreck in Round 1 on Friday night (8:30 p.m. ET PBR LIVE) and Smooth Operator during the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night. Fans can catch the 15/15 Sunday on CBS national television at either 3 or 5 p.m. ET depending on the market.
Smooth Operator has bucked off Pacheco two times last year within 3 seconds.
Now that a larger audience has been able to learn about Pacheco through Netflix, Pacheco says he hasn’t noticed any further distractions as he tries to finish what he failed to do last season.
“To me it is normal,” Pacheco said. “It is normal to me. I have to learn more English for me to talk to people and explain myself, but it is good.”
Pacheco, as well as the majority of the riders featured in Netflix, echoed his pleasure with the documentary giving fans in a Brazil a glimpse of their life in America.
He added that the hard part for him was not adjusting to the PBR’s bovine athletes, but rather living in foreign country.
“In Brazil, the bull riders are not popular like here and the people do not see us like those in the U.S. see,” Pacheco said. “That way we get more respect and help the sport grow more over there to. For here, it is good to for people to see what else we do when we come here and what we do to be here and ride bulls.
“Now people understand a little bit more how hard it is for us to come to the U.S. and stay and ride bull here. It is not just riding bulls, it is more the communication and the moving around to go someplace. You want to do something, but you can’t because of the English. I can’t speak it and I am far away from my family.
“It is hard, but it has paid off.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Fearless is available to stream now for Netflix subscribers.
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