Five hundred bull rides back, Guilherme Marchi was new to the United States and new to the Professional Bull Riders (PBR). In September of 2004, the young Brazilian covered a bull named Arizona in Laughin, Nevada to post his first career ride in the PBR.
A decade later, and appropriately in Arizona, the 2008 World Champion bull rider nodded his head aboard Pandora's Pyxis (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls) as the final rider of the night in the opening round of the Bass Pro Shops Chute-Out in Phoenix. The cowboy who has finished as the Reserve World Champ on four occasions gutted out another qualified ride, his 500th in a phenomenal career.
“I’m just happy for everything,” Marchi told PBR.com, “this 500 bull here and my career here in the United States.”
With the score of 84 points, Marchi crossed a huge milestone; he is the first rider in the PBR's 21 year history to reach 500 career rides. Marchi was competing in his 277 career Built Ford Tough Series event and has an astounding 60% riding average in his career. Along the way, Marchi has won $4.5 million riding bulls.
“Every time I get on the bull I enjoy it,” he said. “Each bull I get on, each bull I ride, you guys say, I give it my blood and my determination for riding those bulls.”
Marchi is far from a guy nearing the twilight of his career. In fact, he came to Phoenix ranked first in the World standings and is riding 59% of the bulls he has boarded this season. He has finished in the top seven at the last nine events in which he has competed.
It was definitely his night in Phoenix, although he finished ninth in the round. Fellow Brazilian Valdiron de Oliveira continued his comeback from injuries, winning the round with 87.75 points on C Note from Jeff Robinson / Triple C Bucking Bulls. de Oliveira is ranked fourth in the World standings.
2010 World Champion Renato Nunes was second with 87.50 points on Kiss Animalize. Nunes is actually competing as an alternate here as he had dropped from the top 30 in the standings. As the first rider out, Nunes took a hard knock when his first bull, Ironhide, fell with him. The Champion capitalized on his re-ride and stands a great chance to move back into the top 30.
Marco Eguchi was third, giving the Brazilian riders the top three spots. Eguchi was 86.75 points on Ranga (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls / B & M Bucking Bulls, Inc.) to edge reigning PBR World Champ J.B. Mauney. Mauney was 86.50 points on Duck Butter (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls).
The second round and Championship Rounds will both be held during the Sunday afternoon performance, March 9, 2014.