History was made during the Bass Pro Shops Chuteout, held March 8-9, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. World number one Guilherme Marchi matched wits with Pandora's Pyxis (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls) during Round 1; he came out on top for 84 points, not a big number that won a go round. But 500 is a huge number and the ride was the Brazilian rider's 500th career qualified ride on the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series, a milestone no other rider has reached during the PBR's 20 year history.
While Marchi stole the headlights on the opening night, there was plenty of action for the fans during the two-day event. From reigning champion J.B. Mauney's second win this season to 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes high flying return to the top of the leader board, here are some of the top moments of the event.
Marchi makes 500
Shown arriving at the PBR World Finals in 2013, Guilherme Marchi made his 500th career ride during Round 1 of the Bass Pro Shops Chute Out. He scored 84 points on Pandora's Pyxis in his 11th year on the Built Ford Tough Series.
Eguchi duels with Magic Train
Riding in the Championship Round, Marco Eguchi attempts to cover Magic Train of Jared Allen's Pro Bull Team. The bull won the match-up, tossing the #7 ranked bull rider to the ground while gathering an event high 45.75 points from the judges. The bull won the Salem National Lease High Marked Bull award.
de Oliveira wins Round 1
After struggling to comeback from several very serious injuries, former Reserve World Champ Valdiron de Oliveira cemented his return with a win in Round 1. The Brazilian rode C-Note from Jeff Robinson/Triple C Bucking Bulls for 87.75 points and earned $3,580.
Nunes stays on Tour with big ride
2010 PBR World Champion Renato Nunes came to Phoenix as an alternate having lost his position amongst the top 35. He quickly rectified that problem with a second place finish in Round 1. Nunes took a re-ride after his first bull fell on him and scored 87.50 points on KISS Animalize for $2,750.
Crisostomo hangs up
Claudio Crisostomo attempted a bull called No Regrets in Round 1 but the Brazilian rider surely had plenty of regrets after his spur hung in his bull rope as he was bucked off. Crisostomo was hung up for several scary moments, his body contorting awfully as the bull continued to buck and spin. Bullfighters were able to finally free him but he was unable to finish the event.
Stone Sober impresses
The bull power in the PBR seems to stay strong year in and year out. Bulls like Stone Sober (D&H Cattle Company/ Buck Cattle Company) show why--after finishing high in the aged events of the American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) events last year, the bull is working his way into the World Champion Bull conversation with strong showings like his 44 point effort against Emilio Resende in the Championship Round in Phoenix.
Gage Gay continues to impress
Very few people were talking about Gage Gay before the PBR's Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V. The rookie finished second there behind last year's Rookie of the Year, J.R. Vieira. Since then, Gay is proving he is no fluke. In Phoenix, the cowboy finished third in the second round and rode Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey in the Championship Round. Honey didn't perform and Gay was awarded a re-ride. Though he bucked off Jack Daniel's Winter Jack, he has moved to 13th in the PBR World standings and is the leading rookie of 2014.
Byrne rides his way on Tour
Canadian cowboy Tanner Byrne came to Phoenix in the same boat as Renato Nunes--needing a big win to get to stay on the Built Ford Tough Series where only the top 35 riders compete. Byrne got more than enough points after finishing second in the event. Byrne won fifth in the first two rounds and rode Compact (Summit Pro Rodeo/Greg Talbert) in the Championship Round for 88 points. The Canadian left Arizona with more than $20,000 in his pockets.
Tanner Byrne may be new to the Built Ford Tough Series but his brother Jesse is not. One of the four regular Dickies Bullfighters on Tour. In fact, Jesse stepped in to distract Compact after Tanner made the whistle in the Championship Round. Afterward, the brothers shared a celebratory moment, one that will no doubt be repeated often in the future . . . Tanner is now 20th in the PBR World standings.
de Oliveira makes eight, takes a scary fall
Valdiron de Oliveira made short work of Sue (Julio Moreno/B&E Bucking Bulls/JD Nix Rodeo Co.) in the Championship Round, earning 85.75 points. The Brazilian finished third in the average, earning about $18,000. His dismount, however, left much to be admired; he ended up under the bull but walked away unscathed.
Runyan to the rescue
Dickies Bullfighter Lyndal Runyan steps in to rescue Valdiron de Oliveira after the rider ends up under Sue in the Championship Round. Runyan was able to get de Oliveira to safety, saving all parties from injury.
Nunes' backflips are back
2010 PBR World Champ Renato Nunes showed his championship form in the Championship Round in Phoenix. Facing the unridden Jared Allen's H4WW Air Time, Nunes posted 92.50 points with a supreme effort against a very tough bull. Air Time was awarded 45.50 points, second best of the event. Nunes score is the best of the 2014 season thus far.
Nunes scores season high
With 92.50 points on Jared Allen's H4WW Air Time, Renato Nunes posted the highest marked ride of the 2014 season. The bull earned 45.50 points.
Mauney earned second win
J.B. Mauney scored 89.25 points on RMEF Team Elk in the Championship Round, good enough for second in the round and for his second event win of the season. Despite attending fewer events than the rest of the top ten, Mauney is sitting 6th in the PBR World standings on the strength of a third-best riding percentage of 56.67%. Mauney has won almost $200,000 already in 2014.