KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Silvano Alves had told Guilherme Marchi earlier on Oct. 26 that he thought he would be able to ride 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid during the final round of the Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Marchi recalls Alves’ saying, ‘I am ready for him today. It is going to be good proof today if I ride that bull.”
Regardless, the 2008 World Champion still wasn’t as sure as the championship round continued to slowly pass by.
Could Alves finally conquer a bull that had historically handled him in four previous encounters?
Marchi became a believer once he pulled Alves rope and glanced into the bucking chute and into his friend’s eyes.
“I saw in his eyes that he had the confidence this time – in that moment – and I knew he was ready to get on that bull. He knew if he was going to ride that bull he was going to win the title and when I pulled that rope I saw the confidence that he had.”
Sure enough, Alves made history moments later when he conquered Asteroid for 87.25 points to clinch his PBR record-tying third World Championship and first career World Finals event average title by finishing the week 6-for-6.
The ride, which came during their third showdown of 2014, also ended Asteroid’s career-high streak of 30 consecutive buckoffs on the Built Ford Tough Series.
It also made Alves, who begins this weekend’s Caterpillar Classic second in the world standings, the richest bull rider ($5,266,273.59) in Western sports history.
“Yeah it is one of my favorite rides,” Alves said earlier this month. “He bucked me off four times and I rode him one time. I am very happy for the one ride because the ride made me the World Champion and the champion of the World Finals.”
Marchi said, “He rode him and the bull came out kind of strong in the first couple of jumps and changed directions and kind of tried to push him to the front a little bit and everybody saw the confidence he had and he got back to the center again and he rode that bull.”
Asteroid was only marked 42.25 points, but Marchi said that the ride has to go down as a historic one for Alves legacy because of the situation.
“Yes, because the kind of moment he had,” Marchi said. “He knew if he covered that bull he would win the Finals. That bull made him ride strong and work for it.”
There was also the mind block that Alves had to overcome before nodding his head. In the four previous outs, Alves averaged only 3.23 seconds on the Circle T Ranch & Rodeo bovine star. However, he had nearly ridden the bull in Colorado Springs five months earlier during the Rumble in the Rockies when he made it until the 7-second mark.
“I remember the first time he bucked me off, the second time, the third time and the fourth time,” Alves said. “All of the (buckoffs), my position was no good and Asteroid was better than me.”
Alves is tied with J.B. Mauney for the rider with the most BFTS outs (5) against Asteroid. Both have the honor of being two of the four riders that have made 8 seconds aboard him. Elton Cide was given 76 points in Des Moines, Iowa, in May 2011 during Asteroid’s BFTS debut and Fabiano Vieira rode him three months later for 87 points in Billings, Montana.
Valdiron de Oliveira said he always enjoyed watching Alves and Asteroid collide. He believes the best out of Asteroid’s career came when Asteroid smoked Alves in 1.81 seconds in Sacramento, California, in 2012 for a bull score of 47.5 points.
“Silvano and Asteroid are two of the best in the world,” Oliveira said. “Silvano is a three-time champion and the best rider in the world. I have a lot of respect for Asteroid. Asteroid knows how to buck and to buckoff Silvano.
“When I saw him face Silvano in (Sacramento), oh man, that was the best he ever bucked,” Oliveira said.
Asteroid is set to buck for the last time of his four-year BFTS career on Feb. 28 during the second round of the Choctaw Casino Resort Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki Strong.
Alves said he is proud of the bull’s accomplishments during his career, and he credited Jeff Talley of Circle T Ranch & Rodeo, as well as stock contractor Gene Melton, for bringing such a talented bull to the BFTS.
“I am very, very happy for the bull, Circle T Ranch and Gene,” Alves said. “Asteroid is a great bull. He is one of the best bulls in the world.”
Would he want to get on him one more time?
“Maybe,” Alves concluded.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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