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Aragao is Aiming to Dance on the Big Stage in Chicago

By: Kristian Limas
January 12, 2017

Robson Aragao will get his first shot to dance on the BFTS since April of last year. Photo: Andre Silva

DENVER – The last time Robson Aragao danced on Built Ford Tough Series dirt was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last April. Since then, the gregarious Brazilian has been hard at work down on the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour.

He will get another shot at the big dance at this weekend’s Built Ford Tough Series Chicago Invitational, courtesy of his victory at least season’s Velocity Tour regular-season closer in Portland, Maine, and the man they call “Spiderman” is ready to get down.

“I feel good now to go back,” Aragao said. “I prepared this week and I didn’t ride good in the last two events, but I think I ride the best in Chicago.”

Aragao competed in the Denver Velocity Tour event at the National Western Stock Show where he was bucked off by Highjacker in 3.46 seconds in Round 1. He will also compete at the Touring Pro Division event in Pueblo, Colorado, Thursday before he leaves for Chicago to compete Friday night.

It’s a busy week for Aragao, but he feels getting some work in before his first BFTS event since April of last year is an important tune up.

Last season, Aragao went 1-for-2 in Chicago, riding Rock On for 78.25 points in Round 2. In total, he attended eight BFTS events where he went 7-for-24. His highest finish came in Anaheim, California, where he came in fifth after a 2-for-3 performance.

After being cut from the BFTS, he spent most of his time on the Velocity Tour, where he went 11-for-25 and finished 16th at the Velocity Tour Finals in Las Vegas.

Aragao hasn’t worried too much about how much time he’s spent away from the BFTS and has just focused on his own personal training. He trains alongside fellow Brazilian, and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, when he’s in the United States and says he dedicates himself to the gym the same way Marchi does.

“When I (wake) up, I go train,” Aragao said. “Me and Guilherme, I go to Guilherme’s place to train and go to the gym and practice on bulls.”

Like almost every other Brazilian bull rider in the United States, Aragao considers his friendship with fellow Brazilians like Marchi, Silvano Alves, Wallace de Olivieira and Kaique Pacheco as extremely important when competing in the U.S.

Aragao was part of the Brazilian contingent that travelled to the early season Velocity Tour events like New Town, North Dakota, and he can often be seen on the chutes helping his countrymen pull their bull ropes whether he is riding that night or not.

It’s a fraternity that is special to any Brazilian rider looking to make his name, and it’s something Aragao appreciates.

“A lot of the Brazilians travel together,” Aragao said. “When the Brazilians travel together it’s more fun because you can talk Portuguese and they’ll tell you, ‘Hey, you can do anything,’ and have a good conversation about your bulls. It makes you more focused and gives you more confidence.”

Whatever the level of competition, it’s not odd to see the Brazilian riders huddle up during events. Whether it’s helping in the chutes, looking up stats on a bull or looking for advice before a ride they always seem to have each other’s back.

That’s true in the Touring Pro Division, the Velocity Tour and the BFTS, which Aragao looks forward to with glee. Along with being another chance to shine on the biggest stage in bull riding, it’s another weekend to hang out with his friends and just ride bulls.

And Aragao does ride a lot of bulls. Last season, he attempted 80 bulls at all levels of competition, riding 27 of them for a 33.75% riding percentage. He doesn’t balk at his workload either, believing that getting on as many bulls as possible is key to getting better and building confidence.

“It’s a good thing,” Aragao said. “You ride the bulls and you practice and you just have fun.”

Aragao celebrates every qualified ride with a dance on top of the shark cage, and he hopes to dance on the biggest stage in bull riding once again this weekend in Chicago.

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