By: Eugenio Jose Santos
August 22, 2016
BARRETOS, Brazil – Dener Barbosa swept through three nights of intense competition in Barretos, Brazil, to win the 2016 Monster Energy PBR Brazil Finals, 2016 PBR Brazil Rookie of the Year and the 2016 PBR Brazil Championship Sunday night.
Bipolar, meanwhile, earned his third PBR Brazil Bull of the Year title.
Barbosa secured the event win and PBR Brazil Championship with a 90.25-point ride on Tempo Fechado in the championship round. The ride capped off a 5-for-5 performance for Barbosa at the largest rodeo in South America.
The win also secured an invitation to the 2016 BlueDEF Tour Finals at South Point Arena in Las Vegas (Oct. 29-31) where he can earn one of five PBR Wild Card spots for the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 2-6 at the state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena.
“If I did not get the 8 seconds, I knew it would not be champion,” Barbosa said. “But I believe in me.”
It was the realization of a dream for Barbosa, who grew up idolizing Brazilian bull riders and the near mythical allure of the Barretos rodeo.
“When I was 13 years old, my dream was just to ride in a great rodeo here in Brazil,” Barbosa said. “Now I’m the national champion. In fact, I do not understand what’s happening to me. I believe it will take about three days to absorb this.”
Barbosa, who dealt with visa issues in 2015, is now the owner of a PBR Brazil Champion buckle and is setting his eyes on the United States. Barbosa hopes to travel to the U.S. in the future and make a name for himself on the Built Ford Tough Series, the PBR’s top-flight bull riding tour.
“I will try more times. It’s my dream to be a bull rider in America,” Barbosa said. “I hope to get the American visa.”
Defending PBR Brazil Champion Luciano de Castro finished second in Barretos. Marcos Fernando, Paulo Henrique Pilta and Edimundo Gomes rounded out the Top 5.
It was an intense battle between Barbosa and Castro.
Castro valiantly tried to defend his 2015 PBR Brazil title and put the pressure on Barbosa early when he opened Sunday with an 88.75-point ride on Prateado. Barbosa answered with his own ride, but he was quick to acknowledge that getting through the defending champion was no easy task.
“He’s a perfect guy on the bulls. He was the best in Brazil last year,” Barbosa said. “I came very focused for this final.”
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