NEW YORK – Here are three things we learned following this weekend’s Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden.
Alves extends record streak to 24 and extends world lead
He may not have been victorious inside Madison Square Garden, but Silvano Alves once again continued to conquer bull after bull on the Built Ford Tough Series.
Alves finished the weekend a perfect 5-for-5 by going 4-for-4 in the regular event, while also riding Ranga for 87.5 points on Saturday night during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The three-time World Champion finished the event in fourth place with 220 points and placed third in the event average with his four rides scores totaling 306.50 points.
Alves extended his Built-Ford-Tough-Series-record streak to 24 consecutive rides by riding Delco for 77.25 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. The defending World Champion was offered a re-ride, but decided to keep the score. At the time, the score had put him first in the event average, but second behind J.B. Mauney in the event standings.
It was the second consecutive re-ride that he declined, after he kept his 59-point score on The Rev in Round 3, which put him third in the event average heading into the championship round.
Even though his decisions cost him an opportunity at winning the event title, the No. 1 bull rider in the world picked up a total of 220 points toward the world standings. He is the first rider to surpass the 1,000-point mark in the standings and has an unofficial total of 1,240 points through the first three weeks of the BFTS.
KISS Animalize is the lucky charm of the weekend
Guilherme Marchi notched his first-career win in New York by riding KISS Animalize for 86.75 points in the championship round to knock off a perfect Shane Proctor (4-for-4) to win the event average, which then pushed him past J.B. Mauney in the event standings with 480 points to Mauney’s 315.
It was the second consecutive day that KISS Animalize rewarded a rider with a victory. Eduardo Aparecido had ridden the bovine athlete for 90 points to win the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night.
Marchi was very familiar with the bull and decided to use the first pick in the championship-round bull draft to select KISS Animalize. He previously had ridden him for 90 points last year in Anaheim, California.
“That is the best bull for the riders,” Marchi said. “He is not to rank, but he fits you. He has a lot of up and down and a lot of kick and spins into my hand. He is one of the best bulls we’ve got in the PBR. He brings a lot of 90 points, 89, 88, and is one of the best we got here for sure.”
Marchi earned 400 points for winning the event average, and then picked up an additional 80 points via his round finishes. The 2008 World Champion rode Justified to finish third in Round 1 (50 points) on Friday night and then placed fifth in the third round with an 86.25-point ride on Imagine That.
He earned no event points for his 80.75 points on Pandemonium Gold in the second round.
It is Marchi’s first event victory since winning Last Cowboy Standing last year and the 21st of his career. The win also pushes him to third in the world standings with 530 points.
“I feel happy to win this event, I have never won here before,” Marchi said. “It is one of the most famous arenas we have here in the United States – Madison Square Garden. It is a fun event.”
Rounding out the Top 5 in the event standings were Proctor (285), Alves (220) and Chase Outlaw (215).
Championship round features marque moments
There were a slew of top moments in the championship round on Sunday afternoon that got the crowd on its feet throughout the final rides of the weekend.
Tanner Byrne kicked things off by becoming the first rider in 28 outs to ride Raven Flyer when he covered him for 87.25 points.
Byrne made easy work of Gene Owen’s bull by finding a strong seat aboard the bovine athlete that spun right into his hand.
“It feels good to get one down like that and ride him,” Byrne said. “I had seen him a few times and I felt like he would fit my style pretty good underneath myself.”
Chase Outlaw tied a career-high by riding Crack the Whip for 90.75 points to earn the championship-round victory and an additional 100 points toward the world standings.
The 22-year-old said he decided to pick the bull with the sixth pick of the bull draft after talking with Kasey Hayes on Saturday about how he could ride the bull that has dropped many riders into the well.
“I said, ‘If I had him when he cracked out there and went left, I would start whooping and I wouldn’t quit,’” Outlaw said. “He likes to drop everybody in there or right around there. I figured if I started spurring right around there and stay aggressive and don’t quit.”
Outlaw is now 5-for-9 on the BFTS this season and is ranked fifth in the world.
The Hamburg, Arkansas, native is happy with his start to the 2015 season, but understands there is much to do.
“Absolutely, but it is just a start,” he said. “It is long way until the Finals.”
It was just one of a series of impressive moments for Robinson’s bulls in the final round of action.
Walk Off was named the high-marked bull of the event after he sent Matt Triplett airborne at the 7.14-second mark and was awarded a bull score of 45 points.
“He is a bull that got better all year last year,” Robinson said. “He had an amazing Finals and (Triplett) was 92 points on him. Man, he comes every weekend and puts forth an effort. We think he is getting better. It is hard to really have crisp bulls this time of year. It is just tough. New York City is a great place to win. That bull is kind of coming into his own and I think he will be short rounder all year I think.”
Robinson’s Stanley FatMax bucked off his second rider in the past 24 hours, and 20th consecutive on the BFTS, when he bucked off Kaique Pacheco in 4.32 seconds to kick off the championship round.
“He has always been a tough one,” Robinson said. “He is a trooper. He can go on the truck every weekend. He is just a really good bull.”
Pacheco qualified for the championship by winning Round 3 with 87.75 points on Rough’em Up Tuck – another one of Robinson’s bulls. It was the first ride of Pacheco’s BFTS career.
Pacheco was able to sneak into the championship round after, according to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Jordan Hupp opted out due to a an aggravation of a wrist injury on his riding arm.
Billy Robinson did not compete on Sunday after spraining his right knee (MCL) when he was stepped on by Gentleman Jim. He is questionable for Oklahoma City.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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