By: Justin Felisko
April 24, 2016
DES MOINES, Iowa – Here are three things we learned from this weekend’s Des Moines Invitational at Wells Fargo Arena.
Marchi wins Round 3 with 1,000 out of his career (4-24-16)
Guilherme Marchi joined 2004 World Champion Mike Lee as the only two riders with 500 qualified rides and 1,000 career outs in PBR history on Sunday afternoon.
Marchi won Round 3 with 87 points on Striker with the 1,000 out of his career for 100 points toward the world standings.
“There you go,” Marchi said. “I am proud of that. That means I have rode more than 50 percent. It is good. That is a good accomplishment for my career. I am happy to have gotten on 1,000 bulls in my career. That is a lot of bulls. I have been here since 2004. I am so happy for everything.”
Marchi may have attempted 1,000 bulls in his career, but he never had met Striker until this weekend.
“That was the first time I saw that bull,” Marchi said. “Gene (Owen), the owner, said, ‘He is a real good bull. Guilherme, go win some money.’ He was fighting me in the chute a little bit. He was right into my hand, but he made me try hard and I did it.”
The round victory was Marchi’s second of 2016.
Marchi then rode Machiney Auctioneer’s Little Joe for 88 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round to conclude the event second overall with 400 world points. Marchi, who is the PBR’s all-time rides (559) leader, finished second in the round behind event-winner Derek Kolbaba for 60 world points.
The 2008 World Champion finished second in the event average for 240 of those world points, and moves to 20th in the world standings after beginning the event ranked 26th.
“I wish I could get on another 1,000 bulls in the PBR before I retire, but that is not going to happen,” Marchi concluded with a big laugh. “I am still fighting to win and I still am having fun to ride bulls.”
Derek Kolbaba wins first career event
The rookie invasion on the Built Ford Tough Series continued this weekend as a rookie was victorious for the second week in a row.
Kolbaba joined his good friend Jess Lockwood, as well as Wallace de Oliveira, as the latest BFTS rookie to win an event this season after riding Kookaburra for 89 points in the championship round.
The Walla Walla, Washington, bull rider then watched the final six bull riders all get bucked off in the championship to help him earn his first career victory.
“Finally got that first win,” Kolbaba said. “This is what I have been searching for all year long. It worked out here, but I didn’t think it would coming off that first one. Heck, I knew if I came back and rode the other two it would at least put me in a good position. Sometimes it works that way and I am happy it did.”
Kolbaba bounced back from his 4.78-second buckoff against Slick Rick in Round 1 by riding I’m Trouble for 86.75 points in Round 2 Sunday for a second-place round finish and 60 world points.
He then positioned himself for the victory and another 100 world points by making the 8-second mark on Kookaburra.
“I had been on him before in Phoenix and blew my hand out of my rope,” Kolbaba said, referring to his 4.64-second buckoff last month. “I knew today I had things situated with my hand a little better and he fit me pretty good, especially when he went back to the left.”
Kolbaba earned the victory with 560 world points. He earned 400 for winning the event average, 100 for winning the championship round, and 60 for placing second in Round 2.
Kolbaba just 20 years old three days ago, and has begun to hang out with Lockwood – the 18-year-old phenom who won Billings, Montana, last week – since the Volborg, Montana, bull rider made his debut in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The victory moves Kolbaba from 16th to seventh in the world standings. He trails world leader J.B. Mauney by only 575 points.
Pearl Harbor and Crossfire tie for high-marked bull with speedy buckoffs
Jared Allen’s Air Time (45 points) made headlines by bucking off two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney in 3.63 seconds, but it was Pearl Harbor and Crossfire earning the highest bull scores in Des Moines during Sunday’s championship round.
Pearl Harbor started things off with a 45.75-point bull score by rearing Reese Cates back even before the chute gate had fully opened and Cates was sent flying toward the hard ground in 1.88 seconds.
“Whenever I nodded, he kind of reared up like a bucking horse would and it just ran me back just enough,” Cates said. “That bull is so strong and so fast that if he gets you raised up he is going to make you pay for it. Lesson learned. I got something to take away from it and I damn sure would like another shot at it.”
Five outs later and Gage Gay was getting whipped sideways to the floor in almost the exact amount of time – 1.89 seconds.
“It felt like I could have got back on him, but that first jump he snatched on me pretty hard,” Gay said. “I was just a little behind and I tried to get back to him. He is strong. Coope (Davis) rode him in Albuquerque and he told me I needed to stay out over him because he is really strong and I tried, but that first jump he got my chin up and I wasn’t getting it back down.”
The 45.75-point bull score is a career-high for Crossfire.
There were only 14 riders in the championship round after a series of riders were unable to compete in the final round because of injuries.
Jay Miller (dislocated right shoulder), Jorge Valdiviezo (right ankle injury), Valdiron de Oliveira (left knee sprain/right groin strain) and Paulo Lima (undisclosed injury) all missed the championship round.
2004 World Champion Mike Lee did not compete Sunday because of a separated right shoulder (free arm) from Round 1 when he was bucked off by Cow Skin Rug in 4.95 seconds.
Lee arrived to the arena Sunday morning unable to lift his arm anywhere close to above his head.
Fellow Top-10 bull rider Tanner Byrne also missed the final day of competition because of a right forearm injury after he was stepped on by Ram It. Byrne was already on his way home to get X-rays on his forearm.
Stormy Wing missed Sunday’s competition because of a right groin strain, while Ryan Dirteater competed with a right lower rib injury.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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