No professional bull rider has been more consistent than Guilherme Marchi in the past decade.
Only twice in that time has he finished outside the Top 5 and even then was still ranked in the Top 10. In fact, only his rookie year of 2004 when he competed in just six Built Ford Tough Series events has been outside of the Top 10.
However, he’s quite handy with a rope as well.
Last month, in early November, he teamed with Murilo Rocha at the U.S. Team Roping Championships in Oklahoma and placed third in the shootout. They won a pair of buckles and split $60,000.
As a matter of fact, he’s done a lot of roping this off-season.
He and his two kids – Manuela and J.G. – spent two weeks staying with Silvano Alves and his family just outside of Decatur, Texas, and spent a few days with Valdiron de Oliveira as well.
Marchi’s wife Patricia has been in Brazil with her ailing mother.
He and the kids will be going to Brazil for a 10-day trip this coming weekend, but, in the meantime, the 2008 World Champion bull rider said he needs to start preparing for the 2015 season.
Asked if he had been preparing, Marchi said, “Nothing yet.”
He added, “Just taking care of my kids. I need to do something now and get back in shape and get on a couple practice bulls for next year.”
Marchi made certain to indicate he’s not out of shape, per se, so much as he’s simply not in bull riding shape at this point, but he has another couple weeks before the Built Ford Tough Series resumes in Baltimore, Maryland.
He’s been on horseback nearly every day and is leaner than he’s been at the start of past seasons.
The plan is to get on a few practice bulls between now and then.
But the time away was a good opportunity to separate the disappointing finish of the 2014 season from what he hopes will be a solid start to the 2015 season.
“I don’t know what happened with me at the Finals,” said Marchi, who went 1 for 5 in Las Vegas.
He rode Flying Crazy for 86 points in the opening round before bucking off four straight to fall out of the Top 5 and finish the year ranked eighth in the world standings.
He said he expected to ride Percolator in Round 2 and was especially disappointed with coming down at 7.27 seconds on Muddy Smile.
“I was strong,” said Marchi, who gave a confident fist pump after making the whistle in Round 1. “After that I didn’t ride bulls anymore and there was nothing wrong. I don’t know. Maybe I try too hard. Something went blank in my head.”
Marchi spent nearly the entire regular-season ranked in the Top 5.
Earlier in the year, he became the first rider in PBR history to surpass 500 qualified rides and has a career riding percent of nearly 60 percent.
“I’m tired of staying home,” Marchi said. “I’m going to work hard to come back on the tour. I miss all the riders, the people from the PBR, the fans. We’re so close to starting again this year. I’m going to go to the first event and go to Denver too.”
The annual Denver, Colorado, event is the Touring Pro Division Finale scheduled for January 12, 13 and 14.
Although he hasn’t been known for entering many PBR events outside of the BFTS, Marchi said he plans to regularly compete at TPD events as well as BlueDEF Velocity Tour events.
His decision has less to do with the new point system and everything to do with keeping up with the younger riders, who compete all season and ride as often as they’re healthy.
“Try to put some together and give it my best,” Marchi explained. “We get on two, three bulls a weekend and I don’t think that’s enough for me anymore. I need to get on a couple more bulls to be in shape and to be a contender with the other riders. Those kids, they ride a lot every week, so I think that’s what I’m going to do this year—be ready for new points, new system.”
He’s looking forward to maintaining a full schedule.
He’ll turn 33 in July.
However, he said he hasn’t yet contemplated retirement.
“I don’t know yet,” said Marchi, when asked if 2015 will be his last as a pro. “I never talk about it. I just want to get on and if I still have fun and (then) I stay.
“Maybe I go five more years,” he continued. “You never know. My body’s still good and I feel good.”
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