By: Keith Ryan Cartwright April 29, 2014@ 03:35:00 PM
Guilherme Marchi is currently the No. 1 ranked rider in the world. Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com.
FORT WORTH, Texas ― Guilherme Marchi hasn’t dominated the top of the world standings like he has this season, since winning the world title in 2008.
In 2014, he’s been ranked No. 1 following the past nine Built Tough Series events and 11 of the 16 events with only 10 more regular-season bull ridings remaining on a schedule that also includes a 13-week summer break in which he’ll compete sparingly at Touring Pro Division events and international events in Brazil.
Just this past weekend, he extended his lead from 135.87 points over Joao Ricardo Vieira to 348.81 points over Fabiano Vieira.
Guilherme Marchi notches his 500th BFTS career ride on Pandora’s Pyxis for 84 points in Round 1 of the 2014 Bass Pro Chute Out in Phoenix.
However, like the true gentleman he’s been since debuting on the BFTS in 2004, he deflected talking about himself and instead spoke about his happiness for Renato Nunes, who won a world title in 2010 and has yet to re-establish himself as a contender since then.
“Yeah, it’s good to make more points this week and I feel healthy,” Marchi said, “but I’m happy for Renato to win this event.
“For a long time he’s been (messed) up a little bit with his head and he comes to the bull riding and he talks about retirement, talk about stop riding bulls and God showed him it’s not that way. You just need to believe in yourself – dedication – and come to the event and do what you need to do—just ride bulls.”
It was Nunes’ first BFTS event win since 2012.
In fact, it was only his fourth Top-10 finish of 2014.
“I had to focus to stay on,” said Nunes, who was ranked 29th coming into the event and is now 23th. “I always believed in myself and I just had a hard time and I have to understand that part. Now, I hope I get on track again and keep on going because everyone expects that.”
Marchi added, “I’m glad for everything I do this year and my buddies too—for everybody.”
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Though he’s more inclined to speak about others than himself, it’s been a heck of a season for the 31-year-old – he turns 32 in July – married father of two, who has also hinted a time or two at retirement.
Instead, many have remarked that Marchi looks refreshed and as strong as he did at 26 when he won the gold buckle after three consecutive years of finishing second in the standings.
This year, Marchi already has recorded 10 Top-10 finishes – one shy of last year’s total of 11 when he finished fourth in the world – and his five Top-5 finishes equals last year.
More importantly, his riding average of 53.5 percent is a full seven points better than last year when he covered a career-low 39 qualified rides.
He’s already ridden 29 of 54 bulls this season.
“There (are) still points available for everybody,” said Marchi, who has been the most dominate rider of the season despite not having won a BFTS event. “It’s not over yet. I still fight at the other bull rides for this buckle.”
Marchi said he’s having fun and enjoying the events.
He admitted his right hand is beginning to get sore again, but with only two more BFTS events before the break, he continues battling for each and every point before taking a much-needed break.
He’ll compete down in Brazil in mid-June at an event in Americana and then again two weeks later at The Silvano Alves Invitational in Pilar do Sul.
Other than that, Marchi said he’ll spend time resting with family – partaking in trail rides with his father and spending afternoons at the beach with his wife, Patricia, and their kids, Manuela and Joao Gabriel – along with preparing and training for the stretch run of what he hopes will be a second world title.
“I’m cheering for everybody,” Marchi concluded. “God knows who’s going to win this year and he’s already preparing one guy for the win, but he never just gives it to anybody. We need to fight to do this. We need to fight to deserve this title.”
Marchi to host mini bull riding event
Before flying down to Brazil, Guilherme Marchi will be in Terrell, Texas, on May 30-31 for a Chris Shivers mini bull riding tour event that bears his name.
The Guilherme Marchi Invitational will take place at the Jeff Smiths Arena. Each performance begins at 7:30 p.m.
Marchi said he’s looking forward to the event, which features kids between the ages of 8 and 14. He plans on spending both nights behind the chutes helping pull ropes, giving advice and working with the kids to properly adjust their equipment.
“I remember when I started riding bulls,” Marchi said. “I kind of learned by myself.
“I love being around the kids and I love doing stuff for the kids. I hope the kids enjoy being around me. I know some kids try so hard to look like us one day – to be a champion in the PBR – and they have a dream like us.”
Marchi said he was approached by Cirildo Leal – a friend of his neighbor in nearby Tyler – about becoming involved in the event. Marchi described him as a nice guy and recalled telling Cirildo, “Whatever I can do for the kids.’
“It’s a good opportunity.”
Anyone interested in competing or helping out can contact Leal at 806-292-6239.
Marchi said he wants to do something to help all the youngsters make their dream a reality.
Shivers will be there too and Marchi would like to see all the PBR fans come out. He said they are planning to have the same opening for the mini-bull event as the BFTS with pyro and announce the names of all the kids.
“It’ll be like a little mini-PBR with the little superstars,” he added.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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