By: Denise M. Abbott
February 28, 2016
ARLINGTON, Texas – THE AMERICAN rodeo showcased 13 of the top bull riders in the world Sunday at AT&T stadium, each vying for the $100,000 bull riding title and for a few, their share of the $1 million bonus available for qualifiers who win their rodeo event.
In the Bull Riding Final 4 Shoot Out, 2013 PBR Rookie of the Year Joao Ricardo Vieira covered Red Moon (Flying S-Samford/Holmes/Jackson) for 81.75 points to win the bull riding title. This is the third year in a row that Vieira has competed in THE AMERICAN.
“This is a very special event,” Vieira said. “Everyone wants to be the champion here. Riding in such a big arena makes it even more special to win here.”
Vieira won the PBR’s Iron Cowboy event in 2014 and 2015 at AT&T Stadium, and after going 2-for-4 on Saturday, he took second place in the 2016 Iron Cowboy.
“I love this arena,” he said.
For the third time in his career at a major event, Stetson Lawrence placed second to Vieira. He took second place at the 2015 Iron Cowboy and the 2015 Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas in May, and this weekend he landed in second place again behind the Brazilian. Lawrence took home $25,000 for his finish in THE AMERICAN.
Rounding out the final four were Fabiano Vieira in third place and Kaique Pacheco in fourth place.
As a PBR sanctioned event, THE AMERICAN will also award BlueDEF Tour points to the finishers. As the winner, Joao Ricardo Vieira will receive 80 world standings points, and Lawrence will receive 50 world standings points for second place.
Fabiano Vieira and Pacheco will collect 30 and 20 world standings points, respectively.
THE AMERICAN offers qualifiers in each discipline an opportunity to win a share of a $1 million bonus if they win their event outright. New this year, THE AMERICAN also offered a share of the bonus to possible “Triple Crown” winners, those athletes who could three-peat as the champion in their event.
Wade Sundell in Saddle Bronc Riding, and Lisa Lockhart in Barrel Racing were the Triple Crown contenders this year. Sundell, however, was the only one to successfully defend a title. With a 90.75-point ride, Sundell captured the $100,000 saddle bronc riding title, and claimed the entire $1 million bonus as the only qualifier or Triple Crown contender to win their event. His total winnings for the weekend totaled $1.1 million.
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