By: Justin Felisko
September 30, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – There aren’t too many bull riders bigger than Emilio Resende, but that didn’t stop Guilherme Marchi from giving Resende a massive bear hug last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Resende was competing at the Rumble in the Rockies as a BlueDEF Tour invite and was hoping to earn enough world points to crack the Top 35 and head with Marchi and the rest of his pals to Eugene, Oregon, for the upcoming Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic.
The 29-year-old was unable to take advantage of his Allentown, Pennsylvania, BlueDEF Tour victory and went 0-for-2 in Colorado Springs. He is now headed to Albany, New York, for the next non-Built Ford Tough Series event.
It certainly isn’t ideal for Resende, but he is grateful for the opportunity to keep trying to fight his way back onto the BFTS and qualify for the World Finals for the first time since 2014.
“My objective right now is to make Finals again,” Resende said. “I work day and night to make the Finals now. Right now, I need to ride my bulls to make the Finals. Over here and on BlueDEF, I need to ride my bulls.”
Fans can catch all of the action from Albany on PBR LIVE Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Resende is currently 46th in the world standings and is 185.42 points behind No. 35 Marco Eguchi. A victory in Albany would give him another shot at the BFTS in Nampa, Idaho.
“It is a good chance because I work hard to stay here,” he said. “I know if I ride good right now I can come back. I am down here another week and I will try to win again and come back.”
Resende qualified for three consecutive Built Ford Tough World Finals prior to undergoing multi-ligament right knee surgery following the 2014 Finals. He was cut from the BFTS in 2015 and has only competed in 10 BFTS events (7-for-25) since dropping out of the Top 35.
“All of my friends made Finals and had a good (season) and made a lot of money in the game,” Resende said. “I am outside. It was hard for me. I try to stay professional and in the top. It is hard.”
It has been a tough season for Resende as he tries to get back onto the BFTS full time. There was one weekend in which he drove 28 hours from Decatur, Texas, to Eureka, Montana, for a Touring Pro Division event.
“Yeah it is hard,” Resende said of the battle below the Top 35. “A couple of weeks ago I drive 28 hours in the car. I bucked off and I got no sleep. I drive and come back. I think it is harder than this (BFTS) because you have to drive. Three bull ridings in one weekend and I am tired, but it is good.”
Resende is 38-for-83 at all levels of competition this year. More importantly, he is second in the BlueDEF Tour standings and is on pace to be eligible for the 2016 BlueDEF Tour Finals on Oct. 29-31 at South Point Arena in Las Vegas. The BlueDEF Finals will be a last ditch effort for riders that have yet to quality for the World Finals.
Resende is 49.17 points behind BlueDEF leader Derek Kolbaba.
It is a huge opportunity and Resende is certainly planning on using the BlueDEF Tour to make it to the Finals, if necessary.
“BlueDEF is a good bull riding,” Resende said. “It is special for me and other bull riders in the PBR because it has the best points, money and bulls for Touring Pro. It is a little better. It is a nice chance to get back.”
Including Albany, there are three BlueDEF Tour events remaining.
The Top 32 riders in the BlueDEF Tour standings are guaranteed a draw spot at the BlueDEF Finals. An additional eight riders, including national champions from PBR Brazil, PBR Canada, PBR Mexico and PBR Australia, will also be invited.
There are five PBR Wild Card positions up for grabs at the BlueDEF Finals, including the $25,000 event prize. The BlueDEF Tour Champion (or the next highest finisher in the BlueDEF Standings not in the Top 35 of the world standings), the top three-event average finishers at the BlueDEF Finals not in the Top 35 of the world standings and the top international invite all earn a berth to the Finals.
Resende wouldn’t mind claiming the $50,000 BlueDEF Tour championship, which also guarantees a rider a spot in the draw at the World Finals.
“I am happy because I am second and I have a good chance,” he concluded. “It is OK. It is a good time right now.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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