By: Justin Felisko
May 14, 2016
LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of Last Cowboy Standing Friday night at Las Vegas Village.
Emilio Resende looking for Cinderella finish (5-14-16)
Emilio Resende had a tough decision to make earlier this week when he learned his 9-year-old son, Joao, sustained a broken leg while playing soccer back home in Brazil.
The 29-year-old bull rider wanted to make sure he was there for his son and his Thursday surgery, but Emilio knew just how important this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing was for him as he tries to fight his way back within the Top 35 of the world standings.
Therefore the No. 42 ranked bull rider in the world standings decided to stay in the United States a few extra days and compete in Las Vegas before heading home for the summer break.
Resende rode Long Hair for 84.25 points to finish Round 1 tied for ninth place.
“I (wanted) to go back to Brazil yesterday, but I fight to stay here in Vegas because since February I have been riding at Touring Pros and BlueDEF events for a couple of months. I have a chance right now. I talk to him before he had surgery yesterday.
“It would be special to win for him.”
Resende hasn’t competed on the Built Ford Tough Series since the end of January, which is why as nice as $100,000 would be, he is more focused on earning points toward the world standings.
He is currently just 64.17 points outside of the Top 35.
“This is my dream,” Resende said. “Everyone need money, but more is points because I want to make the Finals. I want to stay with my buds.Eduardo (Aparecido), Silvano (Alves), everyone.”
Resende is the Cinderella story heading into Round 2 on Saturday night. He is the lowest-ranked rider remaining of the 25 riders that will compete in Round 2. In fact, Resende is one of four riders ranked 32nd or lower that advanced to the second round.
No. 32 Fraser Babbington (84.5 points on Godfrey’s Red Bull), No. 34 Tyler Harr (86.75 points on Just Juan) and No. 36 Jay Miller (85.5 points on Striker) are also in contention for a Cinderella finish.
Babbington tied with Resende for ninth place and earned five world points, while Harr finished fifth for 40 world points and Miller placed eighth for five points.
“Well, this is a really good start for me,” Resende said. “This is a really, really big chance. I just told everybody I am going to try and help me to stay here for now. My sponsors – Ariat, Cooper Tires and Discount Tire – have been really good to me.”
Palermo wins Round 1 and ends Las Vegas slump
Robson Palermo and Las Vegas are usually synonymous with winning, but the three-time World Finals event winner had bucked off eight bulls in a row in Las Vegas since last winning the 2012 Built Ford Tough World Finals prior to Friday night.
Palermo kicked his Las Vegas buckoff streak to the curb with an 89-point ride on Swashbuckler to win Round 1.
“I came here this week feeling really good,” Palermo said. “I had a bad concussion a couple of weeks ago, but now I am good. We are outside in Vegas and I love it. That was not an easy ride. He kind of scared me in the bucking chute. I was nervous. Every time I moved, he jumped. I did what I can and I did get a good score.”
Palermo missed the Des Moines Invitational after sustaining a concussion attempting to ride High Chaparral last month in Billings, Montana.
Even with his eight buckoffs in a row, Palermo still has a 56.9 percent riding average at BFTS events in Las Vegas.
Palermo earned 125 points toward the world standings with his second round win of 2016.
“I have had a couple of bad years here,” Palermo said. “I have bucked off some bulls here. I shouldn’t (have bad memories here). This is a place I love to ride. I give my heart to ride here. I have good experiences here. These past years, I didn’t have it. I don’t know what was going on. Coming here, I ride this one and I am ready for tomorrow.”
Palermo’s score was the highest of the 15 total qualified rides. Only three riders ranked in the Top 10 of the world standings posted a qualified ride in Round 1.
No. 6 Eduardo Aparecido (83.25 points on Bad Grandma) placed 13th, No. 7 Derek Kolbaba (83 points on Tso-Op) was 14th and No. 9 Ryan Dirteater(83.5 points on Bottoms Up) was 12th. All three riders earned five world points.
Based on the event ground rules, Round 2 will feature a minimum of 25 riders and the remaining 10 draw spots are filled based upon the current world standings.
Therefore, world leader J.B. Mauney, who was bucked off by Gas Pedal in 1.84 seconds, will get another crack at winning his first PBR Major. Also drawing back on Saturday is No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira, No. 3 Fabiano Vieira, No. 4 Paulo Lima, No. 5 Shane Proctor, No. 8 Wallace de Oliveira, No. 11 Tanner Byrne, No. 12 Mike Lee, No. 16 Mason Lowe and No. 19 Guilherme Marchi.
Marchi gets another chance
The 2008 World Champion had ridden Blackberry Smoke for 80.75 points, but had to take an automatic re-ride, per Last Cowboy Standing ground rules, after Blackberry Smoke received an individual bull score of 19 points. He then was bucked off by Jared Allen’s Hy Test in 3.42 seconds.
According to the PBR rulebook, if any one judge marks a bull 19 points or lower, a rider is awarded an automatic re-ride.
Marchi was heated about being given a re-ride and his emotions only escalated following his buckoff.
It was at Iron Cowboy, the last PBR Major, when the same re-ride rule resulted in him being eliminated in Round 3 despite riding Sheep Creek for 81 points because re-ride flags were thrown during his ride. Marchi was then bucked off by Walk Off in 6.87 seconds.
Forgotten young guns finish third and fourth in Round 1
Lachlan Richardson and Gage Gay are no strangers to the BFTS, but they are still in the relative same age bracket when it comes to the rising stars of this year’s rookie class.
While rookies Kolbaba and Jess Lockwood (84.5 points on Pitch Black) advanced to Round 2, Richardson, 23, and Gay, 21, finished third and fourth in Round 1.
Rookie Jorge Valdiviezo, 26, placed second Friday night with a career-high 88.5 points on Buffalo Jump.
Richardson sat in the lead for the beginning of the evening following his 88-point ride on Superstition away from his hand.
“That was good. I can’t complain there,” Richardson said. “I have a lot more experience, so I feel like a veteran being at these places. But I still feel young and I feel good.”
The fifth-year BFTS veteran earned 60 points toward the world standings.
Gay made the 8-second mark aboard Whiskey Bent for 87.5 points. He earned 50 points for the fourth-place finish.
“They forgot about me,” Gay jokingly said about the new young gun class. “It doesn’t bother me not being in the spotlight. I will just hangout and be 87.5.”
The Staley, North Carolina, bull rider admits he is kind of on both ends of the spectrum of being a veteran and a young gun.
“I think I fall into both of them,” Gay said. “The younger guys look up to me as a veteran, but I still see myself as one of them. The old veterans look at me like a rookie and I look at myself as a rookie too when I am hanging out with them because I am. Those younger guys make me feel like a veteran I guess.”
The third-year pro is hoping to avoid a repeat performance from last year’s Last Cowboy Standing when he was eliminated in Round 2 after splitting the Round 1 win with Michael Lane.
“Last year in the second round I just didn’t try as hard as I should have, I don’t think,” Gay said. “I am here this year to win $100,000 and I am going to put it all out there for it.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Harr (bruised left thigh) and Babbington (bruised left calf) are both competing Saturday night after being injured in Round 1.
Lockwood is also competing despite aggravating an old right knee MCL sprain during Round 1.
Luis Blanco sustained a broken nose when he collided with Mug Shot’shead during his first-round buckoff.
There were 13 riders competing with injuries in Round 1: Kasey Hayes (right shoulder separation of his free arm), Derek Kolbaba (sprained left riding hand), Wallace de Oliveira (right knee sprain), Rubens Barbosa (right SI sprain/sprained right ankle), Fabiano Vieira (right thigh bruise), Silvano Alves (bruised chest), Valdiron de Oliveira (sprained left knee/strained right groin), Gage Gay (sprained right thumb, riding hand), Stormy Wing (right groin strain), Mike Lee (separated right shoulder free arm), Jay Miller (right shoulder subluxation, riding arm), Nevada Newman (partially torn right PCL) and Guilherme Marchi (sore right knee).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.