KANSAS CITY, Mo. ― Four times he’s finished second at a Built Ford Tough Series event, so unbeknownst to him, Emilio Resende nearly made a dead-sprint out of the Sprint Center to celebrate his first career victory with his fellow Brazilian riders.
Instead, several interviewers were waiting for the elated 26-year-old – he turns 27 in early April – as he neared the out-gate with his new buckle firmly in hand.
An emotional Resende couldn’t keep from smiling after the past he’s endured in and out of the arena.
Two weeks ago he was coming off a missed event because of a left hip pointer injury and facing being cut from the BFTS when he finished second in Anaheim, Calif., to keep from having to ride his way back on the BFTS by way of the Touring Pro Division. Last week, he felt he was in position to perhaps win the St. Louis event and wound up 13th overall; and despite now being ranked in the Top 20, he worried he might never win a BFTS event.
“I never give up,” Resende said after going 3-for-3 in Kansas City.
Resende outrode second-place finishers Guilherme Marchi and Valdiron de Oliveira to claim the top prize of $36,000 and moved to 12th in the world standings after eight of 26 events.
“Two weeks ago, I was 46th and I used (that) to try and (motivate) myself and that’s what I focused on,” Resende said.
The left-handed rider’s weekend started with 88.5 points on Kung Fu Fighter in the opening round on Saturday night, which was good for third place in the average after the first of two days.
Sunday afternoon he returned to the Sprint Center, where he closed out the long rounds with 80.5 points on Eye Witness before taking Iron Man with the fourth pick in the bull draft for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
His 169 points on two bulls was 4.5 points behind 19-year-old newcomerGage Gay, who put together a pair of rides, including an 89-point opening round win on One Shot.
However, Resende was not to be denied on a chilly winter afternoon in downtown Kansas City.
“I feel grateful that I stayed on,” he stayed.
He easily covered Iron Man for 85.5 points in what PBR Livestock DirectorCody Lambert called the softest short round of bulls the top riders will face all season. Many of the top-ranked bulls are being saved for next weekend’s Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V, on Saturday, and THE AMERICAN, on Sunday.
Marchi, who reclaimed the lead atop the world standings, was the high-marked ride of the round with 85.75 points on Whippin Post.
But it was Resende who was all smiles as he talked – with the help of Megan Bradford translating Portuguese to English – about his emotions and physical preparation for not only this event, but each and every BFTS event.
“When I don’t win I get really sad because I try really hard,” Resende said. “I always go to the gym and I’m always working out trying to win the event.
“When I’m at the gym I work and try to get more flexible and I use this when I’m riding on the bull.”
Marchi and Oliveira split second and third, while Gay and Robson Palermorounded out the Top 5 finishers in Kansas City. Gay and Palermo were both 2-for-3.
Marchi’s second-place finish was ultimately part of a reshuffling of the world standings as the BFTS is nearly a third complete.
The 2008 World Champion moves back into the top spot for the second time this season followed by Mike Lee, Joao Ricardo Vieira, Oliveira andFabiano Vieira.
Going forward, Resende said he “just wants to ride my bulls and win the event.”
INJURY REPORT: A trio of riders – Pistol Robinson, Douglas Duncan andMarco Eguchi – missed the final round because of various injuries.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Robinson did not compete due to a sprained left wrist (riding hand, scapholunate) sustained when he hung onto Hell or High Water in the second round. He also sustained a left elbow sprain (UCL) and a left hip pointer.
Eguchi suffered a concussion in the second round, while Duncan aggravated a pre-existing left hand sprain.
Claudio Crisostomo doctored out of the Caterpillar Classic prior to Round 2 due to a possible left clavicle fracture.
On Saturday night, Silvano Alves separated his right shoulder (acromioclavicular joint, riding arm, type 3 or 5) when he was thrown hard on the shoulder by his first-round bull, Crystal Pistol. He was listed as doubtful for Sunday, but wound up finishing the event seventh in the average.
Alves confirmed this is the first injury he’s sustained in his career, even prior to coming to the U.S.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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