By: Justin Felisko
April 05, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – On a weekend that featured Brady Sims’ breaking his left leg and Rubens Barbosa being knocked unconscious, it is almost surprising that 34-year-old Fabiano Vieira didn’t catch another unlucky break.
Vieira, who has been riding with multiple shoulder injuries since 2014, could have easily been injured last weekend at the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational when High Test bucked him off at 4.55 seconds and into the steel bucking chutes behind him.
Instead, the six-time World Finals qualifier responded by riding Legacy for 84.75 points and Texicali for 87.25 points to propel himself to an eighth-place finish.
“I was a little sore after the first day, but then I was good,” Vieira said. “I tried to come back and ride better.”
Vieira then laughed as he explained his face, back and head have been slammed against the bucking chutes too many times that he can remember.
“It is OK,” he said. “I have been put to sleep before.”
Vieira’s ride on Texicali was the veteran’s third-best of the 2017 season, and he will look to build off his first two-ride weekend since Iron Cowboy on Feb. 18 at the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, Friday night.
Fans can catch all of the action exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Vieira is 22nd in the world standings and has finished within the Top 10 of the world standings three consecutive years.
He has drawn Bottom’s Up (0-0, BFTS) – the same bull that fell on Matt Triplett in Sioux Falls – for Round 1.
Sims was unable to escape injury in Sioux Falls after getting hung-up attempting to ride Swashbuckler in Round 3. The 24-year-old’s left leg then got twisted around by Swashbuckler before Sims was finally able to break free of his bull rope.
Sims had to be transported to Sanford Hospital on Sunday night and underwent surgery for a broken tibia and fibula.
The Holt, Missouri, cowboy was released from the hospital on Tuesday and wrote on his Facebook account:
“Thank you to each and every one of y’all that have called, text, messaged, snapchatted, and everything else, it has definitely meant more to me than you will ever know! Just now got released from the hospital so we are headed down the road to recovery! Once again, I cannot say thank you enough for everybody’s concern along with all the prayers and kind words, thank you!”
Sims was one of three riders to sustain injuries last weekend inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
No. 7 Rubens Barbosa (concussion), No. 13 Stormy Wing (calf contusion) and No. 15 Ryan Dirteater (left thigh adductor strain) will also miss this coming weekend’s event in Billings, Montana, because of injuries sustained in Sioux Falls.
Meanwhile, world leader Eduardo Aparecido (strained right brachialis and sprained right elbow (UCL) and No. 18 Dener Barbosa (left elbow sprain) will be out of competition because of lingering injuries that led to them opting out of the 15/15 Bucking Battle last weekend. Based on PBR Rule 220.127.116.11, any rider that chooses to remove himself from a round will subsequently be deemed ineligible for the next event on the BFTS schedule.
The six riders will be replaced by No. 39 Alex Marcilio, No. 40 Emilio Resende, No. 41 Cody Heffernan, No. 42 Brennon Eldred, No. 43 Kyle Jones and No. 43 Ramon Rodrigues in the draw.
Marcilio went 0-for-3 in Sioux Falls, but he only trails No. 35 Robson Aragao by 85 points.
The 29-year-old has drawn Grandpa Joe (9-12, BFTS) for Round 1.
Eldred, a PRCA rodeo standout, is making his debut on the BFTS after earning 61.66 points this past weekend at the West Plains, Missouri, Touring Pro Division event.
The 22-year-old won the event with a 90-point ride on White Smoke.
He is 12-for-21 at all levels of competition with seven Top-10 finishes and has drawn Stars & Stripes (1-3, BFTS) for Round 1.
Eldred, who is 108.34 points behind the Top 35, famously rode 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser for 94.5 points at the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last season.
Rodrigues is also set to make his debut after going 6-for-10 at all levels of competition, including 6-for-8 at the Velocity Tour level.
The 26-year-old is from Rio Branco, Brazil, — the same town as three-time World Finals event winner Robson Palermo – and is competing in the United States for the first time.
Rodrigues is the 2015 Liga Nacional de Rodeio Champion – the same Brazilian rodeo association that Claudio Montanha Jr. won in 2016.
He will get a rough welcome to the BFTS in Round 1 when he takes on Seven Dust (25-1, BFTS).
Other riders that remain out because of injuries include No. 36 Nevada Newman, No. 71 Wallace de Oliveira, No. 149 Tanner Byrne (groin/hamstring), Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg).
No. 53 Carlos Garcia is this weekend’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour after winning the Wheeling, West Virginia, event on March 17.
This weekend will be Garcia’s second BFTS event of his career. He last competed at the BFTS level in 2014 at Last Cowboy Standing.
Garcia takes on Hammer Down (7-2, BFTS) Friday night.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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