By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – There could be another name in the thick of the 2020 Rookie of the Year race come the end of the PBR Lucas Oil Invitational, presented by U.S. Border Patrol, on Sunday afternoon.
Amadeu Campos heads into Championship Sunday, which concludes on CBS national television at 2 p.m. ET, with the opportunity to move up the Rookie of the Year standings.
The quiet 21-year-old Brazilian was the only Rookie of the Year contender with a qualified ride on Saturday night in Round 1 when he conquered Real Gun for a career-high 87.5 points.
Things got dicey for Campos right at the 8-second mark when Real Gun jerked him down hard to the dirt inside the Lazy E Arena. Campos, though, was able to shake things off after being attended to by the PBR Sports Medicine staff.
Campos finished second overall in the round as the Oklahoma bull power was on full display inside the Lazy E Arena, limiting the locker room to six rides all together.
Campos has been working on trying to avoid crossing his free arm across his face, so Paulo Crimber had him move the position of his bull rope some.
“That is a great ride tonight, great bull,” Campos said with the help of Crimber translating. “(The changes) work great, and I was able to finish the ride strong and got myself some points. Tomorrow, I expect to ride to ride like I did tonight in the second round and go to the short round in a good spot to pick a good bull.
“To be on national television, it’s even better. If I do a great job like I did today, that’s amazing. I never thought to be this far.”
Two-time World Champion Justin McBride commended Campos on CBS Sports Network, but he said the close call at the end of the ride is another example of riders needing to make sure they remember to ride beyond the 8-second mark.
“Worth every point,” McBride said. “The bull has an outstanding day. Amadeu is in great shape until the 8 seconds. That is riding through the whistle; you have to ride all the way until you get off that bull. The moment you let up, especially when a bull is dropping like this, that is when you end up in these situations.”
The No. 5-ranked rookie in the ROY race trails current leader Cole Melancon by 184.34 points heading into Round 2 (CBS Sports Network, 11:30 a.m. ET).
Campos, who moved up to No. 30 in the world standings, has drawn Honey Man (10-2, UTB) for Round 2.
The rookie first got a taste of North American bull power last winter when he won a qualifier in Brazil for THE AMERICAN. Campos then competed in 13 non-premier series events, going only 3-for-21 on American soil, before returning to Brazil in June.
“It all start last year when I won a qualifier in Brazil for The American,” Campos said with the help of Paulo Crimber in January about his decision to return in 2020.
Campos is from Altair, Brazil, – a small municipality of less than 4,000 residents in Sao Paulo – and he began getting on bulls at 16 years old. His father, Flavio, is a former bull rider and has served as a mentor to Amadeu over the years.
Amadeu then decided to return to the United States this season and ride for a full season in America.
Flavio had accompanied Amadeu to the United States last year, and he and Amadeu’s mother, Rosa, are now working at a ranch in Decatur, Texas. According to Crimber, Amadeu’s parents follow their son closely on RidePass and will be tuning in to the national broadcast to see how he does.
Amadeu made his premier series debut with a 16th-place finish in Manchester, New Hampshire, riding Fuzzy Bones for 84 points, as an alternate in January.
“I just want to ride good and make the Finals,” a shy Campos said in Manchester.
Campos returned to the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour for two months before his second-place finish in North Charleston, South Carolina, put him back on the Unleash The Beast full time on March 6.
He is 3-for-12 on the Unleash The Beast, and he will look to take things to the next level on Sunday.
Campos is one of two young Brazilians looking to make a name for themselves this season on the Unleash The Beast.
No. 2 rookie Maurico Moreira is 20 years old, and is the third-youngest Brazilian to debut on the premier series behind Crimber (18) and 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco (19).
2020 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR STANDINGS
1. Cole Melancon
2. Mauricio Moreira (-119.87)
3. Joao Henrique Lucas (-170.09)
4. Andrew Alvidrez (-177.50)
5. Amadeu Campos Silva (-184.34)
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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