From the Vault: Champions of the PBR’s 20th Season

By: Darci Miller

PUEBLO, Colo. – This year, the PBR has been celebrating its 30th anniversary season. Here on, we’ve looked back at some of the legends of the sport, historic accomplishments, and moments that we’ll never forget.

It’s gotten us feeling a bit sentimental and reflective, which has made us think: what was happening a decade ago?

The year was 2013. People were obsessed with Flappy Bird, the doge meme, and the Harlem Shake. Instagram was in its infancy, Taylor Swift was in her Red era, and we were all watching Sharknado and bopping along to “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

And in the bull riding world, a couple of legends were cementing their legacies.

J.B. Mauney won the PBR World Finals and his first World Championship, completing what is still regarded as the most historic second-half comeback we’ve ever seen. On the bovine side of things, Bushwacker earned his second YETI World Champion Bull title after completing the longest buckoff streak in PBR history at 42. (The streak was broken by, of course, Mauney.) And in the Rookie of the Year race, Joao Ricardo Vieira outpaced the field at a seasoned 29 years old.

Join us on this walk down memory lane.

Mauney wins 2013 World Championship

LAS VEGAS ― In completing the most dramatic second-half comeback in the 20-year history of the PBR, J.B. Mauney is the 2013 PBR World Champion.

The 26-year-old from Mooresville, N.C., made history at the Thomas & Mack Center by becoming the first rider with two perfect performances ― 2013 and 2008 ― at the World Finals and also became the first rider in PBR history to win four consecutive events at the elite level.

Mauney, who was ranked 10th in the world standings and trailed two-time defending World Champion Silvano Alves by 3,056 points coming out of the summer break, claimed the title Sunday afternoon by 977.75 points.

“When I was standing out there with my family and my wife was standing beside me, I kind of got a little choked up,” said Mauney, who has ridden at 221 Built Ford Tough Series events over eight seasons before finally winning his first gold buckle and claiming the $1 million bonus that comes with winning the world title.

“There’s no better feeling. You dream of something all your life and to eventually get it, oh, I mean, it feels like you’ve done conquered the world.”


Bushwacker wins 2013 World Champion Bull title

LAS VEGAS ― There was no way Bushwacker was going to let another world title slip away from his grasp this week during the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

The 2011 World Champion Bull reclaimed his title by bucking off Eduardo Aparecido in 4.57 seconds Sunday during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for a bull score of 47 points, giving Bushwacker a total event score of 93.5 points and the 2013 World Champion Bull title.

With confetti falling all around him inside the Thomas & Mack Center, owner Julio Moreno (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls) admitted he was at a loss for words.

“This is just exciting,” Moreno said. “It is the most exciting thing in my life to be a two-time champion.”

After losing out to 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid last year at World Finals, Bushwacker bounced back this season with a vengeance by bucking off 13 riders on the Built Ford Tough Series in 14 outs. His only blemish was a historic 95.25-point ride by J.B. Mauney in Tulsa, Okla., that ended the bovine’s record BFTS buckoff streak at 42.

Bushwacker recorded six of the top bull scores in the 2013 regular season, including a season-best 48.25-mark in Louisville, Ky. He also earned 10 Pabst Blue Ribbon high-marked bull awards.

On Sunday afternoon, Bushwacker held off Shepherd Hills Tested (91.75 points), Mick E Mouse (91.25), Smackdown (91.25), Lightmaker’s Rango (90.75) and Asteroid (90.75) for the championship.


Rookie’s veteran poise no surprise

LAS VEGAS ― With one more day of competition remaining at the 2013 World Finals, Joao Ricardo Vieira did not want to talk about clinching the 2013 Rookie of the Year title.

Instead, the 29-year-old was intensely focused on riding his final two bulls. He didn’t want to prematurely celebrate being the fourth consecutive Brazilian to claim one of the PBR’s highest honors, following the likes of Emilio Resende (2012), Rubens Barbosa (2011) and Silvano Alves (2010).

“I’m going to be real happy to win, because it is really important for a bull rider to win Rookie of the Year,” Vieira said with the help of Robson Palermo translating. “To win in my first year is great.”

However, the Itatinga, Brazil, native had higher expectations this season, and he certainly had his eyes set on a greater prize.

Vieira wanted the world title.

It was never more apparent than after he rode Home Wrecker in Round 5 for 87.25 points inside the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday. Vieira hopped off his bull, and there was no emphatic celebratory reaction. With veteran poise, the rookie simply offered a determined glare.

An expression that almost said there is more to be done.


Photo courtesy of Matt Breneman/Bull Stock Media

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