UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – If Silvano Alves is a gambling man, the PBR bull rider hit the jackpot at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
On Sunday, October 3, Alves went four-for-four on his bulls at the PBR Mohegan Sun Invitational, and by doing so, he hit the jackpot. After four rounds of bull riding, the Brazilian who has clinched the PBR Rookie of the Year title cashed out to the tune of $29.460 and 938.5 points.
After three solid rides, Alves put the exclamation point on his performance with the high score in the championship round, 90.5 points on “Unabomber” (Robinson/Eno/Kubinchak). That, along with the round three ride on “Anchor Man” (Chad Berger/Levi Smith) for 87.25 points locked up the title for Alves.
With his short-go ride, Alves grabbed the event win from the only other rider to ride all four of his bulls at the Mohegan Sun, fan favorite Wiley Petersen. Petersen rode “Doc Holiday” (Mike Miller) in round three for a less than blazing 80.75 points, and topped it off with “Clam Digger” (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/John & Lacey Berger) for 86.25 points.
Petersen’s finish brought him $14,820 and 776 points in the standings.
Third in the event is the PBR’s current number one bull rider, Austin Meier. Meier widened the points gap between himself and number 2 man JB Mauney and number three, Renato Nunes.
Having ridden in round one, then bucking off in round two, Meier rode a pair of bulls on Sunday, scoring 86.5 points on “Crocodile Stomp” (Derek Bevington) in round 3, and putting up the first qualified ride in the short-go, an 89.75 pointer on “Loaded Gun” (Robert Melton Bucking Bulls). Meier ended his weekend earning $11,334 and 722.75 all important points.
No other riders posted scores in the championship round, but strong performances earned riders some all important points, with the PBR World Finals only two and a half week away.
Fourth in the event was Ryan McConnel, who jumped up in the world championship standings, to number 5, on the strength of his weekend in Connecticut. McConnel rode his bulls in rounds 1, 2 and 3, ending the weekend on “Segs The Juice” (Jeff Robinson) for 88.75 in round three. That sent him into the championship round in the number one spot. McConnel picked “Smackdown” (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) for the short-go, but Smackdown won that match-up at the 6.2 second mark.
Fifth in the Mohegan Sun event was Cody Campbell. Campbell also covered his first three bulls, before falling short in the short-go. In Sunday’s round three, Campbell took down “Tornado Alley” (Sonny Williams) for 87.75 points, but couldn’t make the eight on “Bando’s Wild & Wreckless” (Dakota/Berger/Struve), bucking off at 5.0 seconds.
Sixth was Valdiron de Oliveira, who held onto his spot in the world championship race. The Brazilian also went three-for-three, before coming up short in the championship round. Oliveira rode “Hail Damage” (Cornwell Bucking Bulls) for 85.25 in round three, then lost the battle with “Fully Loaded” (Dakota/Berger/Struve) in 2.8 seconds.
Aussie Ben Jones ended the weekend giving his fans a scare, when he hit the dirt and lay motionless in the championship round, when “Mac-Nett’s El Presidente” (Jeff Robinson) threw him to the ground at 6.1 seconds. As the medics stood at the ready, and the back-board was brought into the arena, Jones brought chuckles to his fans, answering Dr. Tandy Freeman’s questions with his usual humor.
Jones entered the short-go blazing, having won round three with 89.25 points on “Hank” (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls/L&G Cattle Co.), and then got in a dance-off with the bull in the arena. He finished the weekend seventh, and won $4,980 and 435 points.
With only Mohegan Sun and then Columbus to go, Ednei Caminhas needed to win one and place high in the other to have any chance at making the PBR World Finals, starting Oct. 20. After ending a long buck-off streak last week in Virginia, Caminhas came on strong in rounds one and two and Mohegan Sun, but fell short on Sunday, bucking off in both round three and the championship round. He ended the weekend tied for 8th/9th with Jordan Hupp. It was a solid weekend for Caminhas, but may not be enough to keep his world finals hopes alive.
By the end of the weekend, 36 of the 45 bull riders that started the weekend had finished the event with at least one qualified ride. Thirteen of those put up two or more scores.
Two that needed but didn’t have powerhouse weekends were number two man JB Mauney and number three Renato Nunes. Nunes had one qualified ride, in round one for 86.75 points, but went scoreless the rest of the weekend, including in the “Final Five Showdown.”
Mauney put his only score in the books in round three, an 80-pointer on “Cobra” (Cornwell Bucking Bulls), and also missed a chance at points in the “Final Five.”
Those slips gave Meier the ability to widen the gap between himself and those two, with only one event – Columbus – and one more “Final Five Showdown” – in New York City – to go before Las Vegas time. Meier is now 706.75 points ahead of Mauney (it was about 60 points heading into the weekend), and 1309.5 ahead of Nunes.
©2010 Story and photographs by Mary Rudloff