While 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi’s World Finals may not be going the way he had planned, this man needs no ‘title’ to remain a champion. He is one in more ways than can be described.
This handsome, 27 year old Brazilian is truly living everyone’s dream. He grew up on his father’s ranch, helping his father and grandfather raise grapes, and generally getting into all the trouble that little boys do. At the age of five, he got kicked in the eye and then in the face and still carries the scars today. When his older brother began riding bulls, Guilherme discovered that he had talent. “I won six cars, a motorcycle, and a lot of money – in 2002 I won $100,000,” he explained, When pressed, he modestly admitted that this was because he won the Brazilian National Championship in 2002.
In 2004 Marchi came to the United States and began competing in the PBR. Never flamboyant, and always consistent, this man steadily climbed his way to the top finishing runner-up to the World Champion in 2005, 2006 and in 2007. All three years, the World Final events were incredibly tight and it was wire to wire until the end. Each year, Marchi worked hard, only to come in second – certainly a position to be proud of, but not where Marchi wanted to be. Determined to succeed, Guilherme kept on fighting and in 2008 he was finally awarded the gold buckle, the $1,000,000 in prize money and the coveted title of World Champion. One of the most consistent riders in PBR history, Marchi has a career riding average of over 60%, has competed in 150 events, winning 12 of them, and has scored 36 90-point plus rides.
When asked if he felt a different kind of pressure this year as opposed to last year, Marchi replied that he really didn’t feel pressured. “I’ve been riding every day, riding almost 100% of my bulls – it feels great.” He went on to explain that when he arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday before the first performance he had a sinus infection that is still bothering him today. “But I am coming here to win the title again. I believe I can ride my bulls. God has a plan in your life and it’s good. This is a new week for me. I’m not going to think about the title. I want to ride my bulls, win money and we’ll see what happens.”
We asked what he thought of the new format for the Finals next year, where it will be five events, one each day, with no break in between. He replied “I love it! I think it’s better because you can keep going. It’s good for the fans too. The Finals are very expensive for the fans; the tickets, the hotel, the travel. This will be much better for everyone. For the riders it’s hard too, the work is hard, they’re tired; for me, I’m, away from home and I miss my kids. I like having it go straight through.” He added “The break is good though, it’s great to be here with just my wife. This is the first time we’ve been without the kids and we can go to shows and go dancing – we’ve had fun!”
It’s a pleasure to listen to Guilherme talk about his wife and kids. “I have a great family. My wife is a great wife; she helps me in my competing in the bull riding.” He proudly bragged about how great a barrel racer she is. In fact, she will be competing in Las Vegas in December for a $50,000 purse. All in all, this is a very happy man. “Today I have everything. I have my bucking bulls, I have my arena, and I have my house, my cars. Everything I wanted when I was young, I have today. I’m here, in the United States, I’ve been three times second in the world, I won the World Finals in 2005, I was World Champion last year, I am number three right now, I just need to keep it going.” In other words…life is good!
Marchi is trying to make history by earning consecutive world titles. From round five on, he needs for both Lostroh and Mauney to buck off all their bulls, and he needs to win each remaining round in order to retain the Championship – no small feat considering the caliber of those two men! Regardless of the outcome though, Guilherme Marchi is truly a Champ and a great leader. His unfailing support of his teammates, his constant advice and assistance, his completely unselfish personality make him everything he is today. I have to say, I’m proud to know him and I’m proud to have him as a friend.
Until next time……