Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 | 4:56 p.m.
Screaming fans at Wednesday night’s opening round of the 2013 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals saw Tennessean Cody Nance win with 89 points on Roy (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls), the half-brother to the notorious Bushwacker, but it’s the race between J.B. Mauney and Silvano Alves that has everyone’s attention at our Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV.
Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was ringside for all the incredible action and the thrills and spills. J.B.’s second-place finish in Round 1 brings the point spread between him and reigning two-time World Champion Silvano to a narrow 173.50 points. In bull-riding terms, that’s neck-and-neck.
J.B. rode Train Robber (George Goins/Mike White) for 88.75 points and received an additional 350 event points for the second-place finish, receiving a total of 438.75 points on the first night. Silvano fought his way to the 8-second whistle aboard All Shook Up (Winston Loe/Melton Bull Co.) for 73.75 points, receiving a re-ride option, which he declined. His score put him in 13th place. With only 13 men making the whistle, Silvano’s decision to decline a re-ride and try for a higher score and placement could affect the championship race.
In declining, Silvano is at a disadvantage going forward this week. J.B and he are now separated by 11 places in the average that’s worth 2,500 points to the winner. In the event both riders finish the season finale a perfect 6-for-6, Silvano will have at least 10 spots to make up in the average in the next five rounds.
“After all the talk and the questions and everything, I just tried to keep it simple, have fun,” J.B. said after watching Silvano. Asked about the decision to turn down a re-ride, J.B. said: “I didn’t know with being here, but, well, the way he’s gone about things, it’s worked two years in a row. No, I’m not worried. I’m going to go at it each night and let it all hang out and give it everything I have. That’s all I can do. The rest will take care of itself.”
If anybody won last night, it was the bulls themselves. It was a night of high-flying spills, angry charges and stomping. The top riders accounted for seven qualified rides in the first 29 outs going into the intermission before six of the Top 10 riders in the world standings finished the opening round with rides.
Round 2 of the PBR World Finals takes place tonight starting at 6, with CBS Sports Network carrying the event live coast to coast. The Top Five riders: 1) Cody Nance, 89-89.00 points; 2) J. B. Mauney, 88.75-88.75 points; 3) Guilherme Marchi, 87.5-87.50 points; 4) Renato Nunes, 87.25-87.25 points; and 5) Markus Mariluch, 87-87.00 points.
The world’s premier bull-riding organization, PBR celebrates 20 years of competition with the 2013 season. In just two decades, the dream of 20 bull riders has become a global sports phenomenon with PBR broadcasts reaching more than half a billion households in 50 nations and territories, and more than 2.5 million fans attend events each year. PBR has paid out more than $120 million in earnings to its athletes.
Twenty-six riders have earned more than $1 million, including former UNLV student Justin McBride with $5.5 million ― the most of any western sports athlete in history. He retired in 2008 to begin a country-singing career, although yesterday here in Las Vegas revealed that he will break his pledge to never ride again in March at a $2 million winner-takes-all contest near Dallas. If he won, Justin would again be in record books for the largest sports prize in PBR history.
Our thanks to Denise Abbott of PBR for her contribution to our daily report.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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