Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 | 4:08 p.m.
The most dramatic 2013 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Friday night reached the halfway point, and, for the second consecutive night, there was a lead change atop the world standings.
Twenty-four hours after relinquishing his lead to J.B. Mauney, two-time defending PBR World Champion Silvano Alves rode Showboat (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo) for 89.5 points and finished second in the round to regain his position as the No. 1 bull rider in the world.
This time, however, his 19.75-point advantage is the narrowest margin of any lead this season. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was as close to the stomping bulls as possible for the incredible photos.
Silvano, who just last year became the first back-to-back World Champion in the 20-year history of PBR, is trying to win his third consecutive gold buckle in only four seasons on the Built Ford Tough Series — something that has eluded J.B. for seven years.
The 26-year-old from Moorseville, N.C., followed Brazilian Silvano’s big moment with another of his own when he covered J.W. Hughes’ Excavation (Cody Ohl/J.W. Hughes) for 89 points and a third-place finish in Round 3 at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
After the third round, J.B. remains atop the event average with a three-bull total of 271.5 points followed by L.J. Jenkins (264.25), Guilherme Marchi (256.75) and Alves (252.75). Cody Nance, opening night’s winner, shoots up to fifth despite no score in Round 2, meaning only the Top Four bull riders have had three scoring rides.
“This is the tightest race I’ve ever been in — even coming into the Finals — and it’s like two fighters trading blows,” said J.B. “It’s been a long time since my mouth’s been dry before I got on a bull, and it’s happened every night since I’ve been here.
“It’s great. It’s fun. It pumps me a lot more knowing that I have to ride. I just put it in my mind to have fun and keep trying and don’t quit.”
Silvano also is feeling the back-and-forth, neck-and-neck tension: “It’s very emotional,” he said. “I’m happy. I had a good score, good points, so I’m very happy. J.B. had a good score and a good ride. This is the best bull riding, and it’s a good competition.”
Silvano will have the second pick in tonight’s bull draft for the fourth round, followed by J.B., who has the third pick by virtue of their Round 3 finishes.
The event leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Points): 1) J. B. Mauney, 88.75-93.75-89-271.50 points; 2) L.J. Jenkins, 86-89.75-88.5-264.25 points; 3. Guilherme Marchi, 87.5-86.25-83-256.75 points; 4. Silvano Alves, 73.75-89.5-89.5-252.75 points; and 5. Cody Nance, 89-0-86.5-175.50 points.
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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