Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 | 9:51 a.m.
Cowboy hero J.B. Mauney’s lifelong dream was realized when he became the first American since 2009 to win the PBR World Champion title in Sunday’s dramatic conclusion in the back-and-forth fight at the top of the leader board. J.B. walked proudly out of the ring with total prize money of $1,385,500.
It was the most tension-fraught second half in the 20-year history of the Professional Bull Riders and J.B.’s first gold buckle, and he picked up that $1 million bonus with the World Champion win.
It was a case study in perfection as J.B. prevailed to become the 2013 PBR World Champion. The 26-year-old from Mooresville, N.C., also made history at our Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV by becoming the first rider with two perfect performances ― 2013 and 2008 ― at the World Finals. As if that wasn’t enough, he also became the first rider in PBR history to win four consecutive events at the elite level.
Even more extraordinary was the fact that when he arrived in Las Vegas a week ago, J.B. was ranked 10th in the world standings. He trailed two-time defending World Champion Silvano Alves by 3,056 points coming out of that summer break, yet went on to claim the title Sunday afternoon with a commanding lead of 977.75 points.
Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his galleries of stunning images that capture all of the nail-biting excitement of the World Finals challenges. Also our thanks to Denise Abbott of PBR for her valuable contributions to these reports.
“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 J.B, who has ridden at 221 Built Ford Tough Series events over eight seasons before finally winning his first gold buckle and the world title with its $1 million bonus. He also received $250,000 for winning the World Finals event and money for victories in rounds.
“There’s no better feeling. You dream of something all your life and to eventually get it, it feels like you’ve done conquered the world.”
It was no easy ride to conquer the professional bull-riding world. J.B. spent five days gaining on one of the greatest Brazilian riders who just last year became the first and only back-to-back World Champion in PBR history.
Despite the pressure J.B. put on Silvano by winning Rounds 2 and 4 ― and then eventually Round 5 ― Silvano would not simply give up his claim as the top rider in the world until all the rounds were in the books. Only a slim 116 points separated the two heroes in the Finals average, (J.B. 546, Silvano 430), with Claudio Crisostomo (346.25), Cody Nance (345) and Guilherme Marchi (343.75) rounding out the Top Five.
“It was a good competition, and it was good for the PBR,” said Silvano as photographers captured the final moments of his rival’s memorable win. “He did a good job, and congratulations. It was a good race.”
J.B. is now named alongside champions Adriano Moraes (3), Tuff Hedeman, Owen Washburn, Michael Gaffney, Troy Dunn, Cody Hart, Chris Shivers (2), Ednei Caminhas, Mike Lee, Justin McBride (2), Guilherme Marchi, Kody Lostroh, Renato Nunes and Silvano (2). J.B. joins Mike (2004) and Renato (2010) as the only riders in PBR history to win the world title and event average in the same year. He also joins Troy (1995, 1997) and Robson (2008, 2011, 2012) as the only riders to win the average more than once.
It had taken five grueling days to build the buzz and swell of support for J.B., who twice finished second (2008, 2009) and twice finished third (2007, 2010) in the season standings. He’s now finished in the Top 10 for seven consecutive seasons. The fever pitch reached a crescendo in Round 5 after a re-ride flag was thrown when he was unable to get out of the chute on Harlem Shake. As he moved from a left- to right-hand delivery, the crowd chanted his name.
Silvano had moved to within 32.75 points one ride earlier when he covered Cowtown Slinger for 88.25 points, but once J.B. rode Ford Hammer Down for a 91-point round win, he led by 573.75 points in the world standings. More importantly, his 453.25 points in the average was 107 more than anyone else and assured him of his sixth-event win of the season.
It also was the day of bucking bulls as Bushwacker won his second World Champion Bull/Bull of the World Finals with 93.50 points, beating defending champion Asteroid by a mere 2.75 points. J.B. also earned the Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award, which is presented to the bull rider with the highest-marked ride at the Finals. He won Round 2 with 93.75 points on Smackdown.
The final scorecards are as follows:
The 2013 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals results (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Total Points-Total Earnings): 1) J.B. Mauney, 88.75-93.75-89-90.75-91-546.25 points, $1,385,500; 2) Silvano Alves, 73.75-89.5-89.5-0-88.25-430 points, $188,000; 3) Claudio Crisostomo, 83.25-0-87-89.75-86.25-346.25 points, $103,750; 4) Cody Nance, 89-0-86.5-82.25-87.25-345 points, $88,250; and 5) Guilherme Marchi, 87.5-86.25-83-0-0-343.75 points, $63,000.
And the 2013 PBR Built Ford Tough Series World Finals standings (Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top Five’s, Points, Total Winnings): 1) J.B. Mauney, 26, 5, 11, 15,695.500, $1,810,710.75; 2) Silvano Alves, 27, 3, 11, 14,717.750, $595,650.80; 3) Joao Ricardo Vieira, 22, 3, 5, 10,739.480, $446,585.11; 4) Guilherme Marchi, 27, 2, 5, 10,283.320, $231,287.70; 5) Cody Nance, 27, 1, 4, 9,879.790, $257,954.18; and 6) Marco Eguchi, 26, 2, 8, 8,233.550, $212,829.30.
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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