Valdiron showing off all his awards after winning the biggest check for a one-day event in PBR history.
Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media photo
Records were broken Saturday night when the PBR pulled into
Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. They played to more than 50,000 bull riding
fans, the largest crowd in PBR history in North America. And this record crowd
witnessed the largest first-place purse for a one-day event as well - $260,000!
Brazilian Valdiron de Oliveira was the man who won the 2010
Dickies Iron Cowboy Invitational, the first time an event of this type was
held. The 24 top cowboys had the top 43 bulls at their fingertips. The event was
tournament style, with the top eight men in the standings not having to compete
in the first round. The remaining 16 were seeded based on last years’
Valdiron, who was one of those who got to start in round
two, still had to withstand four grueling rounds with a very sore riding hand
and arm. But that pain seemed to be forgotten when his fellow Brazilians
carried him around the arena after his big victory, and the timing could not
have been better. The closing date for his new ranch is just a short three days
away. It now would seem that he will be able to pay for his ranch in full.
But afterwards, when he was away from the awe of Cowboy
Stadium, his emotions took over and the tears came. According to good friend
Paulo Crimber, “He was thinking about where he’d come from, when his family was
poor and starving, because they didn’t have any money.” The soft-spoken de
Oliveira will have to get used to putting money in his pocket, for this
talented bull rider has a lot more pay checks to look forward to.
Valdiron shows some emotion as the enormity of his victory sinks in.
Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media photo
In round one, Travis Briscoe advanced over Ned Cross, and
tied for first with a score of 88.75. He rode Paycheck, owned by Hyland Cattle
Company. Dustin Elliot moved up over Skeeter Kingsolver, and Elliott Jacoby won
out over Josh Koschel. Ross Coleman advanced over L.J. Jenkins and took third
in the process. He rode Pearl Snap to an 88.5 score. That good bull is owned by
Boyd/Floyd Bull Company. Shane Proctor bested Mike Lee and was fourth with an
87. He rode Chance, owned by Teague Bucking Bulls, LLC.
McKennon Wimberly moved up over Brian Canter, and was the
man who tied with Travis for the win. He covered Flashpoint, owned by Teague
Bucking Bulls, LLC. But Canter also rode his bull, and his score of 82 placed
him seventh. Brian rode the Martinez Bucking Bull, LLC, Top Notch. Caleb
Sanderson was fifth as he advanced over Wiley Petersen. Caleb scored 85 when he
rode Tower 59, owned by Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve. Sean Willingham
bested Renato Nunes and was sixth. He scored 82.5 on Super Duty, owned by D
& H Cattle Company/Linda Hance.
Half of the men competing in round two had already ridden
one bull, while the other eight were those who got to sit out that first round.
Briscoe was victorious again, a bit surprisingly this time, as he beat out our
current World Champion, Kody Lostroh. This time he scored an 89 on Smack Down,
owned by Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Julie Rosen. But even though
Lostroh did not advance, he placed third in the round. He rode Ground Zero to
an 88 score. Ace of Spades/Beach City/Moody-Rice/Lone Star/Shippy own Ground
Zack Brown, who would move into round three as well, stopped
Elliott in this round. Coleman also keep himself alive by riding the Duncan and
Evan Bucking Bull Bad Moon to an 86.5 score, stopping Austin Meier before he
got a chance to start. Guilherme Marchi wouldn’t let Jacoby continue on, as
Guilherme advanced. He was also fifth in round two when he rode Maverick to an
86. Lufkin Ranch and Rodeo own Maverick. J.B. Mauney defeated brother-in-law
Proctor. Wimberly dashed Ryan McConnel’s hopes before they got going. Valdiron
bested Sanderson when he covered Little Mr. T to be second, with a score of
88.25. That bull is hauled by Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls/Roy Carter Bucking
Bulls. and Willingham moved up again when he advanced over Robson Palermo.
Eight men moved into round three. Briscoe continued on his
march, as he was able to knock out Brown. Marchi moved up over Coleman. In a
bit of a surprise, Wimberly sent Mauney to the back early, placing second in
the process. He rode the Teague Bucking Bulls’ RFD-TV, owned by LLC/RFDTV, LLC,
to an 88.5. Valdiron was able to advance over Willingham and won the round as
he did so. He covered the great Teague Bucking Bulls’ LLC, Bones, for an 89.5.
And then there were four. In an unprecedented move, from now
on the two men who were paired off would each ride the same bull. Briscoe had
to go against Marchi, and they both had the bull owned by
Robinson/Beutler/McNeely, Voodoo Child. Neither men rode this good little bull,
but it was Travis who held on the longest and advanced to the fifth and final
Now it was time for McKennon and Valdiron to try their hand
with Big Tex, owned by Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve. Again, neither man
could hold on for the eight, but de Oliveira was able to outlast Wimberly to
advance to the finals.
Code Blue, Code Blue, Code Blue! The 2009 Bucking Bull of
the Year that is proudly owned by Walton & Wagoner/Berger & Struve did
what he was bred to do, bucking off both of his dance partners, Travis and
Valdiron, in less than 10 seconds combined. But it was de Oliveira who lasted
approximately one second longer than Briscoe to take home the huge cash prize.
Travis got $40,000 for his hard work. No other money was paid out in Arlington.
And equally important, the points will count towards the
world standings, and the money will count toward the World Finals Qualifier
Those BFTS standings have Mauney in the lead, Briscoe
second, de Oliveira has jumped up into third, Meier is fourth, Koschel fifth, Nunes
sixth, Proctor seventh, Kingsolver eighth, Palermo ninth, and Wimberly rounds
out the 10 spot.
Well, this Iron Cowboy competition was four years in the
making. PBR CEO Randy Bernard had this vision, and he watched it come to
fruition on his last day at work. In case any of you haven’t heard by now, Bernard
will not attend any other bull ridings and will officially leave on March first
to become the CEO of the Indy Racing League (IRL). Randy will be missed, and
what he has done for the PBR would take pages and pages to put down on paper. He
has helped the PBR grow beyond its wildest dreams, and that is what he intends
to do with the IRL. I wish him all the best of luck in his new endeavor.