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2012 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough World Championships

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2012 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough World Championships

Silvano Alves is all smiles after winning the 2012 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough World Championship.

Photo © Tom Donoghue
A season of blood, sweat and tears came to fruition this weekend at the 2012 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough World Championships. The most talented riders and the baddest bulls met head to horns at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, putting the extreme sport of bull riding front and center for the entire world. This year's event did not disappoint, with more than once record-setting performance making its way into the history books.

All About the Finals

The Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough World Championship is the richest event in the history of bull riding. The 2012 event boasted an impressive purse of more than $2.2 million, the largest ever offered at a single event. In order for a cowboy to qualify for the finals, he must ride in as many of the 30-PBR sponsored events held across the country. The 45 riders with the most money and the highest number of points at the end of the season earn a spot in the World Championships. This series is unique in the world of professional rodeo because cowboys can be eliminated from the standings and earn their way back into a top spot by winning money in the PBR's minor-league events. This competitive structure demands that each cowboy stay on top of his game, and gives fans a bit of encouragement if their favorite rider slips out of contention.

Rocking Las Vegas

The best bull riders in the country descended on Las Vegas on October 24th for a 5-day stint of bucking bulls, cheering crowds, and the shot at fame and fortune. The best bulls in the country were hauled in and paired with die-hard cowboys, making for some of the most exciting rides of the season. Round 1 didn't disappoint, with Renato Nunes paired with Yellow Jacket Jr. for a round-winning 90.25 ride. Luke Snyder came in a close second at 89.75 points, with Valdiron de Oliveira and Emilio Resende tying for third at 87 points each. The excitement continued into round 2, with impending retiree Chris Shivers taking top honors. Shivers also won round 3, leaving the world of professional bull riding with a bang. Round 4 went to Marco Eguchi on phenomenal bull Cat Ballou, with Davi Henrique not far behind on Cyber Cat with a score of 88.25.

Into the History Books

Brazilians have dominated the sport of professional bull riding for more than a decade, and this year's PBR Built Ford Tough series was no exception. Last year's World Champion Silvano Alves took top honors again in the 2012 season, making him the first cowboy in history to win back-to-back PBR World Championships. The $1 million bonus for winning the Championship boosts Alves earnings to nearly $3.5 million, making him the fastest bull rider to ever reach the $3 million mark. Fellow Brazilian Robson Palermo also made history as the first cowboy to win the Built Ford Tough Championship event title three times. His rides totaled 439.25 points, and his earnings cleared more than $300,000 over the 5-day championship event. Rookie of the Year honors went to another Brazilian cowboy, Emilio Resende. This die-hard bull rider won the championship round with a score of 89.75 points aboard the Circle T/3B bull David's Dream. This win boosted him to second place in the overall standings, with more than $271,000 in earnings. Asteroid was crowned World Champion Bull this year, beating our last year's victor Asteroid by a merely ¼ of a point. Smackdown earned the number three spot, with Buckey, Rock & Roll, and David's Dream rounding out the best of the best in 2012 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough World Championships.

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