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JB Mauney rides Dakota Rodeo/Julie Rosen/Clay Struve/Chad Berger's Tequila Sunrise for 86.75 during the first round of the Billings Built Ford Tough series PBR.


Apr 132017

Guilherme Marchi was overcome by emotions. His eyes filled with tears as he continued to stare at the dirt bellow his feet while thinking about the unparalleled milestone of having ridden 600 bulls at the elite televised PBR level.

“I talked to myself and thought no matter what I need to ride that bull,”

“It’s hard to explain it to you guys,” said Marchi, 34, who thanked the fans in Billings, Montana, and those watching from around the world, and he shared the occasion with his fellow riders, family, girlfriend and God. “I had a dream to come to the United States and my dream came true.


“No matter where we are from you guys are with us all the time. I take my hat off for you guys because if you’re not here we’re not here. I love you guys.”


Marchi’s momentous ride was an 86.25-point effort atop Shocker in Round 2.


The ride caps a three-year journey since he became the first rider in PBR history to achieve 500 qualified rides at the elite level. Mike Lee has since surpassed the milestone and fellow Monster Energy teammate J.B. Mauney is merely six rides from becoming the third rider to reach 500.


To put Marchi’s 600 in proper perspective, only 21 riders have even had 600 or more outs at the elite level.


In fact, once Mauney surpasses 500 there is not another rider approaching 500, much less 600. And Lee, 33, and Mauney, 30, couldn’t be expected to equal 600 until, perhaps, early in the 2020 season.


After composing himself and shaking hands with riders and contractors, Marchi admitted he felt the pressure of making the whistle Saturday night.


Everyone with a cellphone had it out to film their vantage point of history.


Though the odds were against him, Marchi fed off the energy of the crowd.


“I talked to myself and thought no matter what I need to ride that bull,” said Marchi, of his matchup with Shocker, who had previously been unridden in 13 outs. “Thank God for putting his hand on my back and keeping me calm.”


It was a culmination of 14 years of enduring injuries and recovery only to begin dealing with father time.


Those 600 rides took him all of 4,800 seconds or 80 minutes of work since he made his first qualified ride in 2004 at an outdoor event in Laughlin, Nevada.


But with everyone focused on Marchi, another Monster Energy veteran, Mauney, not only closed in on a milestone, but also closed in on the top spot in the world standings.


Like Marchi, a lot has been said this season about Mauney’s age.


He’s spent more time this season being ranked outside the Top 10 than any other year in his career, but that all changed with a 4-for-4 performance in Billings.


Mauney arrived in Montana 10 rides shy of 500.


He left six rides shy.


More importantly, he’s now ranked third in the world.


He was third and fourth in the first two rounds and then earned the first pick in the draft by winning the third round. He picked Bruiser and the two teamed up for 94.25 points in the Championship Round.


When asked why took a World Champion Bull instead of an easier route to 8 seconds, Mauney replied, “Why be 88 when you can be 94?”


In their ways, Mauney and Marchi are two of the most celebrated and accomplished Monster Energy bull riders.