That may well have been an understatement worth 90 points of its own considering Smooth Operator’s place among the all-time great bucking bulls in PBR history.
“I knew I had a great opportunity to win the 15/15,” said Eguchi, of his matchup with Smooth Operator in Okeechobee, Florida. “He already buck me off twice. I knew I can’t give this opportunity to go away. I do everything to ride him.”
Two-time World Champion bull rider-turned-CBS Sports Network broadcaster Justin McBride said Eguchi is “a guy you can never count out.”
McBride went to describe the memorable out, “That’s as good a ride as you’re going to see. That’s flawless.”
Eguchi will need to be flawless again this weekend if he intends to make the 8-second whistle. Another weekend like this past event and Eguchi, who is ranked seventh in the PBR world standings, and he will find himself in the Top 5 and vying for the No. 1 position.
In addition to Eguchi, Derek Kolbaba, 8, is in the Top 10, while Cody Teel, 12, is right outside of the Top 10 as all three make their way to Del Rio this weekend. By the end of February, Monster Energy could very well have five or six riders and, perhaps, even all seven ranked in the Top 25.
Eguchi, who is 31 years old, is a native of Poa, Brazil—a small town near Sao Paulo.
He did not start riding bulls until his late teens after watching some friends ride practice bulls. Without ever having ridden calves or steers or even smaller, younger bulls, Eguchi’s first experience was getting on a full-sized bucking bull.