A difference of 0.1 seconds placed $12,000 into Derek Kolbaba’s pocket during the opening night of the Clovis Rodeo.
Kolbaba, the sixth-ranked bull rider in the world, was victorious in the PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour on Thursday night with an average score of 86.25.
But it was the premature, close-call fall of bull rider Joao Ricardo Vieira during the short round final that proved to be the difference.
7.9 seconds How long Joao Ricardo Vieira rode his bull during the short round, just missing the qualifying time of 8.0 seconds
Never miss a local story.
Vieira, who like Kolbaba had scored 87 points for the top score during the the earlier long round, fell off his bull in 7.9 seconds – narrowly missing the 8-second cutoff to register a score.
And considering the wild movements from Vieira’s bull bucking, it’s quite possible he would’ve outscored Kolbaba with a qualifying ride.
“I think so, it would’ve been enough – the bull was pretty good,” said Vieira, the Brazilian who’s ranked 10th in the world. “I wish there would’ve been a review. I thought I heard the song (and) the (bell), then I went off.
“It’s OK. I’ll just try to ride better at the next rodeo.”
Instead, Kolbaba was awarded the top payout from a Clovis Rodeo purse comprised of $400,000 in prize money.
Kolbaba, who completed his short round ride just before Vieira attempted his ride, did not watch the drama.
He instead remained pacing in the back area where the cowboys often warm up, unwind or gather their belongings before and after their ride.
It feels great. This is why we ride bulls.
PBR Velocity Tour winner Derek Kolbaba
“It feels great,” Kolbaba said. “This is why we ride bulls – to come and compete and have a bunch of fun.
“You could sit there and watch and get all nervous about the other guy’s performance. But when it comes down to it, if he makes a great ride, I’ll be just as happy for him. Just go to be happy you did your job.”
Vieira actually rode three bulls during the short round in roughly a 10-minute stretch.
His first bull plowed its left shoulder area directly into the dirt out of the chute, awarding Vieira a re-ride.
His second bull also resulted in another re-ride after failing to buck much.
By his third attempt, Vieira admitted he was a bit tired.
“You can’t really prepare for this,” Vieira said. “One set, two set, three set so quick.”
On his final ride, Vieira was bucked off just before the bell buzzed.
Many from the standing room-only grand stands waited in anticipation to find out if Vieira had recorded a qualifying ride.
As it was announced Vieira fell just short, the Brazilian cowboy had already walked to the back area where Kolbaba was at and shook his hand in congratulations.
“Everything,” Kolbaba said, “worked out.”
Daily schedule at Clovis Rodeo Grounds, 748 Rodeo Drive
- Friday: Opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m. with events to follow (bareback, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, mutton busting, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing, bull riding)
- Saturday: Clovis Rodeo Parade at 9:30 a.m. (streets of Old Town Clovis), opening ceremonies at 2 p.m. with events to follow (bareback, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, mutton busting, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing, bull riding)
- Sunday: Special Kids Rodeo at noon; Rodeo Finals Performance at 2 p.m. (bareback, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, mutton busting, team roping, Gold Card Roping Finals, tie-down roping, barrel racing, bull riding)