Decatur’s Joao Ricardo Vieira arose as the Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V in the Professional Bull Riders bracket-style event Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Vieira, who is the reigning PBR Rookie of the Year, stayed atop the bull Mick E Mouse for 2.42 seconds, edging 19-year-old’s Gage Gay’s 1.45-second ride by less than a second, to be crowned the champion of the single-elimination competition.
As the event winner, Vieira earned the chance at $1 million if he rode the menacing Bushwacker for 8 seconds. But the bull proved its dominance, bucking Vieira off in 2.17 seconds.
Vieira earned no qualifying score en route to the win, as cowboys must ride a bull for 8 seconds to gain points. Otherwise, their score is the length of time they stay atop the bull.
In previous rounds, he bested Reese Cates by .15 seconds – 1.98 to Cates’ 1.83 – and Stormy Wing by more than 2 seconds – 3.57 to Wing’s 1.27-second ride.
He then eliminated fellow Brazilian Silvano Alves, also of Decatur, in the final four with a 5.91-second ride to Alves’ 3.23.
Alves had previously earned an 87.75-point ride, eliminating fellow Brazilian Fabiano Vieira and his 5.52-second ride.
After a first-round bye, Alves had bested Chase Outlaw with a 5.95-second ride on Honey Hush, to Outlaw’s 3.88 seconds atop Chocolate Thunder.
Valdiron de Oliveira of Boyd advanced to the second round of competition with a 6.83-second ride, which was better than Ty Pozzobon’s 3.44 seconds.
Defending PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney, however, ousted de Oliveira in the next round with a qualifying score of 83.75 points to the local rider’s 2.73-second ride.
Despite an impressive 89-point ride, Decatur’s Marco Eguchi was held off by Stormy Wing’s 90.5 points in the second round. As a top seed, Eguchi received a first-round bye.
In the first round, Mike Lee of Decatur received a qualifying score of 77.25 points – and quite a scare after his spur got stuck on the rope around the bull, causing him to be dragged for a few seconds. But it was not enough to advance as Gay, his bracket opponent, earned an 85.75.
After a first-round bye, Eduardo Aparecido Silva of Decatur was eliminated in his first go after a 3.62-second ride to Fabiano Vieira’s 83.75 qualifying score.
Following Saturday’s event, Lee remains second in the world standings, just ahead of the Iron Cowboy V at third.
De Oliveira drops one spot to fifth, while Eguchi climbs to 11th place from 13th.
Alves rose to 15th place from 17th, and Aparecido is ranked 19th.
The Iron Cowboy V was the ninth stop of 27 in the 2014 PBR Built Ford Tough Series, which continues with the Bass Pro Chute Out Saturday and Sunday in Phoenix, Ariz. The season culminates at the PBR World Finals Oct. 22-26 in Las Vegas.