DES MOINES, Iowa - The only rider to cover all four bulls, Robson Palermo easily won the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series Des Moines Invitational, and $51,900 at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday.
Palermo finished with 353.5 points, including 92 points on RMEF Gunpowder & Lead (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls) to win the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. The score was the seventh-highest-marked ride of the season. Palermo posted the two highest-marked rides of 2011 on RMEF Gunpowder & Lead with 93.5 points at Milwaukee, and 93.25 points at Pueblo, Colo. He finished second in Round 3 in Des Moines with 86.75 points on Space Chimp (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo), and also won the short round, while tying for second in Round 1 on Saturday. The victory moves Palermo from 23rd to 16th in the BFTS season standings despite missing the first nine events of the season while recovering from surgery in the offseason.
2009 PBR World Champion Guilherme Marchi finished second with 251.5 points, while L.J. Jenkins was third with 170.75 points. It was the second consecutive runner-up finish for Marchi, and the fourth Top 3 finish in a row for Jenkins, who has five Top 5 finishes in his past six events. Jenkins won two weeks ago at Kansas City, Mo., while finishing third at Indianapolis a week ago, and at Albuquerque, N.M. Stormy Wing finished fourth with 169.5 points, and Emilio Resende was fifth with 168 points.
Asteroid (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo) won the Pabst Blue Ribbon Bull Award for being the high-marked bull of the event, earning 47.25 points (out of 50) after bucking off Wing in 1.99 seconds in the championship round. It was the 13th consecutive buckoff for the second-ranked bull, who improved to 8-0 in 2012. The 47.25 points is the second-highest bull score of the year behind Asteroid's own 47.5 points when he bucked off PBR World Champion Silvano Alves in 1.81 seconds in the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle at Sacramento, Calif. The runner-up for World Champion Bull in 2011 has five of the seven highest bull scores this season.
Top-ranked Valdiron de Oliveira finished 15th in Des Moines, and increased his BFTS season lead over No. 2 J.B. Mauney to 563 points. Oliveira has 5,925.5 points and Mauney has 5,362.5. Mauney, who has missed the past two events after having a broken bone in his riding hand surgically repaired, was ranked first for seven weeks, including six in a row, before being overtaken a week ago by Oliveira. Mauney has practiced the past week with switching to riding with his right hand down, and may return to competition next week at the Mohegan Sun Invitational presented by Cooper Tires at Uncasville, Conn. Marco Eguche is third in the standings with 5,080.75 points, followed by Jenkins with 4,979.5 points, and Alves with 4,674.25 points.
CBS Sports Network will have an encore airing of action from Round 3 and the championship round tonight at 10 p.m. ET, and Monday, April 23, at 9 p.m. ET.
The PBR Built Ford Tough Series will return to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., for the Mohegan Sun Invitational presented by Cooper Tires on April 27-29. Bull riding begins at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28, and at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 29. Tickets begin at $15 and are available at www.Tickemaster.com, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000.
Des Moines was the 15th stop on the BFTS, which opened the 2012 season on Jan. 6-8 with capacity crowds at Madison Square Garden in New York. The BFTS will make 28 stops in 23 states before the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 24-28, 2012. The World Finals are where the PBR World Champion will be crowned and awarded the coveted Championship Buckle and a $1 million bonus. The richest bull riding event in the world, the World Finals has a total purse of more than $2 million.
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