The world's best bull riders electrified the sold-out Thomas & Mack Center crowd during the seventh round and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at the 2008 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals presented by Wrangler. The crowd watched as Brazilian superstar Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) was officially crowned the 2008 PBR World Champion after eight rounds of competition. He rode seven of eight bulls and finished second overall in the average.
"I feel great right now. I still don't believe it. I know how much I worked these past four years and still don't believe it," Marchi stated. "I'm proud of this year. Everybody has had strong bulls and a long season and I had a fantastic World Finals and picked good bulls. I realized my American dream."
The crowd also witnessed the final rides of retiring legends Adriano Moraes and Justin McBride. McBride covered his seventh round bull, Pearl Snap, owned by Boyd/Floyd Bull Company, for 93.5 points and the round victory.
Marchi's fellow Brazilian Robson Palermo took the 2008 PBR World Finals Event title with a total of 625.25 points, riding seven of eight bulls. He received scores of over 90 points on three of his seven bulls. The Thomas & Mack crowd also saw Reese Cates of Carthage, Texas, take the title of the 2008 Daisy Rookie of the Year.
"I felt great coming into the event in Vegas," Cates said. "I think this year was an outstanding year for rookies although everyone was a rookie as some point in their career and I don't want to overlook other greats like Justin McBride, Guilherme Marchi, and Adriano (Moraes)."
Eighteen of the season's top 45 riders successfully rode some of the world's top bucking bulls in the seventh round, with the top 15 moving into the eighth and final Championship Round with only three riders covering their short-go attempts