Marchi stays true to his motto

Guilherme Marchi's win in Thackerville was the first of his season, and the biggest. Photo: Andy Watson /


  • The first to embrace Guilherme Marchi after securing the win in Thackerville were his kids, J.G. and Manuela.
  • It was an immensely satisfying moment for the former World Champion who, just a year ago, nearly ended his career at this very same event.
  • Returning, and winning, meant a lot for Marchi, who stayed true to his motto of never giving up.

In This Article

PUEBLO, Colo. – Guilherme Marchi’s son, J.G., glued his eyes to the television monitor just outside the rider walkoff area of the WinStar World Casino and Resort Coliseum.

The 8-year-old wasn’t able to find a spot near the gate to watch his dad’s attempt on What’s Under Your Hood, so he resorted to watching the CBS Sports Network broadcast feed.

Eight seconds and an 86.5-point qualified ride later, J.G. was jumping up and down while his dad pumped his chest and roared in the arena.

It was a monumental win for Guilherme seeing as his career was almost ended last year in Thackerville, Oklahoma, when he tore his left MCL and PCL.

However, the 34-year-old father of two wanted his son and daughter, Manuela, to learn a valuable lesson from his 24th career victory.

“Never give up.”

It was a lesson Guilherme had to remind himself over and over again during the last year as he tried to rehab and overcome not just the two torn ligaments, but two other major injuries (a torn right biceps and a torn right MCL) in 2015.

marchi insertGuilherme Marchi was happy to have his kids on hand for his first win of the season.

“It is fun because before we leave my house I told them I am going to win this event,” Marchi said. “They live my dream. When I suffer, they suffer with me. When I am hurt, they hurt inside too. J.G. and Manuela are a big support for me. Everything I do, I look ahead. I look to leave a good life for my kids. I want them to have a better life. It is hard to live your dream. Bull riding is not easy. It is a very competitive sport. You need to work hard, give your blood, suffer and do whatever you need to do. It is worth it.

“Never give up.”

Those three words have been a talking point of nearly every conversation or interview Marchi has given since he shredded his knee in Thackerville.

At the time, it was the second major injury the 2008 World Champion had sustained last year. Marchi had torn his right bicep (riding arm) roughly two months earlier at the 2015 Calgary Stampede.

To make matters worse, Marchi then shred his right MCL at the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals during his third bull ride back after vigorously rehabbing his right knee and right bicep injuries for 47 days before the Finals. 

“This win is a lot,” Marchi said. “Actually, especially in my situation. Both of my knees. My arm. I am 34 years old. It is hard to compete with the young guns. The young kids are so prepared for those bulls and they dream to be a World Champion. They are putting everything together. For us, we are getting old and slow, but when you have the faith and you believe in yourself and you put some hard work in. I think everything comes true.”

Marchi won the event with a 3-for-3 performance and edged out the PBR’s newest superstars Cooper Davis, 22, and Kaique Pacheco, 21.  Marchi won Round 1 with an 88.75-point ride on Losing My Religion and then covered Jungle for 82.5 points in Round 2.

He is the first World Champion to win an event this season and is only the fourth rider 30 years or older to notch a victory.

Once 2004 World Champion Mike Lee bucked off Buckle Up in 7.26 seconds on the final ride attempt of the Built Ford Tough Championship, Marchi gave a massive bear to Pacheco, while J.G., Silvano Alves and Eduardo Aparecido mobbed him in celebration.

“I draw good bulls this week,” Marchi said. “I rode 100 percent. It is a lot for me because I build my confidence again. It is special. I am here close to my hometown (Ferris, Texas) and my kids are with me. My neighbors have supported me a lot. All of my fans, friends and sponsors with me never left me alone. Especially my buddies, Silvano, Robson (Palermo), Valdiron (de Oliveira), Marco (Eguchi), Paulo (Lima). All of the Brazilians. Luis (Blanco), Rubens (Barbosa). All of the guys push me hard.”

Pacheco was proud of Marchi, who spent the previous week biking 14 miles a day with Paulo Lima, and his comeback story.

Marchi, along with Alves, spent much of last year taking Pacheco under his wing prior to Marchi’s Thackerville injury.

“I am very happy right now because Guilherme is starting to ride good again,” Pacheco said with the help of Alves translating. “Before it was very difficult for him with injuries and little troubles. Right now he is riding again and keeping his mentality good. His confidence is good and he is really happy right now.”

Marchi began investing in his hat/clothing brand Marchicaps during his 2015 rehab. The macho bull rider used the phrase, “Never Give Up,” as his major marketing push.

“When I (chose) ‘Never Give Up,’ I said I need to make a brand for me,” Marchi said. “It is going really good in Brazil and it is starting to do good here in United States too. I hope one day we can sell it here in the PBR because everybody ask where they can find the caps and shirts.”

The PBR’s all-time ride leader (564) has said before that if he ever decides to get surgery then he will call it a career. For now, though, his heart is set on finishing two more seasons before hanging up his bull rope.

Marchi is 17th in the world standings and 2,120 points behind world leader Davis.

He knows one rider can earn a potential 3,300 points at the World Finals and he isn’t throwing in the towel just yet on a late-season push for the World Championship.

“We still have a lot of events to go,” he concluded. “Seven left. There is 3,000 more points at the Finals. Everything is open.

“You can never give up.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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