CHICAGO – Some people make a living off the 8-hour work day.
While Silvano Alves – the richest bull rider in professional sports – has made over $5.3 million by making a career out of a job that takes only 8 seconds at a time.
It is why it is almost fitting that the most consistent bull rider on the Built Ford Tough Series once again put his name into the PBR record books on Saturday night with his 17th consecutive ride on the BFTS dating back to last year when he covered Redbone for 85 points during Round 1 of the Chicago Invitational at Allstate Arena.
“I am very, very happy to ride 17 bulls,” Alves said. “I am thankful for my family to support me, my sponsors and God.”
While Alves has put together ride streaks in Brazil before, to accomplish 17 in a row on the BFTS is something he never expected.
“No,” Alves responded. “In the summer I have ridden many bulls, but here it is much harder.”
The 27-year-old has officially passed J.B. Mauney (16 straight) and Terry Don West (15) since beginning his streak in Biloxi, Mississippi, on Oct. 3, 2014. During that time span he has averaged 82.22 points per ride, and he has now ridden eight of his last 10 bulls for 85 points or more.
Mauney watched on the CBS Sports Network television screen next to the chutes as Alves made easy work on Redbone before clapping in salute to the Pilar Do Sul, Brazil bull rider.
Chad Berger’s bovine athlete made three leaps out of the gate before turning back into a quick spin that Alves settled into for his record-breaking ride.
Following the event, Mauney went up to Alves in the hallway outside the locker room and said, “Good job cowboy. Congrats.”
Alves said that he is honored to be listed in the record books among such great company as Mauney, who set the PBR’s previous consecutive ride record at 16 last year in Chicago, and West.
“J.B. is a really good bull rider. I am a fan of J.B.,” he said. “It is a good record. Terry Don West was a good bull rider too (with) 15 in a row.”
After he pumped his chest in celebration with the confetti falling around him, Alves hopped back up to the chutes where 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi hugged him in congratulations.
“That is what all of the best bull riders do,” Marchi said. “They cover all of their bulls and they break records. He did it. He broke another record. I believe he will keep it going because of his confidence and I think he is in the best shape of his life.”
Marchi and Alves now share two of the most prestigious records in PBR history believes two-time World Champion and CBS Sports Network color commentator Justin McBride.
McBride called Alves’ feat “unbelievable.”
“There is a reason only one guy has done it (and that is) because it is so hard to do,” McBride said. “That record to me is a record with substance to it. It’s got some meat to it. That is like Guilherme (Marchi’s) 500-plus rides that he is still building on. That really means a lot to me. Those kinds of records and World Championships – they mean something to me.
“Money won, that is a record that I held for a little while. It never met anything to me. I was very appreciative that I was able to win that much money, but I don’t think that makes Silvano better than anybody in 1970 that didn’t have that opportunity. But riding 17 of these kinds of bulls in a row does. That separates him.”
Alves heads into Round 2 on Sunday afternoon sixth in the event average and will look to extend his streak to 18 against Jared Allen's H4WW Hy Test. Alves welcomed Hy Test to the BFTS in Anaheim, California, during the 2013 BFTS event with an 85.75-point ride aboard him.
Before heading out for post-event autographs on Saturday night, Alves said he was unsure of how many more in a row he could ride.
Instead, he is already thinking about how much fun it will be to watch future bull riders surpass his record someday.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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