PUEBLO, Colo. – Two years after boasting he would qualify for the 2016 PBR World Finals despite being 40 years old, 2002 World Champion Ednei Caminhas is now a little more cautious about whether or not he can qualify for the 2018 PBR World Finals.
While he remains undecided about making a full-time push in 2018, Caminhas will be able to hang his hat knowing he has indeed made it back to the PBR’s highest level of competition come this weekend.
Caminhas is set to compete at the 25th PBR Anniversary Tour season-opener on Jan. 5 at the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden in New York after earning a Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour exemption courtesy of his victory in Tucson, Arizona, last year.
The 42-year-old will become the oldest rider (42 years, 3 months old) to ever compete on the PBR’s Premier Series, breaking Gary Richard’s previous record (42 years, 1 month, 4 days old).
Friday will be Caminhas first Premier Series event since 2010.
“This is special because nobody has stayed this age and done this,” Caminhas said. “I remember Gary. I am happy to break his record.
Richard competed in three Premier Series events at 42 years old, going 0-for-6.
2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood was 4 years old when Caminhas won the 2002 World Championship at 27 years old.
Caminhas wasn’t even planning on riding in 2018 until he won the Velocity Tour’s regular-season finale in October.
“I was supposed to retire last year, but bull riding is in my blood,” Caminhas said. “I am surprised I won Tucson. I thought, ‘Oh my God. I can do it.’
“A lot of friends are pushing me to go to the PBR. Alex Cardozo. Paulo Lima. Lindomar Lino.”
Caminhas has over 300 qualified rides on the Premier Series, but said he is currently undecided on if he wants to try and qualify for a 10th career PBR World Finals this year.
The Indaiatuba, Brazil, native would become the oldest rider to ever ride at the World Finals. Caminhas turns 43 in October.
“I will go to New York and I don’t know if I will keep it going,” Caminhas said. “It is hard to (make the top tour) with one invite. If I make some points down there, I will go to the next one.”
Caminhas heads into New York ranked 22nd in the world standings in the extremely early 2018 standings. He competed in three PBR-sanctioned events during the Premier Series break, going 3-for-6 for 45 world points.
Outside of his 2002 championship, Caminhas has finished in the Top 15 of the world standings twice. He finished sixth in the world in 2001 and 12th in 2003.
Caminhas is 8-for-30 (26.66 percent) in 17 events at all levels of PBR competition since returning to the United States in 2016.
Along with competing in select PBR bull ridings in his return, Caminhas also bought his PRCA card in 2016 and has made a little over $100,000 in the PRCA.
“In 2016, I was very excited to go back to the (PBR Premier Series) and everything,” Caminhas said. “I tried a couple of Velocity and Touring Pros, and I thought, ‘Well, maybe God wants me to go PRCA.’
“I went to the PRCA and I enjoyed the PRCA. I said, ‘Let me try this for a bit and forget about PBR.’ I did two years in the PRCA, and I wanted to come back over here. Now it is time to go look at the PBR right now. There is lots of money in New York. I am very excited to go.”
One of his remaining unfinished dreams, though, is to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Caminhas finished this past PRCA season 27th in the bull riding standings after winning the Lewiston, Idaho, Roundup and the Cache County Fair and Rodeo in Logan, Utah.
He finished 24th in the 2016 PRCA standings.
“That is my dream,” Caminhas said. “That is why I am not retired yet. God has given me everything, but I have another goal to make the NFR. It is hard to make enough money down there. I will still do some of the big PRCA ones. Fort Worth. Cheyenne. San Angelo. Reno. I will go to the big ones.”
Caminhas hasn’t ridden like a Top 35 rider yet since returning from Brazil, but Caminhas said he doesn’t need a Fountain of Youth to get back to that level.
Outside of a minor injury to his riding wrist in which he received an injection for three weeks ago, Caminhas feels ready for the upcoming PBR Major at Madison Square Garden.
Caminhas also hasn’t been dedicating himself in the gym like other older, veteran bull riders like Valdiron de Oliveira, who is attempting a 2018 comeback with five Premier Series exemptions, or 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi.
Caminhas laughs when the notion of the gym is brought up.
Instead, Caminhas works as a horse trainer during the week and rides about seven to eight horses for almost six hours a day.
“Let me tell you something. My age is just a number,” Caminhas said. “I am not doing exercise. I am not doing nothing. I am just here. I eat and enjoy my family. I ride my horse. I am feeling like I can ride full time. I am ready to go.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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