PUEBLO, Colo. – Normally Alisson and Alan Souza are finishing first and second at various bull ridings throughout Brazil during the summer months.
However, things are different this year with Alisson remaining in the United States after deciding to make a run at qualifying for the 2018 PBR World Finals.
Alisson recently tied with Chase Outlaw for the event win at the Bleacher Builders, LLC Touring Pro Division victory by going 2-for-2 in Binford, North Dakota, last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Alan won the ACR – Association of Champions of Rodeo – back in Nhandeara, Brazil.
It is the first time the twin brothers have won different events on the same night, as noted by Brazilian rodeo writer Eugenio Jose Santos.
“It’s the first time, yes, because at all the rodeos in Brazil we compete together,” Alisson said with the help of Miriaham Garcia translating. “We always go into the final round together over there. We are always one and two, or the other one is two and one or three. That always happens.”
The two have been apart since Alisson came to the United States in February.
Alisson explained this week that the decision to stay in the U.S. for the summer was hard, but that he wanted to take advantage of all of the summer Touring Pro Division events.
“I made the decision to realize a dream of being World Champion, and this is what it takes,” he said. “Yes this is the first year I'm away from my brother. What is difficult is being far from my brother, from my son and my family.
“And the biggest difficulty of participating at the events is that my brother is not with me.”
Alisson began Saturday night in Binford with an 86-point effort on Brother.
“Brother is very good,” Souza said. “He turns to my left, which is away from my hand, and he has strong jumps. He’s very good.”
The 24-year-old then won the championship round with 89.5 points on Like a Boss to tie for the event win with Outlaw.
The ride is the highest-scored of Souza’s non-premier series career.
“Like a Boss is a bull that I saw before at a rodeo, and I thought he had very good jumps, and that’s why I decided to pick him,” Souza said.
The win earned Souza and Outlaw 45 points toward the world standings.
“This helped me out a lot, and I'll dedicate myself more to the next level,” Souza said.
Souza, who made his premier series debut in Billings, Montana, and drove 4,500 miles that weekend, is now ranked 48th in the world standings.
He trails No. 35 Fraser Babbington by only 97.5 points.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Binford was Koal Livingston (2-for-2, 20 world points), Matt Triplett (2-for-2, 15 world points) and Rubens Barbosa (1-for-2, 10 world points).
No. 114 Outlaw, No. 38 Livingston and No. 45 Triplett are all trying to crack the Top 35 after missing most – if not all – of the first half following offseason shoulder surgeries.
Livingston is now only 15 points out of the Top 35 after making his season debut two months ago following offseason reconstructive shoulder surgery.
Souza is next tentatively scheduled to compete at the Slick Rock Challenge Touring Pro Division in Rock Springs, Texas, on Friday and Saturday.
Also competing is No. 11 Cody Teel, No. 12 Fabiano Vieira, No. 14 Keyshawn Whitehorse, No. 15 Brennon Eldred, No. 26 Sean Willingham, No. 30 Marco Eguchi and No. 32 Cody Campbell.
Souza admitted it’s been hard this summer at times seeing as he does not speak any English. He has tried to travel with Barbosa and Wallace de Oliveira, who speak English well enough.
Regardless, Souza is enjoying the summer run.
“I am liking it,” he said. “It’s a good time to train on bulls. It’s better than when it’s cold – it’s going very well.”
The Taubate, Brazil, bull rider arrived in the United States in February with high potential after winning the prestigious Barretos rodeo last year and the Rio Verde rodeo in 2015.
However, his United States debut season hasn’t been a cake walk.
Souza is 13-for-35 (37.14 percent) and seven Top-10 finishes.
Binford was the talented Brazilian’s second win beginning his North American journey.
“It took me a long time to get my second win because the bulls are more complicated than those in Brazil,” Souza admitted. “The hardest part was at the beginning, I arrived and I started to get on the different bulls here. They are very different from the ones in Brazil. Some of them are very hard and it took a little for me to adapt to them here. They are smaller and faster and they switch a lot – go in a different direction. I had a difficult time because the smaller ones are fast, so it took me a while, but now I am getting used to the bulls.
“I hope that going forward the wins will be much sooner.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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