2008 will be the PBR World Champion’s Final Year
PUEBLO, Colo. (March 8, 2008) – After eight years of competing at the highest level of the sport, and taking home the 2002 PBR World Championship, Ednei Caminhas (P. Alves, Sao Paulo BZ) has decided that 2008 will be his last year riding in the PBR.
“It [deciding to retire] was a very tough decision for me and my family. It makes me want to cry thinking about leaving the sport that I will always love,” said Caminhas. “I’m healthy and definitely not too old to continue to be a premier bull rider, so I plan to make this last season one of my best. I’d rather leave on my own terms than be forced into retirement later on.”
Ednei has seemingly found the fountain of youth so far in the 2008 season, making the Built Ford Tough Championship round in half of the events in which he has competed. He currently ranks 21st in the Built Ford Tough Series Points Standings, with a riding percentage of over 61% versus his career riding percentage of just 46%. He is also just shy of surpassing the $1 million mark in career earnings, a milestone he should have no problem achieving in his final season.
“I will definitely miss all of the guys — my sponsors, the fans, the PBR staff. It’s hard to leave, but it is the right decision for me.”
Over the past few years, Ednei has taken on a new challenge, competing in reining horse events during his off time from the PBR circuit. This is a new found passion that not only provides him with a lucrative career after bull riding, but also affords him the opportunity to spend more time with his family.
His fellow bull riders are proud to have had the opportunity to ride with him and will miss his presence on the tour.
“I met Ednei a couple of years ago on the PBR and we got to know each other really well,” said fellow PBR bull rider Paulo Crimber (Olimpia, Sao Paulo BZ). “He’s not only a great bull rider, he’s also a good friend. It’s good to see him now. He’s happier and looks like he’s having a good time. I’m definitely going to miss him.
“Ednei always rode the rank bulls, like Dillinger. He not only proved to the fans, but also proved to himself that he could do it. Now he feels he has done everything he wanted to do in the PBR. I will miss him, but wish him luck in his next opportunity.”
2007 Reserve PBR World Champion Guilherme Marchi (Leme, Sao Paulo BZ) shares his thoughts and sentiments as well.
“I’ve followed Ednei’s career for a long time and used to see him ride many years ago in Brazil. He’s such a strong and consistent bull rider. When he came to the PBR and won the World Title in 2002, it inspired me and made me work even harder. First Adriano, then Ednei; they really opened the door for us to come to the U.S. and compete. I thought… I want THAT. He has what I want to achieve.
“I will definitely miss seeing him on the tour. I know we’ll all still be friends in the offseason, and I hope he does great with his new career.”
“Ednei has made a definite mark in the PBR history books and is someone the Brazilians and other bull riders will not soon forget,” says PBR CEO Randy Bernard. “He’s our strong, silent champion, capturing the 2002 PBR World title with the confidence and flair the Brazilians are known for. Ednei captured that title riding the best bulls in the game, leaving his fellow cowboys and fans amazed with his ability. I know he will do well at whatever he takes on and I wish him great success and much happiness in the future.”
Ednei joins fellow Brazilian superstar Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, Sao Paulo, BZ) as one of two PBR World Champions that will be making 2008 their curtain call. Their departure paves the way for a new generation of Brazilian talent that has been dominating the tour lately. At the Enterprise Rent-a-Car Invitational in St. Louis, MO two weeks ago fans saw Brazilian-born riders occupy the top three spots; and Robson Palermo (Cantanduva, Sao Paulo BZ) captured the event title in Baltimore last weekend. At present Guilherme Marchi, Robson Palermo, Paulo Crimber (Olimpia, Sao Paulo BZ) and Valdiron de Oliveira (Aparecida de Goiania, GO BZ) currently rank no. 1, 2, 5 and 7 in the BFTS standings, respectively.
There are 23 stops left on the 2008 Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler and Ednei plans to be at every one of them, saying good-bye to the sport and the fans he has always loved.