LAS VEGAS — Silvano Alves has no idea what a sophomore jinx means. 

The Brazilian bull rider rode out of the Thomas and Mack Center Sunday with the title of World Champion on the Professional Bull Rider’s Built Ford Tough Series Tour. 

Fellow countryman Robson Palermo won the World Finals average and complimented Alves for his efforts in 2011.

“I’m really happy for Silvano for winning first place — the world title,” he said. “He has a big heart, he’s a nice guy and I didn’t know him in Brazil, but I met him here in America.”

Alves turned in a year to remember — riding 69 out 100 bulls for a PBR-best 69% riding average. Take that stat one step further and he rode 26 of 40 bulls in the short rounds this year.

“That kid is awesome, he just thinks ‘ride the bull’ and he is just so cold, doesn’t really think about it much, just goes out there and rides one bull at a time,” Palmero said.

Nine-time world champion cowboy Ty Murray was impressed.

“He very quietly does his job,” Murray said during his weekly podcast this week. “Alves was the very best rider.”

Alves earned nearly $1.5 million this season.

Palmero had an excellent Finals, riding five of six bulls to win the Las Vegas event — his second in three years.

“I am so happy, you know, I come in here and my shoulder was bothering me and it was sore every day,” he said. “I tried not to think about it and just ride my bulls, and now with the win, it feels much better.”

The Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon received recognition in front of a big crowd at the Thomas and Mack Center Wednesday night as Flint Rasmussen noticed some fans from Pendleton in the stands. Bret Carter was wearing a Pendleton Buckaroos T-shirt. Bret, along with Bryan Carter, Carson Clem and Bryan Holland became part of Flint’s show three nights that they attended the Finals. The four were named “Fans of the Night” Friday and won a belt buckle and had their picture taken with country singer Moe Bandy.

Flint bragged to the crowd that Pendleton was one of the greatest cities in the country.

Notes: Bull rider Jacob O’Mara is enjoying early success in his PRCA career. The 20-year-old out of Prairieville, La., topped the field at American Royal Rodeo at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., and earned nearly $8,000, which will count towards the 2012 season standings.

O’Mara teamed with Wild Card Rodeo’s “Ugly Duck” for 91 points and the win.

The other winners at the Sprint Center were bareback rider Wes Stevenson (87 points), steer wrestler Les Shepperson (11.3 seconds on three head), team ropers Colby Lovell and Ryan Motes (14.1 seconds on three head), saddle bronc riders Cole Elshere and Tyrel Larsen (89 points each), tie-down roper Jerome Schneeberger (25.7 seconds on three head) and barrel racer Benette Barrington (28.85 seconds on two runs).

Trevor Brazile won the all-around cowboy award with the $3,558 he earned from partnering with Patrick Smith in the team roping. Brazile also competed in the tie-down roping

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Butch Thurman has covered professional rodeo for 31 years. His email address is butch@rodeosportsupdate.com  

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