PBR Bull Riders Donating Entire Purse from Sunday’s USS Lexington Event to Family of Fallen Rider Amadeu Campos Silva

by Matthew Memrick

Sunday’s entire PBR bull rider event purse will go to the family of fallen rider Amadeu Campos Silva, circuit officials announced this week.

Professional Bull Riding CEO and commissioner Sean Gleason reached out to fans on Thursday after telling social media audiences about a fund set up to help the family of a fallen rider

With the $100,000 purse, the organization will give Campos Silva’s family $100,000 and match fan donations up to $100,000.

“When one of their own goes down, PBR riders step up,” Gleason said.

The 22-year-old Campos Silva died during the Aug. 29 Velocity Tour event in Fresno, Calif. According to The Associated Press, Silva’s spur got caught in a bull’s rope. The rope pulled him toward the ground, and the bull stepped on the rider’s chest. 

The news source said the “freak accident” involved the bull rider losing his balance and his spur getting stuck in the flank strap. 

Despite the tragedy, PBR spokesperson Andrew Giangola said the bull, named “Classic Man,” will still be eligible for future events.

According to USA Today, Giangola said the rider was 5.31 seconds into his Round 2 ride on the bull when the accident happened.

According to The Washington Post, Campos Silva was the fourth bull rider fatality since the PBR Tour’s 1992 beginnings. 

PBR Bull Rider Family, Sponsors Step Up

This Sunday’s event purse at the USS Lexington will go to Silva’s family. The event, PBR Air Force Reserve Cowboys, will take place on Saturday and air at noon on CBS Sports.

The bull riding circuit said Silva’s dream was to buy his parents a home. PBR partners Ariat and Pendleton Whisky have also stepped up, pledging $25,000 to the family. Another partner, CEAT, will also donate.

“Amadeu’s passing pains us all to the core,” Gleason said in a statement. “His main goal wasn’t trophies or buckles or bragging rights. It was to put food on his family’s table.”

Gleason also said that while no amount can bring Amadeu to his family, the bull rider would be pleased to see the genuine efforts and care made to his family. 

PBR Bull Rider Star Started In Brazil

Silva’s short path to American bull riders events started in Brazil. His second-place finish in Brazilian Finals catapulted him to the United States.

In just 26 rides, many considered the bull rider as a rising star. He made his debut in Edinburg, Texas. Silva earned $42,000 on the Velocity Tour. He also earned 104.66 points. Last season, he rode in the PBR World Finals. 

In 2019, another bull rider named Mason Lowe lost his life during an event. The 25-year-old Missourian was at a Denver show when he fell off his bull. Then, the massive bull fell on his chest with its hind legs, according to the Guardian.

Lowe tried to get up but collapsed. He later died from massive heart and chest injuries at the Denver Health Medical Center.