Buckle Up New York for Action as the Professional Bull Riders Buck into Madison Square G
By: Ellis Nassour
Want to ring in the New Year with a buck instead of a bang? Then the place to be is Madison Square Garden. In a few days NYC will get a huge influx of brawn and bravado in addition to the winter chill. It’s rodeo time and the international rivals of the Professional Bull Riders will have you on the edge of your seat for three intense days, January 16-18, as they mount and bravely try to stay on monster bulls for eight seconds. Sounds easy, you say! Not on your life!
The edge-of-your-seat action is at 8 P.M. next Friday and Saturday and 1 P.M. Sunday, the 18th. The heart-stopping action begins with the world’s Top 35 bull riders doing battle with foes 10 times their weight [average weight: 2,000 pounds] in sinewy brawn with only a rope wrapped around one hand.
The bull riders face one bull each during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Rounds 1, 2, and 3. Following the final round, the 15 riders with the highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, also on Sunday. The event winner will capture glory and $30,000 or more.
In addition, the series features the Durabull Fighters [similar to daredevil rodeo clowns], who jump into action to deflect the bulls’ attention as soon as riders are painfully ejected. It goes on until only one man is left standing.
In 2014, the Monster Energy Invitational smack-down drew more than 45,000 fans to the Garden to set a new attendance record for the three-day competition. As "America’s fastest growing sport" (Forbes.com), the PBR expects the same this season.
This is the ninth consecutive year in New York for what’s been called "the toughest sport on dirt" [it’s also considered one of the most dangerous], one of the first stops on the 2015 PBR Built Ford Tough Series. The 18-state tour culminates with the finals in Las Vegas in October when the 2015 champion, the bull rider who amasses the most points during the season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and a $1-million purse. The massive bulls go back to being pampered to await their next arena appearances.
The touring rodeo is quite the massive undertaking. It travels the U.S. in18-wheel rigs which contain the bulls’ luxury accommodations, the steel set, stalls, and, get this, 50,000 lbs. of specially-treated dirt.
In 2014, MSqG audiences witnessed 2013 PBR world champion J.B. Mauney not only capture his third win and a tie with Fabiano Vieira for a series win, but also continue his Built Ford Tough Series consecutive ride streak with 15 successful mounts. He also extended the record for consecutive PBR BFTS wins to five.
The PBR has paid more than $140-million to its athletes. Twenty-seven men have earned more than $1- million, including three-time world champion Silvano Alves who, in just 54 months, won more than $5.2 million to become the richest Western athlete in history. World champions Mauney and Justin McBride have also surpassed $5.1- million in winnings.
The PBR Built Ford Tough Series, produced by Emmy and Peabody Award winning David Neal Productions, is televised weekly on CBS, CBS Sports, and networks around the world.
The Professional Bull Riders is the world’s premier bull riding organization. Since the early 90s, it’s become a global sports phenomenon. PBR telecasts reach more than half a billion households in 50 nations and territories and more than 2.5 million fans attend live events.
Tickets to the 2015 PBR Built Ford Touch Series are $20 to $200 and can be purchased at the Garden box offices [no service fees], Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at (800) 345-3000. For more information, go to www.pbr.com, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.