Million dollar man

Chris Shivers earned himself the nickname 'The Million Dollar Man.' Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com.

Highlights

  • This year marks the PBR’s 20th year of competition.
  • In conjunction with the season-long celebration, the PBR announced the official list of the Top 20 Moments in PBR history. “Million Dollar Man” is the latest in ongoing series of moments.
  • Chris Shivers was the first rider in PBR history to surpass $1 million, $2 million and eventually $3 million in career earnings.
  • In 2003, Shivers also became the first rider to win the $1 million bonus for being World Champion. Earlier that year, he matched up with Little Yellow Jacket at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., for a chance to win $1 million.

In This Article

FORT WORTH, Texas ― Chris Shivers doesn't spend a lot of time looking back.

He rarely talks about his accomplishments in the arena and they are legendary ― two world titles, more than 90 rides of 90 points or better, more than 800 outs, more than 400 qualified rides and more than 20 Built Ford Tough Series event wins along with qualifying for a record 15 World Finals in a 16-year career.

If he's been hard-pressed to talk about statistics then he never talks publicly about his career earnings. Shivers is third on the list of all-time career money winners with $3,989,209.33.

Throughout its anniversary season, the PBR will profile the Top 20 Moments in PBR History.

This week's moment highlights Shivers.

He was the first rider in PBR history to surpass $1 million, $2 million and eventually $3 million in career earnings. In 2003, Shivers also became the first rider to win the $1 million bonus for being World Champion. Earlier that year, he matched up with Little Yellow Jacket at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., for a chance to win $1 million. Unfortunately for Shivers, the three-time World Champion Bull got him on the ground well short of the 8-second whistle.

In the process, he became known as the "Million Dollar Man."

VIDEO: Shivers goes for $1 million against Little Yellow Jacket

"He gets to go onto the next phase of his life with something," said PBR co-founder Cody Lambert, referring to Shivers' overall earnings. "He earned everything he has."

Since its earliest days the PBR has always been about not only matching the best riders in the world with the rankest bulls in the world, but in the process it was also about being afforded an opportunity to retire with millions earned.

Shivers is the standard by which greatness is measured.

Though two-time World Champion Justin McBride wound up passing Shivers on the all-time list of money-earners, he has said throughout his career and continued in retirement to refer to Shivers as the greatest bull rider in PBR history.

"He's the most hot-shit thing the PBR has ever seen," said McBride.

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Click HERE for a Chris Shivers photo gallery. Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com. 

"I'm proud of him and for him," Lambert said. "The PBR is way better off because Chris Shivers was part of it and is part of it.

"He's done a lot for the PBR just from leading by example ― by being a great bull rider and not being a diva and cry baby athlete. He's a great bull rider, a quiet cowboy, treats people with respect and he will kick your ass if you mess with him. That is Chris Shivers. That's not something you see on the big screen. Those guys who are heroes in movies ― quiet, nice, shy people, who if you mess with them they'll kick your ass ― Chris Shivers is really that guy."

Greatness came from his ability to dress up a ride.

No one even comes close to matching his total of 94 rides of 90 points or more, which led to 23 career wins and, in turn, literally paid off with regular trips to the bank.

As everyone expected, including Shivers, this coming October, the "Million Dollar Man" and fellow Louisiana native Bubba Dunn will become only the 37th and 38th inductees into the prestigious Ring of Honor.

Shivers said it'll be special to share the induction ceremony with his hero.

"I'm a guy who watches a lot of people and try to pick up on small things," Shivers said. "Bubba was a guy that knew how to ride rank bulls. He was a guy that was flashy and he used his feet a lot. He was a guy that made bulls really look good. That's where, I think, I got most of my action from. I didn't want to just sit there and be real still and just make the whistle. I wanted to be 90 and he was a guy that I felt like that was the way he approached things, so that's the direction I went in."

Shivers used his abilities to ultimately take advantage of the opportunities provided by the PBR.

RELATED: Chris Shivers had a determined desire to win

As a direct result he's been able to give his family ― wife Kylie and two sons Brand and Blain ― a life they most likely wouldn't have otherwise had, had it not been for the fortunes he made as a professional bull rider in the PBR.

And Shivers story ―  "Million Dollar Man" aside ― comes to what he's most proud of, and is the one thing he willingly and openly talks about-the simple fact that he spent his entire professional career with the PBR. He never once competed for another professional organization or association.

So it comes as no surprise the 34-year-old from Jonesville is working now to pay it forward, if you will.

"I'll always be involved with the PBR as long as they'll allow me to," said Shivers, who has tirelessly taught future generations of bull riders what it will take to compete in the PBR.

Lambert added, "In a way, he is a pioneer. He did his entire career as a professional bull rider in the PBR. What that means is his entire career was going up against the best bulls in the world ― getting on the rank ones."

Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC

© 2014 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

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