The PBR rider who, upon conclusion of 30 regular-season events and the 2005 Built Ford Tough World Finals, who has earned the most Built Ford Tough Series points will be crowned the 2005 PBR World Champion and awarded the million dollar bonus. The maximum number of Built Ford Tough Series points available during the World Finals is 6,500, meaning that any of the top 15 contestants listed in the current BFTS point standings are conceivably contenders for the world title. For instance, in 2004 reigning World Champion Mike Lee arrived at last year's World Finals with 7,316.5 points and earned 4,821.75 at the event for total series points of 12,138.25 and the world championship.
In the race for the million dollar world title, current world standings leader Justin McBride (Elk City, Okla.) maintains his lead over Guilherme Marchi (Leme, Sao Paulo, Brazil) by 956.5 series points. Marchi captured the 2002 bull riding championship in his native Brazil and currently boasts the highest riding percentage among the top five, an impressive 62.3%.
McBride has entered the PBR World Finals with injuries for the past two years. In 2003 it was a punctured lung and broken ribs, while in 2004 he competed with a broken ankle and still finished a respectable fourth in the world standings. McBride faces Chief, owned by Davis/White/PMS in round one. In their only match up during the 2005 season, McBride topped Chief in Portland, Ore. for 88.5 points. Sparks will fly in round two when McBride and Roy Carter Bucking Bulls' Kidd Rock will square off. Kidd Rock finished third in the 2005 PBR World Champion Bull race and has been ridden only three times in 27 outs during 2005 to an average score of 91.4 points.
Marchi will face Brown/Owens' Pandemonium in round one. Pandemonium has been ridden five times on the tour in eight outs this season and Marchi topped him in Jacksonville in February for 84.5 points. Things heat up in round two when Marchi will face Taylor Made Bucking Bulls' Pandora's Box; a bull that has been ridden once in the 2005 season and only twice in his career. Pandora's Box has turfed Marchi in 3.3 seconds and 3.9 seconds during their previous two match ups which occurred in Grand Rapids in 2004 and at the 2004 World Finals.
Silent but deadly, that's number three man, Jody Newberry (Ada, Okla.). Newberry, 24, is currently third in the series standings with a 2,384 point deficit to McBride. Newberry is a former World Finals event winner (2003) and in round one will challenge Bad Company Rodeo's Satan's Own, a bull that has been covered 50% of the time on the 2005 tour. Berger/Ryken's Little Lobo is Newberry's round two draw. Little Lobo is new to the tour but turfed Paulo Crimber in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Justin McBride in Columbus, Ohio.
With career earnings hovering near the $3 million mark, number four ranked Chris Shivers (Jonesville, La.) is easily among the most recognizable legends on the tour. While hip and shoulder surgeries kept the 2000 and 2003 PBR world champion out of competition for nearly six months during 2004, he is back with a vengeance this season and is vying for an unprecedented third Built Ford Tough World Championship. Shivers trails McBride by 2,464. Shivers and Beutler & Son Rodeo Company's Blizzard will face off in round one. Blizzard is unridden in eight non-tour competitive outs this season. Shivers will have more work cut out for him in round two when Flying U Rodeo Company's Reindeer Dippin' poses the challenge. Reindeer Dippin' finished fifth in the PBR World Champion Bull voting process this season and was ridden once in 2005 by L.J. Jenkins in Laughlin for 93 points and the lead in the race for the $25,000 Cabela's World's Foremost Ride bonus incentive.
Rounding out the top five athletes headlining the World Finals field is Greg Potter (Queensland, Australia), who lurks 3,166 BFTS points shy of McBride. Potter has drawn Paradise Farms Rodeo Genetics' Thrilville in round one. Thrilville is relatively new to the tour but in three prior outings the bull emerged victorious in an average buckoff time of 3.97 seconds, and boasts an average score of 43.8 points. Potter faces Salt River Rodeo Bulls Out of Time in round two. Similarly Out Of Time has only two prior tour outings, however is unridden with an average buckoff time of 3.65 seconds and average bull score of 43.5 points.
The first weekend of World Finals action gets underway at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Friday, October 28 and runs through Sunday, October 30. Tickets for the three preliminary go rounds are available at www.mandalaybay.com or charge by phone at 877.632.7400. Weekend number two explodes into action at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV beginning on Thursday, November 3 and concluding on Sunday, November 6, at which time the Built Ford Tough World Champion will be crowned earning a million dollar bonus in the process. For ticket information visit www.unlvtickets.com or call 866.PBR.SHOW to charge by phone. Tickets for both weekends may also be purchased through the PBR Headquarters at 719.471.3008 extension 3.136. Each World Finals performance begins at 6 p.m. PT with the exception of the Sunday, October 30 and Sunday, November 6 shows which start at 3 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively.
About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc.:
Over 100 million viewers tune in each year to the PBR on NBC, OLN (Outdoor Life Network) and in Spanish on Telemundo. With over 450 hours of prime time programming annually PBR ranks among the most prolific sports on air, in addition to attracting over one million live event attendees each year with its multi-tiered event structure which includes the marquee Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler, the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Challenger Tour, the Enterprise Tour, and the Discovery Tour, designed specifically for entry level contestants. The PBR's founding members and governing board of directors is comprised of celebrated bull riders of the past and present who have developed bull riding into a stand alone sport which is experiencing unprecedented growth in global popularity. The PBR is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., and has over 600 athletes competing in more than 100 PBR sanctioned competitions.
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