PUEBLO, Colo. - Saturday's Touring Pro Division event in Kearney, Neb., is a quick five-hour drive for Kody Lostroh. It's also a great way for him to earn some points in the world standings three weeks before the Built Ford Tough Series gets under way in New York.
"I'm going because I like to ride bulls," Lostroh said.
Lostroh, the 2009 world champion, and Mike Lee, the 2004 world titlist, are the major headliners for the event.
Several other recognizable riders from the BFTS ― L.J. Jenkins, Fabiano Vieira, Chase Outlaw, Ben Jones, Cody Nance, Ty Pozzobon, Jordan Hupp, Sean Willingham, Reese Cates and Skeeter Kingsolver ―will also be in Kearney.
"Everyone I've talked to seems to like it."
A lot of riders like the mid-December event, Lostroh said, because they haven't been on bulls in a few weeks and it gives them a competitive opportunity three weeks prior to the BFTS. As a result, it's a rather competitive TPD event.
"It takes a pretty good score to get in the short round," said Lostroh, who added that it also provides a chance for the riders to see some of the same bulls they'll get on later in the year.
Wolf Creek Cattle, Hart Cattle Co. and Jenkins are among the contractors hauling bulls to Kearney. Those contractors will also take bulls in two weeks to a two-day TPD event in Fort Worth, Texas, which is the first of several ABBI Classic events for the 2013 campaign.
Although he hasn't experienced the new point system implemented by the PBR, Lostroh said it ought to be "better all the way around," because it rewards bull riders for success at the TPD events.
In addition to providing a truer representation of the Top 35 riders from week to week, Lostroh said it also "eliminates some weirdness" when it comes to who qualifies for the World Finals.
Two random examples include Ednei Caminhas and Chad Besplug.
In 2010, Caminhas was ranked 36th in the world standings during a season in which the Top 40 riders competed, but missed the Finals by a long shot after only earning $16,000. This past year, Besplug was ranked 42nd in the world ― seven spots out of the Top 35 ― but easily qualified for the World Finals with more than $156,000.
Lostroh, who barring injury said he plans to compete as much as possible, and others agree the point-based standings reward consistency.
"Everyone I've talked to seems to like it," Lostroh
Follow Keith Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.