The race for the 2006 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Championship began tonight as 49 elite bull riders hit Las Vegas to compete in the first go round of the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals presented by Wrangler at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The top nine bull riders in the world demonstrated their dominance by successfully covering their bulls, resulting in an explosive end to the first go round. 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee (Decatur, Tex.) lit up the leader board in a strong display of skill and athleticism to earn the $20,000 first go round win. Lee, who currently ranks third in 2006 Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) Point Standings, edged out the competition with a 90.25 point score aboard Hebert Bucking Bulls’ Shane. Guilherme Marchi (Leme, Sao Paulo, Brazil) however still maintains the top spot in the BFTS point standings with a slight 1,666 point lead over Mike Lee. With athletes like Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.), Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil), and current PBR World Champion Justin McBride (Elk City, Okla.) in contention, the million dollar bounty could still belong to anyone.
Adding to the excitement of the evening, Luke Snyder (Raymore, MO) became the first rider to utilize the instant replay challenge recently implemented by the PBR and Versus. During Snyder’s ride, the clock stopped at 2.4 seconds when he allegedly slapped the bull, Silent Angel of Frontier Rodeo Company, resulting in a no score. The instant replay negated the original judges’ ruling resulting in a score of 80.50. Had Snyder been incorrect he would have been fined $500 and awarded a no score. The 2006 Built Ford Tough World Finals is the first event to allow riders the option of the instant replay to dispute a no score.
“It helped a lot to have a good ride the first time around. It really keeps you going,” said Lee after his first round win. When asked to comment on how he feels his chances are, he responded, “I’m just trying to focus and take it one ride at a time.”
The $3.5 million PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center from Oct. 27-29 and the action will continue the following weekend at the Thomas & Mack Center, Nov. 2-5. The PBR rider who, upon conclusion of 29 regular-season events and the 2006 Built Ford Tough World Finals, has earned the most Built Ford Tough Series Points will be crowned the 2006 PBR World Champion and awarded a one million dollar bonus in addition to his season and finals event earnings.
The PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals airs live on VERSUS (formerly OLN). A special World Finals Highlights Show will be featured on FOX on Sunday, Oct. 29. Visit www.pbrnow.com to view the current broadcast schedule and consult local listings to verify all show times.
The first of three rounds of the $20,000 Dickies National Championship Bullfighting was held tonight in conjunction with the PBR 2006 BFTS World Finals presented by Wrangler. Dusty Tuckness (Meeteetsee, Wyo.) scored a 89.5 to take the early lead, followed closely by Wacey Munsell (Ulysses, Kan.) who recorded a 87.0. 1999 Wranger Bullfight World Champion Lance Brittan (Windsor, Colo.) is still in close reach of the title and is currently third with a score of 86.5.
PBR BUILT FORD TOUGH WORLD FINALS RESULTS:
FIRST ROUND: 1) Mike Lee (Decatur, GA) 90.25 on Hebert Bucking Bulls’ Shane; 2) L.J. Jenkins (Texico, NM) 90 points on Page & Teague Bucking Bulls’ Black Smoke; 3) Cory Melton (Keithville, LA) 89.50 on Big Bend/Flying 5 Rodeo Co.’s Rapid Fire Exchange; 4/5) Robey Condra (Dayton, TX) 89.25 on Davis/White’s Smiley; Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 89.25 on Corey & Horst Rodeo Co.’s 3 Spot; 6) Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista SP, Brazil) 88.25 on Mike Solomon’s Ditto; 7/8/9/10) Jason Bennett (Honeygrove, TX) 87.50 on Bruce & Goodale’s Chicken Hawk; Paulo Crimber (Olimpia, SP, Brazil) 87.50 on Bailey Rodeo Company’s Tar Baby; Austin Meier (Kinta, OK) 87.50 on Boyd/Floyd/Paradise Farms’ Wild Life; Matt Bohon (Cole Camp, MO) 87.50 on Boyd/Floyd/Paradise Farms’ Hot Licks.
BUILT FORD TOUGH SERIES POINT STANDINGS: 1) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 10,291.25; 2) Mike Lee (Decatur, TX) 8,625.25; 3) Sean Willingham (Summerville, GA) 8,384.50; 4) Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista SP, Brazil) 7,340.50; 5) Justin McBride (Elk City, OK) 7,161.25; 6) Chris Shivers (Jonesville, LA) 6,976.50; 7) Brian Canter (Randleman, NC) 6,902.50; 8) Wiley Petersen (Fort Hall, ID) 6,437.50; 9) Jody Newberry (Ada, OK) 6,068.25; 10) Ross Coleman (Molalla, OR) 5,610.50.
BUILT FORD TOUGH SERIES MONEY STANDINGS: 1) Mike Lee $298,011.66; 2) Guilherme Marchi $282.425.06; 3) Chris Shivers $240,672.15; 4) Justin McBride $227,504.86; 5) Sean Willingham $202,736.54; 6) Brian Canter $179,030.83; 7) Wiley Petersen $174,342,06; 8) Adriano Moraes $152,485.85; 9) Travis Briscoe $149,924.17; 10) J.B. Mauney $141,772.85.
More than 100 million viewers tune in each year to the PBR on FOX, NBC, VERSUS and on a host of foreign networks across the globe. With approximately 500 hours of prime time programming annually PBR ranks among the most prolific sports on air, in addition to attracting over one and one half 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 Rent-A-Car Tour, and the Discovery Tour, designed specifically for entry level contestants. The PBR's governing board of directors is comprised of renowned bull riders who have developed the event into a stand alone sport which is experiencing unprecedented growth in global popularity. The PBR is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., and has over 1,200 PBR bull riders compete in more than 300 PBR sanctioned competitions in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico.
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