PUEBLO, Colo. - The Professional Bull Riders on Thursday announced the five finalists for the 2011 World Champion Bull.
Selected in a vote of the Top 40 bull riders in the world, the
finalists are Asteroid (Circle T Ranch &
Rodeo), Bushwacker (Julio Moreno/Richard
Oliveira), I'm A Gangster (Jeff
Robinson/Cappello), RMEF Gunpowder & Lead
(Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls), and Smackdown
(Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Struve/Rosen). It was also announced that
I'm A Gangster will not be competing in World Finals due to
The 2011 World Champion Bull will be the bull who accumulates the highest total bull score during the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Oct. 26-30 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The winner will be announced on Oct. 30 after the final round of competition.
It is the second straight year that Bushwacker, the top-ranked bull on the BFTS, has been nominated. He won the American Bucking Bull, Inc., Classic Championship in 2010. He is 12-0 in BFTS events this season, extending his buckoff streak to 24 riders in a row, and 26-1 all-time in BFTS outs. He has been high-marked bull in nine of 12 events, and has the two highest bull scores of the season with 47.5 points at Anaheim, Calif., and Arlington, Texas. The son of Reindeer Dippin, Bushwacker has four of the Top 5 and five of the seven highest bull scores in 2011.
It is the third year in a row that I'm A Gangster, who is ranked third, has been a finalist for World Champion Bull. He is making his fourth straight appearance at the World Finals, where he is a perfect 8-0. He is a perfect 14-0 in BFTS events this season, extending his buckoff streak to 17 riders, and has been the high-marked bull in five events, which ranks second in the high-marked bull standings. He has a career record of 52-3, and has been ridden only one time in his past 29 outs. The only two riders who have ridden him are Valdiron de Oliveira, who has accomplished the feat twice, and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi.
It is the first nomination for fifth-ranked Asteroid, who has been the high-marked bull in his past four BFTS events. He outscored top-ranked Bushwacker with 46.5 points in Tulsa, Okla., San Antonio, and Springfield, Mo., and posted his highest score of the season in Milwaukee with 47.5 points.
Smackdown, who is ranked 11th, has bucked off 14 riders in a row to improve to 14-1 in 2011. The only time he was ridden this season was in January when Paulo Lima scored 90 points in the championship round at New York. Smackdown is 27-3 in the past two seasons and 29-5 overall in BFTS events since 2009.
RMEF Gunpowder has a career average bull score of 44.8, and was the high-marked bull in Portland, Ore., with 44.75 points, and Fresno, Calif., with 45.5 points. He has been ridden for 90 points or higher seven times in 2011, producing six round wins, including four in the championship round. He has been responsible for three of the Top 4, and five of the Top 20 ride scores in 2011. Robson Palermo has posted the two highest scores of the season on him, with 93.5 at Milwaukee in September, and 93.25 at Pueblo, Colo., in May. He is the son of the legendary Little Yellow Jacket, who is the only three-time World Champion Bull and the inaugural recipient of the Brand of Honor award.
An American Bucking Bull Classic Long Go competition will feature the Top 40 bulls from the regular season and the top four bulls from the Wild Card event. The 44 bulls will compete during Round 1 of the Finals on Wednesday with up to 20 advancing to the ABBI Classic Short Go which will be held in conjunction with Round 4 on Saturday. The bull with the highest score after two rounds will be the winner of the 2011 ABBI World Champion Classic title and $250,000. The ABBI, which introduces young bucking bulls at select BFTS and Touring Pro events, is also dedicated to recording and preserving the pedigrees of the world's premier bucking bulls.
The World Finals officially begin on Tuesday, Oct. 25 with the inaugural PBR Legends Reunion at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which was the site of the first five PBR World Finals from 1994-98. The event begins at 4 p.m. with the Founders Forum, and continues until 9 p.m. with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals Kickoff Party. Each Legends Reunion ticket package contains tickets to the Founders Forum, Alumni Meet & Greet, Heroes & Legends Ceremony, and the Built Ford Tough World Finals Kickoff Party, as well as a commemorative Legends Reunion ball cap and an autograph book. For more information please click here.
Tickets for the World Finals and the Legends Reunion are on sale at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, www.UNLVTickets.com, and by telephone at (866) PBR-SHOW. There is a special $150 ticket that includes the Legends Reunion and Rounds 1 and 2 of the World Finals, a savings of $170.
The 2011 PBR World Finals will be televised live in HD on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and on NBC at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. DIRECTV will have the first-ever 3D broadcast of bull riding at 4 p.m. ET on DIRECTV's 3D channel, n3D™ (channel 103).
For more information on the World Finals please visit www.pbr.com.
The Finals consist of six rounds of competition. The first five rounds feature all of the riders matched against the toughest bulls. The scores from the five rides will be combined, and the Top 15 riders will advance for an additional round of competition, following the completion of Round 5 on Sunday, Oct. 30.
The 2011 PBR World Champion will be the rider with the most Built Ford Tough Series points accumulated during the regular season and the World Finals. There are a potential 5,500 points available at the World Finals, so any one of the Top 10 riders heading into Las Vegas has the opportunity to win the title.
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