PUEBLO, Colo. ― The Professional Bull Riders announced format changes for the elite Built Ford Tough Series, which features the world's best and highest-paid bull riders competing against the best bucking bulls.
All bulls will be randomly assigned for long rounds, while the Built Ford Tough Championship Round will continue to be a draft. A "Bonus Bull" will be added after Round 1 of a two-day event and after Rounds 1 and 2 of a three-day event. The Bonus Bull replaces the short round that followed Round 1 at a two-day event and Round 2 at a three-day event. Additionally, in an effort to reward performance, the championship round has been expanded to include as many as 15 riders.
"Our organization was founded by bull riders for bull riders, and these format changes are the result of discussions with current and past riders," PBR Senior Vice President of Competition Jay Daugherty said. "The decisions were made in the interest of improving our sport, and providing better and more-balanced competition.
"Riders told us that they prefer the random draw, which they feel provides everyone with the opportunity to get on a bull that can be a round winner. We wanted to continue to have a draft for the championship round in the arena. We believe the draft is exciting for the fans and is an opportunity for strategy for the riders."
Following Round 1 at a two-day event, the Bonus Bull will be attempted by the winner of the previous BFTS event. At three-day BFTS events, the previous event winner will get on the Bonus Bull after Round 2 while the winner of Round 1 will also be given the opportunity to get on a Bonus Bull, immediately following Round 1.
"Our organization was founded by bull riders for bull riders."
The first Bonus Bull attempt will be on Friday, Jan. 4, at Madison Square Garden in New York by the winner of Round 1 of the Monster Energy Invitational. The second Bonus Bull attempt will be Saturday, Jan. 5, in New York immediately following Round 2, and will feature two-time defending World Champion Silvano Alves.
The championship round will have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 riders. Riders who have ridden two bulls will advance to compete with one more bull. In the event that fewer than 10 riders ride two bulls, the riders with the highest score or the longest buckoff time will advance. In the event that more than 15 riders ride two bulls, the 15 riders with the highest cumulative scores will advance.
The PBR will celebrate 20 years of competition with the 2013 season. PBR broadcasts reach over half a billion households in 50 nations and territories around the world, and over 2.5 million fans attend PBR events each year. The PBR has awarded more than $120 million dollars in prize money over 20 years of competition, including a $1 million dollar bonus to the PBR World Champion each year.
The BFTS will make 26 stops in 18 states, beginning at world-famous Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 4-6. The season will conclude Oct. 23-27 in Las Vegas with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, where the PBR World Champion will be crowned and awarded a $1 million bonus. The richest bull riding event in the world, the World Finals has a total purse of more than $2 million.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.
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