TAMPA, Fla. - Featuring Florida native Caleb Sanderson, the Professional Bull Riders nationally televised Built Ford Tough Series returns to the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday and Saturday for the DEWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational. Sanderson is from Kissimmee, Fla., and is currently ranked 19th in the world.
Bull riding begins at 8 p.m. ET on Friday and at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. Tickets begin at $10, and are on sale at the Tampa Bay Times Forum box office, www.Ticketmaster.com, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000.
Each of the Top 35 riders in the world will ride in Round 1 on Friday, and again in Round 2 on Saturday. Following Round 2 on Saturday, the riders with the 10 highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round where they will each compete with one more bull. The overall event winner will be the rider with the highest combined score from all three rounds.
Friday will also include the eighth of nine PBR 15/15 Bucking Battles, which feature the Top 15 riders in the world competing against the 15 highest-ranked bulls at the event. It will be held immediately following Round 1, and will be broadcast on CBS at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. The special round, which has an additional purse of $21,000, replaces the usual first short round. Points and money earned in the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle do not count toward the event result, but they do count toward the BFTS season standings, and toward qualification for the Built Ford Tough World Finals.
The BFTS features the best and highest-paid bull riders on the planet, including defending World Champion Silvano Alves, who reached $2 million in 23 months and 58 events, which is faster than any bull rider in history. The 24-year-old also earned $1 million faster than any rider, achieving it in 18 months and 47 events.
Alves moved into first place in the Built Ford Tough Series standings after a fifth-place finish last week in Springfield, Mo. The PBR is having one of the tightest title races in history, with only 241.75 points separating Alves and L.J. Jenkins, who was ranked first for the previous two weeks. Valdiron de Oliveira, who was ranked first 12 times in the first 21 events, trails Alves by 458.50 points, while the next three riders - J.B. Mauney, Fabiano Vieira, and Guilherme Marchi - are less than 2,000 points behind. There are 1,200 points available in Tampa.
There will be six previous World Champions competing in Tampa with Alves (2011), Renato Nunes (2010), Kody Lostroh (2009), Marchi (2008), Mike Lee (2004), and Chris Shivers (2000 and 2003).
It will be the last chance for fans in Florida to watch three-time Tampa winner and two-time World Champion Shivers, who announced in February that he would retire at the end of the season. He finished first in Tampa in 2000, 2003, and 2005, going on to win the PBR World Championship in 2000 and 2003.
Fans in Tampa have also witnessed two of the four highest ride scores in history, as Bubba Dunn set the PBR record for highest score with 96.5 points on Promise Land in 1999, and Shivers tied it the following year with 96.5 points on Dillinger. Dunn and Shivers both won the event.
The first 24 events of the season have produced 19 different winners. Mauney has the most wins with three, while Alves, Vieira, and Robson Palermo each have two wins. Mauney posted his three victories in the first 12 events of the season before breaking his hand.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast action from Round 1 in HD at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 21, and will have an encore airing at 1 a.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 22. NBC Sports Network will broadcast Round 2 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in HD at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 23, with an encore airing at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 23. Veteran broadcaster Craig Hummer will provide the play-by-play. Color commentary will be provided by two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride. Dirt-level interviews will be handled by Marty Snider.
The weekend will begin on Thursday at 11 a.m. with a bull weigh-in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, 5223 North Orient Road. PBR riders will be signing autographs at the Wonder Wall in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa from 5-7 p.m. The bull weigh-in and autograph session are free and open to the public.
Tampa is the 25th stop of the 2012 BFTS season, which opened in January with capacity crowds at Madison Square Garden in New York. The BFTS will make 28 stops in 23 states before the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 24-28, 2012. The World Finals are where the PBR World Champion will be crowned and awarded the coveted championship buckle and a $1 million bonus. The richest bull riding event on the planet, the World Finals has a total purse of more than $2 million.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and YouTube. 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.
2012 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series
(Events, Wins, Top 5 finishes, Points, Earnings)
1. Silvano Alves, 24, 2, 7, 9,214.25, $410,290.61
2. L.J. Jenkins, 24, 1, 10, 8,972.50, $183,752.33
3. Valdiron de Oliveira, 23, 1, 8, 8,755.75, $162,151.19
4. J. B. Mauney, 21, 2, 6, 7,385.75, $243,700.27
5. Fabiano Vieira, 18, 2, 5, 7,231.75, $184,799.08
6. Guilherme Marchi, 24, 1, 7, 7,230.00, $159,530.00
7. Austin Meier, 24, 1, 7, 7,010.75, $187,100.48
8. Marco Eguchi, 24, 1, 8, 6,293.75, $181,288.83
9. Renato Nunes, 24, 1, 5, 5,673.50, $101,492.91
10. Ryan Dirteater, 22, 0, 4, 5,096.50, $100,283.12
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