PUEBLO, Colo. ― For the 20th consecutive year, the world's top bull riders and the fiercest bucking bulls in the business return to Las Vegas for the richest bull riding event on the planet, the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Oct. 23-27 at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center.
As the 20th anniversary of what has been named "America's fastest growing sport" by Forbes magazine comes to its conclusion, qualifying for this season's finale is considered a special accomplishment. One shared by 35 talented bull riders:
Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil)
J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, N.C.)
Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, SP)
Marco Eguchi (Poa Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Guilherme Marchi (Leme, Brazil)
Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, GO)
Cody Nance (Paris, Tenn.)
Mike Lee (Decatur, Texas)
Shane Proctor (Mooresville, N.C.)
Jory Markiss (Missoula, Mont.)
L.J. Jenkins (Porum, Okla.)
Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Ark.)
Emilio Resende (Santa Helena do Goias, Brazil)
Fabiano Vieira (Perola, Brazil)
Douglas Duncan (Alvin, Texas)
Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.)
Valdiron de Oliveira (Aparecido do Goiania, Brazil)
Jordan Hupp (Stephenville, Texas)
Billy Robinson (Galax, Va.)
Luke Snyder (Raymore, Mo.)
Nathan Schaper (Grassy Butte, N.D.)
Renato Nunes (Buritama, Brazil)
Brendon Clark (Morpeth, Australia)
Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.)
Ty Pozzobon (Merritt, Canada)
Ben Jones (Goulburn, NSW, Australia)
Stormy Wing (Dalhart, Texas)
Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Okla.)
Edevaldo Ferreira (Andradina, Brazil)
Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, Australia)
Brant Atwood (Decatur, Texas)
Cláudio Crisóstomo (Lopes da Silva, Brazil)
Austin Meier (Kinta, Okla.)
Matt Triplett (Columbia Falls, Mont.)
Markus Mariluch (Elko, Nev.)
Joining these 35 men in Rounds 1 and 2 will be the PBR National Champions from Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. Zane Lambert (Westbourne, MB), Alex Aparecido Marcilio (Macaubal, SP), Chris Lowe (Uralla, AUS) and Gustavo Pedrero (Jalisco, MEX) received invitations to compete in this year's BFTS finale. To advance through the rounds, these men must rank in the Top 15 in the event average after each round.
On the other side of the 8-second battles are the best bulls of the 2013 BFTS season. Their 2013 slates are wiped clean and the only scores that matter are those they receive at the World Finals. The bull that receives the highest aggregate score in two rounds of competition will be declared the 2013 PBR World Champion Bull and receive $50,000.
Seven of this season's best bovine athletes are competing for the title: Bushwacker (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls), Asteroid (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo), Smackdown (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve), Lightmaker's Rango (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls), I'm A Gangster Too (Jeff Robinson/TNT Bucking Bulls), Shepherd Hills Tested (Luthy/Duckwall/D&H Cattle/Powder), and Mick E. Mouse (Marlene Henry).
The honor of protecting the PBR bull riders for every 8-second ride at the Finals has been bestowed upon Shorty Gorham, Frank Newsom, Jesse Byrne and Lyndel Runyon. The Top 35 men also vote on the bullfighters they want to have watching their backs when the going gets rough.
Gorham has been voted into the Finals eight times. 2013 marks Newsom's eighth consecutive year and 10th year overall as a member of the World Finals Dickies® DuraBullfighters. Byrne was voted into the 2008 World Finals as an alternate, but has been selected for the "A" team every year since. For Runyon, 2013 will be his second PBR World Finals.
Also selected by the Top 35 bull riders are the judges for the World Finals. Five men will have the task of scoring each ride, breaking ties and going to the replay screen. Allan Jordan, Lane Foltyn, Bill Pacheco and Donald Owens will assess each ride with Jeff Shearer serving as the replay judge.
Offering a total purse of $2.3 million, the 2013 PBR World Finals includes a $1 million bonus to the World Champion, who also receives the coveted World Champion belt buckle.
The World Finals will consist of six rounds of competition featuring the PBR's Top 35 bull riders of the Built Ford Tough Series and one rider from each international branch of the PBR: PBR Australia, PBR Brazil, PBR Canada and PBR Mexico. Each rider will ride one bull per night during Rounds 1-5 from Wednesday through Sunday. Scores from the five rides will then be combined, and the Top 15 riders will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round following the completion of Round 5 on Sunday, Oct. 27. The rider with the highest total score for the six rounds will earn the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals event title and $250,000 for first place.
The World Champion will be the rider who has accumulated the most Built Ford Tough Series points during the 2013 regular season and the World Finals. There are a potential 5,500 points available at the World Finals, so any of the top-ranked riders heading into Las Vegas has the opportunity to win the title.
The current points leader is defending two-time world champion Alves. The 25-year-old is looking to accomplish something no PBR bull rider ever has done and become the first bull rider in PBR history to win three consecutive titles. Alves made history last year when he became the first World Champion to win back-to-back titles in 2012. In order to add a third title to his credit, he'll have to hold off No. 2 Mauney, who trails him by only 538.5 points.
Mauney started the second half of 2013 with a bang. He defied the odds and rode Bushwacker during the BFTS event in Tulsa, Okla. In the ninth attempt of his career against the bovine, Mauney successfully covered Bushwacker for 95.25 points and broke the bull's 4-year, 42 consecutive buckoffs streak.
But, that was the least of Mauney's second half achievements.
Mauney has since collected five event titles, three of them consecutively and coming during the final three events of the regular season. His late-season surge is being considered one of the greatest comebacks in PBR history and possibly in all of sports - especially if he comes from behind and wins his first world title.
The battle between these men is what world championships are made of
Rookies Joao Ricardo Vieira and Eduardo Aparecido sit in third and fifth place, respectively. Mathematically, they have a chance to win the 2013 world championship title and make history as well, as no rookie has ever won the PBR World Champion title.
The 2013 PBR World Finals also will be the last opportunity for fans to see Brendon Clark and Luke Snyder in competition. Both riders announced that the 2013 season would be their last and officially retire following the World Finals.
All the action begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at UNLVtickets.com and by telephone at 702-739-3267. Please call our customer service department at 1-800-732-1727 if you have any questions.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast all five days of the World Finals live. Rounds 1-4 will air live at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 23-26. Round 5 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 27.
For more information on the World Finals, please visit www.worldfinals.pbr.com.
© 2013 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.