PUEBLO, Colo. - The Professional Bull Riders are back.
The PBR's Built Ford Tough Series returns to Tacoma Dome this weekend for the Tacoma Invitational, a two-day bull riding battle between the Top 35 bull riders in the world and the best bucking bull athletes the sport has ever seen. A $30,000 event title is at stake as well as valuable points needed to become the overall 2013 PBR World Champion and receive a $1 million bonus. The action begins at 6:50 p.m. Saturday, March 9 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10.
The Built Ford Tough Series debuted in Tacoma in 2003 and played the Dome seven times through 2009. After a four-year absence, the Tacoma Invitational returns to once again thrill audiences with heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat excitement and rock'n'roll music to rival any concert.
Competing this weekend will be hometown cowboy Shane Proctor who hails from Grand Coulee, Wash., and holds the No. 1 spot in the PBR World Championship Standings. Also competing are two previous Tacoma Invitational event winners Renato Nunes (2007), who is also the 2010 PBR World Champion, and Sean Willingham (2006).
Including Nunes, five former PBR World Champions are also expected to compete: Silvano Alves (2012, 2011), Nunes(2010), Kody Lostroh (2009), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004). With fan favorites Luke Snyder, J.B. Mauney, L.J. Jenkins and Austin Meier in the lineup as well, the crowd will be witnessing some of the PBR's most extreme talent displayed throughout the weekend.
In Round 1 Saturday night, Proctor will face Vetex Get Smacked (Katich/Beksinski), a bull which hasn't been seen on the BFTS since 2011. He was ridden that year by Aaron Roy in Columbus, Ohio, for a score of 82.50 points. In his PBR career, Vetex Get's Smacked has a 75 percent buckoff rate against right-handed riders; Proctor rides right-handed.
Hot on Proctor's heels in the race for the PBR World Champion's title is Alves, who is paired with Diamond G Rodeos, Inc.'s War Chest. This will be War Chest's first appearance on the BFTS. With this chance to buck-off the only PBR bull rider to win two consecutive PBR World Championships, War Chest could start off his BFTS career with a bang.
Still recovering from a fractured fibula, Mauney will take on Old Soul also of Diamond G Rodeos, Inc. The two met earlier this year in the third round at Anaheim, Calif., Old Soul bucked off Mauney, who had sustained his fibula injury in the first round of that event.
Meier's return to the BFTS after winning the Dickies® Iron Cowboy IV last weekend has him taking on Orange Juice (Diamond G Rodeos, Inc.). Both Meier and Orange Juice will be looking to prove they deserve a permanent spot on the elite tour.
Rejoining the BFTS as an alternate after winning the Touring Pro event last Friday in Mobile, Ala., Ryan Dirteater will ride Uncle Buck in the first round of the Tacoma Invitational. Uncle Buck (Prescott/Vold) has no history in the BFTS and will be debuting on the circuit this weekend.
All Top 35 bull riders will compete in Round 1 on Saturday night and Round 2 on Sunday afternoon, with each rider facing one bull each day. After Round 2 on Sunday, the riders with the top 10-15 scores after two rounds will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the event title. Throughout the event's seven-year history, the PBR has awarded nearly $1 million dollars in prize money in Tacoma.
Below is the list of riders who have captured the Tacoma Invitational title:
2009 Brian Canter
2008 Chris Shivers
2007 Renato Nunes
2006 Sean Willingham
2005 Fabricio Alves
2004 Justin McBride
2003 Mike White
Tickets for the Tacoma Invitational are available now at the Tacoma Dome box office and online at ww.ticketmaster.com. Seats start at just $15 for more than two hours of world class bull riding action. Saturday night's Round 1 competition will be streamed live via the PBR Live Event Center at www.pbr.com. CBS Sports Network will carry Round 2 and the Built Ford Tough Championship round Sunday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET.
With Tacoma as the 10th of 26 stops across 18 states this year, the Built Ford Tough Series has completed more than one-third of its 2013 season. It culminates at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, October 23-27, at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center. The season's best bull riders will compete to claim the ultimate prize, the PBR World Champion's title, a $1 million bonus, a new Ford truck from the series' title sponsor and the coveted PBR World Champion buckle.
The PBR is celebrating 20 years of competition in 2013. Its Built Ford Tough Series 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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