Some of the greatest professional bull riders in the history of the sport have ridden in the PBR.
Justin McBride and J.W. Hart have assembled a list of 16 of the best, and assigned them to a bracket that will allow PBR fans to vote.
The bracket has been posted here.
Each Thursday, during a special segment of “PBR Now,” McBride and Hart will reveal the results, give their feedback and preview the upcoming matchups as the fantasy tournament unfolds on RFD-TV.
The following is a summary of the Round 1 matchups.
CHRIS SHIVERS (1) vs. J.B. MAUNEY (16)
There isn't a more decorated bull rider in the PBR than two-time World Champion Chris Shivers. He is the career leader in 90-point rides with 84, which is double the closest active rider, and since turning pro in 1997, he has won more than $3.6 million.
In the seasons since winning the 2006 PBR Rookie of the Year in 2006, J.B. Mauney has finished no lower than third in the world standings. Although he finished second in 2009, he won the PBR Finals average by becoming the first rider ever to cover all eight bulls in Las Vegas.
TY MURRAY (8) vs. JEROME DAVIS (9)
Ty Murray is the greatest all-around cowboy who has ever lived. His seven PRCA all-around titles, his two PRCA bull riding titles and his remarkable career in the PBR earned the PBR co-founder the appropriate moniker “King of the Cowboys.”
Jerome Davis was the 1995 PRCA World Champion bull rider and a top PBR athlete. He is now a top bucking bull breeder, and mentor to a new generation of PBR stars. He was also, incidentally, the youngest of the co-founders of the PBR.
JIM SHARP (5) vs. KODY LOSTROH (12)
Jim “Razor” Sharp was the first cowboy to ride all 10 bulls at the NFR and is a two-time PRCA World Champion. He also holds the record for having covered 23 bulls in a row at the NFR. A co-founder of the PBR, Sharp is being inducted into the Ring of Honor this May.
Kody Lostroh is the reigning PBR World Champion. The Colorado cowboy is thought to be one of the most technically correct riders ever, which is precisely why he was able to win his first title in spite of an elbow injury that would have sidelined most others.
TUFF HEDEMAN (4) vs. OWEN WASHBURN (13)
Tuff Hedeman, the 1995 PBR World Champion, won three PRCA World Champion bull riding crowns and was the NFR average winner in 1987 and 1989. His four titles came during one of the most competitive eras in professional bull riding.
For more than 10 years, Owen Washburn was one of the most consistent and durable bull riders in the PBR. The New Mexico rider earned more than $1 million, and qualified for the PBR World Finals 10 times. He won the world title in 1996.
ADRIANO MORAES (2) vs. TERRY DON WEST (15)
Adriano Moraes was the PBR’s first World Champion, and the first and only man ever to earn three world titles. He also blazed the trail to bull riding glory for his countrymen from Brazil, serving as a mentor for dozens of talented riders who have made the transition to the United States.
In 2003, Terry Don West won a PRCA world title, but five years earlier he had made his PBR debut by riding 15 bulls in a row – a consecutive streak that still stands 12 years after being set. West was one of two riders voted into the bracket by fans.
CODY HART (7) vs. GUILHERME MARCHI (10)
In 1999, Cody Hart experienced a career year in many ways. He set a record of sixteen 90-point rides a single season and claimed six event titles en route to winning a World Championship. Hart won more than $1 million in his career.
Guilherme Marchi is quickly becoming the “King of Consistency.” He won the 2008 PBR World Championship, and his five-year run on the BFTS is among the best in history – in addition to his world title he finished second three times (2005, ‘06 and ‘07), and third in 2009.
TROY DUNN (6) vs. MICHAEL GAFFNEY (11)
Troy Dunn is the only Australian to ever win the PBR World Championship, and the only man to ever win the PBR World Finals event twice. He served on the PBR’s board and was instrumental in the eventual formation of PBR Australia.
During his career, Michael Gaffney amassed thirteen 90-points rides and successfully rode the legendary Little Yellow Jacket twice, for 93.75 and 96.5 points. Gaffney was the 1997 PBR World Champion and retired from the sport in 2005.
JUSTIN McBRIDE (3) vs. MIKE LEE (14)
One of the most naturally talented bull riders in history, Justin McBride set a host of records in his career. The two-time World Champion broke the single-season event wins record with eight, the most career event wins with 32, and became the richest cowboy in history, topping $5 million in career earnings.
In 2004, Mike Lee became the first only PBR rider in history to win a world title and the World Finals event in the same year. It was the only event Lee won that year, which further illustrates how important it was for him to record 14 Top 10 finishes (10 of which were in the Top 5).
— by Keith Ryan Cartwright
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