For the first time since 2004, fans in Indianapolis will be able to watch the Top 40 bull riders in the world compete against the fiercest bucking bulls when the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series visits Conseco Fieldhouse for the Jack Daniel’s Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 29, and Sunday, Jan. 30.
Fans will be able to witness 8-second rides and jaw-dropping wrecks as the planet’s best bull riders attempt to ride animal athletes 10 times their size.
In the first three weeks of the 2011 season, there have been three different event winners, and three riders have jostled for position to be the BFTS standings leader.
Tickets begin at $15 and are on sale at the Conseco Fieldhouse, online at www.TicketMaster.com and by telephone at (800) 745-3000. Bull riding begins at 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30.
Leading the way into Indianapolis is top-ranked rider and 2010 PBR Rookie of the Year Silvano Alves of Pilar do Sul, Brazil. Alves won last week in Anaheim, Calif., after scoring 91.25 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round to edge Skeeter Kingsolver of McLouth, Kan., by 0.25 points (Ride scores are based on a scale of 0-100. Any ride over 90 points is a home run). The win moved Alves, who finished second the previous week in Sacramento, into first place in the BFTS standings with 1,934.5 points.
Indianapolis is the fourth stop for the nationally-televised BFTS, which will make 28 stops in 23 states. The season began at world-famous Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 7-9. It all culminates Oct. 26-30 in Las Vegas at the richest bull riding event in the world, the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, where the 2011 PBR World Champion will be crowned and awarded the $1 million Built Ford Tough bonus.
Each of the 40 riders will ride on Saturday and Sunday. Following Round 1 on Saturday, the riders with the 10 highest scores will each compete with one more bull. Following Round 3 on Sunday, the riders with the 10 highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round where they will compete with one more bull. The overall event winner will be the rider with the highest combined score from all four rounds.
Valdiron de Oliveira of Aparecida de Goiania, Brazil, is in second place in the season standings with 1,896 points. Oliveira was 5-for-5 on his bulls to win the season opener in New York, and went 3-for-3 to finish fourth the following week in Sacramento, Calif. Ben Jones of Goulburn, Australia, is in third place with 1,850 points, following a runner-up finish in New York and third place in Sacramento, Calif.
The action will be televised in HD on VERSUS at 9:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 29, and on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 30. Play-by-play broadcaster Craig Hummer will be joined by nine-time World Champion and PBR co-founder Ty Murray. Erin Coscarelli, a regular contributor to FOX Sports and ESPN, will be doing dirt-level interviews. Beginning in 2011, all Built Ford Tough Series telecasts will be produced for the PBR by David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 30-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who will serve as executive producer and creative lead.
2011 Built Ford Tough Season Leaders
- Silvano Alves, Pilar do Sul, Brazil, 1,934.5 points
- Valdiron de Oliveira, Aparecida de Goiania, Brazil, 1,896 points
- Ben Jones, Goulburn, Australia, 1,850 points
- Dustin Elliott, North Platte, Neb., 1,300 points
- J.B. Mauney, Mooresville, N.C., 1,269.5 points
About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR)
The PBR is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 100 million viewers annually watch over 400 hours of primetime PBR programming on VERSUS, NBC, CBS and networks around the world. The PBR has awarded over $100 million in prize money, and 20 riders have earned over $1 million, including Justin McBride with $5.5 million – the most of any western-sports athlete in history. The PBR was nominated as 2010 Sports League of the Year at the Sports Business Journal Sports Business Awards, alongside the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Nearly 2 million fans attend Built Ford Tough Series and Touring Pro Division events each year. For more information on the PBR, go to www.pbr.com, or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamPBR and http://twitter.com/TEAMPBR.
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