NAMPA, Idaho – “America’s fastest growing sport” (Forbes.com) is headed back to Nampa’s Ford Idaho Center for the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) on April 11-12. The DeWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational, presented by Express Employment Professionals will feature the Top 35 bull riders in the world, including reigning World Champion Silvano Alves, and the best bucking bulls in the business for the PBR’s 18th appearance in Idaho.
During this two-day event, fans will experience more than two hours of the toughest sport on dirt in which the most intense battle between man and beast will be played out. An overall purse of $140,000, including the $30,000 event title is up for grabs as well as valuable points needed towards the $1 million 2015 PBR World Championship.
Four former PBR World Champions are expected to compete in Nampa – Alves (2011, 2012, 2014), Renato Nunes (2010), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004).
Joining these men will be J.W. Harris, the 2014 Rookie of the Year, along with fan favorites Kasey Hayes, Ben Jones, L.J. Jenkins, Sean Willingham and Ryan Dirteater.
Two riders will be making their return from injury in Nampa this weekend. Reese Cates and Cody Nance have sat out the last couple of events healing up from various injuries. Cates was injured in Albuquerque, New Mexico, while Nance has been out since Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Gage Gay, the 2014 rookie sensation, whose performance earlier this season led to him losing his Top 35 standing, will be getting another chance to compete on the BFTS in Nampa. Gay won the BlueDEF Velocity Tour vent in Omaha, Nebraska, on March 28 to earn this opportunity. Gay will match up with Bird Bucking Bulls’ Toby in Round 1 on Saturday night, a bull that will be making its BFTS debut.
Only two riders have won more than once in Nampa. Previous winners include: Eduardo Aparecido (2014), Fabiano Vieira (2013), Luke Snyder (2012, 2008), Alves (2010), Kody Lostroh (2009), Sean Willingham (2007), Wiley Petersen (2006), Tater Porter & Michael Gaffney (2004), Chad Lucas (2003), Reuben Geleynse (2002), Ty Murray (2001), Tater Porter (2000) and Curt Lyons (1999).
All Top 35 bull riders will ride one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. After Round 2 on Saturday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled and the Top 15 riders will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
On Saturday, there will also be a special round of competition when the fourth PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle of the 2015 BFTS season takes place immediately following Round 1. The 15/15 Bucking Battles feature the Top 15 riders in the world competing against the 15 highest-ranked bulls at the event for an additional purse of $21,000 and bonus points toward the world standings.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle will air on CBS Network Television on Sunday, April 12 at Noon ET. Round 2 of the Built Ford Tough Championship Round of the DeWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational will air on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. Stay tuned to PBR.com for more details. Fans can also catch the action on PBR LIVE via CarbonTV.com. PBR LIVE is now available at no charge to all fans and media.
No. 1 rider in the PBR world standings Joao Ricardo Vieira has been matched up with Rusty (J.A.R.S. Bucking Bulls/Gene Owen) in Round 1 on Saturday. In the 15/15 Bucking Battle, Vieira and Beaver Creek Beau (Beaver Creek Bucking Bulls) will square off. Beaver Creek Beau has been ridden just twice in 24 outs on the BFTS with Shane Proctor and Ben Jones doing it in the last two events. Proctor rode the bull for 89.75 while Jones rode the bovine to 90.25 enroute to his win in Albuquerque.
Marlene Henry’s Mick E Mouse faces Proctor in the 15/15, a bull that has never been successfully ridden on the BFTS. The bovine athlete currently has the longest buckoff streak of all the active bulls at 33. Proctor and Mick E Mouse have met once previously, in Billings in 2013, with Proctor being tossed to the ground in 1.53 seconds.
Nampa will be the 14th stop of 27 on the 2015 PBR Built Ford Tough Series schedule. The season kicked off Jan. 2-4 at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, and will conclude at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-25, where the 2015 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who has earned the most points during the 2015 season, will be crowned, receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and a $1 million bonus.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network – the home of the PBR - 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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