PUEBLO, Colo. — Preparing for the start of the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) 2016 Built Ford Tough Series in Chicago, Illinois, Jan. 9-10, the PBR announced today the appointment of five new members to its Executive Competition Committee (ECC). The ECC, comprised of PBR co-founders, former competitors, legends in the sport, and PBR executives, has final authority on all competition-related issues for the sport, including rules designation and enforcement, point systems, and rider conduct and discipline.
The five appointed members are PBR co-founders Cody Lambert and Ty Murray, two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride, PBR Ring of Honor inductee Luke Snyder and PBR CEO Sean Gleason. The ECC will receive input from a broader, general committee made up of former and active bull riders, judges, and advisors as they review and consider issues.
The five-member committee will begin procedures effective immediately.
A key PBR co-founder and driving force behind the growth of the sport for the past 23 years, Lambert is arguably the world’s foremost authority on bucking bulls. He has served as the sport’s Director of Livestock and led PBR competition initiatives since the inception of the organization. During his competitive days, Lambert qualified for the NFR seven times as a bull rider and qualified for the PBR World Finals from 1994-96 before retirement.
Murray is hailed as the “King of Cowboys” with nine world championship titles – seven all-around cowboy titles and two bull riding titles – and three consecutive finishes as the PBR reserve World Champion. He has shaped the PBR for the past 23 years as a co-founder, president, board advisor and media spokesperson, and currently serves as a PBR commentator for its CBS Television Network broadcasts.
McBride is one of the most naturally talented bull riders in history and set a host of records in his career. The two-time PBR World Champion broke the single-season event wins record with eight, the most career event wins with 32, and at one time was the richest cowboy in history, topping $5 million in career earnings. McBride currently serves as a PBR commentator, but has been actively involved in furthering the sport throughout his career and post-retirement. McBride brings a sensibility around the rules of PBR bull riding that bridge old and new ideas, having lived through one of the most competitive and significant growth periods in PBR history.
Snyder received the nickname “Titanium Tough” while setting a PBR record by competing in 275 consecutive Built Ford Tough Series events, riding for nine years without missing a single competition. The 2001 PBR Rookie of the Year and World Finals event winner also sits 13th on the all-time money earners list. Snyder was the consummate PBR professional athlete, competing exclusively with the PBR his entire bull riding career. He has represented the PBR in many capacities: as a spokesperson and a liaison between the sport and its bull riders. As the most recent retiree on the ECC, Snyder remains closely connected to the current competitors and will bring their voice to the committee decisions.
Gleason was appointed PBR CEO in May 2015 and served as Chief Operating Officer for more than 15 of the PBR’s 23 years. He was instrumental in growing PBR into a global sports entity, and has guided PBR’s integration into WME|IMG ownership. Gleason has served as the chairman of the PBR’s competition committee for more than eight years and has guided both the development and implementation of the changes made during that term. Gleason maintains close relationships with the founders of the sport, as well as current PBR bull riders, ensuring that the PBR’s most important asset – the best bull riders and bulls in the world – have a direct line of communication to the top.
The PBR changed the world of bull riding when it was founded by 20 bull riders who broke away from traditional rodeo. Over the past 23 years, the guiding principle behind every competitive rule or change has been to provide a level playing field for any bull rider who can compete at the highest level. The PBR does not have guaranteed contracts, and there are no assurances that any bull rider, World Champions included, will have any preference to compete. Each week, the PBR offers a performance-based system rewarding success. It is one of the purest sports in terms of competitive landscape and opportunity.
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