NEW YORK, NY (May 19, 2016) -- IMG Models has signed Bonner Bolton, an athlete competing in the PBR (Professional Bull Riders), to a global modeling contract, it was announced today.
Bolton, 28, competes in the PBR’s elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS), which is currently experiencing the most successful season in the sport’s 23-year history. PBR on CBS television viewership has increased +33% this year and the league has set nine local event attendance records.
The Odessa, Texas, native is known to fans as much for competing in PBR’s World Finals as for his role as a stunt double for actor Scott Eastwood in the major motion picture, “The Longest Ride.” Bolton stepped in for the competition scenes, riding fictional bull rider Luke Collins’ bull nemesis, Rango.
Bolton has previously appeared in a print ad campaign for Boot Barn’s Country Chic apparel.
He began the 2016 season with high expectations after finishing in seventh place at the 2015 Built Ford Tough Finals during his rookie year, including going 3-for-3 in Round 1 of the World Finals.
However, Bolton is currently recovering from severe injury suffered in PBR’s BFTS 2016 season opener in Chicago. He had been leading the event before landing on his head and fracturing his C-2 vertebra when dismounting the bull. Bolton was temporarily paralyzed.
Following spinal fusion surgery, he is recovering well and recently appeared as an ambassador for the sport on a SXSW forum, “PBR: The Original Extreme Sport Goes Mainstream.”
Bolton is training hard and, pending medical clearances, expects to compete at the PBR’s elite level in 2017.
“As difficult as my accident was, it’s also opened new doors and helped me grow as a person,” Bolton said. “I’ve received some unbelievable love and support the past few months. We’re all family in this sport. Everybody helps everybody else. That’s the cowboy way.”
IMG Models and PBR are divisions of WME | IMG, a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion.
“As the PBR grows in popularity and brings the Western Lifestyle back into mainstream consciousness, WME | IMG is in an ideal position to create crossover opportunities for our bull-riding athletes in entertainment, media and fashion, evidenced by this signing of Bonner,” said Sean Gleason, CEO of PBR.
“Bonner is truly an aspirational modern hero,” says Ivan Bart, President of IMG Models. “He’s exceptionally courageous and determined to come back to doing what he loves. He has a radiance, spirit and authenticity brands want.”
IMG Models, represents clients including Christie Brinkley, Gigi Hadid, Lauren Hutton, Karlie Kloss, Kate Moss, Chrissy Teigen and many others.
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