PUEBLO, Colo. – As part of the festivities for the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) upcoming 2019 WinStar World Casino and Resort Global Cup USA, two unique competitions will headline the event’s Fan Zone at Texas Live! – Miniature Bull Riders, LLC (MBR) and Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting (AFB), presented by Marquis Metal Works.
The PBR Global Cup, the only nation vs. nation bull riding competition, will make its U.S. debut, and third stop, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 9-10, 2019. The new team tournament debuted in Edmonton, Alberta in November 2017 and then visited Sydney, Australia in June 2018.
The MBR, which features up-and-coming talent between the ages of 8-13, was founded in 2011 by mini-bull stock contractors Cirildo and Lillie Leal and has since grown to a league of more than 50 athletes. The competition circuit, which drew the support of two-time PBR World Champion Chris Shivers (Jonesville, Louisiana) in 2012, features three age divisions: Pee Wee (8-9 year olds), Junior (10-11 year olds) and Senior (12-13 year olds).
Since MBR held its first finals in 2012, several stars of the PBR have passed through its ranks. Reigning Rookie of the Year Keyshawn Whitehorse (McCracken Springs, Utah), set to compete for Team USA-Wolves, was the 2012 Senior Reserve World Champion, while rising 18-year-old star Cannon Cravens (Porum, Oklahoma) was the first two-time champion in MBR history as the 2012 Junior World Champion and 2014 Senior World Champion.
For Gorham’s AFB, 2019 will mark the series’ first season. Formed to revive American-style bullfighting, AFB is an extreme sport pitting one freestyle bullfighter against a Spanish or Mexican fighting bull, in a match up that has been described as the “most dangerous dance on dirt.”
Freestyle bullfighting is 40 seconds of non-stop, electric intensity, with the spotlight tightly focused on the bullfighter and bull performing in the center of the arena. Unlike cowboy protection, in which bullfighters work to keep the riders out of harm’s way, freestyle bullfighting calls for the bullfighter to engage 1,000-pound fighting bulls who are faster and more agile than their larger bucking counterparts.
Like bull riding, in AFB, there are individual scores for both cowboys and bulls. Each score represents half the total score. Judges score bulls based on their willingness to engage their opponent for the entire 40 seconds, while the bullfighters are assessed for their own willingness to face off, one-on-one, with Spanish and Mexican fighting bulls without seeking a reprieve by scaling the arena walls. They also earn points by performing crowd-rousing tricks.
In addition to the Global Cup, these two exciting tours will be held in tandem with other PBR events. Throughout the 2019 season, both the MBR and Gorham’s AFB will be seen at nine PBR Unleash The Beast tour stops, including the 2019 PBR World Finals.
2019 MBR Schedule
Jan. 4-6: New York City, New York
Jan. 18-20: Glendale, Arizona
Feb. 8-10: Arlington, Texas – Global Cup
Feb. 22-24: Los Angeles, California
March 22-24: Kansas City, Missouri
April 12-14: Billings, Montana
Aug. 9-11: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oct. 4-6: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct. 11-13: Greensboro, North Carolina
Nov. 8-10: Las Vegas, Nevada – World Finals
2019 AFB Schedule
Jan. 25: Sacramento, California
Feb. 1: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Feb. 8-10: Arlington, Texas – Global Cup
Feb. 15: St. Louis, Missouri
April 5: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
May 17-19: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Aug. 24: Nashville, Tennessee
Sept. 6 Anaheim, California
Oct. 18: Nampa, Idaho
Nov.8-11: Las Vegas, Nevada – World Finals
The MBR’s 2019 season will begin at Madison Square Garden on January 4 and then travel to Glendale, Arizona, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Missouri, and Billings, Montana in the first-half, alongside its inclusion at the Global Cup.
When the elite Unleash The Beast returns from its annual summer break, the MBR will stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Greensboro, North Carolina, prior to November’s World Finals in Las Vegas.
Gorham’s AFB will launch its 2019 season on Jan. 25 in Sacramento, California, also visiting Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, along with Global Cup, in the first half.
Its second half schedule will begin at the fourth, and final, PBR Major of the season, in Nashville. Before the season culminates in Las Vegas, Gorham’s AFB will also visit Anaheim and Nampa, Idaho.
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