Posted: Apr 4, 2013 7:47 PM by MTN Sports
PUEBLO, Colo. - They've been coming every year since 1996. The world's best PBR bull riders will buck into Billings Rimrock Auto Arena this weekend for their 18th appearance at the Stanley Make Something Great Invitational presented by Cooper Tires.
The second longest-running event on the Built Ford Tough Series, Billings welcomes the Top 35 bull riders in the world to Big Sky Country this weekend to face the rankest bucking bulls in competition today. They'll be risking it all to win the event title and pick up valuable points needed to become the overall 2013 PBR World Champion and win the $1 million World Champion's bonus. With the new points system introduced this season, no rider is guaranteed a spot in the Top 35 - everyone must fight to survive - so fans are sure to see the most fearless determination ever to make the buzzer.
The bull riding action begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5; 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, April 6; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7. Tickets for the Stanley Make Something Great Invitational start at $15 and are available now at the Metrapark Box Office, www.metrapark.com, Rimrock Mall, Cellular Plus locations, or via phone at (406) 256 2422 or toll free at (800) 366 8538.
All 35 bull riders will get on one bull each in Rounds 1, 2 and 3 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After Round 3 on Sunday afternoon, the riders' individual three-round scores will be totaled and the top 10-15 riders on two bulls will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title. Throughout the event's 18-year history, the PBR has awarded more than $2.2 million in prize money in Billings.
Following Round 2 on Saturday evening, the sport's best bovine athletes will be featured during the 15/15 Bucking Battle. The series' Top 15 bull riders will be randomly matched against the 15 highest-ranked bulls in Billings for a special round of action. Airing on CBS Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET, the 15/15 Bucking Battle offers a total purse of $21,000. Placement points earned during this round will be doubled and count toward the overall PBR World Champion's title. This is the fourth 15/15 Bucking Battle this season.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle also will feature the Monster Energy Money Bull, which carries a bonus purse for a qualified ride by the cowboy matched with him. This weekend Marlene Henry's Mick E. Mouse has been designated the Monster Energy Money Bull and Shane Proctor has been paired with him. If Proctor makes a successful 8-second ride, he will pocket at minimum $75,000. To date this season, no rider has successfully lasted 8 seconds aboard the Monster Energy Money Bull.
Thrilling Billings fans with edge-of-your-seat excitement during the three-day event will be current No. 1 PBR rider Marco Eguchi, No. 2 rider Shane Proctor, defending PBR Billings event champion Austin Meier, fan favorite J.B. Mauney, and five former PBR World Champions: Silvano Alves (2012, 2011), Renato Nunes (2010), Kody Lostroh (2009), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2005).
Eguchi slipped past Proctor in Albuquerque, N.M., two weeks ago to take over the top spot in the PBR World Championship race. His lead is only 63 points ahead of Proctor and less than 240 points ahead of Alves. In Round 1 Friday night he faces Dog Pound of Get a Grip Bucking Bulls, and will ride Will James of Mesa Bucking Bulls in Round 2 on Saturday. This will be the first time he's ridden either bull. Dog Pound is perfect in BFTS competition recording an average buckoff time of 3.9 seconds. Will James has been covered successfully only once in BFTS competition for 86 points in 2010, taking out Alves, Robson Palermo, Harve Stewart, Chase Outlaw and Cody Nance along the way.
Magnum's Motion of Flying V Bulls awaits Proctor in Round 1. He's new to BFTS competition so it will be up to the Washington cowboy to break him in. In Round 2 Proctor has drawn Looks Like Me of Corey & Lange/Flying Diamond Rodeo Co. Looks Like Me has been ridden only once on the Built Ford Tough Series by two-time World Champion Alves. His average buckoff time is 2.4 seconds.
During Round 1 on Friday evening, Alves takes on Bucking Fantastic (Two Bit Bucking Bulls), a bull that fought hard and tossed 2009 PBR World Champion Lostroh to the ground in Las Vegas in 2012 just short of the 8-second buzzer - at 7.8 seconds. On Saturday evening Alves will ride D&H Cattle Company's Juice Box. Juice Box has one BFTS appearance, which occurred two weeks ago in Albuquerque, N.M., and was covered for 86.75 points by Reese Cates.
Over its 18-year existence, five of this event's winners have won gone on to become PBR World Champion. The 17 previous event winners include:
2012 Austin Meier
2011 Valdiron de Oliveira 2003 Wiley Petersen
2010 Travis Briscoe 2002 Lee Akin
2009 Michael Manes 2001 Chris Shivers*
2008 Zack Brown 2000 Troy Dunn*
2007 J. B. Mauney 1999 Troy Dunn
2006 Brian Canter 1998 Rogerio Ferreira
2005 Justin McBride* 1997 Cody Hart*
2004 Brian Herman 1996 Tuff Hedeman*
*PBR World Champions
Rounds 1 and 2 of the Stanley Make Something Great Invitational on Friday and Saturday night will be streamed live via the PBR Live Center at www.pbr.com. Saturday's 15/15 Bucking Battle will air on CBS Network Television on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET. The final rounds of the event will air at 8 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network later that evening.
The 2013 Built Ford Tough Series season is quickly approaching its summer break. Billings is the 13th of 26 stops in 18 states. On May 10 and 11, the BFTS season will round up its first half at the Mandalay Bay Events Center with the third annual Last Cowboy Standing. Who will out-ride the rest and be the Last Cowboy Standing? Tickets are sale now at www.ticketmaster.com, the Mandalay Bay Events Center Box Office or by calling (800) 745 3000.
Featured during the PBR's official Last Cowboy Standing after party will be multi-platinum, chart topping country artist Gary Allan. Allan will entertain fans at the Mandalay Bay Beach starting at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Tickets for the after party are on sale now and also available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.mandalaybay.com or via phone at (800) 745 3000.
The PBR is celebrating 20 years of competition in 2013. Its Built Ford Tough Series is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network 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.