Bull riding, and rodeos in general, has undergone a recent spike in support. What was once just a small town pastime has exploded into a global phenomenon, bringing human and animal athletes into the limelight alike. A major part of this popularity boom was due to the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), based out of Colorado.
In 1992, twenty bull riders donated $1,000 each to seek mainstream attention for bull riding, forming PBR. With bull riding being the most popular event at rodeos, these riders knew that it could be a stand-alone event, and strove to make it so. They pushed bull riding into being the number one growing sport in the country today, with 1.5 million live event attendees each year.
A huge opportunity opened up for PBR when Spire Capital Partners made a deal with the Board of Directors in 2007 to purchase the interests of several retired founders. Today PBR is owned by 44 cowboys, management and Spire Capital, and they continue to invest in the growth of the organization and industry as a whole. They have over 1,200 members in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico, and hold over 300 events each year.
Now, Joao Ricardo Vieira, Matt Triplett, Asteroid, and Bushwacker are household names, and some might even suggest these PBR stars are as well-known as Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, and Tiger Woods.
This operation truly paid off for the 20 original founders, but it wasn’t just because of their investment. Twenty thousand dollars alone cannot turn a backyard activity into a worldwide competition. They succeeded because professional bull riding is a culturally sound, difficult, and aggressive sport that is easy for people to fall in love with. America’s “original extreme sport” has evolved into the most exciting entertainment in the world, featuring the best riders and bulls out there. Their own description of the sport is pretty spot on:
“The rules are simple. Place a wiry 150-pound cowboy on the back of a hulking, snorting temperamental 2,000 pound bull and see if he can ride the beast for an eternal eight seconds…with one hand strapped to the bull’s massive backside.”
But it should not come as a surprise that PBR touts the success of both the riders and the bulls it employs. Despite unfounded claims from radical animal rights groups like HSUS that oppose rodeos because “they cause torment and stress; expose animals to pain, injury or even death; and encourage insensitivity to the inhumane treatment of animals in the name of sport,” PBR takes great care of their animals.
The bulls are treated with as much respect as the human athletes, if not more. They are given the best training, treatment, nourishment, and care around the clock. Professional Bull Riders is committed to ensuring their animals’ safety, health, and welfare. They have a zero-tolerance policy for animal mistreatment and regard the bulls as a top priority in all PBR events.
Often these animals are considered a part of the family, and nothing but their welfare will advance the interest of the PBR and their associates. These bulls are their livelihood, and although most individuals have not gotten the chance to raise and fully understand a bucking bull, those who have describe them as almost human and truly express their care and concern for these animals.
Some PBR regulations for the bulls in their care include, but are not limited to: redesigned bucking chutes and lead up alleys, transportation in trailers with air-ride suspension at no more than 10 hours at a time, a limit of 1 ride per day and only 2 per event for each bull, and the best grain mix available, which is constructed depending on the bull’s needs.
They are treated just like any other high profile athletes in any other sport. PBR describes the bulls with this statement: “There are two great athletes in every 8-second ride, the bull rider and THE BULL.”
For a better understanding about the care that PBR gives their animals, watch this short video.
By this time, if you do not have a PBR event on your calendar already, you are probably wondering when you can attend one of these bull riding competitions. So, here are a few of the upcoming times, dates, and locations that you can watch the Professional Bull Riders!
Touring Pro Division:
|JUN 24-2506.24 | 7:00 PM CT06.25 | 7:00 PM CT||WILLISTON, ND||WILLISTON, ND PBR TOURING PRO DIVISION|
|JUN 26-2706.26 | 7:30 PM MT06.27 | 7:30 PM MT||SIDNEY, MT||EASTERN MONTANA BULL BLOWOUT|
|JUN 2706.27 | 6:30 PM CT||BINFORD, ND||BINFORD BULL RIDING|
Bluedef Velocity Tour:
|JUN 19-2006.19 | 7:30 PM CT 06.20 | 7:30 PM CT||BISMARCK, ND||BISMARCK, ND BLUEDEF VELOCITY TOUR|
|JUL 1507.15 | 7:00 PM PT||SALINAS, CA||SALINAS, CA BLUEDEF VELOCITY TOUR|
|JUL 2507.25 | 8:00 PM CT||GUYMON, OK||2ND ANNUAL KASEY HAYES & STORMY WING BLUEDEF VELOCITY TOUR INVITATIONAL|
Built Ford Tough Series:
|AUG 7-808.07 | 8:00 PM CT08.08 | 7:00 PM CT||BILOXI, MSMississippi Coast ColiseumMap & Directions||BEAU RIVAGE CASINO INVITATIONALPRESENTED BY PBR|
|AUG 14-1508.14 | 8:00 PM CT08.15 | 7:00 PM CT||TULSA, OKBOK CenterMap & Directions||EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS CLASSICPRESENTED BY PBR|
|AUG 21-2208.21 | 8:00 PM CT08.22 | 6:50 PM CT||NASHVILLE, TNBridgestone ArenaMap & Directions||JACK DANIEL’S INVITATIONALPRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES|
If none of these times work out for you, you can always visit PBR.com and click on the schedule tab to find out when an event will be in an area near you.
Protect The Harvest has always been a huge supporter of Professional Bull Riders. Not only do they provide awesome entertainment, but they truly respect their animals and hold their welfare in the highest regard. We even have a bull named after our website, ProtectTheHarvest.com!
With all of this in mind, it is extremely hard to believe the outrageous claims of groups like HSUS, but it is easy to see why PBR has so many supporters. It is a popular, safe, fun, and action-packed form of entertainment.
Will you be attending a PBR event this year?