The Professional Bull Riders return to JQH arena this weekend, Sept. 8-10, for the PFIWestern.com Invitational. Springfield will be the fourth stop on the second half of the Built Ford Tough Series, according to the PBR website.
Riders will face off against some of the wildest bulls on the planet, resulting in some of the best action in today’s sporting world.
The History of PBR and Rodeo
The beginning of PBR comes from rodeo. Rodeo is a competitive sport that developed from the practices of cattle herding and ranching.
While the other rodeo events are deeply rooted in the skills cowboys had to perform daily, bull riding is more of a pastime. It is likely bull riding developed from bored cowboys looking for a little fun and hopping on top of the biggest bull to see how long they could hold on.
Some of the other events in rodeo include riding untrained horses, roping calves and riding horses at high speeds through obstacles.
Bull riding is one of seven traditional rodeo events, according to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame website.
In the bull riding event, a rider sits on top of a 2,000 lb while one hand grabs a rope tied around the bull behind its front legs. The rider must stay on the bull for eight seconds for the ride to count and his other hand must not touch anything during the ride.
If the rider achieves this feat, his final score is based on his riding skill as well as the bulls score. Scores range from zero to 100 with some of the best riders usually scoring in the high 80s.
In 1992, 20 bull riders made the decision to branch off from the rodeo circuit, pool their money and turn their single event into its own standalone sport.
The PBR has grown drastically and developed into a multi-million dollar industry since its inception 25 years ago. Attendance in the 1995 season was around 310,000. In recent years, each season draws more than 3 million people.
PBR is now televised on CBS, CBS Sports Network and other networks across the globe. Broadcasts reach more than 500 million households in 50 nations and territories, according to the PBR website.
More than 600 riders from the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico hold memberships in the PBR.
The organization has awarded more than $140 million in prize money.
The PBR in Springfield
2017 marks the ninth consecutive year for the PBR to come through Springfield. The first time was in the fall of 2009, shortly after JQH arena first opened.
Last year, Ryan Dirteater won the event in Springfield and will look to claim the crown again this year. Additional contenders expected to attend are Aparecido, Mason Lowe, Derek Kolbaba, Jess Lockwood and Guilherme Marchi.
The riders are all competing for a chance at the PBR Built Ford Tough Finals in Las Vegas Nov. 1-5.