Professional Bull Riders

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Professional Bull Riders
Professional Bull Riders logo.jpg
Sport Bull riding
Founded 1992
Competitors Over 1,200 total, 35 in highest ranked tour
Countries  United States
 New Zealand
Most recent champion(s) Brazil Silvano Alves
Official website

Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) is an international professional bull riding organization based in Pueblo, Colorado, USA. In the United States, PBR events will be televised on CBS and CBS Sports Network, beginning in 2013.[1][2] More than 1,200 cowboys from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand hold PBR memberships.


The organization began in 1992 through the efforts of 21 professional bull riders, who gathered in a hotel room in Scottsdale, Arizona and each contributed $1000.[3] Since that time, the organization has grown to include three tours (the Built Ford Tough Series, Lucas Oil Touring Pro Division, and BlueDEF Velocity Tour) which collectively stage over 100 events in the United States every year. Prize money has exploded from over $330,000 in 1994 to over $11 million in 2008. In 2007, investment firm Spire Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in PBR.[4]

The PBR moved to its current headquarters in Pueblo, Colorado in 2006. Its original headquarters was located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The PBR's premier tour, the Built Ford Tough Series (formerly the Bud Light Cup Series), includes at most 30 events across the United States every year. Pyrotechnics, pulsating music, and special effects open each event, and each features the top 35 riders in the world at the time. The season culminates in Las Vegas, where the PBR World Finals are held.

Riders attempt to stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds, and rides are judged based on both the rider's and the bull's performance, with two judges scoring the rider and two scoring the bull. At the end of each event, the top 15 riders compete in the short round, or "short go"; the rider with the highest point total from the entire event becomes the winner.

Since 2003, the PBR has awarded its annual world champion a $1,000,000 bonus.

From 2007-2010, the PBR also hosted a team competition format called the PBR World Cup, where 25 bull riders (altogether representing five different countries) competed to win the title of best bull riders in the world.

Randy Bernard, shown here in 2011, served as the CEO for Professional Bulls Riders from 1995 to 2010.

Total viewership, including event attendees and the television audience, grew 52 percent between 2002 and 2004. In 2004, 16.4 million fans watched or attended a PBR event. By 2008, over 100 million watched the PBR on television, and over 1.7 million attended a live event.

The original CEO of the PBR was Sam Applebaum.[5] Then Randy Bernard became CEO of the PBR in 1995, a position he held until he resigned in 2010 to become the CEO of INDYCAR.[6] On February 23, 2011, the PBR announced that Jim Haworth had become its new CEO.[7] Then on June 29, 2015, the PBR announced that Haworth was promoted to Chairman, while COO Sean Gleason had become the new CEO.[8]

Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico each have their own PBR tours, and points earned on those tours counts towards the U.S. qualifier standings and a spot in the PBR World Finals. A tour in China is scheduled to begin sometime in 2015 and PBR New Zealand was set to debut in Christchurch on November 13, 2014. Opportunities for expansion into Argentina are being explored as well.

PBR was bought by IMG in April 2015.

PBR World Champions[edit]

Tuff Hedeman was also the 1986, 1989, and 1991 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) world champion bull rider.

Touring Pro Division Champions[edit]

• Ross Johnson was also the 2003 Championship Bull Riding (CBR) world champion.

Shane Proctor was also the 2011 PRCA world champion bull rider.

World Finals Event Champions[edit]

Ted Nuce was also the 1985 PRCA world champion bull rider.

Ty Murray was also the 1989-94 and 1998 PRCA world champion all-around rodeo cowboy as well as the 1993 & 1998 PRCA world champion bull rider.

Bull of the Year[edit]

  • 2014, 2013 - Bushwacker
  • 2012 - Asteroid
  • 2011 - Bushwacker
  • 2010 - Bones
  • 2009 - Code Blue
  • 2008 - Bones
  • 2007 - Chicken On A Chain
  • 2006 - Mossy Oak Mudslinger
  • 2005 - Big Bucks
  • 2004, 2003, 2002 - Little Yellow Jacket
  • 2001, 2000 - Dillinger
  • 1999 - Cripple Creek Promiseland
  • 1998 - Moody Blues
  • 1997 - Panhandle Slim
  • 1996 - Baby Face
  • 1995 - Bodacious

• Bodacious was also the 1994-95 PRCA bull of the year.

Other Awards[edit]

The PBR has some secondary awards, in addition to the World Championship, given out annually, many named after bull riders fatally injured during competition.[9]

The Glen Keeley Award is for the Canadian bull rider who earns the most points throughout the entire season. It is named for Glen Keeley, a Canadian bull rider who was fatally injured during the 2000 Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award is for the highest-scoring single ride at the World Finals. It is named for Lane Frost, fatally injured during a competition in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1989, and Brent Thurman, fatally injured during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 1994.

The Rookie of the Year award goes to the rookie (first year of Built Ford Tough Series competition) bull rider who wins the most points of all first-year competitors.

The Stock Contractor of the Year award goes to the stock contractor who has supplied the best bulls to Built Ford Tough Series events. This award is given based on a vote among bull riders.

Glen Keeley Award Recipient[edit]

  • 2014 - Tanner Byrne
  • 2013 - Aaron Roy
  • 2012 - Chad Besplug
  • 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 - Aaron Roy
  • 2007 - Scott Schiffner
  • 2006 - Jesse Torkelson
  • 2005 - Matt Roy
  • 2004, 2003 - Aaron Roy
  • 2002 - Reuben Geleynse
  • 2001, 2000 - B.J. Kramps

Rookie of the Year[edit]

  • 2014 United States J.W. Harris •
  • 2013 Brazil Joao Ricardo Vieira
  • 2012 Brazil Emilio Resende
  • 2011 Brazil Rubens Barbosa
  • 2010 Brazil Silvano Alves
  • 2009 United States Cody Nance
  • 2008 United States Reese Cates
  • 2007 United States Clayton Williams
  • 2006 United States J.B. Mauney
  • 2005 United States Kody Lostroh
  • 2004 United States Zack Brown
  • 2003 United States Jody Newberry
  • 2002 United States Dan Henricks
  • 2001 United States Luke Snyder
  • 2000 United States Jason Bennett
  • 1999 United States Mike White •
  • 1998 United States Pete Hessman
  • 1997 United States Keith Adams
  • 1996 United States Ronnie Kitchens
  • 1995 United States Bubba Dunn
  • 1994 United States J.W. Hart


• Mike White was also the 1999 PRCA world champion bull rider, as well as the 2002 CBR world champion.

• J.W. Harris was also the 2008-10 & 2013 PRCA world champion bull rider.

Stock Contractor of the Year[edit]

  • 2014 - Chad Berger Bucking Bulls
  • 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 - Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls
  • 2009, 2008, 2007 - Chad Berger Bucking Bulls
  • 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 - D&H Cattle Company
  • 2000 - Herrington Cattle Company
  • 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995 - Terry Williams Bucking Bulls

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]