PUEBLO, Colo. – BlueDEF® Diesel Exhaust Fluid, the title sponsor of the PBR’s BlueDEF Velocity Tour, and the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), have announced the Bucking Madness Mad 10 semifinalists in their national search for the next up-and-coming bull riding stars. Aspiring bull riders and PBR fans submitted their profiles from June 23 – July 30, and on Friday, Aug. 7, the Top 10 contestants, selected by fan votes and PBR Legends, were announced during Round 1 of the PBR’s Battle at the Beau Built Ford Tough Series event in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The 10 semifinalists are:
Braden Richardson, a 20-year-old from Jasper, Texas, began riding bulls when he was 12 and since then his passion for the sport has become an obsession. He was the reserve champion at his junior high school at age 13 and most recently won the 2014 Buckin’ Wild Music Fest title.
Ricky Hallum, one of two semifinalists from California (Norco), is 22 years old and has been riding bulls for 15 years. His professional and dedicated approach to the sport garnered him three titles in 2013: PBR Touring Pro Division Santa Maria Champion, PRCA Queen Creek, Arizona Bull Riding Champion, and PRCA Norco Bull Riding Champion.
Cody Brewer is a 24-year-old horse trainer from Cookeville, Tennessee. Brewer has competed in rodeos for years, but enjoys bull riding the most. He was the 2013 SPRA Bull Riding Champion, the 2013 NCA Bull Riding Champion and the 2014 SPRA Finals Champion.
Dustin Ratchford, a 19-year-old college student at Oklahoma State University, is from Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and a third-generation cowboy; his grandfather was a three-time World Champion Bull Rider (IPRA). Ratchford already has a PBR win under his belt, capturing a PBR Touring Pro Division title in McAlester, Oklahoma.
Jake Gowdy is the youngest competitor in Bucking Madness at 18 years of age and graduated from high school in March. Also known as Jake “The Snake,” Gowdy hails from Bristow, Oklahoma, and dreams of one day being a PBR World Champion.
Patrick Chee is a Native American from Pinedale, New Mexico, who started riding at age 7. He has been riding for 20 years and captured the title of International Indian National Finals Champion in 2014.
Ryan Miller hails from Waterloo, Indiana, and has been riding bulls for eight years. His dream has been to rise to the top level of the PBR; he was the winner of the 2014 BlueDEF Velocity Tour Cleveland event, a contestant in the 2014 PBR Touring Pro Division Finals and, most recently, a semifinalist in THE AMERICAN in 2015. He is 26 years old.
Travis Smith is a college student at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, but calls West Plains, Missouri, home. At 22, Smith has two National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Ozark Region Champion Bull Rider titles, and is the 2012 National Federation of Pro Bull Riders Champion.
Justin McCall from Hamilton, New Jersey, is 26 years old and started bull riding at age 15. He won his first check in 2011 and his first buckle in 2012. Since then, he has been striving for even more. McCall says bull riding is his passion and reaching the PBR is his goal.
Danny Joe Fowler is the oldest contestant at 36 and lives in Bakersfield, California. Fowler started riding bulls later than most – at age 17 – and revels in the fact that bull riding has taken him, a basic kid from the streets of Bakersfield, to signing autographs in downtown New York City. Fowler’s two PBR Touring Pro Division event wins in 2006 qualified him for the Built Ford Tough Series.
On Aug. 31, these 10 men will enter the next phase of Bucking Madness, the BlueDEF Bucking Madness Boot Camp presented by the PBR. For four days, the Mad 10 will show off their skills and be put through the paces by PBR legends, two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride; PBR co-founder Cody Lambert; PBR Event Manager Jerome Robinson; current BlueDEF sponsored BFTS bull riders Matt Triplett, Nathan Schaper, J.W. Harris, Douglas Duncan; and three-time reigning PBR World ChampionSilvano Alves.
At the end of Boot Camp only five finalists will be selected by the camp judges and advance with a chance to compete at the BlueDEF Velocity Tour event in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 19 at Quicken Loans Arena.
The top two Bucking Madness contestants in Cleveland will win the opportunity to ride alongside the emerging talent on the 2015 BlueDEF Velocity Tour and the stars of the elite Built Ford Tough Series in the $100,000 BlueDEF Finals taking place Oct. 9-10 in Louisville, Kentucky, at the KFC YUM! Center. Tickets for the BlueDEF Finals are on sale now and start at $15. They can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or by calling 800 745 3000.
Their journey, from selection through Boot Camp to Cleveland and ultimately Louisville, will be captured in a one-hour special to air on CBS Sports Network the weekend before the PBR 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Bucking Madness is also sending a pair of lucky fans to Las Vegas to watch the Top 40 bull riders in the world compete for the $1 million 2015 PBR World Championship title at the PBR World Finals taking place at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 21-25. Enter at www.buckingmadness.com for a chance to win airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets for two (2) to the five-day event.
This October will be the 22nd time the World Finals takes place in Las Vegas where the best bull riders in the sport and the best bulls will be showcased. With a $1 million bonus on the line for the season’s prevailing bull rider and a $50,000 check for the season’s best bovine athlete, the competition will be tight, the battles fierce and the non-stop action unprecedented. Tickets are available now and can be ordered at www.unlvtickets.com or by calling 1-866-PBR-SHOW (866-727-7469).
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.