By: Heather Croze
October 26, 2016
PUEBLO, Co. – The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) BlueDEF Tour (BDT) has announced the qualifiers who will be competing at the BlueDEF Finals on Oct. 29-31 at South Point Arena in Las Vegas for a chance to take the title of the PBR’s premier expansion series and a chance to win the biggest and most prestigious event on the PBR tour the following weekend.
The BlueDEF Finals will mark the end of the 2016 season for several athletes. Yet the year will continue for five talented bull riders the following weekend as they will qualify for the PBR World Finals to be held at T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 2-6.
Six Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) riders will highlight the field of competitors along with two-time PRCA Champion Sage Kimzey and four-time PRCA Champion and BFTS rider J.W. Harris. Each athlete will be competing for their share of the $150,000 BlueDEF Finals total event purse and a chance to win PBR’s ultimate event championship and the $250,000 paycheck.
This year, 40 talented bull riding stars competing on the BDT have made the cut:
Alexandre Cardozo – Indaiatuba, Brazil
Beau Willis – Bowen, Australia
Brady Sims – Holt, Missouri
Brant Atwood – Pampa, Texas
Chase Outlaw – Hamburg, Arkansas
Cody Ford – Stanfeild, Oregon
Cody Heffernan – Singleton, Australia
Cody Hudson – Camas, Washington
Cody Nance – Paris, Tennessee
Cody Rodeo Tyler – Guthrie, Oklahoma
Dakota Buttar – Kindersley, Saskatchewan
Dener Barbosa – Paulao de Faria, Brazil
Derek Kolbaba – Walla Walla, Washington
Emilio Resende – Santa Helena do Goias, Brazil
Fabiano Vieira – Perola, Brazil
Fraser Babbington – Gisborne, New Zealand
J.W. Harris – Mullin, Texas
Jay Miller – Liberty, South Carolina
Josh Faircloth – Randleman, North Carolina
Juan Carlos Contreras – Huichapan, Mexico
Juliano Antonio da Silva – Eloi Mendes, Brazil
Kade Alberty – Beggs, Oklahoma
Keyshawn Whitehorse – The Woodlands, Texas
Kurt Shephard – Atherton, Australia
Lindomar Lino – Anapolis, Brazil
Marco Eguchi – Poa, Brazil
Matt Triplett – Columbia Falls, Montana
Michael Lane – Tazewell, Virginia
Mike Lee – Decatur, Texas
Nathan Schaper – Grassy Butte, North Dakota
Neil Holmes – Houston, Texas
Nevada Newman – Melstone, Montana
Paulo Lima – Bezerros, Brazil
Robson Aragao – Aracaju Sergipe, Brazil
Ryan Roberts – Caldwell, Idaho
Sage Kimzey – Weatherford, Oklahoma
Tyler Harr – Hazen, Arkansas
Valdiron de Oliveira – Piranhas, Brazil
Winston Lopez – Bandera, Texas
Zane Cook – Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
The invites also include the PRCA champion, the CNFR champion, the INFR champion and the NHSRA champion who will all be eligible to compete as well.
The BDT Finals will be the last opportunity for these riders to qualify for the PBR World Finals, as only five riders will advance to next weekend’s five-days of competition. The bull riders who will advance will be the top international invite, the top two from the final BDT season standings who are not in the PBR’s Top-35 and the event average winner who is not in Top-35 as long as they finish in the Top-5 of the BDT Finals.
On Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, each of the competitors will ride one bull apiece. The scores from the three rounds will then be combined, and the riders with the Top 15 highest totals will return for a final ride in the championship round on Monday. The winner will be the rider who has earned the most event points after all four rounds.
The results of the BlueDEF Finals will be life-changing for all of the competitors and an unforgettable thrill for fans at South Point Arena witnessing all the action live and in person on Oct. 29-31. The competition begins at 7 p.m. all three nights. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the South Point Arena box office or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
All of the action will also be streamed live via PBR LIVE at www.pbr.com/live.
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