THACKERVILLE, Okla. – The PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) returns to Thackerville, Oklahoma, Sept. 4-5 for the WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational presented locally by Sonic. It’s the fifth consecutive year that the BFTS will visit Thackerville, showcasing the bull riders in a custom-built, outdoor arena adjacent to WinStar World Casino and Resort.
The nationally-televised BFTS features the Top 35 bull riders in the world taking on the rankest bucking bulls in the country, producing some of the most exhilarating 8-second rides and heart-stopping wrecks in the sport. Throughout the more than two hours of non-stop action each night, the PBR’s courageous cowboys risk it all against their opponents, who can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds.
In 2011, Thackerville became the host of the first outdoor BFTS event since the 2005 PBR Laughlin, Nevada, event, and it is the only outdoor event in the second half of the PBR’s 2015 BFTS season.
WinStar World Casino and Resort is the 22nd stop on the 2015 BFTS schedule. Bull riding begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets for the WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational start at $35 and are on sale now at the WinStar World Casino Global Event Center Box Office, www.Ticketmaster.com, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000. For more information visit www.pbr.com.
Despite a left ankle injury that took him out of competition in Nashville, Tennessee, two weeks ago, 2013 PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney comes into Thackerville ready to compete and possibly take over the No. 1 spot in the PBR world standings with a strong showing. Mauney is only 167.5 points behind current PBR world No. 1 Joao Ricardo Vieira.
In Round 1 on Friday night, Mauney is scheduled to ride Red Moon (Hurst Rodeo Ranch). Mauney and Red Moon have never met before as this will be just the second time the bull will buck on the BFTS. In his BFTS debut, Red Moon bucked off Robson Aragao in 1.83 seconds in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Aug. 14.
Three-time and reigning PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (2014, 2012, 2011), along with world champions Guilherme Marchi (2008), Renato Nunes, (2010) and Mike Lee (2004) are also scheduled to compete alongside leading Rookie of the Year contender Kaique Pacheco, and fan favorites Matt Triplett and Ryan Dirteater.
Pacheco, winner of the Jack Daniel’s Invitational on Aug. 21-22, will attempt to ride Midnight Bender (John McDonald) in Round 1. Midnight Bender’s only out on the BFTS came in Colorado Springs in April when Mauney rode the bull for 87 points.
The No. 1 ranked Vieira will take on Wicked Stick (Diamond S Bucking Bulls). Wicked Stick has only bucked one other time for the PBR when he dumped Gage Gay in Tulsa.
Dave Mason and Reese Cates will have rematches with bulls they saw just three weeks ago in Tulsa. Mason will face Losing My Religion (Dennis & Jan Owens), who dumped him in 4.35 seconds; and Cates will attempt Crazy Days (Flying S-Samford), hoping to last longer than the 4.93 seconds in their first meeting.
Some of the highly-touted bull power that will be on display during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at WinStar World Casino and Resort includes: Margy Time (D&H Cattle Co.), Sweet Pro’s Long John (D&H Cattle Co./H.D. Page), and Walk Off and Stanley Fat Max, both from Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls.
All Top 35 bull riders will ride one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. After Round 2 on Saturday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled and the Top 15 riders will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
Round 1 of the WinStar World Casino and Resort will air on CBS Sports Network, the home of the PBR, on Friday, Sept. 4, at 11 p.m. ET. Round 2 and the championship round will air Sunday, Sept. 6, at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can also catch each night of the action on PBR LIVE via CarbonTV.com. PBR LIVE is now available at no charge to all fans and media.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network – the home of the PBR and networks around the world. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.
Following Thackerville, the PBR Built Ford Tough Series will make four more stops before culminating with the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-25. The finals will crown the 2015 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who has earned the most points during the 2015 season, and award him the coveted PBR World Championship belt buckle and a $1 million bonus. Tickets and additional information about the PBR World Finals can be found at www.pbrworldfinals.com.
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