By: Denise M. Abbott
January 22, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – Bullfighters Only (BFO) and the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) have joined forces to feature the most-talented freestyle bullfighters in the world during BFO competitions at stops along the PBR’s 2016 Built Ford Tough Series. In addition to live event competitions, the action also will air during the PBR broadcasts on CBS Sports Network (CBS SN) each week. The season-long competition will culminate in the Bullfighters Only Championship during PBR World Finals Week in Las Vegas.
“We are so excited about our partnership with the PBR,” said Aaron Ferguson, CEO and Founder of BFO. “PBR has set the bar for western sports. Stepping into the spotlight at top-tier PBR events will put freestyle bullfighting back on the map and our athletes couldn’t be more ready.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Bullfighters Only,” PBR CEO Sean Gleason said. “They have brought quality competition and contemporary production to an exciting sport with a rich history. Bullfighters Only is a great entertainment addition to PBR events and will help these talented and under-appreciated athletes gain more recognition.”
The first competition will take place at the PBR’s Express Employment Professionals Invitational in Oklahoma City at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Three bullfighters will take to the arena during intermission on Friday, Jan. 22, to showcase their fast–paced sport which is based on the fundamental skills required to protect bull riders.
Competing in Oklahoma City will be Nate Jestes (Douglas, Wyoming), Chuck Swisher (Dover, Oklahoma) and Weston Rutkowski (Haskell, Texas). The competition will air during the Sunday, Jan. 24 CBS SN broadcast of Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship of the Express Employment Professionals Invitational.
After Oklahoma, the BFO is confirmed to hold competitions at the following 2016 BFTS events:
PBR Event Date, PBR Event, BFO Competition Date
Jan. 29-31: Anaheim, California, Jan. 29
Feb. 12-14: St. Louis, Missouri, Feb. 12
Feb. 27: Arlington, Texas, Feb. 27 PBR Fan Zone
March 5-6: Phoenix, Arizona, March 5
March 12-13: Duluth, Georgia, March 12
April 15-17: Billings, Montana, April 15
April 23-24: Des Moines, Iowa, April 23
May 13-15: Las Vegas, May 13-15
Oct. 29-Nov. 6: BFO Finals in Las Vegas, Oct. 29-31
Additional stops will be added during the second half of the Built Ford Tough Series. Stay tuned to PBR.com for schedule updates.
At least one round of BFO competition will take place at each BFTS stop. During each round, the bullfighter has 60 seconds to acquire points for exhibiting his own unique style and flair, control and difficulty maneuvering around and jumping over the bull, as well as his ability to keep the bull engaged. The bullfighters have the option to end the fight at any time after 40 seconds. The bulls also can earn up to 50 points for their speed, aggression, intensity and how long they interact with the bullfighter.
The bullfighter with the most points will be presented with a $3,000 check as the winner. Money earned at BFO events determines the sport’s standings as the bullfighters are striving to qualify for the Bullfighters Only World Championship, which will take place during PBR World Finals Week in Las Vegas on Oct. 29-Nov. 6. Currently, 12 bullfighters will compete on the tour in 2016, along with six alternates. Among those 12 is Dickies Cody Webster, two-time PBR World Finals Bullfighter.
BFO’s mission is to grow the sport of bullfighting. By highlighting the skills required by the sport’s athletes, BFO hopes to be the platform upon which the sport of bullfighting grows and to give young bullfighters the opportunity to excel based strictly on their skills in the arena.
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