CHARLOTTE, N.C. – There were a variety of reasons Tanner Byrne did not want to be bucked off by King Buck on Friday night.
The biggest of all was he didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to help a great cause.
Byrne’s 86.5-point ride on King Buck not only helped Byrne place third in Round 1 of the Express Employment Professionals Invitational, but it also netted him $2,500 and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) $2,500.
“It is cool winning money for yourself, but I always love stuff like that where if I do well and it benefits something like breast cancer. That is just amazing,” Byrne said. “To give money to breast cancer was the most important part of that ride.”
In honor of the PBR Pink Promise campaign to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), every Friday at the remaining Built Ford Tough Series events will be Wrangler Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, featuring the $5,000 Bootdaddy.com Breast Cancer Bounty Bull.
The Pink Promise campaign will be capped off with the PBR Buck-a-Thon during the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Oct. 22. The PBR has pledged $250 for every qualified ride and $1,000 for every 90-point ride during Round 2.
Fans can donate and support the cause in a variety of ways HERE.
Even though he hasn’t had an immediate family member diagnosed with breast cancer, Byrne says he has known plenty of friends and people in his hometown of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, who have.
“It is a terrible disease, obviously,” Byrne said. “There have been a lot of people around my hometown that I have come to know that had to get (tumors) removed and stuff like that. It is a huge thing everybody can be affected by.
“Anytime you can be a part of raising money and awareness for any kind of cancer, sickness or illness, I am all over that for sure.”
It didn’t take long for Byrne to help the cause on Friday night.
King Buck came out of the chutes strong to the left, away from Byrne’s riding hand, before making one-mid-sized jump at the last second and turning to the right.
“Yeah he was a bit tricky today,” Byrne said. “They put him in the front chute to add some head games to it. That bull feels so good – up and down and kicking and spinning.”
Following the ride, Byrne let out a big sigh of relief and began laughing when J.W. Harris walked by and congratulated him.
Byrne and Harris (88.25 points in Biloxi, Mississippi) are the latest two riders to make a qualified ride on King Buck after J.W. Hart did for 88.5 points at Unfinished Business this past May.
“Not saying because J.W. Hart rode him, but at the level we are at and where he is at in life (40 years old), if he can ride him we are supposed to be able to ride him.”
Byrne heads into Round 2 on Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Arena sitting third in the event and is in the hunt for his first career Built Ford Tough Series victory.
He has drawn Crooked Face.
Last week, Byrne fell short of the victory in Springfield, Missouri, and finished in third place after bucking off Who Dey in 6.37 seconds during the championship round.
He is ranked 14th in the world, which is where he finished during his rookie season last year, and already has ridden a career-high 30 bulls in 68 attempts.
“I feel like I am riding good and I am just going to try and keep it rolling,” Byrne said.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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