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Event Preview: Last Cowboy Standing

By: Jordan Marie Johnson May 07, 2014@ 12:00:00 PM

Last Cowboy Standing returns to Las Vegas on Friday night. Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com.

PUEBLO, Colo. ― Mandalay Bay Events Center welcomes the Professional Bull Riders back to Las Vegas, May 9-10, for the fourth annual Last Cowboy Standing, part of the 2014 Built Ford Tough Series.

The Last Cowboy Standing, which features the world’s Top 50 bull riders, begins Friday, May 9, at 8 p.m. and continues Saturday, May 10, at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Mandalay Bay ticket office.

The format is simple: the Top 50 bull riders – the largest field of any BFTS event – will tackle the rankest bucking bulls in the industry, striving to make the 8-second buzzer. If a rider stays on his bull for the required 8 seconds, he continues to compete. If he gets bucked off, he is finished. The cowboys will continue to ride until the end of the night when the “Last Cowboy Standing” will be declared the winner and take home a check for $100,000.

For the past two years, two-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves has dominated this event. This weekend he will attempt to defend his title again, but it won’t be easy. Alves will have to out ride a roster of world-class bull riders featuring Fabiano Vieira, currently ranked No. 1 in the PBR world standings; 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, the man who has successfully ridden the most bulls in PBR history at 511; 2004 World Champion Mike Lee; reigning World Champion J.B. Mauney, rookies Gage Gay and Tanner Byrne, as well as Nevada native Markus Mariluch. With a total event purse of $170,000 up for grabs, these men will be holding on for dear life to earn their share of the pot.

Alves will take on Maverick (Humpz and Hornz/Sis & Stan Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 on Friday. Maverick has bucked off three of the four riders he has faced in 2014 on the BFTS, including Marchi. The only man to ride him is Stormy Wing, who earned 86.25 points aboard him in Anaheim, Calif.

Funky Town (Hunter Cattle/D&H Cattle) is 3-for-3 against PBR bull riders this year and awaits Mauney in the first round, while Marchi will attempt Kujo (BMC Bucking Bulls/Owen Ranch), who has a buck-off rate of 85.71 percent over the past three years.

Say I Won’t Gunslinger (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) and Gerald Dean (Bad 3D Bucking Bulls/Wing Rodeo) are ready to take on rookies Gay and Byrne, respectively. Harve Stewart rode Say I Won’t Gunslinger for 86 points just last week, while Gerald Dean is making his BFTS debut Friday night.

In addition to great bull riders competing in Las Vegas, two-time PBR World Champion Bull Bushwacker, arguably the greatest PBR bull of all time, will be making the first of his last two Las Vegas appearances during this two-day event in Round 2 on Saturday night. He will be joined by some of the sport’s rankest bulls and the riders’ greatest nemeses, including 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid, Smackdown, Shepherd Hills Tested and Rango.

CBS Sports Network will carry Round 1of the Last Cowboy Standing live Friday, May 9, at 11 p.m. ET. The finals rounds will be broadcast on CBS Network Television on Sunday, May 11, at 4 p.m. ET.

The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network 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.

The Last Cowboy Standing is the last stop of the first half on the 2014 PBR Built Ford Tough Series schedule. The season will resume Aug. 15-16 in Tulsa, Okla. and continue weekly until Oct. 22-26 when the best men of the 2014 season return to Las Vegas for the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals. At the end of the five-day competition, the 2014 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earned the most total points during the 2014 season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and a $1 million bonus.

© 2014 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.