SEATTLE – The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) will make its way back to Seattle this weekend on March 27-28, for the first time since debuting the Built ford Tough Series (BFTS) there in 2011. After a four-year hiatus, the elite BFTS will return to KeyArena, bringing the best bull riders and top-performing bulls to the Emerald City for the Seattle Invitational.
The competition will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 27, and at 6:50 p.m. on Saturday, March 28. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at the KeyArena box office, Ticketmaster.com and at (800) 745-3000. For more information, visit PBR.com.
During this two-day event, Washington fans will experience non-stop action filled with electrifying 8-second rides and nerve-racking wrecks as they watch 150-pound cowboys risk it all against opponents more than 10 times their size, weighing in at roughly 2,000 pounds.
Four former PBR World Champions are scheduled to ride in Seattle, including three-time defending World Champion Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014), Renato Nunes, (2010), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004).
J.W. Harris, the 2014 Rookie of the Year, fan favorites L.J. Jenkins and Ryan Dirteater, as well as Markus Mariluch who rejoins the BFTS for the first time in six months after recovering from a right bicep injury he suffered in September 2014, are also scheduled to compete.
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.
During Round 1, Mariluch will face I Got This (Corey & Lange/Flying Diamond Rodeo Co.), a bull making its BFTS debut.
Famous Freckles (Weber Bucking Bulls) will await Alves in the first round. This bull has bucked off all three riders he has faced on the BFTS, including L.J. Jenkins, Jordan Hupp and Harve Stewart.
On Friday, there will also be a special round of competition, when the third PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle of the 2015 season will take place immediately following Round 1. The 15/15 Bucking Battles feature the Top 15 riders in the world competing against the 15 highest-ranked bulls at the event for an additional purse of $21,000.
No. 2 rider in the PBR world standings Joao Ricardo Vieira has been matched up with Cooper Tires Brown Sugar (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Julie Rosen) in the 15/15 on Friday. Brown Sugar has a 90 percent buckoff rate, tossing 16 of the 19 riders he has gone up against.
Julio Moreno’s Roy faces Stetson Lawrence in the 15/15, a bull that has only been ridden twice in the 12 outs he has made on the BFTS. Eduardo Aparecido rode him for 93.25 points during the PBR World Finals in 2014, while Cody Nance picked up 89 points atop Roy during the PBR World Finals in 2013.
The PBR’s 15/15 Bucking Battle will be broadcast on CBS Network Television Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m. ET. Round 2 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round of the Seattle Invitational will air live on CBS Sports Network Saturday beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
The Seattle Invitational is stop No. 13 of 27 on the 2015 BFTS. The season will conclude at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-25 when the 2015 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most points during the 2015 season, will be crowned and receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and a $1 million bonus.
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.
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