By: Denise M. Abbott August 13, 2014@ 09:00:00 PM
TULSA, Okla. – In 2013, the BOK Center was the site of one of the greatest moments in Professional Bull Riders history when J.B. Mauney met Bushwacker for the ninth time and recorded an 8-second, 95.25-point ride, ending the record-setting, four-year, 42-cowboy buckoff streak of the 1,760-pound athlete. Fans who were lucky enough to be in the audience will always remember when the greatest bull the PBR has ever known was conquered.
The rivals are returning.
On Aug. 15-16, Mauney and Bushwacker will be joined at the BOK Center by the world’s toughest and most talented PBR bull riders, and the best bucking bulls in the business when the PBR’s Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Jack Daniel’s, kicks off the second half of the 2014 PBR Built Ford Tough Series.
The BFTS has been on a three-month hiatus, so the riders will be strong, ready and eager to meet their 2,000-pound foes. As the 19th of 26 events this season, they will be hanging tough for every second and every point to qualify for the $2.2 million PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 22-26.
Ticket prices for the two-day event range from $15 to $100 and can be purchased at www.bokcenter.com, Arby’s Box Office, all Ticketmaster.com outlets, or by calling 1-866-7-BOKCTR or 800-345-7000. The bull riding action begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Express Employment Professionals Classic will feature two of Oklahoma’s favorite PBR cowboys – L.J. Jenkins who makes his home in Porum and Ryan Dirteater of Hulbert.
Also scheduled to compete is defending PBR Tulsa event champion and defending PBR World Champion Mauney and five other PBR World Champions: Silvano Alves (2012, 2011), Renato Nunes, (2010), Kody Lostroh (2009), current No. 1 bull rider Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004). Electrifying rookies Gage Gay and Tanner Byrne, along with Matt Triplett and veterans Kasey Hayes and Cody Nance, are also expected to be in the lineup.
The BOK Center also will be the site of the ninth stop on two-time PBR World Champion Bull Bushwacker’s farewell tour. Earlier this year in Oklahoma City, Bushwacker’s owner Julio Moreno announced that the 2014 BFTS would be Bushwacker’s last season and his bull would be retiring after the PBR World Finals in October. The Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Saturday evening, Aug. 16, will be the last opportunity for Tulsa fans to see “the baddest body in sports” (ESPN The Magazine) in action in Oklahoma.
The format is simple: Each rider will face one bull during Round 1 on Friday and Round 2 on Saturday evening. Following Round 2 on Saturday, the riders with the 15 highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round where they will compete on one additional bull. The overall event winner will be the rider with the highest combined score from all three rounds.
During Round 1 on Friday night, Mauney will face Karaoke of Elite Bucking Bulls/Mike Lee stock. While Mauney has never faced Karaoke in his career, Pistol Robinson and Joao Ricardo Vieira each covered the bull for 88.75 and 88.50 points respectively in Oklahoma City earlier this season, while Marco Eguchi failed in his attempt in Des Moines, Iowa, this year.
JoJo (Owens/Lane) will be waiting in the chutes for Marchi on Friday. New to the PBR in 2013, JoJo boasts a 100 percent buckoff rate on the BFTS and an average buckoff time of 2.3 seconds, making short work of Kasey Hayes in Kansas City, Missouri, and 2010 PBR World Champion Renato Nunes in Oklahoma City this season.
The leading man on the PBR’s Touring Pro Division, Lee will take on Smooth Operator. The Rockin’ Rafter P Bucking Bulls bull has faced only one BFTS rider to date, Douglas Duncan in Oklahoma City in January. Duncan’s attempt ended in only 2.2 seconds.
Previous event champions in Tulsa include:
2013 J.B. Mauney
2012 Kody Lostroh
2011 Fabiano Vieira
2010 Renato Nunes
2009 Kody Lostroh
2008 Justin McBride
2007 Adriano Moraes
2006 Kasey Hayes
2005 Edgard Oliveira
All of the action will be streamed in real time each night on PBR LIVE via pbr.com. Log on at 10 p.m. ET on Friday and 9 p.m. ET on Saturday.
CBS Sports Network, the home of the PBR, will broadcast Friday night’s Round 1 competition at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday and Saturday night’s Round 2 and Built Fort Tough Championship Round action on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
The PBR turned 21 in 2014 and the celebration has been taking place each BFTS weekend since the 2014 kick off in January at Madison Square Garden, as well as 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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