PUEBLO, Colo. – The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) will buck into Allentown, Pennsylvania, for the second consecutive year with its elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) on Sept. 25-26 at the PPL Center. The Allentown Invitational presented by Cooper Tires will feature the Top 35 bull riders in the world, as well as the best bucking bulls in the business.
During this two-day event, fans will experience more than two hours of the toughest sport on dirt in which the most intense battle between man and beast will be played out. An overall purse of $140,000, including the $30,000 event title, is up for grabs, as well as valuable points needed toward the $1 million 2015 PBR World Championship.
Leading the way into Allentown is the No. 1 bull rider in the world standings, 2013 World Champion J.B. Mauney as well as three-time World Champion Silvano Alves (2014, 2012, 2011) and former PBR World Champions Renato Nunes (2010), and Mike Lee (2004). Fan favorites Matt Triplett, Tanner Byrne and Ryan Dirteater are also in the lineup.
Fabiano Vieira was perfect in his victory last year, going 3-for-3 in the event. He will also compete this weekend, looking to defend his title. Vieira is currently ranked No. 5 in the PBR world standings.
Bull riding action begins at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 25, and 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 26. Tickets for the Allentown Invitational can be purchased at PPLcenter.com. Prices range from $15 to $100.
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 on the weekend will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the event title worth at least $30,000.
After Round 1 on Friday, fans will be treated to a special round of competition, the PBR’s 15/15 Bucking Battle. The Top 15 riders on the BFTS will be randomly matched against the 15 highest-ranked bulls in this round, competing for all important bonus points which count toward the world standings and a total purse of $21,000.
Kaique Pacheco, the PBR’s leading rookie, won his third BFTS event of the season last weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will square off with Boot Jack (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Jerry Brown) during the 15/15. The two athletes last met in Des Moines, Iowa, in April with Pacheco hitting the ground in 2.10 seconds. The last time a rider went the full 8 seconds on Boot Jack was in Billings, Montana, in April when Reese Cates scored 90.5 points.
Mauney will square off with Modified Clyde (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Ken Barnhard). Mauney and Modified Clyde have previously met only once with the bovine coming out the victor. During the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Des Moines, Iowa, in April, Modified Clyde tossed Mauney in only 3.24 seconds.
Joao Ricardo Vieira, the No. 2 rider in the world, is looking to gain ground on the leaderboard when he takes on Stanley FatMax (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. These two have never met. Stanley FatMax currently has a 95.54 percent buckoff percentage. He was last ridden by Tanner Byrne for 86.75 points during the PBR Iron Cowboy event in Arlington, Texas, in February.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle will air on CBS Television Network on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. ET. Round 2 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round of the Allentown Invitational will air on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. Stay tuned to PBR.com for more details.
Fans can also catch each night of the action on PBR LIVE via CarbonTV.com. PBR LIVE is now available at no charge to all fans and media.
This weekend will also be another opportunity for PBR fans and riders to help raise money in the battle against breast cancer. In honor of the PBR Pink Promise campaign to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), every Friday at the remaining BFTS events will be Wrangler Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, featuring the $5,000 Bootdaddy.com Breast Cancer Bounty Bull. If the matched bull rider makes a qualified, 8-second ride on this bull, he will receive $2,500 and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation will receive $2,500.
The Bootdaddy.com bounty bull will be Double Bar J Cattle Co.’s Circle City. Alves and Circle City will meet up in Round 1. Neither has squared off before. The last rider to score a qualified ride on Circle City was Fabiano Vieira in Nashville a few weeks ago.
Allentown is the 25th stop on the 2015 Built Ford Tough Series. The season will culminate with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-25 at the Thomas & Mack Center when the 2015 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most points during the 2015 season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and a $1 million bonus. Tickets for the PBR World Finals are on sale now and can be purchased at UNLVtickets.com.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network – the home of the PBR – 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.
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.