By: Jordan Johnson
September 07, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – The PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) will return to Springfield, Missouri, Sept. 9-11 for the eighth consecutive year with the PFIWestern.com Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops and brought to fans locally by Sonic. Springfield is one of the most popular stops on tour and PBR is having one of its most successful seasons ever.
Missouri State University’s JQH Arena will host the world’s Top 35 bull riders for three days of non-stop, nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat excitement. The toughest men on dirt go up against the rankest bulls as they all reach for their piece of the $140,000 payout.
With only seven regular-season BFTS events until the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, competition at the PBR’s elite level is intense: 1,800 points separate the Top 10 bull riders in the world. Thirteen different bull riders have won BFTS events this season, while six have held the No. 1 position in the world standings, including Cooper Davis, current No. 1 man in the world, who took over the top spot just last week after placing second in the Thackerville, Oklahoma, event.
All eyes will be on sophomore rider Davis, who started the PBR’s second half on fire, winning two of the last three BFTS events while in Nashville and Tulsa en route to taking over the world lead. Alongside Davis will be four PBR World Champions Mike Lee (2004), Guilherme Marchi (2008), three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014) and two-time reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney. Rookie sensations Jess Lockwood, Nevada Newman and Derek Kolbaba as well as fan favorites Kaique Pacheco and Ryan Dirteater are all scheduled to compete.
The competition begins at 8 p.m. CT on Friday, Sept. 9; 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 10; and 4:50 p.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 11. Tickets for the three-day event can be purchased at JQH Arena Box Office, PFI Western Store, Missouri State Tix or by calling (417) 836-7678 or PFI Western Store at (417) 889-2668. Prices range from $15 to $110.
The riders will face one bull each in Rounds 1, 2 and 3. Immediately following Round 3 on Sunday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled and the Top 15 will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
Following the second round of competition on Saturday, the sport’s top bovine athletes and best bull riders will compete in a special round of competition, the PBR’s ninth 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season. The series’ Top 15 riders will be randomly matched against the 15 highest-ranked bulls in this round, competing for bonus points which count towards the PBR world standings and a total purse of $21,000.
Round 1 and Round 3 will both be a Classic competition for the young bulls of the American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI). The ABBI conducts development programs and holds events showcasing the world’s finest bucking bull stock at select BFTS and Touring Pro Division events. It is dedicated to unifying, developing and promoting the bucking bull industry through pedigree preservation, enhancement and promotion of bucking bull ownership, breeding, and welfare.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET. CBS Sports will feature all PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle action on Sunday at 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. ET. Please check local listing.
Fans can also watch each round in real time on PBR LIVE. PBR LIVE is available at no charge to all fans and media. Visit www.PBR.com/live to view. Fans can also watch all of the action via the PBR LIVE app, available for download now on Google Play and iTunes.
The PFIWestern.com Invitational is the 20th stop on the 2016 BFTS schedule. The season will conclude at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Nov. 2-6 at Las Vegas’ new T-Mobile Arena where the 2016 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most points during the 2016 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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