ST. LOUIS – For the 18th year, the Professional Bull Riders will buck back into the Scottrade Center with its elite Built Ford Tough Series on Feb. 13-15.
During this three-day event, the Top 35 bull riders in the world will face the best bovine athletes weighing more than 10 times their weight. Fans are guaranteed an action-packed, heart-stopping experience every time a rider nods his head to attempt to beat the 8-second clock.
The competition will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15. Tickets start at $15 and are available at the Scottrade Center box office, www.Ticketmaster.com and by telephone at (800) 745-3000.
The PBR has awarded more than $600,000 to winning riders over the event’s 18 years in St. Louis, including four former PBR World Champions; Adriano Moraes (1997, 1998, 2004), Chris Shivers (2000, 2001), Justin McBride (2003, 2005) and Guilherme Marchi (2008), as well as Ring of Honor member Ross Coleman (2008) and 2013 PBR Rookie of the YearJoao Ricardo Vieira.
Last year, a near-capacity crowd watched as Vieira rode Smackdown for 90.75 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round to nail down his second win of the 2014 season.
In 2015, Vieira will be back to defend his title, riding alongside five former PBR World Champions, including three-time, and defending World Champion Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014), J.B. Mauney (2013), Renato Nunes, (2010), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004).
Reigning PBR Rookie of the Year J.W. Harris, fan favorites L.J. Jenkins and Ryan Dirteater, sophomore sensation Matt Triplett, and Missouri native Brady Sims are all expected to compete.
All 35 bull riders will ride one bull each in Round 1 on Friday, Round 2 on Saturday and Round 3 on Sunday. After Round 3 on Sunday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled and the Top 15 riders on two bulls will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
In a special round of competition on Saturday, fans will witness the Top 15 bull riders in the world face off with the Top 15 rankest bulls in the business during the PBR’s 15/15 Bucking Battle following Round 2. In addition to valuable points toward the PBR World Championship, there is a total purse of $21,000 up for grabs.
Triplett, the PBR’s current No. 1 man in the world standings, will take on a bull he faced three times in 2014, David’s Dream (Circle T Ranch & Rodeo). This bovine made quick work of Triplett, tossing him in under three seconds on all three occasions.
Wicked (J.A.R.S. Bucking Bulls/Gene Owen) is set to go up against Alves on Saturday during the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Wicked has bucked off 11 of his 14 opponents on the BFTS, including Marchi and Triplett just last season.
No. 3 rider in the world standings Reese Cates will attempt to make the 8-second mark atop Walk Off (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls), who has 29 outs on the BFTS, bucking off 27 of the riders he has faced.
CBS will broadcast the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET. CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday as well. Fans can also catch the action on PBR LIVE via CarbonTV.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, 8 p.m. ET on Saturday and at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday. PBR LIVE is now available at no charge to all fans and media.
St. Louis is stop No. 7 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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