NEW YORK – One of the city’s most anticipated events is returning to Madison Square Garden (MSG) in 2015 for the ninth consecutive year this weekend. The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck off at the Garden, part of its elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS), rolls into MSG, Friday, Jan. 16 to Sunday, Jan. 18 for three nights of dirt-flying, heart-pounding, bull-stomping action featuring the PBR’s finest athletes going head-to-head 8 seconds at a time.
Atop 750 tons (1.5 million pounds) of dirt packed 8 inches deep across the New York Rangers’ home ice, the Top 35 bull riders in the world will take on 2,000-pound opponents in an attempt to win thousands in prize money. The BFTS has awarded a total of more than $1.12 million over the past eight years in New York City, so the riders will be hanging tough for their share of this year’s purse and valuable PBR world points that count toward the season’s overall $1 million PBR World Championship title.
In 2014, New Yorkers witnessed the greatness of 2013 PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney, as he not only captured his third event win at MSG (2007, 2009, 2014), but also continued his BFTS consecutive rides streak, tying the record of 15 rides in a row. His win also extended the record for consecutive BFTS wins to five (Grand Rapids, Mich., Fayetteville, N.C., Hollywood, Fla., 2013 PBR World Finals and New York).
Mauney will return to NYC to defend his event title along with four other PBR World Champions: three-time reigning champion Silvano Alves (2014, 2012, 2011), Renato Nunes (2010), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004).
Joining these men will be veterans Sean Willingham, Kasey Hayes, and L.J. Jenkins, alongside fan favorites Chase Outlaw, Gage Gay and 2014’s No. 1 American, Matt Triplett.
On Friday, Alves will attempt to extend his record-high ride streak to 20 as he goes up against Big Sleazy (Twisted Creek Cattle). Alves was set to face this bull in Allentown, Pennsylvania, last year but was given a re-ride after Big Sleazy fouled out in the chute.
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 country 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.
Clementine (Buckin’ B Cattle Co.), who made quick work of both Gage Gay and Cody Nance last season on the BFTS tour, will await Triplett on Saturday night following Round 2, while Ryan Dirteater will face I’m A Gangster Too (Jeff Robinson Buckings Bulls) for the fifth time in his career. Dirteater has ridden the bovine once our of those five matchups.
The action begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $25 to $200, can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or via phone at (800) 345-3000. Tickets are also available at the MSG Box Office or via phone at 866 858 0008.
CBS will broadcast the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 2 at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, as well as Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday. Fans can also catch the action on PBR LIVE via CarbonTV.com at 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.
New York is the third stop of 27 on the 2015 Built Ford Tough Series. The PBR will also stop in Anaheim, California, and Dallas on its 18-state tour, culminating with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-25 when the 2015 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who has earned the most PBR world points during the 2015 season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and $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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