By: Jordan Johnson
September 01, 2016
THACKERVILLE, Okla. – For the sixth consecutive year, the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) returns to Thackerville, Oklahoma, with a two-day event, on Sept. 3-4. The WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational showcases the world’s best bull riders and rankest bulls in a custom-built, outdoor arena adjacent to WinStar World Casino.
Aside from Las Vegas Helldorado Days, PBR’s 19th stop of the season in Thackerville is the only event in which the Top 35 bull riders in the world will go against the nation’s rankest bulls outdoors. The stars of the PBR will vie for their piece of a $140,000 payout, facing opponents 10 times their size through two days of action-packed 8-second rides and heart-stopping wrecks.
With only eight BFTS regular-season events until the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, including the WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational, the competition at PBR’s elite level is intense: less than 1,650 points separate the Top 10 bull riders in the world. Twelve different bull riders have won BFTS events this season, while five have held the No. 1 position in the world standings.
Last year, more than 12,000 fans, including a PBR record-breaking, capacity crowd of over 7,000 fans on Saturday, watched as Eduardo Aparecido went a perfect 3-for-3 to win the outdoor event.
This year, Aparecido returns to Thackerville alongside rookie sensations Jess Lockwood, Nevada Newman and Derek Kolbaba as well as PBR World Champions Mike Lee (2004), Guilherme Marchi (2008), and three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014). All eyes will be on sophomore rider Cooper Davis, though, who has started PBR’s second half on fire, winning the past two BFTS events in Nashville and Tulsa, and rocketing to 2nd in the world standings. This is an event Oklahoma and Texas fans will not want to miss.
Competition will begin at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 3, and at 6:50 p.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 4. Tickets for the WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational start at $30 and are available at the WinStar World Casino Global Event Center Box Office, www.Ticketmaster.com, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000.
The riders will face one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2. Immediately following Round 2 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 first 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 eighth 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 will also 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 2 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. ET. 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 2016 BFTS schedule 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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