CHICAGO –This weekend the Professional Bull Riders are headed back to the Windy City with the Chicago Invitational, part of the PBR’s elite Built Ford Tough Series, on Jan.10-11 at Allstate Arena. It’s the third consecutive appearance in Chicago for the BFTS and sixth visit overall
Heart-stopping wrecks and exhilarating 8-second rides will enthrall fans during the two-day event as the Top 35 bull riders in the world face bovine opponents 10-times their size, weighing in at 1,700-plus pounds. These courageous cowboys will risk it all each time they nod their head, hanging tough to claim their share of the $140,000 total event purse
Tickets, starting as low as $15, are on sale at the Allstate Arena box office, www.Ticketmaster.com, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000. All of the bull riding action begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11. For more information visit www.pbr.com.
Each of the Top 35 bull riders competing will get on one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. After Round 2 on Sunday, the riders’ individual two-round scores will be totaled and the Top 15 riders will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
In 2014, Marco Eguchi was one of four riders to cover all three of his bulls en route to the event title. Eguchi will return to Allstate Arena to defend his title, alongside current world No. 1 ranked rider Reese Cates, fan favorites Ryan Dirteater and Matt Triplett, as well as 2014 Rookie of the Year and four-time PRCA Champion J.W. Harris.
Five former World Champions are also scheduled to compete in Chicago including three-time reigning champ Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014), J.B. Mauney (2013), Renato Nunes (2010), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004).
American Gangster (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) awaits Eguchi on Saturday night during Round 1. This bull made quick work of both Triplett and Ben Jones last season.
Cates, the top-ranked rider, will go head-to-head with Mr. Bojangles (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls) in Round 1, a bull who will be making only his second appearance on the Built Ford Tough Series. He debuted on the tour in October when the BFTS stopped in Biloxi, Mississippi, bucking off Jason Malone in 2.09 seconds.
Skeeter Kingsolver will join the BFTS this weekend after winning the San Diego, California, BlueDEF Velocity Tour event. Kingsolver will face Pretty Reckless (Jared AllenTS this wee Team/Phenom Genetics), who is also making his second appearance on the BFTS tour, in the first round.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 1 of the Chicago Invitational at 10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, as well as Round 2 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 at Carbontv.com.
Chicago is the second stop on the 2015 PBR Built Ford Tough Series schedule, following the season’s kickoff Jan. 2-3 in Baltimore, Maryland. The season culminates 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 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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