Top 17 Rides of the First Half: No. 6

By: Kristian Limas
August 06, 2017

Derek Kolbaba’s ride on SweetPro’s Bruiser was the highest-scored ride of his career so far. Photo: Andy Watson /

PUEBLO, Colo. – The first half of the 2017 Built Ford Tough Series season was a five-month stretch filled with everything from surprise surges, comeback victories and continued excellence from the world’s best bull riders.

The 2017 World Championship race is far from clear, but the first half provided an insightful preview of what’s to come in the homestretch to the 2017 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

The first half featured dominance from the future stars of the sport, an amazing run from a veteran Brazilian, an unexpected rise and a ride the etched a legend’s name into the history books. Over the next few weeks, will countdown the top rides from the first half and look forward to the second half where a World Champion will be crowned.

With 17 days remaining before the return of the BFTS in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will countdown the Top 17 rides of the first half.

You can witness that next great moment by purchasing tickets for the 2017 World Finals, where the PBR’s best will return to T-Mobile Arena Nov. 1-5.

Derek Kolbaba: 92 points on SweetPro’s Bruiser (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Oklahoma City was a punishing event for riders as the bulls dominated throughout the weekend. The 16 total qualified rides in Oklahoma City was the lowest amount so far this season, and nothing came easy for the riders.

Derek Kolbaba was not intimidated, though, emerging as the champion in Oklahoma City after being the only cowboy to go a perfect 3-for-3. That included a monster 92-point ride on reigning World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser.

“Oh man, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Kolbaba said. “If you get a chance at Bruiser, you get a chance for a high score, and I knew if I gritted it out it would work out. I knew he felt great. Today it got a little wild, but it worked out.”

Until that point, Bruiser had not surrendered a ride on the BFTS since Jan. 2016 and it led to Kolbaba’s best ride of his career.

Kolbaba has dedicated to making 2017 better after starting 2016 so strongly but fizzling out during the final months of the season.

“It is having a clear mind this year,” Kolbaba said. “I know going in that if I give 110 percent every bull I get on, it is going your way a lot more than it is not.”

© 2017 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.