By: Jordan Johnson
August 25, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – For the 12th consecutive year, the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) will return to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the BOK Center hosts the elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino.
The Top 35 bull riders in the world will once again take over Tulsa to go up against the rankest bulls in the nation, as the stars of the PBR vie for their piece of the $140,000 payout. The toughest athletes in sports will face opponents 10 times their size through two days of action-packed 8-second rides and heart-stopping wrecks.
With only nine BFTS regular-season events until the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, including Tulsa’s Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino, the already intense competition grows even greater with less than 1,400 points separating the Top 10 bull riders in the world. Twelve different bull riders have won events at PBR’s elite level this season, while five have held the No. 1 position in the world standings. This is an event Oklahoma fans will not want to miss.
Last year, two-time reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney took his second consecutive event title of the season in Tulsa, covering all three of his bulls on the weekend. It was one of Mauney’s four wins in 2015 on his way to the second World Championship of his career.
This year, Mauney will return to Tulsa to defend his title, alongside Oklahoma Native and Cherokee Kid Ryan Dirteater, as well as rookie sensations Jess Lockwood, Nevada Newman and Derek Kolbaba. Three other PBR World Champions will compete in addition to Mauney: Mike Lee(2004), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014).
Competition will begin at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 27 and at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 28. Tickets for the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino are on sale now and start at $15. They can be purchased at the Arby’s Box Office at BOK Center, bokcenter.com or via phone at (800) 745-3000.
For an enhanced PBR experience, fans can purchase the PBR Elite Seats. Located in an exclusive section of the arena near all of the action, the PBR Elite Seats are priced at $500 each and will give fans the VIP experience of a lifetime, including a pre-event catered reception, backstage tours featuring a PBR 101 presentation, and meet-and-greets with the PBR’s top stars. Contact the PBR Customer Service Department at (800) 732-1727 for more information.
The riders will face one bull each in Round 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 seventh 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 action from the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle on Sunday at 1 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.
Tulsa is the 17th stop on the 2016 BFTS schedule. The season 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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