Professional Bull Riders (PBR) “Real Men. Rank Bulls. Raw Sport.”
Not to worry ladies there is also the PWRA (Professional Women's Rodeo Association)
Bull riding had been the long time favorite event in traditional rodeo. 20 professional bull riders decided to take the event one-step further and attempt to establish it as a stand-alone sport. Each of the bull riders chipped in $1,000 to launch Professional Bull Riders, Inc. The PBR is the only rodeo or bull riding association in North America to be owned and operated by its members. There are over 700 members of the association from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Australia.
Headquarters for the PBR are located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here 30 full time staff members work to organize events year-round. The staff also spends much of their time on the road during tours. There is a team of eight board of directors that work alongside Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Production Officer and Chief Financial Officer at PBR Inc.
The first PBR world championship was held in 1994. The championship consisted of 8 events with combined prizes totaling $250,000. Today Bud Light is a major sponsor of the PBR. The Bud Light Cup Series consists of 29 events with winnings totaling $7.2 million. An estimated 100 million people tune in to The National Network (a.k.a TNN) each year to was the events.
Some Professional Bull Riders:
Ty Murray (recently annonced retirement)
Of course the events would not be possible without the assistance of bullfighters, barrelmen (rodeo clowns), and announcers.
The job of the bullfighter in PBR events is much different than that of traditional bullfighters. The PBR bullfighter distracts the bull once the rider is thrown off or dismounts. The bull must be distracted long enough for the rider to get back on his feet and out of the way.
Some PBR Bullfighters:
The barrelmen get their name from their most frequent location: in a barrel. The barrels are custom made and are located in the center of the arena. Not only does the barrel protect the barrelmen but is also provides a place for bull riders to go if they are thrown off the bull far from the fence. It is the job of the barrelmen to entertain the audience during downtime with dancing and other comic routines.
Some PBR Barrelmen:
PBR announcers are similar to announcers of any sporting event. They interpret the events as well as keep the audience updated with statistics about both the riders and bulls.
Some PBR announcers:
Common PBR Injuries:
It is not a question of if a bull rider will be injured, but rather when and how. The follow three types of injuries each PBR bull rider expects to face at least once during his career.
The most common injury is a concussion. Concussions occur when the rider's head collides with the bull's head or when the rider hits the ground.
Shoulder injuries are the most common surgically treated injuries. 12 percent of PBR surgical procedures concern the shoulder.
The third most common injury, unfortunately, is a groin injury. The force of a 2,000-pound bull against the rider can cause problems from pulled muscles to serious tendon and muscle damage.
How to become a member:
This is for all you aspiring bull riders out there. If you are over the age of 18 you can fill out an application at the PBR website (listed below). If you are under 18 it is suggested you join the National High School Rodeo Association, National Little Britches Association, or American Junior Rodeo Association until you become of age.
For those of you who don’t have much experience but know you were meant to be atop a bucking bull you can join a bull riding school. Some schools recommended by the PBR are Lyle Sankey Rodeo Schools, Bret Leffew Bullriding Schools, and Lancaster’s Schools.
Now if you are going to join the PBR or go to bull riding school you may need to purchase some new or updated equipment you can find this at Lambert’s Quality Rodeo Gear, owned by PBR Vice President Cody Lambert. His contact information can also be found at the PBR website.