All About Bull Riding
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Professional Bull Riders was created in 1992 when a group of 20 bull riders broke away from the traditional rodeo scene and decided to start a circuit for bull riders only. They felt that, as the most popular event in a rodeo, bull riding deserved to be in the limelight and could easily stand alone. Each rider invested a hard-earned $1,000 dollars, a few of them borrowing from family and friends, to start the PBR. Today the PBR is still owned by its athletes and is one of the only professional sports able to make such a claim. In 2003, the PBR celebrated its 10th Anniversary and relished the title of the most dangerous sport in the country. "The PBR is very proud of its first 10 years in insistence, but we are certainly excited about all of the possibilities the next ten years have in store, PBR CEO Randy Bernard."
More than 800 bull riders from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Australia hold PBR memberships. They compete in more than 100 bull riding events per year on either the elite tour, the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS), or the two minor league tours, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Challenger Tour, for a chance to qualify for the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas and win the coveted title of PBR World Champion.
The 20 original owners took a gamble when they agreed pull together their savings, and their gamble has certainly paid off. The corporate sponsors which include Ford, Bud light, Wrangler, Jack Daniel's, Mossy Oak, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, and the city of Las Vegas have brought such attention to the sport that in after just 10 years, the prize money has increased to over $9.5 million dollars.
With the success of the PBR and the increasing sponsorship interests, television networks have climbed on board as well. The PBR has established contracts with NBC, Outdoor Life Network (OLN) and Telemundo. This indicates the PBR has bucked into main stream America.
The combination of raw sport and quality entertainment has propelled the PBR to strong growth in live attendance, as well. The PBR plays to sold-out crowds including 33,000 fans in Atlanta's Georgia Dome for the Atlanta Invitational.
Professional Bull Riding is a fierce, rough, and grueling sport with roots deep in American culture. It's America's original extreme sport. The PBR has turned it into a captivating, dangerous, on-the-edge-of-your-seat sporting event, with the best riders and bulls in the world.