If you day-dream, dream BIG! This is the lesson PBR leaves you mulling. Twenty bull-riders’ dream, in 1992, costing each $ 1000, has become one of the fastest growing globally televised sports not only in the USA or the two Americas but in the whole world with millions upon millions of USA dollars in prize money. It’s a tough sport when you think that the average weight of the bull-rider is below 160 pounds (usually 159 or often less) while the bull usually weighs 2000 pounds! The ride lasts a mere eight (8) seconds but the risks to the rider are enormous till one remembers that this sport is not about weight nor yet about physical strength but about dexterity and the mental alertness-cum-imagination which allows the rider to foresee the bull’s move and maneuver his response so as to forestall every attempt by the bull to throw the rider off its back. Champion cow-boys’ wit and skill pitted against champion bulls’ brute force encapsulate the immense appeal and excitement inherent in this sport which attracts millions of fan attendees and glues millions more to their television screens.
The BFTS (Built Ford Tough Series) World Finals in Las Vegas (1-5/11/2017) promised, and delivered, heaps of exciting competitions and lots more. Fans saw and cheered famous bull riders like Derek Kolbaba who at twenty-one years of age has become one of the top ten names in the sport with earnings over $ 306,000. There were many other well-known experienced bull-riders such as Cooper Davis and Kaique Pacheco. These two (Davis and Pacheco) were, unfortunately for them, bucked off in the fifth and final round of the World’s Finals on Sunday. Cooper Davis finished as number three (3) in the 2017 Finals with earnings totaling $280,770.92 while Kaique Pacheco finished as number five (5) with $405,775.15 in earnings. Number two was Derek Kolbaba who made $359,672.32 in earnings. But this year’s number one, the 2017 World Champion is Jess Lockwood with a whopping $1,525,292.90 earning. It is a dazzling achievement for Montana’s young rider who is only twenty years old. He is actually the youngest World Champion in PBR history. Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) won the 2017 PBR World Finals and Rookie of the Year with earnings totaling $459,927.
The 2017 Champion Bull
As for the bulls, to be fair one has to admit that they too put a remarkable show of stubbornness, bucking capacity and agility in spite of their colossal weight. Many of the bulls were already well-known worldwide; they too were cheered and admired and though bulls do not see a growth in bank accounts, they eventually get rewarded by being allowed to retire on some pretty stud farm. The 2017 Champion Bull is SweetPro’s Bruiser who has proved himself a champion par excellence, having won the YETI title for the second consecutive year! Congratulations to the Champions, humans and beasts, and the fun and excitement continue with the next rounds of competitions and winners.
It is pertinent here to note that there is more to the BFTS World Finals, in Las Vegas, than bull-riding competitions. Some of the most famous artists in country music and song have always taken part thereby adding an artistic and glamorous dimension to the events. There were many famous stars such as Chase Rice, Aaron Watson and Ryan Weaver. All in all the occasion provided lots of excitement and joy to the fortunate fans attending the event and to the millions watching on the screen all over the world. If you missed the event this year, plan for 2018 World Finals in November, 2018.