They’re gonna ride ’til they can’t no more, or at least for the next eight seconds.
On November 6th through 10th, the world’s top 40 professional bull riders compete for the chance at the PBR 2019 World Champaign title. This year’s event will mark the 26th anniversary of the PBR World Finals and will take place in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. For more information about this year’s event and to purchase tickets, please visit VegasTickets.com/PBR.
What is considered to be one of the “Toughest Sports in the Dirt” began in 1992. The 20 founding cowboys wanted to break away from the norms of the traditional rodeo. Together these men created a separate organization exclusively for bull riding, known as PBR. In 1994, about two years marking the founding, PBR had exploded with over 300 events taking place in the United States every year. According to a report written by Forbes Magazine back in 2013, professional bull riding was named one of the fastest-growing sports in America. Today, event participation has grown outside of the United States, with competitors coming from across the world including, Australia, Brazil, Canda, and Mexico.
Not only has the PBR seen an increase in other countries’ participation, but it has also seen an increase in prize money as well. Participants now compete for a portion of the total prize winnings with a combined total of $11 million. In 2018, World Champaign Winner, Kaique Pancheco took home the grand prizing winning just over $1.5 million.
This highly intense sport does not come without risk. According to the 2019 PBR Injury Report, a total of 35 injuries occurred this year alone, with only a handful of athletes being able to compete in future events. However, the potential harm is part of the risk that riders expect and are determined to face that hurdle on the way to achieving greatness. In August of 2019 professional rider, Ryan Dirteater suffered severe injuries, including a torn liver, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung. Dirteater is expected to compete in the World Finals and posted to his fans on Twitter, expressing his readiness and determination to win, claiming there is “No better time for a comeback.”
Horrific tragedy struck the organization in January of this year when seven-year professional bull rider Mason Lowe was stomped on by the bull during his ride. Lowe’s ride-related injuries resulted in his death on January 19th. In response, PBR created an academic scholarship as well as an award that will be presented each year during the World Finals, in memory of the tremendous athlete.
Professional Bull Riders, CEO Sean Gleason, responded with the following statement:
“Mason Lowe was a genuine cowboy, who is greatly missed in our sport. We are honored to help establish this scholarship in Mason’s memory to help deserving young students because helping others is what Mason did all the time.”
Click here to learn more about the Mason Lowe Memorial Scholarship; the application closes on December 4th.