A new one for us but surely Professional Bull Riding (PBR) has to be considered one of the most extreme of all sports – if not the most extreme it must come close to being the toughest of extreme sports; injuries are frequent and sometimes fatal.
We thought a brief explanation of what goes on would be useful and we are grateful to the likes of the PBR and Wikipedia for what we we have gleaned.
The organization began in 1992 through the efforts of 20 professional bull riders, since when the organization has grown to include four tours which collectively stage over 100 events a year. Prize money has exploded from $250,000 in 1994 to over $10 million in 2006; crowds and TV viewer numbers have likewise taken off – you can understand why – the action is non stop.
Pyrotechnics, pulsating music and special effects open each event, and each features the top 45 riders in the world at the time. Riders attempt to stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds, and rides are judged based on both the rider’s and the bull’s performance. At the end of each event, the top 15 riders compete in the short round, or “short go”; the rider with the highest point total from the entire event becomes the winner.
There are now more than 800 cowboys from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico who hold PBR memberships and if you look at the list of PBR World Champions since 1994 it is predominated by Americans and Brazilians – not forgetting one Aussie!
Below you can view a video from PBRNow which has been put together by the organisation’s president Ty Murray, in which he explains for the benefit of mere simpletons like ourselves some of the jargon and what goes on.
Amongst other things we learn about:
- the bull rope
- being being bucked off
- about disqualification
- an 8 second ride
- the flank strap
- a foul
- a re ride
The next major event is the Anaheim Invitational to be held at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California on February 20th and 21st and if you want further information and/or tickets we suggest you hit the link following www.pbrnow.com and get your boney butts down there for what is an exhilerating and extreme event.