|Competitors||Over 1,200 total, 35 in highest ranked tour|
|Countries|| United States
Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) is an international professional bull riding organization based in Pueblo, Colorado, United States. In the United States, PBR events have been televised on CBS and CBS Sports Network since 2013. More than 1,200 cowboys from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and other countries hold PBR memberships.
The organization began in 1992 through the efforts of 21 professional bull riders who gathered in a hotel room in Scottsdale, Arizona and each contributed $1,000. Since that time, the organization has grown to include three tours (the Built Ford Tough Series, Touring Pro Division, and Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour) which collectively stage over 100 events in the United States every year. Prize money has exploded from over $330,000 in 1994 to over $11 million in 2008. In 2007, investment firm Spire Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in PBR.
The PBR moved to its current headquarters in Pueblo, Colorado in 2006. Its original headquarters were located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The PBR's premier tour, the Built Ford Tough Series (formerly the Bud Light Cup Series), includes at most 30 events across the United States every year. Pyrotechnics, pulsating music, and special effects open each event, and each features the top 35 riders in the world at the time. The season culminates in Las Vegas, where the PBR World Finals are held.
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, with four judges scoring both the rider and the bull each from one to twenty five points, the scores are totalled and divided by two, with the final possibility of one hundred points. 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.
Since 2003, the PBR has awarded its annual world champion a $1,000,000 bonus.
From 2007-2010, the PBR also hosted a team competition format called the PBR World Cup, where 25 bull riders (altogether representing five different countries) competed to win the title of best bull rider in the world.
Total viewership, including event attendees and the television audience, grew 52 percent between 2002 and 2004. In 2004, 16.4 million fans watched or attended a PBR event. By 2008, over 100 million watched the PBR on television, and over 1.7 million attended a live event.
The original CEO of the PBR was Sam Applebaum. Then Randy Bernard became CEO of the PBR in 1995, a position he held until he resigned in 2010 to become the CEO of INDYCAR. On February 23, 2011, the PBR announced that Jim Haworth had become its new CEO. Then on June 29, 2015, the PBR announced that Haworth was promoted to Chairman, while COO Sean Gleason had become the new CEO.
Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico each have their own PBR tours, and points earned on those tours count towards the U.S. qualifier standings and a spot in the PBR World Finals. A tour in China was scheduled to begin sometime in 2015 and PBR New Zealand was set to debut in Christchurch on November 13, 2014. Opportunities for expansion into Argentina are being explored as well.
o Tuff Hedeman was also the 1986, 1989, and 1991 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) world champion bull rider.
o Ross Johnson was also the 2003 Championship Bull Riding (CBR) world champion.
o Shane Proctor was also the 2011 PRCA world champion bull rider.
o Ted Nuce was also the 1985 PRCA world champion bull rider.
o Bodacious was also the 1994-95 PRCA bull of the year. He is the only bull to win both the PRCA and PBR titles in the same year.
oo There was actually a tie between Bruiser, Long John and Pearl Harbor, which was resolved by taking the sum of the bull's best eight outs for the season. That is done according to the PBR rules as the first way to resolve a tiebreaker.
The PBR has some secondary awards, in addition to the World Championship, given out annually, many named after bull riders fatally injured during competition.
The Glen Keeley Award is for the Canadian bull rider who earns the most points throughout the entire season. It is named for Glen Keeley, a Canadian bull rider who was fatally injured during the 2000 Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award is for the highest-scoring single ride at the World Finals. It is named for Lane Frost, fatally injured during a competition in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1989, and Brent Thurman, fatally injured during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 1994.
The Rookie of the Year award goes to the rookie (first year of Built Ford Tough Series competition) bull rider who wins the most points of all first-year competitors.
The PBR also has some recognition awards Professional Bull Riders: Heroes and Legends. Some of these like the Ring of Honor and the Brand of Honor are the equivalent of a Hall of Fame recognition. There is also the Jim Shoulders Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sharon Shoulders award.
o J.W. Harris was also the 2008-10 & 2013 PRCA world champion bull rider.