It promises to be a tight race for the Rumble in the Rockies tour stop championship with Brazilian Fabiano Vieria taking the early lead with a score of 86.50 points.
Three Pro Bull Rider cowboys - rookie Gage Gay, 2010 world champion Renato Nunes and Kasey Hayes - are close behind and tied for second with scores of 86.25 out of 100 after Round 1 Friday night at The Broadmoor World Arena.
The event concludes Sunday afternoon with a championship round.
PBR and rodeo lifestyles
The life of PBR athletes is far different from the lifestyle of the average rodeo cowboy.
The long drives from town to town everyday that mark the life of a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association athlete do not exist in this sport.
It is one of the more attractive aspects of the separate sport which features an expensive stage production not often found at most rodeos.
Four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris, a new PBR competitor, enjoys flying in and out of one city and spending weekdays with his wife and two kids.
"Whenever you rodeo you have to spend 10 to 12 hours (driving) and you're going during the week, and you miss a lot, especially having two kids," he said. "You're back home Sunday or Monday and it just makes it a lot better."
Harris drove to 40 rodeos last year prior to being offered a tour exemption.
World Arena's place
in PBR history
In 2003, the arena was the site of arguably the most famous ride in the sport when two-time world champion Chris Shivers faced bull Little Yellow Jacket for $1 million. A standing-room-only crowd witnessed Shivers fall short of the largest single-ride payout in Western sports history.
World Arena is the 17th stop out of 27 on the series schedule. . The season kicked off Jan. 3-5 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The season concludes at the world finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 22-26, when the champion receives a gold belt buckle and a $1 million bonus.