When the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) rolls into the Broadmoor World Arena May 2-3 for the “Built Ford Tough Rumble in the Rockies” event, fans can expect fresh entertainment, including the final 15/15 Bucking Battle of the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series.
The 15/15 Bucking Battles were added to select events in 2012, and feature the PBR world standings’ Top 15 bull riders up against 15 of the rankest bulls, giving fans another chance to see greatness go head-to-head in the arena. 15/15 Bucking Battles give riders a chance to earn extra points toward the ultimate goal of winning the 2015 PBR World Championship – and a $1 million bonus.
Nine-time World Champion Ty Murray said it is important for riders to not get caught up in the additional money and points available to them in this one-ride, one-round format. They need to remain focused when they get ready to nod their head inside the bucking chute. “To me, it isn’t about the first event, the last event, the middle event, double the points, triple the points,” Murray said. “For me, it was important to treat it all the same.” Murray will serve as the color commentator for the CBS national broadcast of the event, which will air at 1 p.m., May 3.
When it comes to facing the toughest bulls in the business, Murray said riders need to know themselves and stick with what works best for them. “You can’t teach a class on it because everyone’s brain works differently,” he said. “What motivates me may not be what motivates the next guy. You see some guys who want to stay loose. You see some guys who want to get pumped up. You see some guys who want to know the stats and exactly what they need to do. For me, it was about keeping it simple and remembering the only thing that mattered was the bull ahead of me.”
This advice has rung true for many riders, as 16 of the 28 15/15 Bucking Battles have been won by a rider with a 90-point ride or higher. 2015 world title contender Valdiron de Oliveira won the inaugural 15/15 in 2012 during the Sacramento, Calif., BFTS event with a spectacular 94-point ride on Buckey. Reese Cates won the latest 15/15 Bucking Battle with a 90.5-point ride – Cates’ first 90-point ride in nearly four years – on Boot Jack in Billings, Mont., while 2004 World Champion Mike Lee rode Percolator for 92 points to win the 15/15 in Nampa, Idaho.
The Broadmoor World Arena is no stranger to the 15/15 Bucking Battle. 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi rocked the Arena with an 89.5-point ride on Wicked to win the 15/15 Bucking Battle last year. Current PBR world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira, who won the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Seattle with an 89.75-point ride on Cooper Tires Brown Sugar, will lead a group of riders into Colorado Springs looking to gain more points toward the world standings before the final BFTS event of the first half: Last Cowboy Standing, the feature event of the inaugural Cowboy Spring Break May 22-24 in Las Vegas. The event will include the Top 50 PBR bull riders riding in round after round until only one cowboy remains standing. It is the second PBR Major on the 2015 schedule that will award a crucial 600 bonus points to the winner. Vieira won the first PBR Major (Iron Cowboy) to turnaround his season in Arlington, Tex., and begin his march to the No. 1 ranking.
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert likes the PBR Majors format, especially when it comes to the Last Cowboy Standing event. “It is a tougher event to win than most events,” he said. “I like it when they have to earn it.”
Lambert also said riders need to give every event the same kind of focus they give the Majors, including the upcoming “Rumble in the Rockies” event. “Every week is a very important part of the stretch,” he said. “Every week the 100 points they get for winning a (regular BFTS) round is just as important this time of year as it is in October. The 100 points is still 100 points.”