Professional bull riding is called the toughest sport on dirt and that title is deserved. The rules are straightforward: place a young cowboy on the back of a 2,000-pound kicking, bucking colossal bull and see if he can stay on top of the bull for an endless eight seconds with only one arm strapped to the bull’s backside. It sounds a lot easier than it is.
This fascinating sport has a rich history. Bull riding in general has been around for centuries, but the league of Professional Bull Riders (PBR) has been around for only 25 years. It all started in 1992 with twenty bull riders who took part in a rodeo. They all shared the same dream and not one believed that within twenty-five years that their dream would not only come true, but their sport would be the fastest-growing sport in America. These twenty riders combined resources in order to make their dream a reality. They each put one thousand dollars toward their goal. They broke away from the traditional rodeo and made bull riding a stand-alone sport. They took it to major markets across the states. The PBR was a league of the best bull riders in the country and the best bulls.
They competed against each other in a season long battle in the hope of winning the title of PBR champion which came with a check of one million dollars. Once the PBR took off the atmosphere of the events increased and the sport became more intense. Now the top thirty-five bull riders in the country compete weekly across the country in the televised Built Ford Tough series. Each event has pulsating music, explosive pyrotechnics and fast paced action. This produces an atmosphere that can’t be mimicked by any other sport. The PBR isn’t just popular in the states. Riders come from the United states, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Australia. With over six hundred professional riders having PBR memberships and partaking in events all throughout the country. In addition to the Built Ford Tough events there are also the Blue DEF Velocity Tour or the Touring Pro Division. There are also countless events throughout the world. The goal of these other leagues is to qualify for the Built Ford Tough finals in Vegas and win a million dollars and the world championship buckle.
The PBR is viewed weekly on television by over half a billion people in the United States. The number of fans who attend events has risen drastically from 310,000 in 1995 to over three million per season today. In 2007 the PBR board of directors finalized a deal with the Spire Capital Partners to help retired riders and to grow the PBR. The original twenty riders turned their thousand dollars each into millions of dollars. As of April 15,2015 William, Morris Endeavor-International Management Group a global company has purchased the PBR from all other shareholders and became the owner of PBR. From a group of twenty bull riders with a dream came one of the fastest growing sports in the united states and around the world and is a global sports spectacular which has given over 140 million dollars to riders as prize money.