Tuesday, March 26, 2013


 The PBR or Professional Bull Riders is the only sport I really follow. I always said I would never get involved in a sport like some people do with football, basketball, baseball, soccer, golf (did you notice all of these are 'ball' games). The people who follow theses sports know all the players, and all the winners, and all rules, and all the big moments in the sport.
      Well, I did get involved with a sport. But it is the 'roughest sport on dirt'. Most of the riders start in the minor rodeo events and work their way up to the PBR. It is a rough, hard climb to get there and most of the rodeo riders never make it. The top 35 riders in the rodeo bull riding events are allowed to compete in the PBR. They have to win points and money to qualify. Another words they have to be good at what they do and not be afraid of getting hurt. It isn't if you get hurt, it's when, 'cause it will happen.
     I have been following the PBR since it was started 20 years ago and always wanted to go to the Ty Murry Event when it is held each March here in Albuquerque, NM. I finally got to go last Sunday for the last day of the 3 day event. It was fantastic.
    The event might have been fantastic but my photos aren't. I'm still not that good with my new camera and in the flashing lights, spinning, whirling, bucking, bulls made for hard to take photos so I didn't get any really good photos. But here are a sample. The videos I took with the same camera did come out better but I can't get them to download.
There were a lot of noise and on the ground fireworks when it first started.

This is the cowboy and horse who's job it was to rope the bull and get it out of the arena if the bull didn't leave on his own. The area is the  University of New Mexico Basketball arena. They bring in heavy tarps, then plywood, then tons and tons of dirt and the chutes for the bulls. It is the smallest arena of all the PBR events. It looks small on TV but looks even smaller when you are there.

 The rider is getting onto the bull in the chute. The men with the rode are ready to open the gate when he says to. In the red shirt is Shorty, one of the 3 bull fighters that keep the bull off of the rider when he comes off. The ride is only for 8 seconds, if the rider can stay on that long, and usually they don't.

 Flint Rassmussen is an ex-bull fighter turned comedian who entertains the fans while the riders are getting ready to ride.
 This is Crag Hummer, a well known sports announcer, and Ty Murry, 7 time world champion all-round cowboy, who started the PBR, and announces with Crag. They are the ones that do the TV announcing but there is a different announcer that you hear if you are actually at the event. Our seat was just 6 rows from where they were sitting to do the TV part.
 Got these out of order here, this is the winner of the event, Joao Ricardo Vieiro, one of the Brazilian riders, and his first event win. Since this is an International event there are riders from the US, Brazil, Canada, and Australia. And we like them all. Many people are fans of the bull more than the riders. At this event were the two most popular bulls, Bushwhacker and Asteroid, who have each won the Bull of the Year award.
 Here is a view of the arena and the seats. Thats 40 very steep steps down to the bottom and we were close to the bottom. Great for seeing everything up close but climbing out was a workout.

After an event the bull riders circle the area signing anything you want them to sign. I got the autographs of 3 riders and as I was leaving the I almost ran into a retired rider that I have always admired, and who won the PBR World Title of 1997, Michael Gaffney, who was nice enough to autographed my program.
    If you want to know more go to www.pbr.com

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