PUEBLO, Colo. (April 20, 2008 ) – The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) NILE Invitational presented by Cooper Tires bucked into Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings, Mont. for the thirteenth consecutive year on April 18-20, 2008. The 17th stop on the elite Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler (BFTS) treated fans to thrilling rides and wrecks by the world’s top 45 bull riders and the best bulls in the industry.
In the end, 2004 PBR Rookie of the Year Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) emerged victorious after choosing Priest Creek Ranch’s prize bull, Soulja Boy, in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. Brown was awarded 89.25 points which was good enough for fifth place in the round and ultimately, first place at the event with 354 points on four head and a check for $37,969.
On his way to the PBR NILE Invitational winner’s circle, Brown, 29, placed in all four go rounds including splitting first place in round one after riding Jesse Hill Bucking Bulls’ Tuscarora for 89.5 points. He followed that up with an 87.25 point ride in round two on Hofer & Dennis Bucking Bulls’ Tighty Whitey who he picked in Saturday morning’s draft. He then placed fourth in the third round on Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls’ Flashover with an 88 point ride. Brown went into the final round with 264.75 points and the lead which ensured him first pick in the Championship Round draft.
When asked about his pick, an excited Brown said, “I’ve never been on him [Soulja Boy], but had seen him in Anaheim when Brendon Clark won the round and he was really good to the right. Then Pistol Robinson had him in the short go and he went to the left. In the end though, he was a pretty fun bull and made me work for the win.”
This weekend’s win in Billings is the first for Brown since September 2004 when he had back to back wins in Laughlin, Nev. and Reno, Nev. It also marks the first time he has competed at the NILE Invitational in Billings since the accident that took him out of the MetraPark Arena on a stretcher and forced him into temporary retirement. “I’ve never held anything against this arena. My past injuries definitely made riding at this weekend’s event a great story and I’m glad I could ride well and pull through for everyone following it,” Brown stated.
Runner up at the NILE Invitational presented by Cooper Tires was Colorado bull rider Josh Koschel (Loveland, Colo.) who rode four bulls over the weekend and finished with 350.75 points. Koschel went into the final round in third place and chose to ride Chad Berger/Clay Struve’s bull Say I Won’t Gunner. He finished second in the short go with 91.25 points, behind the stunning ride by Helton Barbosa (Douradina, PR, Brazil) on the bull, Spit Fire, owned by C&G Rodeo Livestock, LLC, whom he tamed for an event high-marked score of 91.5 points and a third place overall finish.
One ride of note came during the Championship Round when 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee (Decatur, TX) took on Diamond G Rodeos, Inc.’s bull, White Magic, who had claimed eighteen previous victims. Lee covered him for 88.75 points thus ending White Magic’s impressive buck-off streak.
The PBR Team Challenge was once again a thrilling race in Billings. Twenty-two teams have been formed, each providing $50,000 for the opportunity to win their share of the $1.1 million total competition purse through the 2008 season. The teams known as Red Horns and The Vikings tied for the win with 220 points and they each took home $15,000 in prize money.
For more information and the official rules on the PBR’s new Bull Team Challenge, please visit http://www.pbrnow.com/competition/BullTeams.
The race for PBR’s million dollar world title takes the top 45 bull riders in the world to Rosemont, Ill., on April 26-27 for The Cooper Tires Invitational. The VERSUS network airs PBR events every Saturday and Sunday evenings. Be sure to check www.pbrnow.com for upcoming cities, ticket information, and complete broadcast times.
No injuries to report.
BEHIND THE CHUTES:
Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s “Ride with the Best” Bonus:
As the Omaha Classic round two winner, Bryan Richardson (Dallas, TX) was eligible to compete for the $5,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Ride with the Best” bonus during the first round of competition in Billings. Richardson covered his round one draw, Diamond G Rodeos, Inc.’s Smokey, therefore earning the $5,000 bonus.
Although Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) and Brendon Clark (Morpeth, AU) split the first round win, Clark earned the higher back judge score and was eligible to compete for the $5,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Ride with the Best” bonus during the second round of competition in Billings. Clark did not make the eight second whistle on the bull, Bad Medicine, and consequently, Berger Bucking Bulls was awarded the $5,000 bonus.
Georgia bull rider Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) was awarded the highest score in round two and as a result, he was eligible to compete for the $5,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Ride with the Best” bonus during the third round of competition in Billings. Willingham rode his third round bull, Beutler & Son Rodeo, Inc.’s Deputy Sheriff, and took the $5,000 bonus. As the winner of the third round of the NILE Invitational presented by Cooper Tires, Bryan Richardson (Dallas, TX) will be eligible for the bonus next weekend in Rosemont, Ill.
Ford Truck Moment of Truth Bonus:
Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) was in the lead going into the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and ultimately won the NILE Invitational presented by Cooper Tires event title. Not only did Brown claim the win, he also collected the $5,000 Ford Truck Moment of Truth bonus. The bonus will be $5,000 at The Cooper Tires Invitational in Rosemont, Ill. on April 26-27. The bonus grows by $5,000 each week if it is not claimed. Once claimed, it returns to $5,000.
Ford Super Duty Challenge:
As the NILE Invitational presented by Cooper Tires event winner, Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) has qualified for a chance to compete at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, against all other 2008 Built Ford Tough Series event winners, for $50,000 toward the purchase of a 2009 Ford Super Duty Truck. The Ford Super Duty Challenge contestant who finishes the highest in the event aggregate during the 2008 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals will win the Ford Super Duty Challenge.
Salem NationaLease Bull of the Event:
Beutler & Son Rodeo Company’s prize bull Voodoo Child earned Bull of the Event honors with a score of 47.25 points in Billings. This honor is acknowledged by an award of $1,250 going to the top bull of each event as determined by the PBR judges’ bull score.
Cabela’s World’s Foremost Ride:
Helton Barbosa (Douradina, PR, Brazil) recorded the highest marked ride of the event when he spurred C&G Livestock, LLC’s Spit Fire for 91.5 points during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round of the NILE Invitational presented by Cooper Tires. Consequently, he earned a $1,000 bonus.
The rider who achieves the highest score at each BFTS regular season event, excluding the PBR World Finals receives a bonus of $1,000 for the accomplishment. The PBR athlete who achieves the highest marked qualifying ride during the entire 2008 BFTS regular season, excluding the PBR World Finals event will receive $25,000, while second and third place finishers will be awarded $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. The bull rider who achieves the highest marked ride through the course of the entire 2008 PBR BFTS World Finals will earn an additional $10,000.
THE PBR NILE INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES RESULTS:
ROUND ONE: 1/2) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) 89.5 points on Jesse Hill Bucking Bulls’ Tuscarora, $6,000; 1/2) Brendon Clark (Morpeth, AU) 89.5 points on Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls’ Flashover, $6,000; 3) Aaron Roy (Asquith, SK) 88.75 points on Diamond S Bucking Bulls’ Big Iron, $3,000; 4) Valdiron de Oliveira (Aperecida de Golania, GO) 88.25 points on Eno/Kubinchak Bucking Bulls’ Una Bomber, $2,000; 5/6) Reese Cates (Carthage, TX) 88 points on Chad Berger/Clay Struve’s Rockin’ Robin, $1,000; 5/6) McKennon Wimberly (Cool, TX) 88 points on Berger Bucking Bulls’ Bumblebee, $1,000.
ROUND TWO: 1) Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) 89.5 points on Diamond S Bucking Bulls’ Blizzard, $2,730; 2/3) Austin Meier (Kinta, Okla.) 89 points on Chad Berger/Low/Rosen’s Palace Station Deuces Wild, $1,560; 2/3) Ednei Caminhas (P. Alves, SP, Brazil) 89 points on Berger Bucking Bulls’ Big Coyote, $1,560; 4) J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, NC) 88.75 points on Chad Berger/Denny Hawks’ Bond, James Bond; 5) Valdiron de Oliveira (Aperecida de Golania, GO) 88.5 points on Berger Bucking Bulls’ Little Coyote.
ROUND THREE: 1) Bryan Richardson (Dallas, TX) 90.5 points on John & Lacey Berger/Clay Struve’s Frank the Tank, $2,730; 2) Mike Lee (Decatur, TX) 88.5 points on Hofer & Dennis Bucking Bulls’ Tighty Whitey, $1,950; 3) Wiley Petersen (Fort Hall, Id.) 88.25 points on Corey & Horst Rodeo Co. Inc’s Okie Dokie, $1,170; 4) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) 88 points on Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls’ Flashover; 5/6) Ednei Caminhas (P. Alves, SP, Brazil) 87.25 points on Chad Berger/Clay Struve’s Rockin’ Robin; 5/6) Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) 87.25 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo Company’s Deputy Sheriff.
BUILT FORD TOUGH CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND: 1) Helton Barbosa (Douradina, PR, Brazil) 91.5 points on C&G Rodeo Livestock, LLC’s Spit Fire, $2,730; 2) Josh Koschel (Loveland, Colo.) 91.25 points on Chad Berger/Clay Struve’s Say I Won’t Gunner, $1,950; 3) Reese Cates (Carthage, TX) 90.75 points on Page & Teague Bucking Bulls’ Holy Moly, $1,170; 4) McKennon Wimberly (Cool, TX) 89.75 points on Corey & Horst Rodeo Co. Inc’s Far North; 5) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) 89.25 points on Priest Creek Ranch’s Soulja Boy.
OVERALL EVENT STANDINGS: 1) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, TX) 354 points, $37,969; 2) Josh Koschel (Loveland, Colo.) 350.75 points, $15,649; 3) Helton Barbosa (Douradina, PR, Brazil) 339.5 points, $12,295; 4) Reese Cates (Carthage, TX) 265.25 points, $7,635; 5) McKennon Wimberly (Cool, TX) 264.5 points, $6,195.
BUILT FORD TOUGH WORLD STANDINGS: (The PBR World Champion is based on total Built Ford Tough Series points earned through the season)
1) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 7504.25 points, $152,580; 2) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 5713.5 points, $109,854; 3) Valdiron de Oliveira (Aparecida de Goiania, GO, Brazil) 5025.25 points, $72,476; 4) L.J. Jenkins (Texico, NM) 4859.25 points, $115,846; 5) J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, NC) 4845 points, $100,463; 6) Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, NM) 4535.5 points, $225,505; 7) Mike Lee (Decatur, TX) 4442.5 points, $68,456; 8 ) Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil) 4237 points, $175,291; 9) Ross Coleman (Molalla, Ore.) 4159.25 points, $46,539; 10) Chris Shivers (Jonesville, La.) 4014 points, $85,010.