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Photo by Jeff Kluss/SIT

68th Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase Set for May 9, 2009

Spectators May Witness History as Good Night Shirt Seeks Third Consecutive Title


Photo by Jeff Kluss/SIT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On the second Saturday of every May – one week after another popular horse race, the Kentucky Derby – Nashville society gathers in the boxes at Percy Warner Park to witness steeplechasing’s premiere spring contest and Music City’s traditional rite of spring, the iconic Iroquois Steeplechase.

The 68th running of the Iroquois Steeplechase – benefiting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt – is slated for May 9, 2009.

Biggest Steeplechase in America’s Spring Season

While race day purses, bonuses and awards totaling $416,000 – the largest in American steeplechasing’s spring season and the second highest overall – attract the best horses and jockeys on the National Steeplechase Association (NSA) circuit, it is the tradition and pageantry of the Iroquois that draw a who’s who list of Southern society. Private box seats are filled with seersucker suits, sundresses, mint juleps and discussions of business and politics between the seven races of the day.

The Iroquois Steeplechase has long been a major part of Nashville and Tennessee’s heritage – it is our traditional rite of spring,” said Dwight Hall, chairman of the Iroquois Steeplechase. “The excitement, pomp and renown that increase each year were present from the beginning, starting with the founders of the race. It all began with members of some of the most prominent families in Nashville and the prestigious Hillsboro Hounds.”

A Storied History: Serious Horseracing In Tennessee Predates Kentucky


Photo by Jeff Kluss/SIT

Long before the first running of the Kentucky Derby, Tennessee – not Kentucky – was regarded as the center of horse breeding and racing in the United States. Tennessee’s renown as the center for thoroughbred horses and horse racing reached its pinnacle during the 19th century with more than 10 established racetracks, 20 organized jockey clubs and Belle Meade in Nashville at the center of the horse racing region.

_j7g6574-4x6-hatsHats at the Iroquois

Photo by Jeff Kluss/SIT

In 1906, Tennessee passed an anti-betting law, bringing an end to horse racing in Tennessee for many years. However, the void was filled in 1936 when Marcellus Frost, John Sloan, Sr. and Mason Houghland, together with members of the Hillsboro Hounds and through ties to President Franklin Roosevelt, built a steeplechase racecourse in front of a hillside in Percy Warner Park. The first running of the Iroquois Steeplechase – named for Pierre Lorillard’s Iroquois, the first American-bred horse to win the English Derby – was held in 1941. The Iroquois has run continuously since, except for 1945 when it was suspended because of World War II.


Photo by Jeff Kluss/SIT

Seven races are held throughout the day, including the Bright Hour Amateur Hurdle and Guilford Dudley Jr. Memorial Flat Race. The Iroquois course, regarded as one of the best racing surfaces in the country, is maintained year-round with a computer-controlled, golf course style irrigation system. Below the course turf is 640 tons of sand that helps the course retain moisture and provides cushion to the horses in an effort to reduce race injuries. The Iroquois was one of the first steeplechase courses to use an irrigation system.

The Spring Gathering of Southern Society

“Remarkably, the Iroquois Steeplechase remains unchanged, for the most part, from its roots,” said Hall. “It remains the last surviving example in Tennessee of what horse racing was meant to be. And because of this, it continues to attract the crème de la crème of Southern society. But, beyond the excitement of great racing, the Iroquois Steeplechase continues to be one of the biggest and longest running fundraisers for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.”

Since being designated in 1981 as the official charity of the Iroquois Steeplechase, Children’s Hospital has received more than $9 million from the event proceeds.

For information on advance ticket purchases, corporate tents, and tailgating and RV spaces, visit or call (615) 591-2991.



The 2008 PBR World Champion took his first win of the 2009 Built Ford Tough Series season.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 8, 2009) – The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) thrilled the Show-Me State as the top 40 bull riders in the world competed at the Kansas City Invitational brought to you locally by Troy-Bilt, the second of two back-to-back stops in Missouri. On stop #13, the world’s best riders took on the toughest bulls the PBR had to offer at Kansas City’s Sprint Center on March 7-8. In the end, 2008 PBR World Champion and defending Kansas City event champion Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) took home the coveted event title after riding all three of his bulls for 267 points. He collected a check for $36,642.50 and jumped from sixth to third place in the 2009 Built Ford Tough World Standings.

“I try my best all of the time and this week I drew good bulls,” the 2008 World Champ said from the winner’s circle. “This weekend was great for me and I love Kansas City. I thank God that I am able to ride and I would like to thank my fans for all of their support.”

Marchi finished third in round one after scoring 87.5 points on the bull, Velvet Elvis, owned by Diamond S Bucking Bulls. He followed that up with a second place finish after scoring an 89.5 point ride on the bull, Stiffler, owned by Boyd/Floyd Bull Company, during round two. He entered the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in first place with a total of 177 points and picked the bull, Big Iron, owned by Diamond S Bucking Bulls, in the PBR Bull Draft. Marchi tamed the top animal athlete for 90 points, locking up not only the Championship Round victory, but the coveted Kansas City Invitational event title.

Oregon fan favorite Ross Coleman (Molalla, Ore.) took second place after riding all three of his bulls for 263 points, adding $15,320.50 to his bank account. Taking third place was Brazilian superstar Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil) who scored 261.75 points over the weekend and collected a check for $10,664.50. Last weekend’s BFTS event winner Wiley Petersen (Fort Hall, Idaho) took fourth after scoring 247.5 points and took home a check for $6,472.50 and rounding out fifth place was young gun McKennon Wimberly (Cool, Texas) who covered two of his bulls for 171.75 points and added $4,506 to his 2009 earnings.

The race for PBR’s million dollar world title takes the top 40 bull riders in the world to Alabama for stop #14 on the prestigious BFTS tour. PBR will buck into Birmingham’s BJCC Arena on March 14-15, showcasing the best bull riders and the toughest bulls in the country. The VERSUS network airs PBR events every Saturday and Sunday evening. Be sure to check for upcoming cities, ticket information, and complete broadcast times.

Skeeter Kingsolver
(Mclouth, Kan.) suffered a shoulder strain and is probable for next weekend’s BFTS event in Birmingham.

Ednei Caminhas (P.Alves, SP, Brazil) suffered a concussion after bucking off his round two bull. He is probable for next weekend’s competition.

Mike White (De Kalb, Texas) received a concussion after bucking off his round one bull. He did not compete in round two.

Cody Ford (Stanfield, Ore.) suffered a concussion and a laceration to the head after riding his round one bull. He competed during the second round of the Kansas City Invitational.

Kasey Hayes (Liberal, Kan.) suffered a high ankle sprain during round one in Kansas City. He did not ride in Sunday’s round.

Luke Snyder (Raymore, Mo.) aggravated a strained shoulder he suffered during last weekend’s event in St. Louis. He did not ride in round two of the Kansas City Invitational.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s “Ride with the Best” Bonus:

Due to his round three win at last weekend’s Enterprise Rent-A-Car Invitational, Bryan Richardson (Dallas, Texas) was eligible to compete for the $5,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Ride with the Best” bonus during round one of the Kansas City Invitational. Because he did not make the eight second whistle on the bull, Diamond Heat, the stock contractor, John & Karen Sirridge, took home the $5,000 bonus.

As the winners of round one at the Kansas City Invitational, Brendon Clark (Morpeth, AUS) and Pete Farley (Kempsey, AUS) were eligible to compete for the $5,000 bonus during round two. Clark did not make the eight second whistle on the bull, Kiss Off; therefore, the stock contractor, Hebert Bucking Bulls, received their share of the $5,000 bonus. Farley also did not ride for the full eight seconds after taking on the bull, Matt Dillon, so stock contractor, Mann Creek Cattle Co./Curtis Mendell, took home part of the $5,000 bonus.

As the winner of round two at the Kansas City Invitational, Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Okla.) will be eligible to compete for the $5,000 bonus during round one at the 14th BFTS stop in Birmingham, Ala.

Ford Truck Moment of Truth Bonus:
Guilherme Marchi
(Leme, SP, Brazil) was in the lead going into the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and won the Kansas City Invitational; therefore, he collected the $5,000 bonus. The bonus will be $5,000 at the next event in Birmingham, Ala. It grows by $5,000 each week if it is not claimed. Once claimed, it returns to $5,000.

Ford F-150 Challenge:
As the Kansas City Invitational event winner, Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) has qualified for a chance to participate as a Ford F-150 Challenge contestant at the 2009 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, against all other 2009 Built Ford Tough Series event winners who qualify for the Finals. The Ford F-150 Challenge contestant who finishes the highest in the event aggregate during the 2009 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals will win $50,000 towards the purchase of a brand-new 2009 F-150 truck.

Salem NationaLease Bull of the Event:
The bull, Crosswired , owned by D&H Cattle Company, earned Bull of the Event honors with a score of 46.75 points. 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.

High-Marked Ride of the Event:
Ryan Dirteater
(Hulbert, Okla.) recorded the high-marked ride of the Kansas City Invitational in Kansas City, Mo., during round two after riding the bull, Chester, owned by Mendell/Jaeger, for 90.5 points.

Daisy Rookie of the Year Standings:
The 2009 Daisy Rookie of the Year race is heating up and as of the Kansas City Invitational, young gun Skeeter Kingsolver (Mclouth, Kan.) still holds the lead over young Aussie Pete Farley (Kempsey, AUS). A rider is considered a rookie in the year he debuts on the elite Built Ford Tough Series tour. The Daisy Rookie is determined by the rider who has won the most money during the year at all PBR events including Challenger events, International events, BFTS events, and the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals.

Kansas City Invitational RESULTS
1/2) Brendon Clark (Morpeth, AUS) 87.75 points on I’ll Make You Famous (Kooper Branum & Gene Baker), $2,340; 1/2) Pete Farley (Kempsey, AUS) 87.75 points on V1 (Shad Smith), $2,340; 3) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 87.5 points on Velvet Elvis (Diamond S Bucking Bulls), $1,170; 4) Rocky McDonald (Col. Juarez, Mexico) 87.25 points on Life Sentence (5G Farms Bucking Bulls/Jim & Kelly Orhood); 5) Nick Landreneau (Sulphur, La.) 87 points on Depths of Despair (5G Farms Bucking Bulls/Jim & Kelly Orhood).

ROUND TWO: 1) Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Okla.) 90.5 points on Chester (Mendell/Jaeger), $2,730; 2) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 89.5 points on Stiffler (Boyd/Floyd Bull Company), $1,950; 3) J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, N.C.) 88.25 points on Yosemite Sam (Diamond S Bucking Bulls), $1,170; 4) Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) 87.75 points on The Bug (Hebert Bucking Bulls/Georgia Akers); 5) Skeeter Kingsolver (Mclouth, Kan.) 87.5 points on Black Mamba (Martinez Bucking Bull, LLC).

BUILT FORD TOUGH CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND: 1) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 90 points on Big Iron (Diamond S Bucking Bulls), $2,730; 2/3) Ross Coleman (Molalla, Ore.) 89.5 points on Pearl Snap (Boyd/Floyd Bull Company), $1,560; 2/3) Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil) 89.5 points on Hot Stuff (D&H Cattle Company), $1,560; 4) Wiley Petersen (Fort Hall, Idaho) 89 points on Sure Fire (D&H Cattle Company).

OVERALL EVENT STANDINGS: 1) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 267 points, $36,642.50; 2) Ross Coleman (Molalla, Ore.) 263 points, $15,320.50; 3) Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil) 261.75 points, $10,664.50; 4) Wiley Petersen (Fort Hall, Idaho) 247.5 points, $6,472.50; 5) McKennon Wimberly (Cool, Texas) 171.75 points, $4,506.

BUILT FORD TOUGH WORLD STANDINGS: (The PBR World Champion is based on total Built Ford Tough Series points earned through the season)

1) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 4,914.25 points, $163,646; 2) J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, N.C.) 4,496.5 points, $119,579; 3) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, Brazil) 4,026.75 points, $94,077; 4) Wiley Petersen (Fort Hall, Idaho) 3,873.5 points, $60,359; 5) Austin Meier (Kinta, Okla.) 3,583 points, $52,240; 6) Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil) 3,554.5 points, $56,497; 7) Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Okla.) 3,481 points, $103,042; 8 ) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, Texas) 3,250.5 points, $78,126; 9) Ross Coleman (Molalla, Ore.) 2,989.75 points, $29,489; 10) Cody Ford (Stanfield, Ore.) 2,801.75 points, $83,356.

Industry Leader Balances Interests in NASCAR with Racetrack Ownership, Driver Development, Racecar Engineering and Television Broadcasting

MOORESVILLE, NC (January 27, 2009) – Ray Evernham has been long known for his leadership atop the pit box of NASCAR stars like Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne, guidance of Dodge’s return to NASCAR racing and technological innovation that changed the sport.Evernham announced today that he officially is passing the torch on race team entrepreneurship to new team owners like Tony Stewart and Tommy Baldwin.  He will now focus his attention on broadcasting, preserving racing venues for future generations, helping develop young drivers and setting new records.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve achieved with my colleagues and partners over more than two decades in racing, from the early days in IROC to the championship years with Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon to leading Dodge’s return to NASCAR as a team owner,” said Evernham.  “It has been an amazing journey, and I’ve been fortunate to work with some incredible people and gain invaluable experience throughout the years.”

Evernham is relinquishing his leadership role at Richard Petty Motorsports to pursue new Ray Evernham Enterprises Museumopportunities in motorsports, from grassroots racing to NASCAR and beyond.  He is focusing his short-term efforts on establishing Ray Evernham Enterprises, broadcasting races for ESPN, managing East Lincoln Speedway, opening a new museum and entertainment facility in Mooresville, NC, (shown at right), helping develop young drivers and designing racecars for several key events.

“I’m not retiring from racing or putting NASCAR on a back burner,” he noted.  “I’m committed to the growth and success of the sport overall, and to building championship teams and organizations in many different levels of racing in the future.  I spent my first decade in racing driving and working on racecars.  My next decade I went from a rookie crew chief to a NASCAR champion.  My third decade I had the opportunity to lead a manufacturer back into the sport and own a team..  Who knows what my fourth decade in the sport will hold?”

Evernham, whom motorsports media voted “The Greatest Crew Chief of All Time”, won three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief and led Dodge in its re-entry into NASCAR.

Long term, Evernham is looking at long-term opportunities to contribute his technological expertise, operational excellence, innovation and racing business acumen to the NASCAR business community as it redefines itself in the current economy.

“I wish Richard Petty and the entire Petty organization success in their new partnership with George Gillett,” added Evernham.  “I’m proud of what I accomplished there, and am proud to see the Petty name live on as part of that organization.”

Ray Evernham will retain select contractual obligations to Richard Petty Motorsports, including a minority ownership in the race team and a consulting agreement with the team.Evernham has several projects on his plate, with plans for many more in the future.  While he has been competing at Daytona in some form since 1984, this year he isn’t as busy preparing for the start of the NASCAR season.  But, certainly isn’t relaxing in his retirement nor has he ruled out future involvement in the Sprint Cup Series.

Evernham Purchases East Lincoln Speedway

Evernham recently purchased the East Lincoln Speedway, a 3/8 mile dirt track located on Evernham at East Lincoln SpeedwayMariposa Road in Lincoln County, NC.  The facility was built by Ralph Nantz and opened for racing in 1990.   The 2009 season will mark its 19th consecutive year of racing.  The Speedway runs various classes of cars ranging from Micro-sprints to Late Model Modified-Sportsman.

“When I sold the majority interest in Evernham Motorsports to George Gilllett in 2007, one of my goals was to find ways to give back to the sport and help up-and-coming drivers find a safe, low-cost way to race,” said Evernham.  “Unfortunately, rising property values and land development have taken away many of the great dirt tracks around the country.  With the acquisition of the East Lincoln Speedway, I can make sure that racers in the Charlotte area will have access to a safe, low-cost, family friendly racing facility for many years to come.”

The transaction was negotiated by Bob Mack, who also will be a minority owner of the speedway.

Setting the Land Speed Record

Working with NHRA star Doug Herbert, Evernham is helping design and build a land speed car to break the 500 mph land speed for a piston-driven car.  They are planning to make their attempt in August 2009 at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  Herbert is participating in the land speed record effort car in honor of his B.R.A.K.E.S. Foundation.

Creating Racing Opportunities for Young Stars

To help young – and young-at-heart — racers afford to compete in safe, reliable cars, Evernham is helping promote a class of four-cylinder speedsters for Tobias Speedsters for Rich Tobias from Pennsylvania and helping field cars for qualified racers.  The speedsters, designed for racing on pavement or dirt tracks, are available for approximately $17,000 with the engine included.

“It’s hard to be able to afford to make the transition to a larger car and get the experience you need,” he said.  “I want to give young people who have talent and a commitment to furthering their experience an affordable way to move to the next level.”

Evernham on ESPN

Evernham will continue his duties in the booth for ESPN with co-hosts Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty and Alan Bestwick for a number of NASCAR races throughout the season.  He also will be at the ESPN Studios on Mondays as a host of “NASCAR Now”.

Rick Hendrick on Ray Evernham:

What do you see as his legacy?

He is just so innovative. He brought such new thinking and ideas to this sport, from the way you train a pit crew to the way you organize, the way you hire them, he really kind of brought our company to a new level and a new way of thinking. I think he revolutionized the sport. He opened the doors for a lot of engineering and other people. He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met. He’s just got tons and tons of talent. What he did to start teams from scratch, to build what he built is unbelievable in the short period of time he did it in. I know how hard it is. He’s quite a talented guy and it’s just amazing his energy level and what he’s willing to sacrifice to get the job done, always thinking outside the box. He’s one of my best friends. I hated to see him go. The day he told me what he wanted to do it tore me up. At the same time, I did it. I left a guy to start my own business and I was happy for him. I wasn’t real happy to have to race against him, but he did a super job. I’m just real happy for him. I’m kinda jealous that he messes with his old cars now. We’ve been promising each other that we’re going to get a sandwich for about two years, so maybe we’ll get it done this winter.

What attracted you to him?

Just when you talk to him and you meet him and you listen to him, his approach to things and his organizational skills. His ability to attract people and know what to do, not willing to settle for mediocre results and have a plan of how to get there. Some of the things he talked with me about, I said, ‘I don’t know about that.’ Then you watch them unfold and you’re really impressed.

What was one of the best moments you guys had together?

Some of the most heartfelt moments was when I walked into the hospital in New York when Ray J was diagnosed with Leukemia and he wasn’t expecting me. I walked down the hall and they were sitting on a bed. I remember the emotions we felt then, and then the day I had to tell him I had Leukemia. We’ve been through some real trauma in life, too.He got me my first championship, so that was real special. I never thought I would win one of those things.

If you had to pick a new career for him, what would it be?

Anything he wants to do. He can run any kind of business. He can do whatever he wants to do. He’s that smart. He can adapt to anything. He can do what he wants to do. He’s the kind of guy that sets a goal and then a goal of how to achieve it. He’s unbelievable. He can do whatever he wants to do.

Bill Elliott on Ray Evernham

What do you think he’ll pursue next?

He’ll be back, some how, some way.

What will he be doing?

I don’t know, but he’ll be back.

Would you go back and drive for him?

No. I’m trying to get to the end of that.

What do you see as his contributions to the sport?

Ray has done a lot for the sport. I think if you look at the way he came about, it’s kind of like the great feel good NASCAR story. He got in his pickup truck, he drove down here, he started the deal. He was real ambitious. He got in at the right time. He got in with some good people, and everything came together. If you take it and you look at it in sections, he got down here and he got with the right people. All of a sudden he goes to Hendrick and there was Gordon. I guess there were together a little bit before they went to Hendrick. They got together and skyrocketed up. Then he decided to leave Hendrick and go do his own deal and bring Dodge back in. There, again, he got in with some pretty good people. That skyrocketed up. He came to me and asked me if I would drive and I think I fell on the floor. I couldn’t answer. I really struggled leaving Ford at that point in time, but I ran out of options. When Cal Wells came in and everything that happened through that McDonald’s era really put me in a bad deal. Then Ray bought my deal, worked hard, kept his nose to the grindstone and made some good decisions, but times were really good. Then George Gillett comes along and he sold out at probably the best time in his career.. If anybody could have timed it more perfectly, he did, when you look back on it today.

He’s done a lot. He’s been very innovative. But now that NASCAR has really changed the playing field. Innovation isn’t what racing is all about. It’s part of showing up and doing a race. Now, you go through inspection today, versus what it was 5, 10, 15 years ago it paid a premium on what you could innovate and come up with new ideas. Shoot, there’s nothing you can do today.

What is his lasting legacy to the sport?

I keep going back to the fact that he got the highest fine in NASCAR history at Charlotte for that spindle. That’s what I’ll always remember.

What about that Daytona 500 when you won the pole in Dodge’s first season?

I don’t think it really sank in for Ray. Watching him struggle that whole year, I think he realized car ownership, maybe what he wanted to do, at the end of the day. It sounds good having control over your own destiny, but the problem is you pick up so much other package when you agree to do that. That’s what I found out when I started doing my own deal.. Yea, I could control some things, but then there are some things that are out of control. Being a racer and trusting somebody to run the business, if you don’t bring that person in to trust them, then you’re screwed. That’s what I ended up doing. I took the sponsors for granted, so to speak, worked with them and did what I had to do, but then behind your back somebody else is trying to take your deal away. That left a bitter taste in your mouth..

Ray fell into the deal perfectly when he got in and when he got out, because if he was still in it today trying to find that next sponsor, that next deal is so much harder, versus what it was two, three, five, 10 years ago.

If you had to pick the next career for Ray, what would it be?

I don’t know. There will be something he’ll be doing somewhere, somehow, some way. I just know him too well. He will be into something.

PUEBLO, Colo. (May 5, 2008 ) – The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) is excited to unveil its newest investors–two of the sporting world’s most renowned athletes. National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer John Elway and National Hockey League (NHL) Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky are two of the PBR’s newest shareholders through Spire Capital Partners, L.P., the PBR’s partner and private equity firm.

Randy Bernard, PBR CEO, shared his excitement, “The PBR is extremely proud to have these two incredible athletes associated with our organization. This is another way the PBR can become more visible in the world of mainstream sports.”

Former Denver Bronco, John Elway, is still revered as being one of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time. He holds many records, one of these being 148 games won as a starting quarterback, as well as holding the record of being a 5-time Super Bowl starting quarterback.

“To be associated with a group of people like the Professional Bull Riders, and my good friend Wayne Gretzky, is a win-win situation for me,” said Elway. “I really look forward to being involved with this great group and sharing in our successes together.”

Gretzky, widely considered the greatest player in the history of the National Hockey League, still remains the most statistically dominant player in the history of North American team sports. He captured 61 NHL scoring records during his 20-year career, and continues to hold or share these records. “The Great One” also won four Stanley Cups, as well as many international competitions. Following his final NHL game on April 18, 1999, Gretzky became the first and only player in NHL history to have his jersey number retired by all member clubs.

“Coming on board with the Professional Bull Riders is an exciting and unique opportunity,” said Gretzky. “Their success as an entertainment vehicle has been well documented, and to be a part of such a well-respected and up-an-coming venture is thrilling.”

Spire Capital Partners completed its partnership with PBR in April 2007. Spire Capital Partners, L.P., is now the majority investor of PBR, the leading, global professional bull riding organization.

Photo: Andy Watson

Travis Briscoe rides Three Spot on his way to win the $105,000 first place check during the Fresno PBR.

FRESNO, Calif. (January 19, 2008) – Stop number four on the Professional Bull Rider’s (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler (BFTS) treated a sell-out crowd at Fresno, Calif.’s Save Mart Center to a history breaking evening when Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) claimed the first ever winner take-all format event. In claiming the Table Mountain Casino Invitational event title, Briscoe earned his third career BFTS victory, back to back event titles, and added $105,000 to his PBR career earnings.

“It’s pretty awesome to win $105,000 in one night,” said Briscoe following the win. “My first [BFTS] event win was here in 2006 but I missed the event in 2007. I’m happy I could come back and win Fresno this year. This is definitely my favorite [BFTS] event!”

Briscoe scored 87.75 points in the first round of the Table Mountain Casino Invitational aboard Homestead Genetics’ Jack Rabbit. The score was enough for fifth place going into the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. He trailed round winner Jason Bennett (Honeygrove, Texas), by three points; Bennett covered Tim Hopkins’ Rudolph for 90.75 points. By virtue of the round win, Bennett will be eligible to ride for the $5,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Ride with the Best” Bonus in Sacramento on Saturday night.

Ironically, Briscoe suffered a strained groin earlier in the week during a Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour event in Denver, Colo. and was questionable to compete in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.

“I got on a really great bull in the first round [in Fresno] but felt I strained my groin again during the ride,” said Briscoe. “But after I looked at the draw [for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round] I knew I didn’t have a choice but to get on another great bull.”

The decision was definitely a lucrative one as Briscoe scored 89.5 points aboard Priest Creek Ranch’s 3 Spot in the final round. Although six men made qualified rides during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, Briscoe was able to hold on for the event victory with 177.25 points on two bulls.

With back to back wins (Fresno and last weekend in Worcester, Mass.), Briscoe has quickly amassed $145,683.67 in season earnings. Impressively he has ridden 11 of the 12 bulls he has faced to date on the elite BFTS tour. He also maintains the top spot in the race for the 2008 PBR World Championship by more than 587 points over Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.).

“I have to praise God,” finished Briscoe. “I couldn’t do it without Him.”

Three-time PBR World Champion, Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, SP, BZ) made the most of his final appearance in Fresno, Calif. by claiming second place in the event with 175.5 total points. Earlier this month in New York City, Moraes announced his plan to retire at the conclusion of the 2008 BFTS season. Greg Potter (Queensland, AU) held down third place in the event with 175 points on two bulls.

Don’t miss the heart pounding action on NBC tomorrow, Saturday, January 19. Local times will vary so please check your local listings for complete broadcast information.

Stop no. 5 on the elite BFTS circuit will kick off Saturday night from ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. with the Sacramento Classic. The event will air LIVE on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET Saturday, January 19 and on Sunday, January 20 at 9 p.m. ET. Please check your local listings for additional television information.

The grueling week-in and week-out schedule of the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler will thrill a different city every weekend from now through May 3rd. All of the breathtaking rides and daunting wrecks will air on VERSUS each Saturday and Sunday evening. Be sure to check for upcoming cities, ticket information and complete broadcast times.

Injury Report:
Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) sustained a sprained groin earlier in the week at a lower level event in Denver, Colo. He re-injured the groin during the first round of competition and is questionable for Sacramento.

Beau Hill (West Glacier, Mont.) sustained a concussion without loss of consciousness. He is competing.

Valdiron de Oliveira (Aparecida de Goiania, GO, BZ) sustained a lacerated chin and possible broken jaw. He is questionable for Sacramento.

Tyler Smith (Fruita, Colo.) sustained a concussion without loss of consciousness. He is competing.

Luke Snyder (Raymore, Mo.) sustained a concussion without loss of consciousness. He is competing.

Mike White (De Kalb, Texas) sustained a strained left shoulder (free arm). He is competing.

Clayton Williams (Carthage, Texas) did not compete in Fresno due to an injury sustained at an Enterprise Rent-A-Car Tour event in Pueblo, Colo.

Colby Yates (Fort Worth, Texas) sustained a sprained pelvis. He is competing.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s “Ride with the Best” Bonus:
As the winner of the third round of the Worcester Classic last weekend, Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) was eligible for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Ride with the Best” bonus money on Friday night in Fresno. Lostroh made a qualified ride aboard Sis & Stan’s Bucking Bulls’ Mr. Universe, claiming the $5,000 bonus. As the Table Mountain Casino Invitational first round winner, Jason Bennett (Honeygrove, Texas) is eligible to compete for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Ride with the Best” bonus money on Saturday at the Sacramento Classic.

Ford Truck Moment of Truth Bonus:
Jason Bennett (Honeygrove, Texas) led the event going into the Built Ford Tough Championship Round but did not win the Table Mountain Casino Invitational event title; therefore he did not claim the $20,000 Ford Truck Moment of Truth bonus. The bonus will grow to $25,000 at the Sacramento Classic in Sacramento, Calif. 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 Table Mountain Casino Invitational event winner, Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) 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:
Rez Boy owned by Corey & Horst Rodeo Co. Inc. was the high marked bull of the event with a score of 46.5 points, and was awarded $1,250 as a part of Salem NationaLease’s exciting bonus program. The program awards $1,250 to the top bull of the event as determined by the PBR judges’ bull scores.

Cabela’s World’s Foremost Ride:
Jason Bennett (Honeygrove, Texas) recorded the highest marked ride of the event when he topped Tim Hopkins’ Rudolph for 90.75 points during the first round of the Table Mountain Casino Invitational. In doing so, 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 that achieves the highest marked ride through the course of the entire 2008 PBR BFTS World Finals will earn an additional $10,000.

Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) has the highest marked ride of the season thus far with a 95 point ride aboard Chad Berger/Ryken/Larson’s Copperhead Slinger during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round of the Worcester, Mass. BFTS event.

Table Mountain Casino Invitational Event Results:

ROUND ONE: 1) Jason Bennett (Honeygrove, Texas) 90.75 points on Tim Hopkins’ Rudolph; 2) Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil) 89 points on Homestead Genetics’ Wow; 3) Reese Cates (Carthage, Texas) 88.5 points on Kaycee Simpson’s Blue Moon; 4) Mike White (De Kalb, Texas) 88 points on Humpz and Hornz’s Slim Slam; 5) Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) 87.75 points on Homestead Genetics’ Jack Rabbit.

BUILT FORD TOUGH CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND: 1) Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) 88.5 points on Priest Creek Ranch’s 3 Spot; 2/3) Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, SP, BZ) 89.25 points on Kaycee Simpson’s Tighty Whitey; 2/3) Greg Potter (Queensland, AU) 89.25 points on Homestead Genetics’ Rowdy You Hou; 4) Dustin Elliott (North Platte, Neb.) 87.5 points on Flying U/Moreno Bucking Bulls’ High Water; 5) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 85.5 points on Corey & Horst/The Western Group’s Rocket.

OVERALL EVENT: 1) Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) 177.25 points, $105,000; 2) Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, SP, BZ) 175.5 points, 3) Greg Potter (Queensland, AU) 175 points, 4) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 173 points, $5,000; 5) Dustin Elliott (North Platte, Neb.) 172.5 points.

(The PBR World Champion is based on total Built Ford Tough Series points earned through the season)
1) Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) 2,405.75 points, $145,683.67; 2) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 1,818.25 points, $25,424.20; 3) Guilherme Marchi (Leme, SP, BZ) 1,807.75 points, $24,666; 4) Mike Lee (Decatur, Texas) 1,636.5 points, $39,246.48; 5) Valdiron de Oliveira (Aparecida de Goiania, GO, BZ) 1,476.5 points, $32,076; 6) Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) 1,463.25 points, $9,224.25; 7) Chris Shivers (Jonesville, La.) 1,282.5 points, $17,934; 8 ) Mike White (De Kalb, Texas) 1,270.5 points, $20,548; 9) Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, SP, BZ) 1,247.5 points, $11,375; 10) Paulo Crimber (Olimpia, SP, BZ) 1,155.5 points, $19.054.71.

June 2019
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