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Is this your first bull riding event? Check out our beginner's guide to PBR

Texas — Even if this is your first rodeo, don't worry. You see, bull riding and rodeos aren't one and the same. Just ask anyone from the Professional Bull Riders organization, and they'll set you straight. 

And now that the most live bull riding television coverage in the sport’s history is offered on Merit Street, the question remains... how savvy are you when it comes to the PBR organization? 

Quick Quiz: Was Chicken On A Chain a hotspot for fried wings, or a legendary bull co-owned by Larry the Cable Guy?

If you answered with your stomach, then the rest of this extensive article is for you. So let's give the ol' Cowboy nod and give it a go-round. 


How PBR was born


🤠 Twenty bull riders got together 30-plus years ago and founded PBR.

🤠 Fifteen years later, Spire Capital Partners finalized a deal with PBR to acquire the interests of many of the retired founding riders. Their investment in the growth of the organization made the founders millions. Then, in May 2015, PBR was acquired by Endeavor, making it a subsidiary of IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. Since its founding, 47 riders have earned more than $1 million and the PBR surpassed $200 million in prize money awarded in 2021.

🤠 “We wanted to create a better product for the fans, so that when they tuned in they were seeing the best of the best every time,” said PBR co-founder and nine-time World Champion Ty Murray. “Those expectations have been exceeded immensely, and the fact that this sport continues to grow is a gratifying notion, one that supports all the hard work and dedication of every member of the PBR.”


PBR breakdown


🤠 Features the world’s best bull riders against the rankest bucking bulls in the business in 8-second showdowns.

🤠 800+ bull riders compete in PBR-sanctioned competitions in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States

🤠 Conducts more than 200 bull riding events annually across its elite Unleash The Beast, PBR Teams League, Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour, Touring Pro Division and international circuits (PBR Australia, PBR Brazil, and PBR Canada).


PBR bulls mean business


🤠 Genetically bred bulls begin bucking at two or three years of age. Though a bucking bull is often in his prime as an athlete around age five or six, many bulls buck past the age of 10 then retire to stud.

🤠 The bulls in the PBR receive excellent care and are the main draw to many fans; in some seasons official bull merchandise has outsold cowboy gear.

🤠 Considered by many the GOAT of champion bulls, legendary three-time World Champion bull Bushwacker died July 2. He was 18 years old at the time of his passing. Bushwacker  retired in 2014 after winning his world titles in 2011, 2013 and 2014.


PBR basics:


ABBI (American Bucking Bull, Inc.) operates the world’s largest bucking cattle DNA registry, documenting the bloodlines of the sport’s animal athletes. ABBI also pays out more than $2.5 million each year at competitive events that it produces and sanctions for DNA registered bucking bulls. A sister organization to PBR, ABBI serves to develop the talent of animal athletes and increase their value.

The announcer explains the action and provides statistics on bulls, riders and stock contractors to fans attending a live event.

The arena is the area where the bull riding takes place. The size varies by venue, but the average size of the “field” for a premier series event is 85 feet by 140 feet. The bucking chutes, panels, gates. and posts that comprise the arena weigh approximately 50,000 pounds and are equal in length to six football fields. The materials are transported from event to event.

The Arena Director is responsible for maintaining the flow of the event by balancing the production and competition, and, during televised events, the commercial breaks.

The “average” or “aggregate” represents the total ride score of the bull riders at an event. “Winning the average,” means the bull rider finished the event with the highest total ride score.

“Away from his hand,” is a term used by bull riders to describe when a bull spins in the opposite direction of their riding hand. For example, a right-handed bull rider on a bull that spins to the left is riding a bull “away from his hand.”

The back pens are located behind the arena bucking chutes. This maze of steel panels serves as the holding area for bulls before and after competition.

A bull with downward sloping horns is said to have “banana horns.”

The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is the world’s leading all-Black touring rodeo. The organization traces back to 1977, when during Wyoming’s Cheyenne Frontier Days, Lu Vason, a leader in the entertainment community, noted the absence of Black cowboys and cowgirls participating. Doing research, Vason found thousands of Black Cowboys and Cowgirls across the country lacking the opportunity to showcase their talents. In 1985, Vason created an all-Black rodeo association named after the legendary Black cowboy, Bill Pickett, who had originated the rodeo event called “bulldogging.” After Vason’s passing in 2015, his wife, Valeria Howard-Cunningham, began working to keep the legacy alive and continue promoting a first-class rodeo tour for Black Cowboys/Cowgirls and their communities. The Bill Pickett Invitation Rodeo is now in its 40th year of educating, entertaining and connecting communities across the US.

One of the most famous bulls in history, the 1,900-pound Charbray Bodacious, gained notoriety for injuring some of the PBR’s most talented riders, including 1995 PBR World Champion Tuff Hedeman in the final round of the 1995 PBR World Finals. Hedeman suffered multiple fractures after his face collided with the back of Bodacious’ head. Owned by Texas stock contractor Sammy Adams, Bodacious was retired from competition in December 1995. The great bull died of natural causes in 2000 at the age of 12. In 2019, Bodacious was awarded the prestigious Brand of Honor.

For years, finding a good bucking bull was a frustrating matter of chance for stock contractors, since a bull will only buck if he has the innate desire and natural instinct to do so. The introduction of breeding programs has proven that genetics are the main factor in determining a bull’s desire and ability to buck, and science has made the business of owning bucking bulls one of patience, intelligence and money as opposed to luck.

If a rider is thrown from the bull before the required 8 seconds, he has bucked off and does not earn a score. If used as a noun or adjective, the term is “buckoff,” (e.g., “This rider has had nine buckoffs in a row”) versus “this bull will buck off 90% of his riders.”

Bulls competing in the PBR come in a variety of shapes, sizes. and colors. Each has a distinct personality and traits that make him unique. Bucking bulls are in their athletic prime around five or six years of age; however, many buck past the age of 10. When retired from competition, most bulls are used as sires in breeding programs.

The bullfighters distract the bull away from a rider who has been bucked off or who has dismounted following an out. These tough and courageous athletes work as a protection team to allow the rider to get back onto his feet and out of harm’s way.

Wrapped around the chest of the bull, directly behind the animal’s front legs, the bull rope is what the bull rider grips during the out. The bull rope is never tied and is only kept in place by the rider’s closed hand. Each rope has a metal bell to provide weight and allow the rope to slide from the bull as soon as the rider releases his hand, either by design while dismounting or when bucked off. The rope does not agitate the bull in any way and never goes near the bull’s genitals, contrary to popular myths.

Three-time PBR World Champion Bull (2011, 2013, 2014) Bushwacker holds the record for longest buckoff streak in PBR history at 42. In 2013, J.B. Mauney successfully rode him in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during his ninth attempt for 95.25 points. It was the first time Bushwacker had been ridden in four years. Bushwacker retired in 2014 after that season’s PBR World Finals. He is only the second bull to ever win the title of PBR World Champion three times and is widely considered the greatest bull in PBR history. In 2016, Bushwacker was awarded the PBR Brand of Honor at the World Finals. He died July 2, 2024.

The PBR Challenger Series, the sport’s only domestic standalone series from June to October, serves as a proving ground giving additional competitive opportunities to bull riders who are both affiliated and unaffiliated with a PBR Teams’ Team. At the conclusion of the PBR Challenger Series regular season, the Top 40 riders in the series’ global standings qualify for the Challenger Series Championship, which is held in Las Vegas in conjunction with the PBR Teams Championship in late October. A select number of top-finishing riders in the final Challenger Series standings will earn berths to the Unleash The Beast the following season.

“Change directions,” is defined as when the bull moves in a different direction, either forward or backward, or side-to-side. An announcer will say a bull has “changed directions” when he switches the direction in which he is spinning.

Each bull ride originates from a gated, steel box called a chute. The bull rider and the bull remain in their designated chute until the arena is clear and the rider has wrapped his hand into his bull rope. When the rider is ready, he nods his head, signaling the gate man to open the chute gate, releasing the bull and allowing the out to begin.

The Chute Boss works closely with the Arena Director, helping with the flow of the event by making sure the riders are prompt in their set up and don’t spend too much time in the chute prior to riding. Those who do spend too much time in the chute are “put on the clock” and face possible disqualification for that out.

A rider who “covers his bull” has successfully stayed aboard for 8 seconds and earned a score.

The Cowgirl Gathering is a celebration in the heart of Fort Worth, Texas, designed to showcase women from all walks of life who embody the spirit of the American Cowgirl. The Cowgirl Gathering includes breakaway roping, team roping and barrel racing, while also showcasing captivating female speakers, art and fashion shows, and more. The Cowgirl Gathering welcomes both competitors as well as those who simply want to experience the essence of the West. Visit for more information.

Positioned in the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, Cowtown Coliseum and the Fort Worth Stockyards are one of the top visitor destinations in the state. After opening in 1908, the Cowtown Coliseum became the home of the first indoor rodeo in 1918 and site of the first PBR event in 1993. In 2021, the PBR, ASM Global and Stockyards Heritage Development Co. announced their new joint venture to operate the historic Cowtown Coliseum and to expand entertainment programming and marketing partnerships within the National Historic District. Through this partnership, PBR, ASM Global and Stockyards Heritage Development Co, a partnership between Majestic Realty Co. and The Hickman Companies, will exclusively manage and promote Cowtown Coliseum and portions of the surrounding historic District, including event programming, sponsorship opportunities, venue rentals, operations, marketing and enhanced guest experience initiatives, including PBR’s weekly Stockyards Showcase. In 2023, the venue was renovated, bringing one of the Stockyards’ most storied landmarks a new, vibrant atmosphere while preserving its classic physique. Cowtown Coliseum will host the opening days of the 2024 PBR World Finals.

Sometimes a rider leaves the chute on a bull who neither bucks nor spins. This bull is called a “dink.”

One of the most recognizable bulls, Dillinger, a black, white-faced bull owned by Herrington Cattle Co., became the first two-time PBR World Champion Bull, earning the honor in 2000 and 2001. Dillinger retired in 2002 and was awarded the prestigious Brand of Honor in 2012. DISMOUNT An out is complete either when the bull rider has met the 8-second requirement (a qualified ride) or when he is bucked off. Bull riders who are still in control when the 8-second buzzer sounds must dismount, getting off the bull as safely as possible. A bull rider typically uses his free hand to release his riding hand, and then flings himself off as the bull is bucking, using the momentum of the kick to propel his body away from the bull. If possible, the rider will wait until the bull is moving or spinning away from his riding hand at which point, he will dismount in the direction of his riding hand.

Bull riders will be disqualified, receiving no score, if they touch the bull or themselves with a free hand or arm during the ride, or if the riding hand comes free from the bull rope before the 8-second requirement. Additionally, riders delaying in the chute who are “put on the clock” and don’t exit the chute in time do not receive a score.

To withdraw from a PBR event due to injury without penalty, a rider must submit written proof from a physician stating that his injury prohibits him from competing.

“Down in the well,” is when a bull is spinning in one direction and the force pulls the rider down the side of the bull and into the motion’s vortex. This dangerous scenario often results in a bull rider getting “hung up” on the bull. PBR’s bullfighters, equipped with knives, sometimes have to jump in and cut the rider loose.

The PBR has implemented a draft system at elite Unleash The Beast events whereby the riders choose the bull they will ride during the championship round as opposed to the selection being determined by a random draw. The order of the draft is determined by the event standings, with the leader selecting first, and the choices proceeding through the 12th ranked rider. Each PBR World Finals also features three rounds where riders draft their bulls. DRAW The list of bull riders and the bulls with which they are randomly paired is called the draw. The draw for Unleash The Beast events is typically created by computer on the Wednesday prior to an event. A bull rider who says he has a “good draw” is happy with the bull selected for him to attempt to ride.

8 seconds is the amount of time a bull rider must stay aboard his bull to receive a score. “8 Seconds” is also a movie about World Champion bull rider Lane Frost, who was fatally injured at the 1989 Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, prompting the development of the protective rider vest.

Bull riders must contact the PBR and officially enter an event before they can compete.

The entertainer, formerly referred to as the barrel man, entertains the crowd, using comical dialogue and dances, when bulls are being loaded into the chutes, during television commercial breaks, and for intermissions. In years past, the barrel man was an active protection bullfighter who specialized in using a barrel placed in the arena to protect himself and downed riders unable to reach the safety of the fence. Over time, barrel men assumed most of the comical duties of what were then called “rodeo clowns.” Today, the entertainer’s duties are exclusively performance related, though the barrel itself is still used for safety purposes.

A bull who “fades” is moving backwards while simultaneously spinning or bucking, often in more than one direction.

The flank man is the person who puts the flank strap onto the bull in the chute. The flank man must know the bull’s tendencies to properly fit the soft cotton rope to each bull. The flank man is often the stock contractor who owns the bull or someone who works for the contractor.

The flank strap is soft cloth, often lined with sheep’s wool, wrapped around the flank of a bull, like a person’s belt. Its purpose is to enhance the bull’s natural bucking motion, encouraging the animal to extend his hind legs while trying to get the rider onto the ground. The flank strap is never placed around the bull’s genitals and does not agitate the bull. There are never sharp or foreign objects placed between the strap and the animal. The flank strap is never pulled too tight so that it would restrict the bull’s motion. The flank strap is designed for quick release and is removed immediately after the bull exits the arena.

If something happens during the ride that gives the bull an unfair advantage over the rider, it is considered a foul, and the rider is given the option of a re-ride. Examples of fouls include the bull making contact with the bucking chute at the beginning of the ride, or if the flank strap falls off before the out has been completed.

The free hand is the hand not used to grip the bull rope and must stay in the air throughout the ride. If the free hand makes contact with the bull or rider before 8 seconds elapse, the rider will be disqualified and will not receive a score.

Positioned in front of the chute from which the out is about to begin, the gate man begins the trip by pulling a rope tied to the chute gate which opens the gate on the bull rider’s cue. The gate man is responsible for quickly opening the gate as wide as possible while getting out of the way as the bull and rider exit the chute.

Bull riders wear a thick, soft leather glove designed to protect them from rope burns, while still letting them grip their bull rope.

The PBR World Champion is presented with a custom-made, gold buckle which is the ultimate symbol of achievement and is valued at more than $20,000. Bull riders also receive buckles for winning each regular-season event, and for each round win during the PBR World Finals.

The Glen Keeley Award is presented to the Canadian bull rider who earns the most Unleash The Beast points during the individual season. The award is presented in memory of Glen Keeley, a Canadian bull rider who was fatally injured on March 24, 2000, during a PBR event in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

While it is unusual, a bull who bucks the same way every out is known as an “honest bucker.”

This occurs when a bull strikes a bull rider or a bullfighter with his horns.

If a rider is unable to free his hand from his bull rope when dismounting, he is “hung up,” and often requires the assistance of bullfighters to release him. Proper usage is to refer to a rider being “hung up on” a bull, though bull riders will sometimes use the term “hung up to” a bull.

“Into his hand,” is the scenario where a bull spins in the same direction of the rider’s riding hand. For example, if a right-handed rider is on a bull that spins to the right then he is riding a bull “into his hand.”

The score for each bull rider is determined by a group of judges who are hired by the PBR using strict and extensive qualifications. Each Unleash The Beast event has four judges, each with 50 points (25 points for the bull and 25 points for the rider) to award per out. The scores from each of the four judges are added together then divided by two to determine the rider’s total score.

Kid Rock’s Rock N’ Rodeo is a new team-formatted rodeo infused with contemporary music designed to increase the sport’s entertainment value and appeal to a broader audience. The reimagined rodeo, which will debut on May 17, 2024, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, preceding the PBR World Finals Championship on May 18-19, will feature a Team format with six teams in bracket-style competition alongside Kid Rock live in concert, playing all his hits and more. The all-star rodeo team competition and upbeat production is patterned after the successful formula PBR brought to bull riding through PBR Teams, launched in 2022. Six teams, each led by a head coach who will make crucial game decisions, will go head-to-head in barrel racing, bareback riding, BULL RIDING BASICS saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, and breakaway roping, a fastgrowing rodeo discipline.

A bucking bull is dangerous, and when the back of the bull’s head meets the face of the rider, the rider has “kissed the bull.”

The Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award is presented to the bull rider with the highest-scored ride at the PBR World Finals. The award is named in memory of Lane Frost, who was fatally injured at the 1989 Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, and Brent Thurman, who suffered fatal injuries at the 1994 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Left-hand delivery is when the chute gate opens to the bull and bull rider’s left.

The first three-time PBR World Champion Bull Little Yellow Jacket won the award in 2002, 2003 and 2004 before retiring in 2005. He made history in 2003 at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., when he bucked off Chris Shivers in less than two seconds, preventing the twotime PBR World Champion from collecting a $1 million bonus presented by Ford Trucks while earning his owners $50,000. The famous bull was 15 years old when he passed away in 2011 and his statue graces the outside of PBR’s headquarters in Pueblo, Colo. He was presented with the inaugural Brand of Honor award in 2011.

Responsible for determining the bulls used at each event, the Livestock Director works with stock contractors nationwide to ensure that the highest caliber bucking bulls are used in PBR competition. The current Livestock Director is Riley Gagnon who took over for PBR Co-Founder and Ring of Honor member Cody Lambert starting during the 2022 PBR Teams season.

The Mason Lowe Award is presented to the bull rider with the highest-scored ride of the PBR premier series during the regular season. The award is named in memory of Mason Lowe, who was fatally injured at the 2019 PBR event at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado.

MEXICO IN OUR BLOOD (Mexico en la Sangre)
Mexico en la Sangre , is a one-of-a-kind event celebrating Hispanic culture, which debuted at Cowtown Coliseum in September of 2022, filling the iconic Stockyards with the spirit of Mexico. The event features live music, dancing horses, Charros, and Folkorico dancers, and is the kick-off event for Fort Worth’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

The Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge (MDBTC), conceived in 2010, allows Bull Team owners an opportunity to showcase their bovine talent in a competitive and lucrative format. During 20 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour events across the United States, 54 MDBTC Teams consisting of two bulls per team compete head-to-head for $72,000 in prize money per event. The top 22 MDBTC Teams in Tour season points will compete for $315,000 with the 2024 MDBTC Tour Season Finals Champion receiving $100,000 and a custom Hyo Silver trophy buckle. Since its inception, the MDBTC has paid out more than $13 million. 

Bull riders must be 18 years old to become a PBR member.

A bull without horns is a “muley.”

Whenever a bull exits the chute gate with a rider on board attempting to earn a score, it is called an “out.” A “ride” is often confused with an out. Technically, a ride only occurs if the bull rider successfully makes the 8-second whistle.

Launched in Nov. 2017, the PBR Global Cup established a new world order in bull riding, pitting teams from five nations against one another in a one-of-a-kind event akin to the “Olympics of bull riding,” where record purses and the very dirt they compete upon are on the line. After Team USA won the first-ever event in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Team Brazil emerged victorious at the consecutive stops in Sydney, Australia, in June 2018 and Arlington, Texas, in February 2019. In 2020, Team USA made history, becoming the first nation to defend home soil, when it won the 2020 PBR Global Cup USA in Texas. Team USA Eagles once again defended home soil in 2022 when the event returned to Texas, becoming the first nation to win the Global Cup Championship three times.

The PBR’s headquarters have been located in Pueblo, Colo. since 2007. In addition to its main office, the PBR has other offices in the U.S. and abroad, and dozens of employees on the road at the hundreds of PBR-sanctioned events. PBR MAJORS PBR Majors are select events during the Unleash The Beast season that offer higher payouts and increased UTB points. The 2024 season will feature three majors in New York City, January 5-7, Sacramento, California, February 2-4 and Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 22-24.

The PBR Rookie of the Year award is presented to the bull rider who earns the most Unleash The Beast points among fellow rookie riders during his first individual PBR season. In 2013, the determining factor changed from the most money earned to the most points earned.

PBR Teams, launched in July 2022, is an elite league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing on teams in five-on-five bull riding games during an 11-event season beginning in July and culminating in a Teams Championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in October. During the 2023 season, the league’s second, each of the eight teams – Austin Gamblers of Austin, TX; Arizona Ridge Riders of Glendale, AZ; Carolina Cowboys of Greensboro, NC; Kansas City Outlaws of Kansas City, MO; Nashville Stampede of Nashville, TN; Oklahoma Freedom of Oklahoma City, OK; Missouri Thunder of Ridgedale, MO; and Texas Rattlers of Fort Worth, TX – hosted a three day event. There were also neutral-site games in Cheyenne, WY and Anaheim, CA. Following the 2023 season, the Freedom announced that they would be moving to Sunrise, Florida, and call Amerant Bank Arena home. PBR Teams builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. Events are staged in a tournament-style format with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game features five riders per team squaring off against another team. Full team rosters are comprised of seven riders on the Protected Roster and five Reserve Riders. Teams also have the ability to place two riders on Injured Reserve. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders is declared the winner of each game. The event winner is the team with the most game wins across an event.

The PBR Teams MVP is the rider with the most MVP points – his cumulative points from qualified ride scores – at the conclusion of the PBR Teams regular season. The Austin Gamblers’ Jose Vitor Leme won the award in both 2022 and 2023. PBR UNLEASH THE BEAST The PBR Unleash The Beast is the organization’s premier tour, featuring the Top 40 bull riders from the Unleash The Beast standings.

The 12 riders with the highest cumulative scores following the long rounds of competition at each PBR Unleash The Beast event advance to the championship round where they face the event’s most difficult bulls as determined by the PBR Livestock Director. PBR UNLEASH THE BEAST POINTS PBR Unleash The Beast points are awarded exclusively at Unleash The Beast events and are the main qualifier to the PBR World Finals. PBR Unleash The Beast points are earned as a result of placement in rounds and in the event average. Unleash The Beast points are also awarded for ride score. PBR UNLEASH THE BEAST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS The overall season ranking is determined by PBR Unleash The Beast points. Each rider begins the season with zero points. Starting in 2023, points can only be accumulated at Unleash The Beast events.

The bull rider with the most PBR Unleash The Beast points at the conclusion of the World Finals is the PBR World Champion, earning the coveted gold buckle and $1 million bonus.

The bull rider with the top aggregate score during the four Championship Rounds at the PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast will be declared the World Finals Event Champion.

The Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour is the expansion tour of the PBR featuring the up-and-coming riders competing alongside some of the sports veterans. The Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour operates alongside the Unleash The Beast, with its season culminating in early May with the Velocity Tour Finals in Corpus Christi, Texas, where five riders earn berths to the World Finals.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) is the sanctioning body for rodeo events throughout the United States. While some PBR bull riders also hold memberships in the PRCA, the PBR is not affiliated with the PRCA or its sanctioned events.

If a rider reaches 8 seconds without being disqualified, he has completed a qualified ride and therefore earns a score.

A difficult bull to ride is called “rank.”

A judge may give a rider a re-ride if he feels that the bull did not perform at a level comparable to the other bulls in the competition and therefore did not give the rider a fair chance to earn a score. Potential re-ride bulls are selected prior to the event.

Prior to 2022, the Unleash The Beast regular season began in January and concluded in November. As part of a comprehensive season restructure, to provide the sport never-before-had consistency and structure, while making room for the new PBR Teams league, the annual individual competition schedule was altered. Starting in 2023, the PBR Unleash The Beast and Velocity Tour season spans from November-May. Following the PBR World Finals, PBR Teams occurs during the traditional second half, from JulyOctober, with its 10-event “regular season” leading to the PBR Teams Championship in Las Vegas.

The riding hand is the hand that a bull rider uses to grip his bull rope.

Right-hand delivery is when the chute gate opens to the bull and bull rider’s right.

If a rider makes contact with the bull with his free hand during a ride, it is called a slap. He is disqualified and does not receive a score.

If a bull’s bucking pattern includes him spinning in a tight circle throughout the ride, he is referred to as a “spinner.”

Bull riders’ spurs must have dull, rotating rowels – the wheel-like part that makes contact with the animal. Spurs, which help a rider maintain his balance by providing extra grip with his feet, do not cut, scratch, agitate, or harm a bull, whose hide is seven times thicker than human skin.

When a rider is said to “spur a bull,” he’s thrusting his boots and legs out to show total control in the ride to gain a higher score.

The people who own and lease bulls, providing them the very best care, are called stock contractors. Unleash The Beast events feature more than 80 bulls. Depending on the location and duration of the event, the bulls will be provided by 10 or more stock contractors.

Determined in a vote of the Top 40 bull riders in the world, the Stock Contractor of the Year is the individual who consistently supplies the highest quality bucking bulls at PBR events.

A bull who bucks in one direction then instantly switches to the opposite direction is known to “suck back.” TIPPING Bucking bulls’ horns are trimmed for their own safety as well as that of the bull riders and bullfighters. Tipping is like getting your fingernails trimmed and does not hurt the bulls.

If a bull heads one way and then makes a sharp move in the opposite direction, it is called a “turn back.”

If a bull rider enters a competition and elects not to compete for reasons other than injury, then he has “turned out,” often forfeiting his entry fee. Unleash The Beast riders who turn out of competition are subject to fines to ensure that the world’s best riders compete at every elite tour event.

Ultimate Bullfighters is a league that promotes the sport of freestyle bullfighting. The UBF tour showcases the best talent in the game with more than 100 active athletes representing 25 states and three countries. In 2023, the UBF paid out more than $650,000 to the top freestyle bullfighters in the sport with the goal of doubling that payout over the next three years. Focusing on high-end content and action-packed productions, the UBF has positioned itself at the top of the Western sports entertainment market and brings a fresh new look to action sports as a whole. With the support of PBR and social media consumption at an all-time high, UBF is in a prime position for growth, exposure, and expansion.

If a bull bucks for only 8 seconds and then quits at the whistle, he becomes known as a “union bull.”

Developed by Texas Rattlers Head Coach, PBR Co-Founder and Ring of Honor inductee Cody Lambert, the protective vest must be worn by every PBR rider. Designed to prevent injury, it helps disperse pressure and protects bones and internal organs which are otherwise vulnerable.

WCRA is a professional sport and entertainment entity, created to develop and advance the sport of rodeo by aligning all levels of competition. In association with the PBR, WCRA produces Major rodeo events, developing additional opportunities for rodeo-industry competitors, stakeholders, and fans.

The Triple Crown of Rodeo, presented by Lazy E Ranch and Arena, is an annual bonus that awards $1 million cash to any athlete or group of athletes who win first place in any three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos. The Triple Crown of Rodeo is made up of four major WCRA events: The Stampede at The E, Rodeo Corpus Christi, Women’s Rodeo World Championship, and Rodeo Carolina. Over the course of its four years of existence, only one athlete, Bareback Rider RC Landingham, has claimed the coveted award. In December 2022, the 32-year-old athlete emerged from the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas $1 million richer. Landingham’s career was filled with tragedy, beating, and bloodshed leading up to this $1 million moment. Going into the event with two wins under his belt, Landingham only needed to win one more event to earn the bonus. He rode supremely and punched his ticket to the $1 million WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo cash bonus. Landingham was just the third athlete to be in contention for the Triple Crown of Rodeo, but the first to win the $1 million bonus.

Established in 1999, initially as the Rider Relief Fund, the Western Sports Foundation helps Western sports athletes who are unable to compete due to injury with a focus on financial support and total athlete wellness through initiatives for emotional, financial, and mental health. Resistol initially pledged more than $1 million to create the non-profit, providing assistance to professional, college and high school bull riders and bullfighters injured during competition, and PBR helped launch the broader-reaching WSF in 2018 with a multi-million-dollar commitment. In addition to personal contributions and corporate sponsorships, funds are generated through annual fundraisers including various events, sport tournaments, and live and silent auctions.

Launched in 2020 by the PBR and WCRA, the Women’s Rodeo World Championship (WRWC) is a first-of-its-kind event open to any female athlete in the world competing in breakaway roping, barrel racing, and team roping (heading and heeling). So far, the WRWC has awarded more than $3 Million to women’s rodeo athletes. In 2024, the WRWC will pay out $750,000, including a minimum of $60,000 to each discipline’s champion.

Woopaa, the 2021 YETI PBR World Champion Bull, is known for several iconic rides, including the 98.75-point ride by Jose Vitor Leme at the 2021 World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada, the highest marked ride in PBR history. During the trip, Woopaa was marked 48.75 points, the third-best score in PBR history and highest ever at the PBR World Finals. He retired during the 2023 Unleash The Beast season.

When a rider is bucked off, then subsequently horned and/or stomped by the bull, he has been involved in a “wreck.”

All bulls who compete on the PBR’s premier series and Teams league are eligible to win the YETI PBR World Champion Bull title, provided they have not been deemed ineligible by the organization. The YETI PBR World Champion Bull is determined by a bull’s Top 8 outs during the PBR Teams season and regular-season events on the Unleash The Beast, plus two outs at the PBR World Finals. The bull with the highest average bull score across those 10 outs will be crowned the YETI PBR World Champion Bull and earn the $100,000 bonus.

*Glossary courtesy of PBR

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