Mar 19, 2013 4:30 PM by Q2 Sports
BILLINGS - They've been coming every year since 1996. And they're on their way back.
The world's best PBR bull riders will buck into Billings Rimrock Auto Arena, April 5-7, with their 18th appearance for the Stanley Make Something Great Invitational presented by Cooper Tires.
One of the most-visited cities on the Built Ford Tough Series, the NILE welcomes the Top 35 bull riders in the world to Billings to face the rankest bucking bulls in competition today. They'll be risking it all to win the event title and valuable points needed to become the overall 2013 PBR World Champion and win the $1 million world champion's bonus. With the new points system introduced this season, no rider is guaranteed a spot in the Top 35 - everyone must fight to survive - so fans are sure to see their most intense, electrifying determination ever to make the buzzer.
The bull riding action begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5; 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, April 6; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7. Tickets for the Stanley Make Something Great Invitational start at $17.50 and are available now at metrapark.com , the Metra Box Office, Rimrock Mall & Cellular Plus.
All Top 35 bull riders will get on one bull each in Rounds 1, 2 and 3 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After Round 3 on Sunday afternoon, the riders' individual three-round scores will be totaled and the top 10-15 riders will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title. Throughout the event's 18-year history, the PBR has awarded more than $2.2 million in prize money in Billings.
Following Round 2 on Saturday evening, the event will feature the sport's best bovine athletes in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. The series' Top 15 bull riders will be randomly matched against the 15 highest-ranked bulls in Billings for a special round of action. Airing on CBS Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET, the 15/15 Bucking Battle offers a total purse of $21,000. BFTS points earned will be doubled in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and count toward the overall PBR World Champion's title. This is the fourth 15/15 Bucking Battle this season.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle also will feature the Monster Energy Money Bull, which carries a bonus purse for a qualified ride by the cowboy matched with him. All season, riders have been randomly paired with the designated Monster Energy Money Bull, hoping to win the increasing bonus. To date, no rider has successfully lasted 8 seconds aboard the Monster Energy Money Bull. In Billings the bonus could be $78,000.
Thrilling Billings fans with edge-of-your-seat excitement will be defending PBR Billings event champion Austin Meier, current No. 1 PBR rider Shane Proctor, and fan favorite J.B. Mauney. The current lineup also includes five former PBR World Champions: Silvano Alves (2012, 2011), Renato Nunes (2010), Kody Lostroh(2009), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2005).
Rounds 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday night will be streamed live via the PBR Live Center at www.pbr.com. The 15/15 Bucking Battle will air on CBS network television on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET.
Billings is the 13th of 26 stops across 18 states for the Built Ford Tough Series this season. The series culminates at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, October 23-27, at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center. The season's best bull riders will compete to claim the ultimate prize, the PBR World Champion's title, a $1 million bonus, a new Ford truck from the series' title sponsor and the coveted PBR World Champion buckle.
The PBR is celebrating 20 years of competition in 2013. Its Built Ford Tough Series is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.