WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE FOR A PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDER IN THE PBR?
2023 marks the 30-Year Anniversary of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR). Bull Riders are at the forefront of the PBR, and the main priority of the organization is to improve the sport and enhance the opportunities made available to Bull Riders.
There are many advantages to becoming a PBR Bull Rider. PBR Sanctions around 200 bull riding events globally throughout the year, with the top competitors, inside the most iconic venues in the World. PBR’s Premier Unleash the Beast Series is aired weekly on CBS. In addition, the UTB Events, all the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Events, and select Touring Pro Division and Challenger Series Events are broadcast on RidePass on Pluto, giving our riders a great deal of exposure and marketability.
PBR offers the biggest payouts in all of Western Sports. In the last five years, PBR Sanctioned Events have paid out just shy of $50 Million Dollars in prize money, including $13.5 Million in 2022 alone.
On an individual basis, every year the PBR World Champion, crowned at the PBR World Finals inside of Dickies Arena each May earns a $1 Million bonus, with $300,000 going to the World Finals Event Champion. We have 27 Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Events, all with a minimum of $20,000 added money and a $100,000 bonus to the Velocity Tour Champion at the end of the Velocity season in May. In 2023, we will have a 30-Event series of weekly events held at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, TX, which will add an additional $300,000 in prize money. And we have an unmatched list of very successful, hard-working event producers that hold big events throughout the year all over the country, giving our riders every opportunity to win big money and make a lifetime of memories while doing it.
In 2022, PBR transformed a roughly 150-year-old individual sport by executing the first season of PBR Teams. The league is made up of eight inaugural PBR Teams franchises, the Arizona Ridge Riders, Austin Gamblers, Carolina Cowboys, Kansas City Outlaws, Missouri Thunder, Nashville Stampede, Oklahoma Freedom, and the Texas Rattlers.
PBR Teams has opened a whole new world of possibilities for Bull Riders. Starting with an NFL-style draft last May where 40 of the best Riders in the world walked across the stage after being drafted, to the final ride inside T-Mobile Arena at the PBR Teams Championships where the Nashville Stampede were crowned the inaugural season PBR Teams Series Champions, PBR Teams is the most exciting endeavor to hit Western Sports since the 20 bull riders met in a hotel room some 30 years ago to invest $1,000 in an effort start the PBR.
Riders who are signed with a PBR Teams franchise have resources that are invaluable to their bull riding careers. At the head of each Organization is an ownership group that is second to none. Each Team has legendary bull riding coaches that are 100% bought in to develop you as a bull rider and contribute to the success of the team, a General Manager, multiple supporting roles to help you, and the coolest uniforms in sports! Riders are counting on each other and pulling for their teammates throughout every ride, making the atmosphere as intense as it gets.
Earning potential has nearly doubled with the introduction of PBR Teams. Riders can earn a paycheck through their team’s success on a per game and per event basis, as well as where your team finishes in the regular season PBR Teams Standings. Riders earn guaranteed money in the form of appearance checks, and you can negotiate terms of an endorsement agreement with your organization. Further, the coaches choose rider / bull matchups to give you the best chance of being successful and possibly extending your career. The access to the coaching, the training camps, your teammates, hometown crowds, and all the resources provided by the Teams to their athletes is something never seen before in Western Sports. It is an industry changing initiative that has changed the game and has no doubt improved the sport in all aspects from fan engagement to earning potential to bull rider performance.
PBR is also excited to offer our new, state-of-the-art Sports Performance Center to our members to help enhance your skills as a professional athlete. Located in Pueblo, CO, the PBR Sport Performance Center gives bull riders the opportunity to rehabilitate injuries, receive expert advice on training and nutrition from some of the top trainers in the industry, and get coaching from the best bull riding coaches in the business during camps on both the physical side and the mental aspect of the sport.
At the end of the day the opportunities are aplenty as a bull rider in the PBR. We will do everything we can to help you in your career and we work tirelessly to provide you with every opportunity to be successful. We offer up the best arena conditions, continue to work hard at developing the best judges, provide world class bull fighters, bring the best bulls that you can win on, and produce events with huge payouts. You will have the opportunity to earn as much money as you want and qualify for the biggest events in the sport, the rest is up to you!
A rider must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a PBR Membership and must fill out the PBR Membership Application below for each PBR Season they wish to purchase participate in the PBR. The yearly Membership fee of $520 is valid from time of purchase through Oct. 31 of that season. Any membership purchased after Oct. 1 will roll over and apply for the following PBR season.
After purchasing a PBR Membership, you will receive a membership packet with your cards, a set of PBR approved rowels, a current contestant schedule, and an Official PBR Rulebook.
You will start out with your Permit. The Permit allows you to enter all Touring Pro Division and Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour events. Once you earn at least $2,500 in prize money, you will be upgraded from a Permit Holder to a Card Holder at no additional cost. To maintain your Card Holder status, you must continue to win a minimum of $2,500 each year. If the minimum $2,500 threshold is not met in a season, you will be returned to Permit status.
For any questions about PBR Memberships, payments, or scheduling, you can reach Ruby DeGrado at 719-242-2865. The application PDF may be downloaded via the link below or you can fill it out online. You may also return the application, by mail, to PBR 101 W Riverwalk Pueblo, CO 81003; by fax to 719-242-2767; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The PBR Competition Department takes entries each week beginning at 8 A.M. MST on Tuesdays and closes entries at 12:00 MST on Thursdays. Books are open for each event at least 16 days prior to the event date. To enter the event or to request an updated contestant schedule with all call-in dates, contact the Competition Department at 719-242-2865. Entry fees, added money, event venues, and event dates are listed on the contestant schedule.
Open entries are accepted at all Touring Pro Division and Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Events; however priority will be given to PBR Members for acquiring a position in these events. If you enter as an open rider and get a position and earn at least $520, you must have your PBR Membership withheld from your winnings.
When entries close on Thursday for each event, our competition department will check all entered riders and execute the qualifications for each event on Thursday afternoon. Call-backs to see if you made it into the event are on Friday. The number of riders in each event will vary, depending on the event format, which is listed on the contestant schedule. Qualifications are all based on PBR points and are outlined in the Official PBR Rulebook.
All points and money earned at PBR events will count toward the PBR Standings applicable to the event you are participating in. In 2023, UTB Events count toward the UTB Standings only. All other events worldwide will count toward the Velocity-Global Standings, which will be the qualifier list for the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals. All events also give riders an opportunity to earn points towards the UTB Qualifier List, which will give bull riders a chance to earn a position on the PBR’s Premier Unleash the Beast Tour. Application PDF Online Application
WHERE DO I START IF I WANT TO BECOME A BULL RIDER, BUT I HAVE NEVER RIDDEN BULLS BEFORE?
The beautiful thing about the bull riding industry is everyone is approachable and willing to help! The PBR is always welcoming to new Bull Riders and searching for more talent to add to our pool of athletes. That being said, this is professional level bull riding, so it is not the place for bull riders at the beginner level to start their bull riding careers riding in a PBR Event due to the caliber of bulls competing in our events. If you are new to the PBR with some bull riding experience, you are welcome to enter, so please call the Competition Department at 719-242-2865 and we can get the process started.
If you are new to the sport all together, we highly recommend gaining some experience on bulls that you can have success and learn on. Tap into your network and see if you know any, or have friends that may know some current or former Riders or Stock Contractors. Most would be happy to help you get started. Another recommended starting point could be to attend a reputable bull riding school. There are several good schools out there throughout the country. A google or social media search can lead you in the right direction to research schools in your area. If you are having a hard time finding a school, give the Competition Department a call and we can assist you. Another option is looking up a Stock Contractor in your area. Most Stock Contractors are former riders themselves and know the sport inside and out. They are all very approachable and recognize the need for developing new bull riders to help the sport continue to grow, so most would be happy to assist you and get you on the right path.
Make sure whatever route you take, don’t be afraid to start from the ground up and be around people that know the sport and are willing to go over everything from equipment to chute procedures to putting you on livestock you can learn on.
Again, if you are in need of some direction or if you have any questions, give the Competition Department a call, but don’t be afraid to get involved and reach out to people you may know that can help you get started.
101 W Riverwalk Pueblo, CO 81003 Customer Service 719-242-2800 Professional Bull Riders - Professional Bull Riders (pbr.com)
PBR Competition Department
PBR Teams Information
PBR Sports Performance Center