ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Professional bull riders are the toughest athletes in the world, and they need the best protection while battling for 8 seconds of glory against 2,000 pounds of bucking madness.
Now, the men tasked with protecting the world’s best bull riders inside the arena are going to look even better while doing so.
Dickies, the world’s leading performance workwear brand, and Professional Bull Riders (PBR), have unveiled bold, new redesigned jerseys for the PBR Built Ford Tough Series®’ Dickies Bullfighters.
The jerseys, custom-made for Dickies Bullfighters Shorty Gorham, Frank Newsom, Jesse Byrne and Cody Webster, have been restyled to give each bullfighter a new signature color: Gorham is stepping out in red, Newsom in yellow, Byrne in green and Webster in blue.
The bullfighters’ new look also includes alternate jerseys with unique colors and patterns, including a patriotic, stars and stripes jersey; a camouflage jersey; and a pink jersey for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.
At each PBR event, the Dickies Bullfighters face charging bulls every minute, repeatedly placing their bodies in front of horns and hooves to protect the world’s best bull riders once they’ve been thrown from their bulls.
“Bullfighting is an extreme sport that requires clothing that helps you perform on the job,” said Brent Streit, vice president of marketing, Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. “No one understands performance workwear, which can withstand even the toughest conditions, better than Dickies.”
The Dickies Bullfighters debuted the new jerseys in the PBR FanX at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, before the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy powered by Kawasaki® and brought to fans locally by SONIC®, the second PBR Major of the 2016 Built Ford Tough® Series. Dickies has been a proud sponsor of the PBR since 2005.
“I’m pumped to step out into the ring and protect our cowboys in a new jersey,” Gorham said. “I’ve been a Dickies Bullfighter for more than a decade, and when I see someone in the arena sporting my jersey, it never gets old.”
“The Dickies Bullfighters are extraordinary athletes with a strong following all their own. They’re as crucial in the sport to every 8-second ride – and those that don’t go the distance – as the PBR bulls and bull riders,” said Sean Gleason, CEO of PBR. “We hope fans enjoy the new jerseys and continue to support all our PBR athletes.”
The bullfighters rely more on proper technique, positioning, timing, communication, and team chemistry than just pure physical or mental will power – not that those last two attributes aren’t large parts of success on the dirt.
“Oh, I don’t know, I guess it takes a little guts to be a bullfighter,” said Gorham. “Whatever it takes to get the job done. It’s kind of like a lineman mentality. They are the ones getting their ass beat up so the QB can be a star.”
The trio also uses an unconventional three-fighter style that features one of them acting as a floating bullfighter. It is instinctive nature for the three of them to know exactly where the other two are at all times in the arena. They are after the same goals and read bulls similarly.
“Position and time, that’s what bullfighting is: Reading the animal and then being in the right place at the right time,” Gorham said “Anybody who has been around much livestock, or bull riding, can read what is about to happen. But getting there, being in the right place to prevent it from happening or to make a bad situation better – the timing and the position are the key elements of that.”
“It’s like a zone defense,” Byrne said. “The bull controls the play, and we each have an area to cover.”
Communication is also key for the Dickies Bullfighters.
“If a guy is down or there is something going on, we want everybody to know it,” Newsom said. “To have that communication is a good thing and a lot of it is just that feel for each other. If you end up right beside each other you don’t panic and you just kind of work your way through it and kind of adjust to it.”
Sometimes it can even be a matter of reacting in the moment, which was the case two years ago in Nampa, Idaho, when Byrne had to jump to the aid of his brother, Tanner, who was down in the dirt.
“At the end of the day, it is all reaction,” Jesse said. “It doesn’t make a difference who is getting on, it is just an in the moment sort of deal.”
Mainly, when Gorham, Byrne and Newsom are doing all of the small things right, and working together as a team, their job can be done pretty easy. That’s what happens when you assemble three of the best bull fighters together against the toughest bulls in the world.
“When you are seeing all of those little things, and you are really in the zone,” said Gorham, “you can do our job at a fast walk – if you are really doing things right.”
The new Dickies Bullfighter jerseys are available for purchase at www.pbrshop.com and onsite at each PBR event. For more information, visit www.dickies.com or follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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