My first time experiencing the PBR: Professional Bull Riders

PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour

My latest adventure to experience something I’ve never seen before brought me to the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour.

I’ve never been to a rodeo or anything similar of that nature. The team over at the PBR: Professional Bull Riders were kind enough to send us some complimentary tickets. This year is all about new things for me and that includes experiences that are completely out of my comfort zone.

If you ask my friends, bull riding is probably the last thing you would see me at. I didn’t even know until this weekend that PBR stood for Professional Bull Riders. To me, bull riders were two words, so I thought PBR stood for Professional Bullriders (insert any R word like roundup or revolution).

The event we went to was the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour at Intrust Bank Arena. Our night started at the Monster (the drink) party area thanks to a friend who works with Monster, where the introductions were very similar to that of a WWE event.

A row of flames and the cowboys made their way out to be introduced. There were even a couple of guys from Kansas riding that evening. I was expecting the Undertaker’s brother Kane to walk out next.

After the introductions, it was two hours of non-stop, action packed bull riding.

At the start, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. The term 8 seconds was familiar only because of the Luke Perry movie 8 Seconds, but I also never watched the movie, so didn’t fully comprehend what was going on.

Fortunately, during one of the breaks, the stage monitors explained the rules and how the cowboys and bulls were each given a score of 1-50. It was based on how long they rode, the bucking, the style, etc.; then both scores were combined for the bull rider’s score. The highest score I think I remember a bull rider given that night was somewhere in the upper 80s.

One of my favorite parts of the PBR was they really did an outstanding job of keeping everyone’s energy up. The music playing throughout the night was catchy with memorable hits. There was another person who was similar to a hype man tasked with engaging with the crowd. There were giveaways and contests where people had to dance, sing karaoke, and one engaged couple made out to win a truck hitch. Basically, they won a hitch to celebrate getting hitched. But that hype man was great. I’m not sure if he was technically a rodeo clown, but he also looked like Sting (if anybody watches wrestling). 

Seeing the bulls was also interesting.

I’ve always felt that bull riding takes someone with absolutely no fear. A couple of riders were tossed off the bull and then the bull basically knocked their head into the riders heads. One guy had to have a concussion. I’m sure some riders woke up the next day feeling some pain.

If I rode a bull, I’d probably last half a second and wake up the next day feeling like I’m 120 years old.

There were a handful of times, a rider would reach 8 seconds and the crowd went nuts. 

Every time a rider would get near 5–6 seconds, the anticipation grew as the seconds ticked closer to 8. Major props to the cowboys, though. The fearlessness and athleticism it takes to ride a bull with one hand and not let the other hand touch the bull or any part of their body is an incredible feat.

Overall thoughts on my first PBR experience? It was certainly refreshing and exceeded my expectations. Not knowing what to expect, I had quite a bit of fun watching the bull riders.

I took myself outside my comfort zone of entertainment and walked away learning about a new sport and having a good time. Next up, a full-blown rodeo?

To learn more about the PBR Pendleton Whisky Tour, check out their webpage.

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1 thought on “My first time experiencing the PBR: Professional Bull Riders”

  1. The announcers should enlighten the fans who hungry for knowledge about the sport. For instance:

    What triggers the clock? Is there a laser when the rider breaks the beam. Where is it?

    They talk about the bulls being conditioned by the stock contractors. Well explain that. Run a segment on that. Do they put them on treadmill?
    What does that mean.

    Nothing is ever said about the horses roll. How are they trained? Do a segment! Show more of their activity.

    Finally, why isn’t more protection offered to the riders. Many of these injuries are needless. Why ain’t the riders allowed to wear thin knee, elbow, shoulder pads and tailbone and hip protection?

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