It's no easy feat to maintain this kind of control...
New York City is the only northeast stop for the Built Ford Tough Series, where 40-odd riders vied for top scores. With tough bulls like "Bushwhacker" and "Asteroid" in the competition this year, it is no wonder that many riders could barely stay atop the bulls for 3 seconds, let alone the 8 seconds granted for judging. Finding just the right combination of bull and rider is what can help one make it to the top, as judges look for how challenging the bull itself makes the ride, as well as the rider's own determination. Find a full explanation of the scoring rules here. There's much more to bull riding than meets the eye, as even a rider who can maintain his posture for 8 seconds may become disqualified in other ways, such as using two hands to ride.
Some riders had less than elegant falls, while others performed steadfastly upon the furious animals leaping and kicking below them. A horse and rider pair stayed nearby to rope in any bulls that were reluctant to return to the pen after a ride, but aside from a few errant charges here and there, most of the bulls strutted back without a care. Complete with a rodeo clown to tell jokes, "Moonwalk," and otherwise keep the crowd warmed up between rides, the PBR event brought wholesome family fun.
Down and out!
The top rider at the New York Invitational was 29 year old Robson Palermo, from Rio Branco, Brazil, who scored a total of 816.50 points, with an average ride score of 86.58. Next weekend, riders will head to the PBR's Chicago Invitational, and the events across 18 states will continue just about every weekend through May 10, stop for the summer, and then pick up again in August as the October finals in Las Vegas draw nearer. Check the series schedule to see if you might be traveling to a town or city where the PBR will be held this year, and purchase tickets on ticketmaster.