NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Led by Tennessee native Cody Nance, the Top 35 bull riders in the world will return to Bridgestone Arena for the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series Jack Daniel’s Invitational on Friday, Sept. 7, and Saturday, Sept. 8. Nance, from Paris, Tenn., is ranked in the Top 25 in the Built Ford Tough Series standings, and was the 2009 PBR Rookie of the Year.
On Saturday, fans at Bridgestone Arena are going to be able to see the world premiere of Ronnie Dunn’s remixed version of “Let The Cowboy Rock.” Dunn will be on hand for the launch of the raucous music video that includes footage from PBR events. The country music star was inspired, after watching the PBR on television, to remix a new version of the song especially for the PBR.
Fans will witness thrilling 8-second rides and jaw-dropping wrecks throughout the adrenaline-fueled performance, as the PBR’s brave cowboys risk it all against the best bucking bulls in the world, who can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds.
Bull riding begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are available at the Bridgestone Arena box office, www.Ticketmaster.com and by telephone at (800) 745-3000.
The video will be played on a 26-foot by 46-foot high-definition LED board that the PBR is bringing into Bridgestone Arena. The equivalent of a 53-foot diagonal HD television, the screen will also be utilized for in-arena action and replays. The screen is comprised of 84 modules that measure 45 inches by 45 inches. The modules will be transported and assembled on site. The assembled unit, which weighs 6,500 pounds, will be suspended from the roof of Bridgestone Arena.
Each of the Top 35 riders will ride on Friday and Saturday. Following Round 1 on Friday, the riders with the 10 highest cumulative scores will each compete with one more bull. Following Round 3 on Saturday, the riders with the 10 highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round where they will compete with one more bull. The overall event winner will be the rider with the highest combined score from all four rounds, earning $30,000 for first place.
It is the 14th time that the PBR has visited Nashville, and past champions include World Champions Michael Gaffney, Justin McBride, Adriano Moraes, and Owen Washburn.
History was made at the Jack Daniel’s Invitational in 2010 when the PBR surpassed $100 million in prize money awarded. Before the PBR was formed in 1992, top-ranked bull riders might have earned $100,000 in a season, and no riders reached $1 million during their entire career, including eight-time world champion Donnie Gay. The PBR has already had 25 riders reach $1 million in career earnings, including Silvano Alves, who is in his third season and has earned almost $2.2 million. The 24-year-old earned $1 million faster than any rider in history, achieving the milestone in 18 months and 47 events, and reached $2 million the fastest, accomplishing it in 23 months and 58 events. Alves, who leads the PBR this season with $399,630, is the only rider to win the World Championship immediately after winning Rookie of the Year.
Each of the last six years there have been 20 or more riders who have earned over $100,000, and already in 2012 there are 15 riders over $100,000 with six regular season events and the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals remaining. The World Finals are where the PBR World Champion will be crowned and awarded the coveted championship buckle and a $1 million bonus. The richest bull riding event on the planet, the World Finals has a total purse of more than $2 million.
L.J. Jenkins took over the top spot in the Built Ford Tough Series standings after finishing third last week at Thackerville, Okla. The BFTS is having one of the tightest title races in history, with only 45.75 points between Jenkins, and second-ranked Valdiron de Oliveira. Defending World Champion Silvano Alves is in third place, and trails Jenkins by only 461.5 points and Oliveira by 415.75 points. Oliveira has not been ranked lower than second all season, and was the top-ranked rider after 12 of the first 21 events, including eight times in a row until Jenkins overtook him last week. There are 1,100 possible points in Nashville.
The first 22 events of the season have produced 18 different winners, with the only multiple winners being J.B. Mauney with three wins, and Alves and Fabiano Vieira with two wins each. Mauney posted his three victories in the first 12 events of the season before breaking his hand.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast action from Round 1 and the Built Ford Tough Short Round in HD at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 7, and will have an encore airing at 1 a.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 8. NBC Sports Network will broadcast Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in HD at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 9, with an encore airing at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 9. Veteran broadcaster Craig Hummer will provide the play-by-play. Color commentary will be provided by nine-time World Champion and PBR co-founder Ty Murray. Chute and dirt-level interviews will be handled by Leah Garcia. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR by 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 and creative lead.
Fans visited the historic Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn., on Thursday to watch a bull weigh-in. Two of the world’s best bucking bulls – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel’s After Party – will be weighed against each other and against world famous Jack Daniel’s barrels. Fans will also be able to meet Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, and take tours of the facility.