Of the 40 bull riders at RodeoHouston, 17 are members of the Professional Bull Riders organization.
Most earned their way to their way into the field through their ranking in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, but they own both PRCA and PBR cards. In fact, Jay Dougherty, the PBR’s vice president for event tours, said all those who had qualified for Houston had the option to purchase a PBR card for 2011.
This is important because money won inside Reliant Stadium will count toward qualifications to the PBR World Finals because the PBR is sanctioning the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; it is not sanctioned by the PRCA. That means the winner of the Super Series shootout, who earns $50,000 for that feat, will be a virtual lock to ride bulls in Las Vegas in October when the PBR rides into Sin City; if that bull rider is just with the PRCA, the money doesn’t count for any standings.
The PBR World Finals is where they can ride for some the biggest paychecks in bull riding, so there’s plenty of incentive.
Of course, there’s always the prestige of winning RodeoHouston.