Making Houston count

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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.


Comments (4)
Joe Scully / March 9, 2011

Kind of a cool opportunity, but it works against the ability of making it on tour (40 BFTS). The guys at the top of both organizations are invited to these big money events. The young guys aren’t. There’s a difference in “paying dues” and “running a boys club”. I know there needs to be balance and reward for those that make it…but mathematically it makes it easier to stay at the top than making it to the top.
Maybe they should look at some “byes” for Touring Pro or Circuit Level contestants…

Ted Harbin / March 9, 2011

Actually, at the time of the entries, none of the Houston bull riders were seeded on the Built Ford Tough Series. Reece Cates, Cord McCoy and Dusty LaBeth have been seeded on the Built Ford Tough Series. Chance Roberts has competed this year at Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Chicago, while Fabiano Vieira was on tour some last year and has been to the same three events as Roberts. But at the time the five PBR guys that were invited earned the right by being at the top of the Touring Pro ranks.

Joe Scully / March 10, 2011

I appreciate the response. I see your point, however mine, not as clear, was that it’s the top guys that get opportunity.
The top of the Touring Pro are less than 5 events from being seeded. Most that you list have even been seeded recently and/or are at the cusp of being re-seeded. It’s a good system. I don’t fault it.
However, the seed, unseed, reseed contenders have a huge bye opportunity to the Finals. They have a huge bye opportunity that would rocket them from cusp to the mid-of-pack which would leave them there for a significant time following the finals, ie. A few cuts into the new season.
But the riders just (stressed just) below that level have to go to an exponential amount of events to afford themselves the same ranking potential.
I think the root of my issue is that of using invitational events (excluding the core of competitors and seperating the key) as part of regular season standings/earnings or finals opportunities…which is a complaint of many competitors that are in the key category. I was at the WNFR and one of the go-round winners made his stage time a platform for this exact issue…go to 50+ events to qualify each and every year, where one person has one good year, makes it to the finals, then the next wins a billion dollar invitational and is “in”.
It’s not entirely fair, it’s not entirely perfect. It’s moving towards the direction of pros being treated like pros of other organizations, but it needs more refinement.

Ted Harbin / March 10, 2011

I agree with that, Joe.


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