By Matt Hudson Explore Big Sky Editorial Assistant
BIG SKY – Australian bull rider Jared Farley took home the trophy with a flawless performance at Big Sky’s Professional Bull Riders event July 31- Aug. 1. Along with being the only competitor to ride four bulls, he posted the only 90-point runs in a bout that featured some of the world’s top riders.
Farley received a solid score of 89.5 from the judges in the first round and was later given another ride for the Bounty Bull run. His score of 91 didn’t count toward his aggregate total, but he won a handful of cash for himself and the winning ticket holder.
On the second day, Farley trailed first-place rider Kasey Hayes by half a point leading into the final round of 10 riders. The top four competitors created no margin for error, scoring high in successive rides atop hand picked bulls from Chad Berger Bucking Bulls of Mandan, N.D.
Farley, with the second-to-last run, scored the event’s first official 91.5 ride. Hayes, on the other hand, couldn’t hang on during his final ride, dropping to fourth and leaving Farley on top at the end of a dramatic final, with a score of 267.5.
Chase Outlaw finished second with an 89.5-point run in the final round, taking home $7,667.
Missoula native and crowd favorite Jory Markiss came into the finals at fifth place, but was thrown from his bull before the eight-second mark. Two impressive rides in the preliminary rounds were enough to keep him at the fifth spot in the end.
Farley, 27, took home $13,632 from Big Sky, which was a competitive stop for the PBR’s Touring Pro Division with a high percentage of rides. Nine of the first 15 riders reached eight seconds in the first round. During the closing ceremony, PBR Chairman and CEO Jim Haworth expressed his excitement.
“This is the best bull riding I’ve seen in 10 years,” he said.
Two competitors were given an extra ride on a Bounty Bull after the first round of the Big Sky PBR.
Great Falls native Matt Triplett, who failed to score on his first run, made the first Bounty Bull ride and won $1,000 in cash on the spot.
The second Bounty Bull award was raised through a 50/50 ticket raffle. If the rider made it eight seconds, half of the money raised would go to a winning ticket holder and half would be given to the rider. Otherwise, half would go to charity and the other half would roll over into next year’s event.
Sitting in first place, Jared Farley was given a chance. He made the ride, winning $725 for himself and a lucky ticket holder. Farley also received $1,500 as an added incentive from the event’s promoters.