By Tyler Allen Explore Big Sky Senior Editor
It’s been called the longest 8 seconds in sports. The pressure a bull rider endures from the moment the chute gate cracks open until he gets bucked – or jumps off – a one-ton bull, is rivaled in few professional athletic events. The rider must hang onto the bull rope with one hand, but if he touches himself or the animal with his other hand he’s immediately disqualified.
To actually win an event, the athlete must maintain control and good body position as the bull kicks and tries to dislodge him. He also must rely on the bull to reach the winner’s circle, since half the scoring in Professional Bull Riders events are based on the animal’s performance and how difficult he is to ride. If he has the guts, the rider can spur the bull to get him bucking harder and score extra points for the effort.
The Big Sky PBR Touring Pro Division Event returns to Town Center for the fourth year on July 30 and 31. Since its inception in 2011, the fledgling event has expanded from one night of bull riding to two, and was last year honored by the bull riders as the PBR Touring Pro Division Event of the Year in Las Vegas, Nev.
Jim Haworth, the Chairman and CEO of PBR, is traveling from Pueblo, Colo. to see the Big Sky PBR for the second summer in a row, making good on his promise from last year to “make [the Big Sky PBR] a regular. This event is something special.”