Bull riders seek shot at finals

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

Bull riders will stop in Clovis for a chance to move up in tour standings in hopes of qualifying for November’s Professional Bull Riders Final in Las Vegas, Nev.

PBR Tour organizer Marc Andrus said 74 riders in what is considered the bull riding minor league will compete in the two-day event that starts today at the Curry County Mounted Patrol Arena.

“These are just points and money earned at this event, (which) count toward the Built Ford Tough Series or the PBR finals,” Andrus said.

“(Riders) will be at this event in hopes of winning some money and adding to their cup standings so they can make it to the PBR finals.”

The event is part of the PBR’s Discovery Tour, which features novice bull riders trying to earn their bull riding cards to compete in bigger events, Andrus said.

“Bull riding is really fun to watch because bull riding is the most dangerous sport,” he said. “(People) love a car race, but they want to see a wreck, they don’t want anybody to get hurt, but they want to see a crash. It’s kind of the same with bull riding.

The event will also feature a comedy act from rodeo clown Gizmo McCracken.

About 700 tickets have already been sold, according to Fairgrounds Manager Justus Anderson.

“We’ve got a great facility,” he said. “I hope they enjoy it enough to come back.”

Cash prizes range from $400 to $3,000, Andrus said.

Most of the riders come from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. There are also riders from Australia, Canada and Brazil.

This is the first time the tour will stop in Clovis, according to Andrus.

“The Clovis community is really savvy to rodeo or PBR bull riding; they’re really savvy to the sport,” he said.

The tour’s next stop is Roswell in two weeks, Andrus said.

At a glance

What: Professional Bull Riders Association Discovery Tour

When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday

Where: Curry County Mounted Patrol Fairgrounds

Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for children (6 to 12)