Canadian sensation Tanner Byrne took home the championship buckle for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Duluth Invitational Sunday afternoon at Infinite Energy Arena. Byrne, who has now won two Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) events this season, earned the win at the buzzer with an 87.5-point ride aboard Cracker Jack in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. He was the only rider to go 3-for-3 on the weekend.
With the event win, Byrne earned 482.5 PBR world standings points and moved inside the Top 10 to No. 7 in the PBR world standings.
“I had a good pick,” Byrne said. “I picked that bull because I saw him at an event earlier this year when Wallace (de Oliveira) won on him. If you can just keep your hand shut, you can ride any bull.”
Brazil’s Paulo Lima finished in second place in Duluth, winning the Built Ford Tough Championship Round along the way with an 87.75-point ride on Rebel Yell II.
The fan favorite of the event, by far, was Australia’s Ben Jones, who finished in third place. His third place finish came with some controversy. He needed to score 81.25 points for the win, and at first, it looked like he did so by the narrowest margin. Almost immediately after celebrating his impressive ride, his discovered during the replay he was bucked off by Crazy Horse at the 7.6 second mark (falling 0.4 seconds short of his target).
Riding alongside Byrne were two-time reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney (PBR’s first $6 million man), Silvano Alves (11′, 12′, 14′ Champion), Guilherme Marchi (08′ Champion), and Mike Lee (04′ Champion), world No. 1 Shane Proctor, and rising stars Derek Kolbaba and Nevada Newman just to name a few.
For those not familiar with the tour, here’s a quick overview of how the riders are judged:
A cowboy must ride for 8 seconds to earn a score (each ride is timed). The clock starts when the bull’s shoulder or hip breaks the plane of the gate. It ends when the rider’s hand comes out of his rope. Each ride is worth 100 possible points. Four judges award up to 25 points each to the rider and the bull.
Those points are added together and divided in half to reach a score between 0 and 50 for both the rider and the bull. Those final numbers are then combined to reach a final ride score between 0 and 100.
How To Watch
Sunday’s Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round will air live on CBS Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET on March 20. Fans can also watch all of the action in real-time on PBR LIVE online at http://www.pbr.com/live, or via the PBR LIVE app, which is available for download now on Google Play and iTunes.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. Television ratings for PBR on CBS are up more than 20 percent this season compared to last year at this time, according to Nielsen.
Photo: Kent Foster