Professional Bull Riders 2011

Yesterday afternoon we headed over to Madison Square Garden for something I never imagined myself … a born and raised city girl… to ever attend … the 2011 Professional Bull Riders Invitational.

Cowboys with lassos and bucking bulls, Oh My!

Under the urging of my guy, who said it would be a fun thing to do, I accepted tickets from the PR firm representing the 2011 New York Invitational hosted at the Garden starting Friday night through Sunday afternoon.

The PBR brings both adults and kids to the Garden to watch 40 professional bull riders hold on tight and stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds. Eight seconds is a very long time. And if they don’t stay on for eight seconds, the rider doesn’t get a score.

We saw a lot of guys not stay on for eight seconds but the ones that did gave us quite a show. Some of the bulls weren’t even allowing the bull rider to get out of the holding pen before they started acting wild. I started making predictions on whether riders would be able to stay on for eight seconds based on the bull’s movement in the pen.

And to make things crazier, some of these bulls had never been ridden before or were only ridden for eight seconds a few times. Their names — Gangsta, Voodoo Child, Big Tex, Mellow Yellow Jacket, Amy’s Pet and Chicken on a Chain — made me laugh when announced.


North Carolina bull rider JB Mauney was a fan favorite but so was Aussie bull rider Ben Jones who did a crowd dance that was beyond amusing. And speaking of crowd dances, Flint Rasmussen, the PBR entertainer and self proclaimed “Clown Boy” did an incredible job entertaining the crowd in between rides. And he even had a super fan there who created a sign with working Christmas lights to attract his attention.

It was sad to see Renato Nunes, the Brazilian bull riding 2010 PBR World Title champ not make it into the finals. But the winner of the PBR Madison Square Garden Invitational Valdiron de Oliveira definitely gave a great show.

Part of Valdiron de Oliveira’s finals winning bull ride can be viewed here.

The PBR Invitational was shown on Versus network and NBC depending on the day of the weekend. We were there for the finals and in person it was much more fun than how it appeared on television.

From the intros backed by explosions, fire and randomly chosen music (a little Ke$ha or Usher, anyone?) to the cowboy lassoing the stray bull back in the right direction, it is definitely worth watching in person. And dare I say, most likely, something this city girl looks forward to attending next year.

For more on PBR, check out their website.

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