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Bull Riders compete at Arena tonight

20130712 PBR JB-Mauney-FAR 8586 featureHIDALGO—This is the most dangerous sport in the country, Reece Arnold, general manager for Wolf Creek Cattle Company, said of professional bull riding. Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, and will bring their professional bull riding competition to the State Farm Arena on July 12-13.

According to Arnold, this is the best show on dirt.

“It’s a complete package from start to finish, from when the fireworks start until the last fan has gotten their autograph… it’s never about us,” Arnold said. “It’s always about the fans, we are not trying to sell no gimmicks.”

Arnold added spectators could expect exactly what they see on TV when it comes to rodeo competitions. He said attendees would be able to enjoy fireworks, and meet and greet the riders.

Some of the top riders at the event will include: Sean Willingham, Kasey Hayes, Skeeter Kingsolver and Ben Jones. Though, Arnold added, Jones would probably be handling promotional work since he was recently injured.

For the rider, there are steps in preparation for a ride; Arnold said it differs with each rider.

“Right now, the heat is on. Some guys are trying to stay in shape, some guys exercise and some of them don’t,” Arnold said. “It’s man versus beast, most of these bulls weigh between 1,700 and 2,000 pounds, and most of these cowboys weigh between 130 and 170 pounds.”

Unlike other sports, Arnold said riding doesn’t have coaches or trainers, and if a cowboy doesn’t ride then he doesn’t get paid. He said though the activity of riding bulls can become intense at times, riders are generally not in life-threatening situations.

“They are probably the toughest athletes, compared to hockey players, football players and baseball players….They don’t hold a candle to these guys,” Arnold said. “It’s hard to ride with an injury, but lots of guys ride hurt.”

Though the job is rough, Arnold believes the bulls love the sport as much as the riders. He added the bulls are bred to buck.

“They want to buck, that is their job…there is no artificial stimulation in them of any sort,” Arnold said. “They do it because they enjoy their job just like we enjoy ours.”

Riders with PBR compete in more than 300 bull riding events per year, each trying to jump up the ranks to become the PBR World Champion at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas. Arnold believes the riders have a lot of heart and the greatest reward is just having a fun night with cowboys and fans.

“We invite some of the best guys in the country to come, so that the fans are able to meet and greet with those guys after the bull riding,” Arnold said. “We bring in some of the elite bull riders in the country and some of the best bulls in the world.”

A total of 40 riders and 40 bulls will be participating at the PBR event at the State Farm Arena. PBR commentator Iron Man J.W. Hart will be in attendance along with Mike White, PBR Ring of Honor inductee for 2012.

“It’s all excitement, non-stop excitement,” Arnold said.

Tickets are available at www.statefarmarena.com for July 12 -13. Prices include: Level 1, adults and children at $38, Level 2, Adults at $28 and children $10 and Level 3, adults at $18 and children at $10. Doors are scheduled to open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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