The world’s top two pro bull riding circuits are the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s annual title race.
Both the PBR and the PRCA thrive on marketing defending champions who are gifted riders. The PBR has North Carolina cowboy J.B. Mauney, who stayed on all six bulls at the 2013 World Finals in Las Vegas. The PRCA has J.W. Harris, a four-time champion who lives near Brownwood.
This weekend, Mauney and Harris will go head-to-head in a featured match called the “1,000 Miles Till Home Challenge.” The match will be held in conjunction with the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge, a PBR Touring Pro Division show, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wise County Sheriff’s Posse Arena in Decatur.
Mauney will face Asteroid, the PBR’s 2012 World Champion Bull. Harris will face a notorious bovine named Shepherd Hills Tested. The winner will receive $25,000.
The PBR’s first season was 1994. The PRCA has been around since 1936. But this weekend’s matchup will mark the first time in history that a reigning PBR champ has gone head-to-head with a reigning PRCA champ.
Though it is being touted like a boxing match between two heavyweights, both cowboys said the notorious bulls will be the real challengers.
“The way I look at it, we’re not really pinned against each other,” Mauney said. “I have a job to do. It’s not like we’ve got the easiest bulls to get on. Each of us has a tough road ahead of us.”
Harris has the same outlook.
“It’s not that I’m going against J.B.,” Harris said. “It’s going to be another bull, another day. We always compete against the bull. I hope J.B. rides his bull, and I hope that I ride my bull, and then we will let the judges sort it out after that.”
J.W. Hart, a 2002 PBR World Finals average winner who is retired and serves as a TV commentator, said: “If both of them make the whistle, I hope they score the same, so I can split the $25,000 down the middle.”
Fans can watch the Mauney-Harris match on PBR LIVE. For more information, visit pbr.com.
A big leap
At the Windy Ryon Memorial Roping in Fort Worth, six-time National Finals qualifier Tyson Durfey of Weatherford qualified for the tie-down roping final round Saturday in 12th place, which was the last spot.
But he paced the final round with a time of 8.1 seconds and moved up eight places in the aggregate/average race.
Durfey finished fourth in the average, with a three-run aggregate time of 29.1, and earned $3,480. Clif Cooper of Decatur, a four-time NFR qualifier, won the title with a 27.6 and pocketed $7,540.
The American update
The second annual RFD-TV’s The American, the world’s largest single performance rodeo that offers a $2 million purse to competitors, is scheduled for March 1, 2015, at AT&T Stadium.
The PBR’s popular Iron Cowboy VI Built Ford Tough Series tour stop will be Feb. 28, 2015, at the Arlington showcase.
Tickets for the Iron Cowboy VI and The American will go on sale Sunday. They can be purchased at the AT&T Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.