If you’re not familiar with the Professional Bull Riders organization this post might not mean much to you. And if you’re not familiar with the PBR….maybe you should be. Bull Riding is the most extreme of all the extreme sports. If you have a disagreement on that thought, go get on a bull and, chances are, you’ll quickly change your mind. Bull Riding as a sport has evolved over the past 20 + years into a high-profile, spectator friendly sport that has made celebrities of the bull riders, as well as the bulls. Sports arenas around the country are filling up when the PBR comes to town much due to the overt, raw danger of the sport and the vanishing individualistic nature of the, authentic, American cowboy.
An event was held this past weekend in Decatur, Texas unlike any Bull Riding event ever before, and almost assuredly, will never happen again. “Unfinished Business” pitted eight of the most high-profile PBR Bull Riders in the organization’s history, all retired for a number of years, riding for a, winner take all, $160,000 payoff. Cody Custer and Mike White, PRCA World Champions; Tater Porter, J.W. Hart, PBR World Finals Champions; Justin McBride, Chris Shivers and Michael Gaffney all PBR World Champions and Ross Coleman, perennial PBR World Finals Qualifier.
To say that these men had ‘unfinished business’ in the arena couldn’t be further from the truth. These eight guys left it all in the arena every single time they ever competed, without exception. Their primary reason for coming out of retirement for this, once in a lifetime, event was in the name of charity. I don’t care who you are, you gotta appreciate that! *(consider that a couple of them are nearing 50 yrs of age!)
Shivers and Hart rode their bulls and split the $160,000. The other six didn’t complete their 8-second ride. But, just like always…..they gave it everything they had…..one last time! I care about Bull Riding; I’ve been directly involved with it in one way or another pretty much my whole life. I’d like to see Bull Riding continue to come to prominence as a sport. My reasons are personal. But I look at the field of bull riders today and I wonder who’ll take the place of these men. I don’t see very many out there on the radar screen, today, the caliber of these guys in the way of sheer effort….and the desire to be ‘ambassadors’ for the sport. The door’s wide open for some ‘young guns’ to step up!
Thank you Cody Custer, Mike White, Tater Porter, J.W. Hart, Justin McBride, Chris Shivers, Michael Gaffney and Ross Coleman….for showing unprecedented ‘class’ with every ride and every interview your entire career! Thanks from us older guys that never had the opportunity to ride for a million dollars.
Thanks for showing the rest of the world what the sport of Bull Riding is really about! You finished your business…..and you finished it well!!