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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Kickin’ up dust

Photo by Ishika Samant

The Professional Bull Riders compete in Reed Arena on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9. 

Bulls and blood, dust and mud. In Reed Arena? 

In opposition to the normal clean-cut maroon lines on a wooden court, on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, Reed Arena welcomed a different breed of competitors — 45 riders and a cast of 1,000-pound bulls from Professional Bull Riders, or PBR. 

Unlike a typical pre-game show in Reed Arena, fans were welcomed to the event with a blazing “PBR” on the floor, sparks flying, as the riders were introduced. On the field, nine were native Texans.

Though PBR is highly competitive, one of its biggest strengths is that fans, whether attending their first event or are life-long followers of the sport, can appreciate the raw athleticism of riders, facing off against larger-than-life horned competitors. 

The format is simple: riders are scored on their ability to control the ride and earn more points for aggressive bulls. The only catch? They must hit the 8-second mark to keep the score. 

Elijah Mora of Colorado left the series victorious, earning 44 event points of the 132 available and went home with over $8,000 in winnings. The highest place from a Texan rider was earned by Laramie Craigen, earning eight event points, just shy of $2,000 in winnings.

Many of his competitors were not as fortunate, as only 17 of the 45 riders were able to complete an 8-second ride to place in the event, with bulls such as Bougee, Ringo Kid and Pickle Moonshine besting seasoned riders.

And of course, no bull-riding event would be complete without a clown on the dirt. “Rockin’ Robbie Hodges” kept the crowd entertained between rides, cracking jokes and handing out prizes. Though Hodges hails from Georgia, he was amused by the signature Aggie welcome, commenting on the greeting of  “Howdy” often heard on Texas A&M’s campus.

The Aggieland leg of the Velocity series comes toward the end of the PBR season, with only two more events until the tour finals on May 6-7 in Corpus Christi.

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