FORT WORTH, Texas ― Just nine days out from the much-talked about Cooper Tires Match of World Champions pitting two-time World Champion Bull Bushwacker against four-time PRCA champion-turned-PBR rider J.W. Harris, event promoter Chad Berger has announced he is doubling the original bonus up to $100,000.
“I hope he rides him,” said Berger after spending the past few weeks securing the additional funds.
Berger, a three-time Stock Contractor of the Year, is hosting his annual Touring Pro Division event in Bismarck, North Dakota, for the 14th year in a row on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14.
The entire event will be streamed worldwide on PBR LIVE, including the Cooper Tires Match of World Champions at the conclusion of Friday’s competition.
“I wanted to do $100,000 all the time,” Berger said.
He later added, “I always want to make mine the best possible event. You hardly don’t even know you’re not a Built Ford Tough (Series) event because I spend the money to get the best guys, so, yeah, I think, I put a little bit more into it than most people.”
Guilherme Marchi, the No. 1 ranked rider in the world standings, will be competing along with Fabiano Vieira, Mike Lee, Chase Outlaw, Cody Nance, Gage Gay, Kasey Hayes, Ty Pozzobon and Billy Robinson.
Berger said he called all the riders in an effort to put together the best possible lineup of top-ranked bull riders in the PBR.
As always, Flint Rasmussen will be entertaining, while Clint Adkins will be the in-arena announcer. Frank Newsom will also be among the bullfighters working the event.
Earlier this year, stock contractor Julio Moreno announced this will be Bushwacker’s final season.
The Bismarck event is his first outing since the Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas last month and one of only two outs this summer – the second coming July 31 in Santa Barbara, California – before resuming the Built Ford Tough Series in August.
Bushwacker is the reigning World Champion Bull and also won the title in 2011. He is the odds-on favorite to win it again in 2014.
Longtime PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert has referred to Bushwacker as the greatest bucking bull of all time.
He’s been ridden just three times in his career and only once since October 2009. He previously bucked off a PBR record 42 riders in a row at BFTS events until J.B. Mauney rode him last August for 95.25 points in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Harris will be matched up against the great bovine for the second time in his career. He previously bucked off Bushwacker at a TPD event in Waco, Texas, four years ago. That night Harris nearly made the whistle—lasting 6.2 seconds and Bushwacker was marked 46.5 points.
Berger, who reiterated his hope of paying out the $100,000 bounty, said he gives Harris a 50/50 chance of making the whistle on a bull most riders wouldn’t stand a chance.
“If you do all the numbers and run all the numbers – if you’re a number guy – he’s got about a 15 percent chance,” said Berger, “but the numbers don’t tell you everything. I think he’s got the grit and I think he’s got the riding style that, to me, he’s got a 50 percent chance of riding him.”
In addition to the online audience, Berger is expecting in upwards of 6,000 people to be in attendance at the downtown Bismarck Civic Center.
This year’s two-day event will be formatted as two separate events with a winner each day and $20,000 added on each day.
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