"It's going to be a great event," said Justin Wibbenmeyer of the Sikeston Jaycees, general chairman for the event. "I think everybody in Sikeston who made it out there last year enjoyed what they saw - that's why we've decided to do it again. Hopefully we can make it a long tradition like our rodeo has been."
"It's the second fastest growing sport behind NASCAR," said Jason Pounds, president of the Sikeston Jaycees.
This year's Professional Bull Riders event, scheduled for June 2-3 at the Sikeston Jaycee Rodeo Grounds, has several improvements over the first one held in Sikeston last year.
"There's quite a few things that have changed," said Pounds. "We got promoted to the Challenger Tour. It is the second to highest class for the riders."
Pounds said being on the PBR's Enterprise Tour like last year meant getting a lot of the up-and-comers in the sport but typically only drawing five or six of the top 20 competitors.
Being a part of the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Challenger Tour, "you get pretty much the best of both worlds," he said, because money won on this tour counts toward rankings to compete in the highest class - the Built Ford Tough Series events, which are only open to the top 45 bull riders.
Winnings at the Sikeston Jaycee Health Facilities Rehab PBR include money from the Sikeston Jaycees added on top of the entry fees "to add some incentive for them to come - they come to get the money," Pounds said. "We add $15,000 to our event and our total purse is over $30,000."
Pounds predicted about half of the sport's top 45 riders may come to compete. Matt Bohon and Dusty LaBeth, both currently ranked in the top 35 riders, are already slated to compete and will be signing autographs at the rodeo grounds June 2, according to Wibbenmeyer.
Another improvement this year is the addition of a LED scoreboard.
"We didn't have a scoreboard at all last year," Pounds said. "This year we'll have the most advanced scoreboard out there right now - the LED board."
Like the LED scoreboard featured during last year's Sikeston Jaycees Bootheel Rodeo, the scoreboard will be able to display live video during the event including shots of the riders in the starting chute.
"It will also allow us to do instant replays," Pounds said.
Seating will also be different than in 2005.
"We are having assigned seating this year, just like the Sikeston Jaycees Bootheel Rodeo - call to reserve your tickets," Wibbenmeyer said. "Everybody should come out, see some great bull riding - try not to miss it."
Tickets are $12 for assigned bleacher seats and $18 for box seats.
For information or tickets call 471-4295 or toll free at 1-877-472-5233.
On the Net:
Professional Bull Riders, Inc.: http://www.pbrnow.com