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Home News-Telegram News Professional Bull Riders events returning to Civic Center in August

Professional Bull Riders events returning to Civic Center in August

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A unique type of rodeo event that made its Hopkins County debut at the Civic Center in 2008 returns for an encore performance in August.

But it won’t end then, because the Texas Heritage National Bank PBR Challenge that brings world-class bull-riding, bullfighting and bucking-bull competitions to Northeast Texas has signed an agreement that will bring the PBR back to Sulphur Springs through 2013.

Last year, the Lone Star Dodge Colby Yates Challenge — named for the young pro bull rider who’d made his home on a Pickton ranch — introduced local rodeo fans to the “trifecta” format with an event that gave everyone a reason to do their best — even the livestock.

The “trifecta” is so named because its like three tours in one show:

n First, there are the bull riders themselves. The Sulphur Springs event brings  the PBR Enterprise Tour, an “exciting new series catering to both current and future stars,” according to informaton from the Professional Bull Riders Association. Prize money won on the Enterprise Tour counts towards qualifying for the Challenger Tour Finals, and the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas every year.

n The Professional Bullfighters’ Daisy Protection Bullfight Tour puts the work of cowboy lifesavers on display, providing competition for some of the hardest-working men in the sport of bull riding. Five two-man bullfighting teams compete throughout the two-day event, scored by former bullfighters who understand the details that go in to being good at cowboy protection.

n And finallly, the American Bucking Bulls Inc., featuring some of the up-and-coming 3- and 4-year-old bovine stars who will be the future animal athletes of bull riding. Just as judges rate scores for the PBR’s Enterprise Tour event, a separate set of judges will be on hand just to mark the animals that are part of the American Bucking Bulls Inc. Classic.

The 2008 PBR Challenge brought out big crowds to the Civic Center both nights, including a sellout crowd on the closing evening. Afterwards, the Two Bulls Group, led by its President Jim McLain Jr., announced the event would return to the Civic Center in 2009.

But this summer, the organizers made another statement when the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center and the TwoBulls Group signed a five-year agreement to bring the PBR back to Sulphur Springs through 2013.

“We are so proud to have the PBR committed to a five-year contract,” said Dottie Ford, operations manager for the Civic Center. “We realize by hosting the show, it brings a financial boost to our local economy in the form of dollars spent at the hotels, restaurants and shopping venues.

“The PBR has choices as to where they can produce shows, and we’re fortunate to have been selected,” Ford added. “It is our great desire that our local merchants and community realize the benefits of this event and what it brings to the community and continue to support this production.”

Jim McLain Jr. has teamed with Emory ranchers Donny Gowin and Jay Weddle, owners of Superior Genetics, to bring the world-class bull-riding, bullfighting and bucking-bull competitions to East Texas, and they have secured Texas Heritage National Bank as the title sponsor for the 2009-2010 events.

“Texas Heritage National Bank is proud to be associated with the PBR in bringing clean, fun, family entertainment to Hopkins County,” said Jo Don Mashburn, the bank’s vice president. “This is something people have talked about since last year’s event, and we’re excited to be part of the action.”

McLain said the TwoBulls group is excited about Texas Heritage National Bank joining its family of PBR partners.

“We appreciate Texas Heritage National Bank’s dedication to the community and East Texas and are excited to have it assume the title position for 2009 and 2010,” McLain said. “This partnership perpetuates the growth of this event as an economic stimulator for the businesses of Sulphur Springs and all of East Texas.”

And signing the contract with the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center is also a testament to the community’s commitment to quality family entertainment, McClain said.

“The TwoBulls Group is excited to extend this partnership with the Hopkins County Civic Center into 2013 and further,” McLain said. “It is always a pleasure to bring an event of this caliber to a community that shows such strong support.”

Advance tickets to the event will be $17 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission. Tickets will be $5 more at the gate.

The first section of tickets — considered the best seats in the house —  will only be available at the Ticket K from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Friday, July 24, at Texas Heritage National Bank. The city’s newest bank, it is at  is located at 215 North Hillcrest Drive (State Highway 19), across from Early Childhood Larning Center.

All remaining tickets will be available at Circle E Western Store and Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Box Office starting Saturday, July 25.




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