For the 13th time since the organization was founded, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) elite Unleash The Beast will compete in the Windy City bucking into Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, with the PBR Tractor Supply Co. Invitational.
For two nights only, 35 of the best bull riders in the world will go head-to-head against the sport’s rankest bovine athletes, showcasing the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast in one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness.
During the 2023 season, the PBR will celebrate the 30th anniversary since 20 cowboys broke away from the traditional rodeo with the belief that bull riding could be a standalone sport. Since their trailblazing initiative, the PBR has grown into a global phenomenon awarding nearly $300 million in prize money.
The upcoming PBR Tractor Supply Co. Invitational, will be the seventh event of the new individual season. Eventgoers will watch on as riders vie for early points in the race to be crowned the 2023 PBR World Champion.
In 2022, following a frustrating four-year drought, a resurgent Stetson Lawrence (Williston, North Dakota) went a perfect 3-for-3 to win the second premier series event of his career.
Fresh off a Top 25 effort in New York City, Lawrence began his Windy City campaign with an eighth-place effort in Round 1, covering Street Fighter (C Check Bucking Bulls) for 86 points.
The Native American sensation was then unstoppable as Championship Saturday got underway.
Lawrence first brought the boisterous crowd to its feet when he won Round 2 via an 89.75-point ride aboard Bottom’s Up (TCB Ranch/K-C Bucking Bulls). With the second pick in the championship round bull draft, Lawrence then opted to go head-to-head with Big Black (K-C Bucking Bulls/Joe & Nina Webb), the very bull aboard which Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) won the previous elite tour event in Chicago.
Lawrence remained poised as he climbed aboard the back of the renowned animal athlete. Matching Big Black jump-for-jump, Lawrence clinched the second golden finish of his career when he reached the requisite 8 for an event-best 91 points.
Defending event champion Swearingen finished the event sixth, his first of 11 Top 10 finishes en route to being crowned the 2022 PBR World Champion.
Clinching the title by winning the prestigious PBR World Finals, Swearingen went a torrid 26-for-60, covering 43.33% of his animal athlete opponents during his 2022 gold buckle campaign.
Swearingen earned $1,697,481.63, including $1,394,000 for his career-first PBR World Championship and World Finals event win. Swearingen, 23, is now 17th in all-time money earned in PBR competition with his career earnings topping more than $2.21 million.
In recent history, the Windy City event was instrumental to one rider’s campaign that etched his name in the league record books.
Marking his second consecutive victory on the premier series, Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) won the event in Rosemont in 2019 allowing him to further his stronghold on the No. 1 rank and setting him on a path that led him to becoming the youngest two-time World Champion in league history to end the season.
Additionally, Lockwood’s win in Chicago in 2019 made him the first rider since two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney (Statesville, North Carolina) in 2007 to win the first two events of the season.
Other past Prairie State event winners include: Austin Meier (2006), Adriano Moraes (2008), Dustin Hall (2008), Robson Palermo (2011), Billy Robinson (2013), Marco Eguchi (2014), Silvano Alves (2015), Wallace Vieira de Olivera (2016), Rubens Barbosa (2017) and Cooper Davis (2018).
The bull riding action for the PBR Tractor Supply Co. Invitational begins with Round 1 at 7:45 p.m. CT on Friday, January 13, followed by Round 2 and the championship round at 6:45 p.m. CT on Saturday, January 14. All competing bull riders will get on one bull each in Rounds 1-2. Following Round 2 Saturday evening, the riders’ individual two-round scores will be totaled with the Top 12 advancing to the championship round for one more out and a chance at the event title.
Tickets for the two-day event go on sale Friday, August 26 at 10:00 a.m. CT, and start at $15, taxes and fees not included. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, at the Allstate Arena Box Office or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
PBR Elite Seats are available for avid fans who want an exclusive VIP experience while enjoying the world’s top bull riding circuit. These tickets, available in three tiers, offer premium seats, personal on-site concierge at the PBR fan loyalty booth, $20 concession voucher and souvenir credential and lanyard.
Available for $250, the PBR Bronze Elite Seats also include a post-event photo on the dirt which will be available for digital download after the event.
Priced at $350 is the PBR VIP Elite Seats and $450 is the PBR Premier Elite Seat, which include a 30th anniversary collectible item, pre-show backstage tour with PBR talent and photo on the dirt in front of the bucking chutes that will be presented in a PBR 30th Anniversary Season branded frame to take home after the show and also available for digital download.
Additionally, the PBR Premier Elite Seats, which will offer the best views in the venue, will also include a 2023 PBR Yearbook.
For more information about the PBR and to see the full 2023 PBR Unleash The Beast schedule, visit PBR.com. Visit the Event Page.