Featuring the adrenaline-packed, exhilarating action one can only see at a Professional Bull Riders’ event, the PBR’s Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour returns to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena with the Jacksonville Invitational
The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour is back in Jacksonville to kick off their 2020 season. Although the event features some of the best bull riders in the world, it isn’t a rodeo. The show has pyrotechnics, high stakes and a star-studded line up of the great riders and animal athletes. The 8-seconds of high energy action is one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness and each of the fearless and best bull riders brings spectators to the edge of their seat.
In the vast sports landscape, one is the epitome of man vs. beast – professional bull riding. Regarded as “America’s Original Extreme Sport,” PBR (Professional Bull Riders) brings the high-adrenaline, bone-crushing thrills and spills of the electric western sport to cities around the world, operating tours in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States.
And that intense action, which one can only experience at a PBR event, is returning to Jacksonville for the second consecutive year on Saturday, January 4.
Bucking into VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Jacksonville Invitational will feature 40 of the world’s best riders, hailing from four nations, attempting some of the rankest bucking bulls on the planet.
The event, which opens the new season for PBR’s fastest-growing tour, will mark one of two season-launch events for the Velocity Tour with the tour holding an event simultaneously in Oakland, California.
In 2019, Taylor Toves captured the first Velocity Tour event win of his career in the Sunshine State, going a flawless 2-for-2 in mid-February.
The victory was backed by an 86-point trip aboard Sharky, and a championship round-winning, 89-point ride on Joker from Florida’s own Deer Prairie Creek Bucking Bulls from Port Charlotte.
Toves’ win in Jacksonville illuminated the importance of the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour to a rider’s career trajectory. Through the victory, Toves earned an invite the compete on the elite Unleash The Beast in early March in Duluth, Georgia, a catalyst for the Texas cowboy qualifying for what became a near-consistent seeded position on the premier series, firmly ranked inside the world’s Top 35. Qualifying for the second PBR World Finals of his career, Toves finished the 2019 season ranked a career-high No. 28 in the world.
The 2019 event in Jacksonville also featured a breakthrough performance from fellow young gun Mason Taylor who used a similar 2-for-2 outing to conclude the stop runner-up. His 8-second efforts were earned atop Time to Shine for 85 points, and Floridian bovine athlete Sumo for 85.5 points.
In similar fashion to Toves, the top-finish in Jacksonville propelled Taylor to a consistent position on the premier series. Making his PBR World Finals debut at season-end, he finished a career-best No. 14 in the world.
In 2020, the Jacksonville Invitational draw is anticipated to be headlined by 12-time PBR World Finals qualifier Sean Willingham. After a broken leg sustained in March 2019 sent him to the sidelines for the remainder of the season, the weathered veteran will make his triumphant return to PBR competition in Jacksonville.
All riders at the Jacksonville Invitational will attempt one bull each in Round 1. The Top 10 will then advance to the championship round where they will attempt one final bull, all to be crowned the event champion, earning crucial world points and their portion of the $20,000 purse.