A Night of Professional Bull Riding in Hartford, Connecticut

This past Friday night we had the chance to go to the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) Built Ford Tough Series event in Hartford, Connecticut, at the XL Center. I won tickets from the New England Ford Dealers Facebook page. The tickets, in fact, were VIP tickets.

When we arrived at the XL Center we found out that not only did we get good seats but also a pre-party that included all the food and drinks you can manage.The party included the best food I have had in a long time. Spicy macaroni salad, Caesar salad, fresh bread, and THE best strawberry cake were on the menu.

pbr bull riding pictures

Looking down over the XL Center from the part you could see just how big this place was.

pbr bull riding pictures xl center

Once the party was over and we went down to the ticket table we followed our guide to the basement of the building. We got to walk in the back where the riders were prepping for the evening and then out on the dirt to stand just outside of the ring.

pbr bull riding pictures

pbr professional bull riding pictures

pbr bull riding pictures connecticut

pbr bull riding pictures

The event started with a booming announcer voice letting us know who the bull riders were as they came through the door on the other side of the ring. There was music and pyrotechnics. Then a young man came out to sing the national anthem as members of the military stood in the center to be saluted.

The bulls are well taken care of.

pbr bull riding pictures

pbr professional bull riding pictures

pbr bull riding pictures

pbr professional bull riding pictures

After the introduction was over we were walked back through to the other side of the basement where we climbed steps to our seats which were over top of the bull pins. We could look down and see the bulls and the riders just below us. Not only were we in the best seats in the house, we sat smack dab in the center of this VIP section in the Ford seats. It felt like we were stars with 30,000 people staring at us.

pbr bull riding pictures

Once the rider was ready to go and they released the gate those bulls would let loose. It was like someone wound them up and as soon as they were allowed to get out of the pin they knew exactly what to do. They have so much power in those bodies. They do trim the horns so they can’t poke someone so that is good. Some of the riders wore helmets to protect their heads. Although it didn’t look as good as a good ole’ cowboy hat, it sure was much safer for the rider.

pbr bull riding pictures

pbr bull riding pictures

After a successful ride, this bull rider was all smiles.

pbr bull riding pictures

The night was full of excitement. This PBR event was being broadcast on TV and you could see large TV cameras below taping the riders as they got onto the bulls and then the ride itself.

pbr bull riding pictures

pbr bull riding pictures

pbr professional bull riding pictures

If the bull didn’t know how to go back home to the pin, and most did, this guy and his trusty house would rope them and lead them back.

pbr professional bull riding pictures

pbr professional bull riding pictures

Since we don’t follow bull riding – this was actually our first ever bull riding event experience – I really don’t know who did well or how they score. Sometimes a rider would stay on the bull a long time and never get bumped off and get a lower score than someone else who stayed on the same amount time.

Another thing I learned was that some of these bull riders earn over a million dollars. If you look at the standings on the PBR website you will see what they make. It pays to be good I guess.

pbr professional bull riding pictures

The clown dancer, who stayed in the center ring most of the time made the night so much more fun because he would dance and engage the audience when we were waiting for the riders to take their turns.

pbr bull riding pictures

Randomly the announcers would pick sections to win prizes. This young man won the “best dresser” of the night an won a Wrangler gift certificate. Another youngster won a giant PBR belt buckle for being the best dancer.

The whole night was so much fun and exciting. I never knew just how many people attend bull riding and rodeo events. I would definitely love to attend a rodeo event because that is also something we haven’t done yet.

If you want to check out all of the riders and the schedule visit pbrnow.com

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. Some products may be media samples given to us to for our honest review. All opinions are our own and not that of the brand. Read our policies for more details.

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