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PBR Challenge celebrates 15 years in Decatur

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, May 26, 2018
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The 15th Annual JW Hart PBR Challenge with WC Challenger Charities is just one week away.

Organizers Andrew Rottner, Wendell Berry, Calvin Jackson and Alan Sessions planned another action-packed weekend that will leave fans on the edge of their seats, while raising big bucks for local charities.

The main event is 8 p.m. June 2 at the Wise County Fairgrounds in Decatur and former PBR rider and contest namesake, JW Hart, is looking forward to the bulls.

“We’ve got a great set of guys coming, but the bulls that are coming are beyond good,” he said. “They’re phenomenal animal athletes.

“The best man will be who wins it because they’ve got the livestock,” he said.

In addition to the raucous rides, the crowd will be entertained by the world-famous bullfighter Flint Rasmussen, and there will be a Bullfighters Only contest during intermission.

1,000 Miles Till Home will give away a mortgage-free home to a veteran, and a couple of veterans will have the opportunity to ride a bull through Warriors and Rodeo, a veterans service charity organization.

To cap off the night, the PBR event winner will have the opportunity to ride Seven Dust, a three-time PBR World Finals qualifier. The bovine has only been ridden three times in 43 appearances on PBR’s premier tour. But if the rider is successful next weekend, he wins $50,000.

The night is sure to be exciting, and the Decatur event has become known for its surprises, big names and big money. Every year organizers look to up the ante to not only make more money for charity, but also show the crowd a good time.

When the event was moved to Decatur 15 years ago, Hart had no idea it would still be going strong.

“If it wasn’t for Andrew, Calvin, Wendell and Alan, it wouldn’t be going today. The love they have for their community and doing things for charity is unbelievable to me. They do such good work.

“Just get ready because it’s gonna be hot, and it’s gonna be good watchin’.”

Other events held in conjunction with the PBR:

  • Eighter from Decatur Barbecue Challenge – The IBCA sanctioned event is June 1-2 and has a $10,000 guaranteed payout for first through 15th places in each category – brisket, chicken, pork and spare ribs. A grand and reserve champion will also be named. The cooks meeting is 7:30 p.m. June 1.

    The Kids Q is also June 1. It has two age groups – 5-10 years old and 11-15 years old, and the cooks meeting is 5:30 p.m. Only 15 kids will be allowed in each age group.

    To register, go to wcchallenger.org/BBQChallenge.html or call Randy Burkhart, 817-371-2680.

    The Barbecue Challenge also needs judges. To sign up, go to volunteersignup.org/B7XHH.

  • Fan Zone – The Fan Zone is filled with vendor booths and will also feature western events for kids, including mutton bustin’, timed roping and a mechanical bucking bull contest. Winners of the mutton bustin’ will advance and compete during Saturday’s main PBR event. To sign up, go to wcchallenger.org.
  • ABBI Futurity – American Bucking Bull Inc., the foundation for the bucking bull industry, will hold a futurity showcasing young bulls at 9 a.m. Friday at the fairgrounds. The event is free to spectators.

JW HART PBR CHALLENGE

Buy tickets online at wcchallenger.org or call 1-800-514-3849.

Sponsorships, which come with box seats, are also available. Call Andrew Rottner, 817-980-8131.

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