Major long-term commitment to help young athletes prepare for a lucrative career in a growing sport
PUEBLO, Colo. – To help develop the next generation of young athletes pursuing a professional career in the sport of bull riding, the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) today announced PBR Academy, a bull riding camp led by current PBR star riders and legends of the sport.
PBR Academy is the ultimate bull riding boot camp for young riders to learn what it takes to be a champion from the very best in the sport. As PBR invests in its future, this camp is the first step in a long-term strategy that will ultimately include a state-of-the-art sports science facility to help young athletes prepare for a professional sport offering increasing payouts. Two-time and reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney has earned nearly $7 million in his career and 10 PBR athletes have earned above or near $3 million in career earnings.
The initial three-day camp for youth 12-18 years old will be held July 12-14, 2016, in Bowie, Texas, at PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert’s ranch. Lambert, two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride, four-time PRCA champion and 2014 PBR Rookie of the Year J.W. Harris and rookie phenom, Jess Lockwood, currently ranked 15th in the PBR world standings, will lead aspiring bull riders though various training regimens and instructional programs.
Camp attendees will have the opportunity to get on bulls, participate in video-review and chalk-talk sessions, learn critical riding and dismount techniques, participate in strength and flexibility training and learn about nutrition planning.
“While PBR is blessed with some of the greatest young talent in our sport’s history—the average age of our last three Built Ford Tough Series event winners is 20 years old – the bulls are getting bigger and stronger,” said PBR CEO Sean Gleason. “We have an obligation to help young riders match up against the world’s rankest bulls. PBR Academy will give serious young athletes the technical training, mental conditioning, insights and wisdom only available from experienced riders who have reached the pinnacle of success in our sport.”
Lambert said, “Becoming a great rider is not just about getting on more bulls; it’s about learning the right way to do things and being mentally prepared. We instill accountability in our riders. Expect to ride every single bull you get on and hold yourself accountable when you don’t.”
Lockwood, who at 18 has already earned $81,000 competing in a handful of PBR events, has been living at Lambert’s ranch this season and has received personal coaching from Lambert and McBride.
“Cody, Justin and J.W. teach you how to win,” Lockwood said. “They have real cowboy toughness. They don’t make any excuses. And, they hold themselves 100 percent accountable. Those are very important lessons for any young rider who wants to make it in this sport.”
The cost of the three-day camp is $999. Campers are expected to bring their own riding gear. All riders may bring a companion, parent, and/or coach to learn successful techniques and proper training methodologies for an additional cost of $250.
Every bull out in the camp’s premier covered arena is under the supervision of trained medical and support personnel. At least two bullfighters, a roper, arena helpers and a medical staff will be present at all times when bulls are being bucked.
About the PBR Academy instructors:
Cody Lambert, PBR legend and current PBR Director of Livestock
One of the original founders of the PBR, Lambert enjoyed success in his career both as a bull rider and saddle bronc rider, qualifying for three PBR World Finals events and the NFR seven times as a bull rider and three as a saddle bronc rider. Lambert’s knowledge, experience and passion for the sport of bull riding makes him an invaluable resource to aspiring and current bull riders.
Justin McBride, two-time PBR World Champion
Recognized as one of the top bull riders in the history of the sport, McBride brings with him 380 qualified rides, 75 of which were scored at 90 points or above. Truly one of the legends of the PBR and sport, McBride divides his time between the broadcasting booth and working with the next generation of riders. He earned over $5.1 million in his 10-year PBR career.
Jess Lockwood, PBR bull rider
Jess Lockwood is midway through his rookie season on the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series. Rapidly rising up the PBR ranks, Lockwood won his home-state event in Billings, Montana, during his first month on the Built Ford Tough Series. Lockwood credits much of his recent success to living at Lambert’s ranch and working with Lambert and McBride on the mental side of riding bulls.
J.W. Harris, four-time PRCA champion
For over a decade, J.W. Harris has cemented himself as one of the top rodeo cowboys in history. The nine-time NFR qualifier and four-time PRCA champion has now set his sights on the PBR circuit, quickly becoming a force to reckon with, covering over 46 percent of the bulls he has attempted in the PBR. His veteran presence and experience within the rodeo and PBR circuit makes Harris an invaluable resource and mentor for all aspiring and current riders.