Professional Bull Riders deliver big thrills at Tuacahn; STGnews Photo Gallery

Professional Bull Riders on the stage of Tuacahn Amphitheatre, Ivins, Utah, May 3, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

IVINS – The Professional Bull Riders invaded Tuacahn on Saturday night, filling the Tuacahn Amphitheater with their exhibition of raw sport combined with entertainment – entertainment, and survival, as the program stated:

This is not a rodeo. We don’t rope calves, and we don’t chase barrels. This is bull riding, and the first rule is just to stay alive.

The Tuacahn main stage, where professional actors and actresses will soon bring “The Little Mermaid,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to life, was covered over with a thick layer of dirt in preparation for the Professional Bull Riders event, and bulls and riders exhibited their skills right on the famous Tuacahn stage.

The house was full, with an estimated 2,100 seats sold. Spectators did the wave and were up on their feet dancing throughout the evening, and there were plenty of thrills and spills to excite the crowd as the evening progressed and rider injuries began mounting. There were at least three injuries before the evening ended, including a possible broken arm and broken ankle.

During breaks in the show, performers for the upcoming Tuacahn theater season addressed the crowd and sang to promote their impending shows. Even the Tuacahn camel made an appearance, kicking up his hooves as fireworks popped.

Established in 1992, the PBR was founded by 20 bull riders who wanted to break away from traditional rodeo and bring professional bull riding into the mainstream as a stand-alone sport. Each founding rider invested $1,000 in the dream, and as the years passed those thousands of dollars translated into millions. Today, the PBR continues to break records, set milestones and keep bull riding in the spotlight as a professional sport with a worldwide following.

Assistant Editor Cami Cox Jim contributed to this story.

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