A blue ribbon experience: the Gwinnett Invitational via the PBR (Day 1)
For those who are 21 and older, it refers to a "blue ribbon" beverage enjoyed on game days or Saturdays. On Saturday, January 22nd (2022) at the Gas South District (6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, GA), it's the first of a two-day experience via the Professional Bull Riding circuit (click HERE to visit their Linktree), the "toughest sport on dirt".
After the pre-riding concert by Andy Velo, 40 of the circuit's top riders open up the competition. With the top 12 scorers making it to Sunday's final round (and winning the event), to say the competition is fierce is an understatement (click HERE to visit their Instagram).
Each rider is paired with a bull, some of which they've ridden before (and for others, their first time). The goal is prior to the 30 second countdown to at least last 8 seconds harnessing the bulls, which is clearly easier said than done.
While Joao Ricardo Viera is the world's top rider, there's a bevy of competitors not only vying for the invitational win, but to knock him off his spot on the standings. Six of the top 10 riders are from the US (the other 4 are from Brazil), and in the top 40, there are riders from Australia and Canada focused on making their way to the top of the leaderboard. Entering tonight, riders including (but not limited to) Kyler Oliver (USA/#2 rider), Stetson Lawrence (USA/#3 rider), 22-year old Mason Taylor (USA/#5 rider), Dener Barbosa (Brazil/#6 rider), Keyshawn Whitehorse (USA/#19), and Ezekiel Michell (USA/#28) are among those ready for competition (click HERE for a listing of the world's top riders).
Clearly, this is not for the faint of heart.
Just getting out of bucking chute is no easy task. To remain on the bull for the required 8 seconds without any potential injury is even more difficult.
Going into tomorrow's final, Brennon Eldred leads the top 12 riders who move onto the second day of the invitational (click HERE to take a look at the standings/leaderboard). With only 4 points separating the field, Sunday's event surely will be a "down to the wire" affair.
Tickets are available at the box office (day of) as well as online (click HERE).
Tough and energetic action is the calling card for the PBR. Sunday's concluding day surely can build from the events of the opening day.
It's a blue ribbon affair.
Notes: The first 7 photos are used with the permission of EmoryRose Photography. Make sure to visit their Instagram (click HERE) as well. The remaining photos and all video is recorded by Andrew Snorton.
To view the video playlist for the Gwinnett Invitational (PBR), visit our YouTube channel (click HERE).