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Professional Bull Riders on the Big Island

Media Release:

The Professional Bull Riders announced that riders McKennon Wimberly and Sean Willingham and up-and-coming stock contractor Mesa Pate are in Hawaii beginning today.

McKennon Wimberly

McKennon Wimberly

The visit is being coordinated by the Paniolo Preservation Society, which celebrates and preserves the Western culture and heritage, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for cowboy.

“Hawaii has a rich Western lifestyle heritage and Paniolo are among the original American cowboys,” said PBR President and COO Sean Gleason. “PBR has conducted two successful events in the Islands, and we are working to include Hawaiian events as a regular part of our schedule. We are honored to be working with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Paniolo Preservation Society on this cultural event.”

Sean Willingham

Sean Willingham

Wimberly and Willingham will conduct a bull riding clinic from 12-4 p.m. on Friday, June 24, at Paniolo Park on the Parker Ranch. They will also attend the Youth Rodeo Scholarship Dinner and Reception for PBR at the Kahua Ranch on Thursday, June 23. Their week will begin on Wednesday, June 22, with a branding and Paniolo “Talk Story” at the Parker Ranch, and will also include a Pukalani stable blessing/celebration on Saturday, June 25.

The pair will then challenge a 1,500-pound foe of a different sort when they fish for Pacific Blue Marlin on Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26. Wimberly and Willingham are scheduled to compete in the Kona Kick Off tournament, the first event of the Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series, which annually awards approximately $1 million in cash and prizes.

Mesa Pate

Mesa Pate and a Bull

There is a similarity between big game fishing and bull riding. In big game fishing, the last 30 feet of the fishing line is called the leader, and is either piano wire or heavy nylon. The “wireman” wraps the leader around his gloved hand, and has to battle, one on one, the fish that can weigh as much as 1,800 pounds. In bull riding, the rider wraps his bull rope around the bull, who can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, and holds on with his gloved hand.

The visit will be documented by David Neal Productions for features to be broadcast during Built Ford Tough Series events, on television and in arena, as well as on www.PBR.com. The production company produces BFTS telecasts which are broadcast nationally each week on VERSUS with select events being shown on NBC and CBS. It is led by 30-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer and creative lead.

The Western lifestyle has been a part of Hawaiian culture for more than 150 years, and in 1908, Ikua Purdy won the Roping Championship at the World Championship Rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyo.

The PBR visited Hawaii in 2006, holding an event on Maui with local bull rider Myron Duarte, and on Oahu with the Hawaii All-Star Challenge. Zack Brown, who has earned over $865,000 competing in PBR events, was raised in North Shore, Hawaii.

Featuring 29 stops in 23 states, the 2011 BFTS schedule began at world-famous Madison Square Garden in January. The season concludes Oct. 26-30 in Las Vegas with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, and the crowning of the 2011 PBR World Champion. The World Finals are the richest bull riding event on the planet with the winner receiving the World Championship PBR Buckle and a $1 million bonus.

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