The most dangerous 8 seconds in sports came to Albuquerque with the Ty Murray Invitational as part of the Professional Bull Riding "Unleash The Beast" tour. It was a near sold out crowd all three days of the event.
In PBR riders have to stay on their bull for 8 seconds to receive a score. If the rider is able to do so he receives a score for how well he rode out of 50. The bull also receives a score out of 50 depending on how hard they bucked. These scores are added together for the ride's total score.
Colton Fritzlan won the event, scoring on two bulls. He finished with a score of 172.25 points and nearly scored again on his third bull.
After the win, Fritzlan was still disappointed that he got bucked off his last bull. He commented that there is a lot of pride wrapped in with these events and that his mentality is shifting after some great performances.
"Our job is to stay on the bulls, so when you don't stay on there, there is a little bit of pride that is taken away. But it was a great event and a great day, and I'll just look on to next weekend and another matchup with him … The last couple weeks I've been changing myself a little bit. I've been telling myself little things that help me out. I just tell myself I'm on a hot streak so whether I fall off or not, at the end of the day, I'm riding good," Fritzlan said.
Before each day, 9-time world champion and New Mexico native Ty Murray addressed the crowd to thunderous applause and on his way to the seats, stopped for pictures with fans.
On the first day, Friday, March 24, New Mexico native Dustin Martinez didn't score, but received applause from the audience after his performance.
Later in the day, Eduardo Aparecido took an early lead with 88 points. He rode the bull Skippy who had a score of 42.75. Cassio Dias had a score of 86.25 to advance to the next round.
Fans were treated to bullfighting halfway through the day. Contestants had to stay in the ring with a bull for a full minute showing acrobatic feats — dodging and jumping over a bull that is brought into the ring for the fighter.
The next rider to earn a spot was Josh Frost; his bull Ah Hell had a score of 42.25. Frost stayed in control the entire time earning an 87.25.
Kaique Pacheco had a good outing scoring a 84.50, but Dalton Kess stole the show with a dominant ride scoring an 88.75. Kess won round 1 from the first day and on his ride against his bull Tortuga, he seemed in control the entire time.
Saturday, March 25 was the second day of round 1. Marcus Mast had a great score of 88.25. He expertly navigated his bull Moonlight Party who had a score of 44.25.
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The next rider to place was Flavio Zivieri who. He had a great ride, tying the top score with a 88.75. His bull, The Show, had a score of 43.25.
Colton Fritzlan also had a great ride: he scored an 88.25 and stayed on for a couple extra seconds. His bull Pearl's Ghost spun incredibly fast, but couldn't shake him. Pearl's Ghost had a score of 42.50.
Braidy Randolph earned an 85.75 riding Grey Smoke, which was enough to earn 12th place and a spot in the next round.
To end the night, fans got another round of bullfighting as well as the start of the 15/15 tournament where the 15 best bulls faced the 15 best riders in the world. Highlights included Luke Snyder's 90 point performance and Bourdreaux Cambell riding the #1 ranked bull Cool Whip for over 7 seconds.
The third day, Sunday, March 26, was the start of the second round. Fritzlan was the first to score in round two, taking the lead with a total score of 172.25
Pacheco added to his score with an 86.75 to secure a spot in the next round. He was in second place with 171.25 points.
Andrew Alvidrez had his first scoring ride in round two and scored an 87.75. Silvano Alves also had his first scoring ride in round two and had a dominant 89.50, which would have won round 1.
Campbell had a clutch performance as one of the last riders of round two. He scored an 88.75 to advance to the next round.
19 riders scored but only the top 12 advanced to the championship round: none of the riders scored in the round.
Fritzlan won the event with a score of 172.25 scoring on his first two rides. Pacheco was just 1 point behind in second place with a 171.25. Alves came in third with just one ride under his belt, scoring an 89.50.
Alves was happy with his performance, and proud of those who finished ahead of him. He also gave credit to the crowd at The Pit.
“I'm really happy for the people in first and second … great place, great people, great crowd. I could really feel them. It's nice to be in an environment where they recognize a bull rider," Alves said.
Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @thomasbulger10