By Mina Blaylock and Jenna Stahlman
45 cowboys mounted bulls and competed to move onto the short round, in which the top ten scoring riders would compete for first place. Only 17 of the 45 riders in the long round met the required time of 8 seconds
Smith rode ‘Switch Hitter’ in the long round for a ride score of 89 points, putting him at
the top of the leaderboard in the long round.
Smith’s ride was accompanied by the Tennessee favorite, ‘Rocky Top’. When asked what he thought about this song being played during his winning ride and if he’d seen a better crowd, Smith said he had not.
“This is the most fun I’ve had at a bull ride ever,” Smith said. “I’m just blessed to be here, for sure.”
There were no qualified rides in the short round, so the scores from the long round determined the night’s victors.
Smith left Knoxville with a check worth $6,400, as well as the opportunity to compete at one of PBR’s elite tour stops, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 22-23.
Ouncie Mitchell, a competitor from Fresno, Tx. , placed 2nd with an 88 point ride on ‘Last Chance’ . He received a check for $4,700.
Jason Mara of Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia, attained 87.5 points on ‘Blood Money’. He took home $3,000.
East Bernard, Tx. native Bryan Titman placed 4th with a ride worth 86.5 on ‘Striker’ and received a check for $2,000.
The top five winners were rounded off by Lindomar Lino of Anapolis, Brazil. He had an 86 point ride on ‘How Bout It’ and was awarded a check for $1,140.
4th place winner Bryan Titman said he enjoyed the competition in Knoxville.
“It was awesome,” Titman said. “The crowd was awesome. Y’all just filled the place in here. It’s phenomenal. It’s a blessing to be here.”
Knoxville’s hometown cowboy, Cody Clint Brewer, had a successful 82 point ride atop ‘Ring of Fire’ as his home crowd roared in the stands. He ranked 16th in the event overall.
The next stop for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour is in Edinburg, Tx. on Feb. 9.