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PBR ANNOUNCES 2024 CLASS OF HEROES & LEGENDS INDUCTEES TO BE HONORED JULY 11 AT NATIONAL COWBOY & WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM IN OKLAHOMA CITY

Honors include 10-time PBR World Finals qualifier and Florida Freedom Coach Paulo Crimber (Ring of Honor), two-time World Champion Smooth Operator (Brand of Honor), and renowned Oklahoman bullfighter Frank Newsom (Jim Shoulders Lifetime Achievement Award)

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (April 10, 2024) – The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) today announced the 2024 class of Heroes & Legends inductees, marking the second group of individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on Western sports to be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

The 2024 Heroes & Legends Ceremony, recognized over the years as one of the preeminent Western sports award ceremonies, will be held on Thursday, July 11, prior to the Oklahoma Wildcatters inaugural homestand, Wildcatter Days scheduled for July 12-14 at nearby Paycom Center. The Wildcatters are one of two expansion teams in the groundbreaking PBR Teams league that will begin competition in 2024. PBR Teams, which launched in 2022 with eight founding teams, transforms the sport of bull riding from an individual sport into team competition.

VIDEO COURTESY OF PBR FOR TENN TEXAS MEDIA

Florida Freedom Head Coach and 10-time PBR World Finals qualifier Paulo Crimber will receive the coveted Ring of Honor, regarded as the highest honor a professional bull rider can receive following their retirement from competition. The Ring of Honor is presented to individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the sport of bull riding, based on the core beliefs of the organization, including authenticity, toughness, respect, teamwork, and professionalism.

Paulo Crimber speaks at the Heroes & Legends Induction Announcement
Photo by Todd Brewer / Bull Stock Media

During his career of more than a decade, Crimber, made an impact with PBR, winning five events across all levels of competition in the United States and Australia, and also excelled within the PRCA, qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo, where he won the prestigious event title in 2004.

In 2011, at the age of 28, Crimber’s career ended prematurely when he broke his C1 vertebra twice in one season. He had earned more than $1.11 million during his competitive career with PBR, positioning him inside the Top 50 of all-time money earners with the organization.

Since his retirement, Crimber and his wife Maria, who was honored with the Sharon Shoulders Award in 2023, have been an integral part of assisting and mentoring other Brazilian bull riders in their transition to the United States. Crimber also serves as the official translator for the PBR. Crimber hopes to inspire the next generation of cowboys as they work towards their career goals.

Crimber entered the next phase of his career in 2022 when he was named to the coaching staff for the Arizona Ridge Riders, helping lead them to a runner-up finish in the league in 2022, and a third-place finish in 2023. Prior to the start of the third season of the PBR Teams league, Crimber was announced as the Head Coach of the Florida Freedom beginning in 2024.

The prestigious Brand of Honor will be presented to two-time World Champion Bull Smooth Operator. The PBR Brand of Honor, created in 2011, is the highest honor a bovine animal athlete can receive. The honor is based on the animal athlete’s display of consistent championship caliber performances and career statistical records.

Smooth Operator is one of only six back-to-back World Champion Bulls (2019 and 2020) and the oldest World Champion in history, winning the honor at the age of 9 and 10, respectively.

Cared for by 12-time Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger, Smooth Operator began his illustrious career in 2014, logging 17 consecutive buckoffs across all levels of competition, before 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi snapped his streak in April 2015, covering Smooth Operator for 83.5 points.

In his next 50 outs, Smooth Operator was ridden just three times, with the third being arguably one of the greatest rides in PBR history. In September 2018, Cooper Davis teamed with Smooth Operator for a monstrous 93.75 points.

After winning the World Championship in 2019 and 2020, Smooth Operator retired at the 2021 World Finals after logging 11 outs that season. His final trip resulted in a 5.52-second buckoff of Derek Kolbaba in Las Vegas. In total, Smooth Operator registered 118 outs, allowing just 13 qualified rides for an 89% buckoff average. Following his retirement from competition, Smooth Operator passed away in 2022.   

Famed Oklahoma bullfighter Frank Newsom will be honored with the Jim Shoulders Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing those who throughout their life and professional career have significantly contributed to the advancement of the sport of bull riding and rodeo.

Frank Newsom spoke during the PBR Heroes & Legends Induction announcement.
Photo by Todd Brewer / Bull Stock Media

Known as the “Fearless One,” Newsom was one of the toughest bullfighters to ever enter the arena. Hailing from Paoli, Newsom fought bulls for the majority of his life – a quarter century, professionally – and stayed at the pinnacle of the sport, fighting at the PBR World Finals 20 times, before retiring in 2022.

Newsom is also well-known for his mentorship of Cody Webster. After working side-by-side for several years on the Unleash The Beast, Webster has remained a prime member of the U.S. Border Patrol Safety Team following Newsom’s retirement.

Rodeo legend Casey Tibbs will be posthumously honored with the Ty Murray Top Hand Award. Created in 2018, this honor is given annually to individuals who through their own efforts have made significant and lasting contributions to enhance the sport of rodeo.

Hailing from Fort Pierre, South Dakota, Tibbs has been described as being to rodeo what Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were to baseball, and what Jack Dempsey and Muhammad Ali were to boxing.

in 1949, at the age of 19, Tibbs became the youngest competitor to win the PRCA saddle bronc-riding crown. Between 1949 and 1955, he won a total of six PRCA saddle bronc riding championships, plus two all-around cowboy championships and a bareback riding championship.

Tibbs was one of the founders of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, dedicated to improving the image of the cowboys and professional rodeo. For many years, he also wrote a syndicated newspaper column, “Let’er Buck,” for Rodeo Sports News. He also wrote and starred in the movies “Born to Buck” and “Young Rounder,” and starred in the movie “Bronc Busters.” In 1958, Tibbs appeared on the television show, “This is Your Life,” with Ralph Edwards. That year he also took a rodeo troop to the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium. In 1973, his troop introduced rodeo to the Japanese with 162 performances.

In August of 1989, Tibbs was awarded the golden boot from the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund for his contribution to the industry. A larger-than-life bronze statue of Casey riding the famed bucking horse Necktie was dedicated in August of 1989 at the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Tiffany Owens will be honored with the Sharon Shoulders Award. Created in 2010, the Sharon Shoulders Award recognizes the great women of professional bull riding and Western sports, whose work, partnership, and faith have been as integral to the sport as the athletes themselves.

Tiffany Owens speaks during the PBR Heroes & Legends Induction announcement.
Photo by Todd Brewer / Bull Stock Media

The wife of former competitor turned PBR judge Donald Owens, Tiffany Owens was an integral force in keeping her family’s working Oklahoma ranch operational while her husband was on the road, all the while maintaining a career of her own. With her husband, Owens, who is also passionate about giving back to the community, raised two daughters, who remain connected to the industry, including Jules who is now the wife of PBR rider Brennon Eldred and works side-by-side with him in maintaining their bucking bull operation.

Heroes & Legends will begin with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. CT, followed by a seated dinner and the ceremony at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 11 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Tables and tickets for the 2024 PBR Heroes and Legends Ceremony are on-sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.

The bull riding action for the 2024 PBR Camping World Team Series’ Wildcatter Days at Paycom Center begins at 7:45 p.m. CT on Friday, July 12, 6:45 p.m. CT on Saturday, July 13, and 1:45 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 14.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and start at $20, taxes and fees not included. They can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, at the Paycom Center Box Office, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.

Three-day ticket packages are available, offering fans a 15% discount on select price levels.

Fans can also purchase a combination package including tickets to both Wildcatter Days and an individual ticket for the Heroes & Legends ceremony at PBRDirect.

For more information about Heroes & Legends visit https://pbr.com/heroes-legends.

About PBR (Professional Bull Riders):

PBR is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 800 bull riders compete in more than 200 events annually across the televised PBR Unleash The Beast tour (UTB), which features the top bull riders in the world; the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT); the PBR Touring Pro Division (TPD); and the PBR’s international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. In 2022, PBR launched the PBR Team Series—eight teams of the world’s best bull riders competing for a new championship—as well as the PBR Challenger Series with more than 60 annual events nationwide. The organization’s digital assets include PBR RidePass on Pluto TV, which is home to Western sports. PBR is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company. For more information, visit PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Twitter at Twitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.

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