RIDGEDALE, Mo. – As the Professional Bull Riders Team Series rides into Ridgedale this weekend, here’s a look into where Missouri’s Team Thunder sits heading into the contest.
Guests will witness the world’s top bull riders and bullfighters in an action-packed Team Series competition during the three-day run at the new Bass Pro Shops Thunder Ridge Nature Arena. The event is the inaugural homestand for the Thunder and will feature five-on-five bull riding matchups between eight teams.
The Thunder are coached by 2001 PBR World Champion Luke Snyder and PBR Ring of Honor member Ross Coleman.
The Carolina Cowboys currently sit in the No. 1 spot, while the Missouri Thunder are in fifth. The Thunder hold a 10-9-0 record with 31 out of 95 rides reaching the eight-second threshold to receive a score. The team has earned $437,667 together so far in 2022.
“It is a log jam – first through fourth place,” Snyder said. “It’s anybody’s game up until this point but still you want to win as many regular season games as you can.”
Snyder predicts that as the series closes in on finals in early November, the competition will become a slugfest when the No. 1 and two teams receive a bye week and the two bottom teams duel it out to see who advances.
And with a roster of former world champions and household names, Snyder believes Team Thunder has a legitimate shot to climb atop the standings at the Thunder Days event.
Team Thunder’s No. 2 draft pick Clayton Sellars was recently injured and is out for the season, which led to the coaches grabbing a few fresh bull riders to take his place. One of them is Marcelo Pereira, a 27-year-old from Brazil who has impressed many since joining the PBR last year. Pereira has covered two out of three rides since joining Team Thunder.
The team also has signed Mexican bull riding sensation Alvaro Aguilar and a few others, bringing Synder and Coleman optimism about the Thunder’s chances come early November.
“[Alvaro’s] an untapped, unforeseen guy that nobody has eyes on,” Snyder told The Heartlander. “We expect big things from him. To take it further, we’re bringing up a kid named Luke Parkinson who is from Australia. He (does) college rodeos and is a phenom. He has every trick in the book and rides very correctly. The sky’s the limit with him. Our roster is going to look a little bit different. I’m very optimistic about what the second half is about to look like.”
The event will be on both streaming services and national television. Fans can download a free PBR Ride Pass to watch the first two days of the event on Pluto TV, while Sunday’s events will be shown on CBS. For a complete television schedule, visit PBR’s website. To attend PBR Thunder Days, tickets can be purchased here.
The PBR event also is the kickoff celebration for Big Cedar Lodge’s Thunder Ridge Nature Arena. Aside from the Team Series competitions, the weekend will see a series of airshows, fireworks, cookouts, tailgates and celebrity meet-and-greets, and attendees will even get a chance to meet members of Team Thunder.
For a full schedule of Thunder Day events and family fun, click here.