World’s Best Bull Riders Return to New Orleans for First Time In More Than a Decade

07:00 March 13, 2023
By: Arielle Gonzales

Unleash The Beast Event at Smoothie King Center on March 17-18, 2023

The PBR Union Home Mortgage Invitational will take place March 17-18, 2023, at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Unleash The Beast will compete for the first time in 13 years.

More than 35 of the world's top bull riders will compete against the sport's worst cowboys for two nights only, presenting the ultimate battle of man vs beast in one of the most thrilling live athletic spectacles to watch.

Bull Rider [ Joseph Keil Unsplash]

The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) will commemorate 30 years since 20 cowboys left the conventional rodeo in the hope that bull riding might stand alone as a sport during the 2023 season. The PBR has developed into a global phenomenon since its ground-breaking effort, giving out approximately $300 million in prizes.

The 16th competition of the new individual season will take place at the upcoming PBR Union Home Mortgage Invitational. Riders will compete for significant points in the battle to become the 2023 PBR World Champion as spectators look on.

The PBR is coming back to New Orleans just after Daylon Swearingen, a teenage rider from Piffard, New York, had a historic season in which he became the first rider from New York to win the PBR World Championship in 2022.

Swearingen won the championship by winning the coveted PBR World Finals, and throughout his 2022 gold buckle campaign, he went an incredible 26-for-60, covering 43.33% of the opponents who were animal athletes.

Swearingen made $1,697,481.63 in total earnings, of which $1,394,000 came from his first-ever victory in the PBR World Championship and World Finals. With lifetime earnings of more than $2.21 million, Swearingen is now ranked 17th in terms of money won in PBR competition.

When the PBR's premier series last visited New Orleans in 2010, Pistol Robinson (Burleson, Texas) won the competition with a flawless 3-for-3 performance. Robson Palermo of Rio Branco Acre, Brazil, who has won the PBR World Finals competition three times, Chris Shivers of Jonesville, Louisiana, who has won the PBR World Championship twice, and Guilherme Marchi of Tres Lagoas, Brazil, who won the PBR World Championship in 2008, round out the Top 5.

Other past PBR Unleash The Beast event champions in the Big Easy include Tater Porter (2001), Wiley Petersen (2002, Fort Hall, Idaho), Bart Jackson (2002, Greenwood, Mississippi), Gilbert Carrillo (2007, Elk City, Oklahoma); Justin McBride (2001, Stephenville, Texas); and Tater Porter (2002, Greenwood, Mississippi) (2000 - Kenansville, Florida).

The PBR Union Home Mortgage Invitational's bull riding competition gets off with Round 1 at 7:45 p.m. CT on Friday, March 17. Round 2 and the championship round get underway at 6:45 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 18. In Rounds 1-2, each competitive bull rider will mount a single bull. The riders' individual two-round scores will be added up following Round 2 on Saturday evening, with the Top 12 moving on to the championship round for one more go and a shot at winning the competition.

On Friday, November 11 at 10:00 a.m. CT, tickets for the two-day event go on sale. Prices start at $15, taxes and fees not included. The Smoothie King Center Box Office,,, and the PBR customer care line at 1-800-732-1727 are all places where tickets may be purchased.

PBR Elite Seats are offered for die-hard fans that desire an elite VIP experience while watching the top bull riding circuit in the world. These tickets, which come in three categories, include three premium seating options, a $20 concession voucher, a commemorative credential and lanyard, and a personal on-site concierge at the PBR fan loyalty booth.

The PBR Bronze Elite Seats are available for $225 and come with a pre-event picture on the dirt that can be downloaded digitally after the event.

The PBR Silver Elite Seats are $310, and the PBR Gold Elite Seats are $390. Both of these seats come with a 30th anniversary collectible item, a pre-show tour with PBR talent, and a photo taken on the ground in front of the bucking chutes that can be printed or downloaded digitally and taken home with you after the show.

A 2023 PBR Yearbook will also be included with the PBR Gold Elite Seats, which will provide the greatest views in the arena. For more information about the PBR and to see the full 2023 PBR Unleash The Beast schedule, visit

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