How much do Bull Riders make?

Bulls, despite being bovine animals, are not as peaceful as their peers, the cows. Bulls are considered wild animals due to their angry temperament. There are several activities that humans partake in that involve this animal, such as bullfighting.

All these practices have the purpose of taming or overcoming the aggressiveness of the bull, being very dangerous sports. It is necessary to practice a lot to be considered a professional bull rider. With these practices, the rider’s integrity is at risk, which is why the payment is important.

What is the average salary for Professional Bull Riders employees in the United States?

A bull rider’s purpose is to compete against other riders to see who can hold on to a wild bull the longest. The one who lasts the longest or tames the bull is the winner.

To do so, the bull is boxed in and rodeo assistants are hired to grab the bull’s head and secure it while the rider can ride on the animal’s back. Once on top, the rider gives the order to release the bull.

This career assumes possible wounds, injuries, or more serious cases for the rider, so the price for belonging to this guild is expensive. An average bull rider’s salary can start from $19,910 to $187,200, with the average being $64,168 per year.

The average for the top 50% of riders is earning around $28,400, while the average for the top 75% is $187,200 per year.

The real attraction of being a bull rider is in the national and international bull riding competitions. Winning the competitions is always accompanied by prize money, for example, the world champion is paid $1 million.

A winner of the world finals can win a cash prize of $300,000, so riders focus on winning the competitions to receive more money than their salary.

Who is the highest-paid bull rider?

Based on prestige, championship history, riding record, and other factors, the rider gains value in the bull rider market. While the median salary is $64,168 per year, some riders earn well above the rest because of their ride and prominence.

J.B. Mauney

James Mauney is a cowboy who specialized in bull riding. He was a 2-time Professional Bull Riders world championship winner in 2014 and 2015. He is considered the best bull rider currently.

His skill is so high that he is known to choose the bull that has the highest rank when there’s a tie, that is to make the tiebreaker round. Proving that he can compete using the highest-ranked bull.

Mauney is currently the highest-earning rider in the world, worth an estimated $7.4 million in total.

Silvano Alves

Silvano Alves is a Brazilian who began his interaction with bulls at a very young age. Coming from a farming family, Silvano started riding bulls on his farm at age 8. By 15 he was already making his debut as a professional rider in Brazil.

He was the first bull rider to win two consecutive World Championships, so his professional career has been impeccable. He is among the highest-paid bull riders, generating a total of $6.4 million.

Jose Vitor Leme

This Brazilian cowboy was the Professional Bull Riders World Champion, winning the 2020 and 2021 editions. This year he was named the MVP of the U.S. Professional Bull Riders team in the 2022 series. Jose Vitor Leme’s career net worth is $5.4 million.

What Does It Take to Become a Professional Bull Rider?

To join the Professional Bull Rider Association you must be 18 years of age or older. You must then purchase a membership in the PBR and fill out the membership application. Annually, the term of membership lasts until October 31, which is the end of the season. Then it must be renewed again. Membership for a professional bull rider is $520 per year, that is, per season.

Once you join the PBR, you will receive the updated calendar of events, a membership packet with your membership cards, a set of paddles, and all the official rules and regulations for the various competitions.

At the start of membership, you will only have one permit that will allow you to participate in the Touring Pro-Division and Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour events. Once you have accumulated prize money of at least $2500, you will be able to become a non-permit holder and compete in larger competitions.

To compete you must first register through the PBR competition department, these registrations open 16 days before the date of an event, and the rider must approach the department between the hours of 8:00 am to noon.

2 weeks before the competition, the rider can register between Tuesday and Thursday at the established times. The PBR has published the competition calendars for riders to keep an eye out for entries.

On the event calendars, you will also find the entry fees as well as which of the venues they will be taking place at, how much the prize money is for the winner, and of course, the dates of the upcoming events.

How long is the bull rider’s career?

The professional bull rider’s career is not usually that long because the physical conditions required to compete worldwide and be on the podium are quite demanding. It usually lasts about 10 consecutive years, with the rider’s prime years being between 20 and 30 years of age.

Many bull riders suffer injuries in competitions, so their professional career will be determined by the severity of the injuries and the rider’s recovery.