When the 2016 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series season began everyone knew that it would be the year the 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee would make history. Earlier tonight Lee would finally reach that milestone that he has been reaching for ever since he could realistically see it in his sights. The fans that were lucky enough to witness history live inside of the Rimrock Auto Arena or watching live on PBRLive.com watched something that they will not soon forget.
Tonight Mike Lee became only the second contestant in the over 20 year history of the Professional Bull Riders to earn the distinction of having 500 career qualified rides with the only other man to do so being PBR veteran Guilherme Marchi. As a complete sign of respect for one another Mike Lee asked if Guilherme would take the honor of pulling his rope for the ride of his life that he made just a couple of hours ago. This show of sportsmanship is exactly why the sport of professional bull riding is unlike any other professional sport in the world and that watching witnessed this first hand tonight!
Mike Lee Reaches 500 Career PBR Rides In Billings
Photo Credit: Bull Stock Media / Andy Watson
The anticipation of what was bound to happen at some point this weekend hit a all time high Saturday night as the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series made their way to Billings, Montana. Last weekend while in North Little Rock, Arkansas Mike Lee nearly reached his 500 career ride milestone that he has been striving for since the beginning of the season. Falling just one ride short made this weekend’s event one that nobody wanted to miss and all three days of the event sold out quickly.
Lee came into Saturday night’s second round just one ride short of making history after having a great weekend just seven days earlier to bring his total to 499. Tonight the drama would end and the celebration would begin as the 2004 PBR World Champion and the only other man to reach this legendary status, Guilherme Marchi, would stand atop the shark cage to look back on his incredible journey that brought him here.
I was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota two weeks ago covering the BFTS stop at the Denny Sandford PREMIER Center hoping that would be the weekend this would happen. Although history did not happen that weekend I was able to catch up with Mike Lee following the conclusion of Championship Sunday to talk to him down on the arena floor about the looming 500th career ride mark that would be reached tonight. Take a look below and see what the legend himself had to say about the exciting day that lied ahead of him only two short weeks later here in Billings, Montana!
This interview was a very special moment that I will always remember as we continue to bring you all of the stories, recaps and live event coverage from around the country. Mike Lee is a special person that has not let his star power get to his head. He is always the first one to the arena and the last one to leave the dirt following the event as he gives each and every person a little part of his time to make them feel special. A huge congratulations goes out to Mike Lee for his amazing achievement that is well deserved for one of the most humble men in western sports history!
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