By Jennifer Glickel
MIDTOWN WEST — Professional bull riding, a sporting event foreign to most New Yorkers, is coming to town this weekend at Madison Square Garden.
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Madison Square Garden invitational will feature competition between the world's top 40 professional bull riders. There will be three performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m.
To promote the event, PBR organized a charity mechanical bull riding competition for members of New York's press corps on Thursday morning outside of Penn Station.
Alex Iglesias from MSG.com took the title of the media's best urban cowboy with a ride time of 32.16 seconds. Iglesias' $5,000 winnings will be donated to his charity of choice, the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
Two of the world's top bull riders joined the journalists for the chilly morning contest.
"It's pretty funny watching people that's never been on [a bull] before and how they try to do it and everything," said 22 year-old J.B. Mauney, the 2009 NYC champion bull rider.
Reigning world champion Kody Lostroh said the charity competition was certainly fun to watch, but did not paint a realistic picture of bull riding for the participants.
"This kind of has the appearance of bull riding, but it's actually totally different," Lostroh said.
"Real bulls they move a lot different than those [mechanical bulls] do," Mauney explained. "They can roll and those things can only go up and down and turn either way. Bulls they can do a lot of different stuff."