By Yepoka Yeebo
MANHATTAN — Times Square was filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the rodeo on Friday when 10 of the world's top bull riders competed amid Manhattan's skyscrapers.
Fans, tourists and passers-by lined Broadway between West 42nd Street and West 43rd Street to catch champion J.B. Mauney, who rode Flying J Saddles for eight seconds, and his cowboy colleagues.
"The fans really love it out here," said Mauney, whose ride was the longest of the event. "You hear them whooping and hollering."
The Professional Bull Riders event was ahead of a January show in Madison Square Garden. The top five riders will go on to the 2010 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, on October 24 and 25 to vie for the PBR Championship Buckle and a $1 million prize.
Tom Williams, from New Jersey, explained how the scoring works. "It's a 100 points maximum, and they have 50 percent for the bull, and 50 percent for the rider. These judges know exactly how it's supposed to look." Bulls, he said, are scored on bouncing, kicking and spinning.
"We love them, we've been with them five years, we wouldn't miss one event," said Joanne Eckhoff, from Montauk. "Times Square's unusual, I would rather see them back in Madison Square [Garden]."
"But it's an experience for everyone," she added
The event will also be broadcast nationwide on Sunday.