What: Pro Bull Riders Touring Pro Ryan McConnel Invitational
When: June 28-29, 7:30 p.m.
Where: McGee Park Coliseum; 41 CR 5568
Cost: Tickets range from $5 to $35
More info: To purchase tickets, call 505-325-4515
FARMINGTON — San Juan County will get a taste of some of the best bull riding in the country this weekend.
The Professional Bull Rider's first Four Corners Ryan McConnel Invitational begins today at the McGee Park Coliseum in Farmington.
McConnel, a 2005 Bloomfield High graduate, said he couldn't be more exicted to come back home and compete in the event that bears his name.
"I think it's one of my biggest milestones for my career," McConnel said.
The Farmington stop was added to the Professional Bull Riders schedule as part of its Touring Pro Division.
"This is going to be huge for the community," McConnel said. "This will be something that they've only seen on TV. It will be a star-studded lineup. They'll see bull riding like they've never seen before."
The Touring Pro Division acts as a minor-league tour for the PBR, giving its riders a chance to earn points and money while trying to qualify for the PBR's main tour, the Built Ford Tough Series.
One young rider attempting to establish himself on the tour is McConnel's younger brother Joseph, who will be competing in the event.
Joseph McConnel, a 2012 Bloomfield High graduate, is currently ranked 20th in the Touring Pro Division thanks to a win in January at an event in Denver in which he took home $23,000 for first place.
Joseph McConnel said having his older brother on tour has helped to ease his transition into the professional ranks a year after he won the National High School Finals Rodeo national title.
"He's always pushed me, and now we're pushing each other," Joseph McConnel said.
Ryan will be competing in the event as well after missing a large portion of the last year recoving from multiple injuries, including a torn hamstring and a broken arm.
The McConnel brothers are expecting a large turnout for the event and hope to ride to victory in front of their home crowd.
"It will be great. We'll have our whole family in the stands," Joseph McConnel said. "It will be fun."
They are both hopeful that this event will be a yearly stop on the tour.
"I think they should have this every year. It's the right place for an event," Joseph McConnel said.
The event runs today and Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m., with a long and short round running on each day.Joshua Perry can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.