ABBI continually examines and evaluates every aspect of their event system with the goals of financially rewarding as many bulls as possible, providing members with the best possible competition experience and insuring the fairest playing field. After a review of the last several seasons, the decision was made to make several changes for 2018. These include changes to the Finals qualification process, bonuses paid out, and sanctioned event fees.
The 2018 Futurity Finals will take the Top 60 qualifiers based on regular season money won (excluding American Heritage). Animals must have a minimum of six outs. The estimated Futurity Finals purse is $120,000 with an estimated $32,000 payout for first place. There will be two rounds at the Futurity Finals, and each round will pay off, as will the average. The estimated Futurity Finals event winner bonuses are: first $16,000, second $8,000 and third $4,000.
The Futurity World Champion bull will be crowned based on the top six scores of the season averaged together with the two round scores at the Finals. Bulls must have a minimum of six outs going into Vegas, but may have more outs since only the top six scores, plus the Finals outs, will be averaged together. The estimated Futurity World Champion bonuses are as follows: first $30,000; second $15,000 and third $7,500.
"We always want to provide a clear and direct pathway for each level of competition," explained ABBI Executive Director Jay Daugherty. "We want to give every animal an opportunity to win, reward consistency, and ensure that at the end of the season we have the best group of contenders for our most prestigious titles. These changes allow us to reward individuals who turn in solid performances all season long as well as those that shine in Las Vegas. "
The Classic World Champion will now be determined by eight scores averaged together (the top six scores of the regular season plus two Finals outs). The estimated Classic World Champion bonuses are $100,000 for first and $50,000 for the Reserve Champion. The Classic Finals event winner will receive $100,000, with second place receiving $50,000. The estimated purse is $480,000.
The bonuses will be possible due to a change in ABBI sanctioning fees. There will be an additional $50 fee added to each class at sanctioned events; ABBI event fees will remain the same. One hundred percent of this $50 fee will be paid back to their respective classes in the form of bonus money, with the Futurity and Classic bonus goals being the estimates listed above.
"ABBI has already committed $30,000 to the Futurity bonuses," shared Daugherty. "We'll keep our members updated quarterly as to what the bonus is up to for each class. The Yearling and Derby bonuses will be split between the regular season and Finals."
The Lifetime Yearling and Lifetime Derby have been phased out and will be replaced by Yearling and Derby events with lower entry fees that will be open to everyone. The Derby bulls will be bucking at the PBR's Velocity Finals and a big Yearling event will take place during the ABBI World Finals.
Derby Finals fees will now be $3,000 with an estimated purse of $144,000. This model is based on 60 entries and would pay $39,000 for first. The Yearling Finals entry fee will be $2,500 with an estimated purse of $120,000. That would pay $32,000 to the champion, based on 60 entries.
“We think these changes will benefit the majority of our loyal members and it will allow us to reward more bulls with bonuses for 2018,” said Daugherty. “It will also make the regular season more exciting and integral to determining who takes home our biggest prizes.”