NEW YORK, NY - After two months of waiting, it's finally time to let PBR fans know that Jory Markiss of Missoula, Mont., has been voted the PBR's sexiest cowboy.
Nearly two million votes were cast from September - October 2013, declaring Markiss as the sexiest PBR bull rider and, as such, the cowboy who will appear on the cover of a special paperback version of New York Times best-selling author Nicholas Sparks' 17th novel, "The Longest Ride." This edition of the trade paperback will be sold exclusively by WalMart and hit the shelves on April 15, 2014.
"This is such an incredible honor," Markiss said. "I can't believe that the PBR fans came together with fans of Nicholas Sparks' novels and voted me as the sexiest PBR cowboy. I just like to ride bulls and entertain audiences and can only hope they enjoy themselves as much as I do each weekend. Being selected as a finalist was amazing enough, but winning is unbelievable and very humbling."
During a press conference in New York City prior to the PBR's 2014 Built Ford Tough Series kickoff event, the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden, Markiss and the book cover were revealed. Markiss joins a notable list of leading Hollywood men who have appeared on the cover of Sparks' bestsellers: Channing Tatum, Kevin Costner,Richard Gere, Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron.
"The Longest Ride" is centered on the story of Luke Collins, a fictional PBR bull rider. To pay homage to the bull riding cowboy, Sparks and publisher Grand Central Publishing agreed to feature the contest winner on this cover.
Twelve PBR bull riders were selected as finalists in the contest and were featured in the 2014 PBR's Sexiest Cowboy calendar. The calendar is available online at www.shop.pbr.com, at department stores nationwide and at 2014 PBR Built Ford Tough Series events while supplies last.
About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR)
The world's premier bull riding organization, the PBR, turns 21 in 2014. In just two decades, the dream of 20 bull riders has become a global sports phenomenon with PBR broadcasts reaching more than half a billion households in 50 nations and territories around the world, and more than 2.5 million fans attending live events each year. PBR has paid out more than $130 million in earnings to its athletes, and 25 riders have earned more than $1 million, including Justin McBride with $5.5 million - the most of any western sports athlete in history.