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Yee Haw! Professional Bull Riders At MSG This Weekend

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Look out Naked Cowboy -- there are different types of cowboys coming to the Big Apple this weekend.

But instead of singing, these guys are riding on bulls. Or at least, they hope they will be, CBS2's Valerie Castro reported Thursday.

One fan was ready for the weekend Thursday, as he was seen riding his mechanical bull all around Madison Square Garden.

"I used to be a bull rider myself, and so when you get too old to compete, you ride a mechanical one," said Steve Bacque of Cranford, New Jersey.

But it's not a machine thousands of spectators will be pouring into the Garden to see.

It's real bulls, and those daring enough to ride them, that will grab their attention.

"The energy is exciting. They pack it into the Garden. In a space most people think we won't do well, is one of our favorite stops the entire year," announcer Matt West said.

Professional Bull Riders
Professional Bull Riders will return to Madison Square Garden on the first weekend of January. (Photo: CBS2)

The 2019 Monster Energy Buck Off is kicking off its tour on Friday night in New York City. Crews were busy Thursday getting MSG ready so the world's top 35 riders can compete against the highest-ranking bulls in the nation.

CBS2 met one up close.

"His name is 'Lab Rat,' and they just weighted him in and he's a little over 1,400 pounds," stock contractor Justin Cornwell said.

To show a comparison, 12 area police officers and a police dog hopped on the scale right before and collectively weighed more, but it showed just how big these animals are. Cornwell said the 9-year-old bull is expected to retire soon.

"This is probably his last year bucking and then he will go live with the cows," he said.

Keyshawn Whitehorse has just started his career, winning Rookie of the Year at the 2018 Professional Bull Riders World Finals.

"It feels amazing, wonderful. (It's) hard to put into words," Whitehorse said.

WATCH: Complete interview with Keyshawn Whitehorse

The 21-year-old is a part of the new, historic all-Native American Team USA Wolves.

"A specialized team that the USA has. It has seven Native Americans on that team," Whitehorse said.

It's a team he is proud to be a part of and one the crowd is sure to be cheering on this weekend.

To see this weekend's schedule of events at the Garden, please click here.

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