Despite bull riding’s dangers, the ‘toughest sport on dirt’ is growing in popularity

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Professional Bull Riders (PBR) rider Tyler Harr riding Kookaburra is flipped off a bull during the Built Ford Tough Series Monster Energy Buck Off at Madison Square Garden in New York on January 6, 2017. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY

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ROSEMONT -- Some of the best bull riders in the world are in the area this weekend for the Professional Bull Riders' (PBR) Built Ford Tough series.

Drawing 30,000 fans to Madison Square Garden, not to mention attracting people to 26 other PBR events around the country, bull riding appears to be growing in popularity and attracting many new fans. In Sunday's PBR championship at the Allstate Arena, the top 15 riders will compete for the Chicago Invitational title and up to $30,000 in prizes.

During each round, riders need to stay on the thrashing bull for a minimum of 8 seconds. While it sounds fast, it's an eternity when your life is on the line.  WGN's Maggie Carlo spoke with bull riders and fans to find out what draws them to the "toughest sport on dirt."

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