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Champion Bull Rider Jory Markiss Wins PBR's Sexiest Cowboy Title

Champion Will Appear on Cover of Special Edition of Nicholas Sparks' Latest Book "The Longest Ride"

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - January 04, 2014) - 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. For more information on the PBR, go to PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Twitter at Twitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.

NICHOLAS SPARKS is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 17 novels and a memoir. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 90 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 60 million copies in the United States alone. Eight of his novels have been adapted into feature films. His latest novel The Longest Ride debuted as a #1 New York Times bestseller after publishing on September 17th, 2013, and Fox 2000 is set to release the film adaptation in 2015. It tells the parallel stories of two relationships-one between an older man and his wife of many years, the other between a college student and a young bull rider who have only just met-as their lives converge with unexpected poignancy.

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