PBR 25th Unleash the Beast Tour Preview – NEW YORK CITY
By: Ted Stovin Friday, January 5, 2018 @ 4:35 PM
NEW YORK CITY – Fifteen Canadian bull riders have made the trek south this week, set to compete at four events across the PBR’s premier 25th Unleash the Beast Tour, Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division.
In New York City for the elite Unleash the Beast Tour season opener on Jan. 5-7, 2015 PBR Canada Champion Tanner Byrne and two-time PBR World Finals qualifier Dakota Buttar will look to win big in the Big Apple.
In Round 1, Byrne faces Black Ice while Buttar takes on GOOD RIDE’S Jailhouse Jr.
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Buttar, who is beginning his second season on the elite tour, finished his 2017 season on tour as the No.26 man in the World Standings having earned $87,055. With eight guaranteed events to establish himself, the Kindersley, Saskatchewan native will look to start his season strong, having finished 17th in his debut event in the city last season.
Byrne, on the other hand, has just three injury exemptions remaining thanks to his top-30 finish in the world standings from 2016.
Last year the Prince Albert, Saskatchewan product finished his partial season in the No.101 spot in the world standings. Byrne looks to regain his place as one of the top bull riders in the world after the best finish ever by a Canadian, at No.8 in 2015.
On the Touring Pro Division (TPD), Fort Worth, Texas will host two nights of competition, Jan. 5-6. There, Lonnie West, Bryce West, Fabian Dueck, Dayton Johnston, and Coy Robbins are set to compete.
In the current world rankings, Lonnie West holds down the No.8 having earned 90 world points so far compliments of a win in New Town, North Dakota and a sixth-place finish in Kearney, Nebraska.
West’s youngest brother, Bryce, makes his state-side TPD debut in Fort Worth on Friday drawing Clover Mountain Beau. Lonnie will face KW 48460.
While Dueck will remain in the Texas town for both nights of action, Johnston, Robbins and Lonnie West will fly to Oakland, California for the Jan. 6 Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour (RVT) stop. Also departing Texas is Bryce West who will drive to Denver, Colorado for the RVT stop on Jan. 8-10.
Canadian-raised bucking bull Canadian Mist, now owned by JW Hart, is featured in the Fort Worth Championship Round both nights.
Reining PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert and Cole Young begin their stateside competition schedule in Oakland on Saturday, Jan. 6. Lambert concluded the 2017 season ranked No.50 spot in the world standings after becoming just the second rider to earn multiple PBR Canada titles.
Concluding the weekend, 13 Canadian riders are in the draw in Denver at the National Western PBR from Jan. 8-10. Set to award $80,000 in prize money, it’s the second-highest paying RVT event of the season next to the finals in Las Vegas.
On Monday, Todd Chotowetz, Jared Parsonage, Wacey Finkbeiner and Brock Radford make their winter debut on the Velocity Tour.
Radford, fresh off a trip to Australia, has drawn Muddy Water, a bull that bucked off Dayton Johnston at the PBR Global Cup in Edmonton.
Also competing on Monday are Young, Lambert, Robbins, Dueck and Lonnie West.
On Tuesday, last year’s No.41 man in the world and National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Jordan Hansen, fits will compete in his first PBR event of the season, joined by Kale Marks, competing at his first PBR event since the PBR Global Cup qualifier, Byrne and Johnston.
The top riders from Round 1 on both Monday and Tuesday compete again in Round 2 and the Championship Round on Wednesday.
CBS Sports will air the first 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season, from New York at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 6. CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 2 from the Big Apple on Saturday, January 6 at 10:30 p.m. ET and all the action from Championship Sunday, with coverage of Round 3 and the Championship Round, on Sunday, January 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Fans will also be able to watch the first elite event of the year in its entirety at PBR.com/ondemand. Action from Round 1 will be viewable starting at 8:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, January 6, while Round 2 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle will be available starting at 8:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, January 7. Round 3 and the Championship Round can be seen starting at 8:00 a.m. ET on Monday, January 8.