Game Notes – Halifax
By: Kacie Albert Saturday, June 1, 2019 @ 10:00 AM
HELLO HALIFAX – This weekend, for the second time in league history, PBR Canada’s Monster Energy Tour will buck into Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the Scotiabank Centre with the Halifax Toughest Cowboy, presented by GO! Store on Saturday, June 1. Action for the tour’s final eastern event gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ADT.
SO FAR OUT EAST – With the Halifax Toughest Cowboy, presented by GO! Store, comes the final Eastern Canadian Monster Energy Tour event of 2019. Having made three stops prior to the event in Nova Scotia, the competition in the nation’s eastern provinces has been intense. After beginning action in Quebec for the third edition of the league’s lone international Major, the Canadian Iron Cowboy, Derek Kolbaba made history, winning the event for the second time in his career after emerging victorious at the inaugural event in 2017. Not only did the win gain him crucial ground in the world standings, propelling him from No. 11 to No. 7, but he skyrocketed up the national standings, leaving the Videotron Centre the No. 3-ranked rider in Canada after previously being unranked. While American Brennon Eldred finished second, Zane Lambert was the top-finishing Canadian in third. The event also featured a break-through performance from reigning Rookie of the Year Keyshawn Whitehorse who finished fourth in his Canadian debut. The following weekend in London, fans watched on as electric rookie Daylon Swearingen captured his third event win of the 2019 season. Not only did the Piffard, New York native climb from No. 19 to No. 4 in the nation courtesy of the win, but he also rose into the Top 35 in the world, leaving the Ontario event No. 27 after beginning the stop No. 36. As the top-ranked rider from the Canadian standings that competed in London, Shay Marks’ runner-up finish allowed him to gain ground in the national rankings as he seeks his first PBR Canada Championship. Earning 200 national points, Marks, who won the season-launch event in Winnipeg, inched within 200 points of then No. 1 Jared Parsonage.
At the most recent stop in Moncton, American Michael Lane captured his first event win on Canadian soil. Not only was the win a milestone moment for the Virginia native, but it also propelled him to No. 35 in the world, earning him a berth to this weekend’s Unleash The Beast event in Green Bay, Wisconsin. With Swearingen finishing second at the stop to gain even more ground in the world and Canadian title race, the event also featured a breakthrough performance from 2017 PBR Canada Rookie of the Year Coy Robbins who had been battling a slump since returning from injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2018 season.
A NEW CANADIAN NO. 1 – Recording his third event victory of the season, Jordan Hansen tied for the event win on Friday night at the annual Clunie-Cooper Memorial PBR. After riding Preacher Man for 84.5 points in Round 1, the Alberta native recorded the top score in the championship round when he covered Broken Trigger for 86.5 points. Splitting the win with young gun Jake Lockwood, Hansen netted 260 Canadian and 45 world points, allowing him to overtake Jared Parsonage for the top spot in the national standings. After entering the event 45 points back of the No. 1 spot, Hansen now leads No. 2 Parsonage by 190 points. Hansen was previously the No. 1 ranked rider in the nation, but was passed in mid-May when Parsonage finished runner-up at the Touring Pro Division event in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. In the world standings, Hansen also gained positions, rising from No. 61 to No. 51. Thus far in 2019, Hansen’s additional victories include a win at the first Canadian event of the season in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and his first career win on the Monster Energy Tour in Calgary, Alberta.
HERE’S THE FULL STORY ON PRINCE ALBERT –On Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31, PBR Canada held the annual Clunie-Cooper Memorial PBR Touring Pro Division event in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. With one rider capable of earning 170 world and 350 Canadian points, the stakes were high. After two nights of hard-fought action, Jordan Hansen and Jake Lockwood tied for the event win. Both recording a combined score of 171 points on two bulls, for Lockwood, the win, was backed by 85.5-point rides on 2015 PBR Canada Bull of the Year Minion Stuart in Round 1 and Baja Midnight in the championship round. The win was his second consecutive victory on Canadian soil after capturing the first win of his career in Mid-May in Nipawin. Earning 245 Canadian points, Lockwood rocketed up the national standings, climbing from No. 14 to No. 7. He now trails new Canadian No. 1 Hansen by 670.83 points. Lockwood also gained ground in the world rankings, rising from No. 56 to No. 47, now trailing the Top 35 by 190 world points. With Hansen and Lockwood the only two riders to make two qualified rides, the Top 5 was rounded out by: Weston Hartman, Aaron Roy and Cole Wagner. While co-event winner Hansen is set to make the trip to Halifax, he will also be joined by fellow Prince Albert competitor Jared Parsonage who gained 25 Canadian and 2.5 world points for his tie for sixth. Parsonage’s Top 10 effort was backed by an 84-point ride on Speak Easy in Round 1.
DAYLON PULLS DOUBLE DUTY – In his quest to qualify for the first PBR World Finals of his career, Top 35-ranked bull rider Daylon Swearingen will ride on both the Unleash The Beast in Green Bay, Wisconsin and the Halifax Toughest Cowboy, simultaneously. With the Green Bay event set to host the second Major WCRA $1-million rodeo parallel to the Halifax Monster Energy Tour event, Swearingen rode in Round 1 on the premier series Friday, travelled to Nova Scotia and then will return to the United States for Round 2 and the Championship Round in Green Bay on Sunday. After a runner-up finish in Canada at the Moncton Classic last weekend, Swearingen will be looking to rebound from a heartbreaking 7.14-second buckoff of Big Boss last night during Round 1 inside the Resch Center.
Since Swearingen’s March 15 win in Belton, Texas on the Touring Pro Division, the New York-native has mounted a meteoric climb up the world rankings. Finishing fourth at his next event, the Bakersfield, California, Velocity Tour event, Swearingen earned his second victory of the season, taking the Velocity Tour title in Wichita, Kansas. He netted 220 world points and climbed from No. 65 to No. 35 in the world standings. At his Unleash The Beast debut in Columbus, which came after he earned 12.5 world points for a fifth-place finish on the Touring Pro Division in Clovis, California, Swearingen showed he had the talent to thrive at the sport’s top level, finishing 13th overall. Advancing to the championship round at his debut, Swearingen’s showing was highlighted by a gritty 85-point ride on Chief Petty Officer. Competing in Canada during the two-week break prior to Albuquerque, Swearingen won the Canadian Monster Energy Tour’s event in London, Ontario to collect an additional 170 world points and climb to No. 27 in the world. After a fourteenth-place finish in Albuquerque, which garnered him 15 world points, Swearingen gained even greater ground in the title race after a runner-up finish last weekend in Canada in Moncton. Collecting 90 world points, Swearingen travels to Halifax No. 22 in the world. Should he win in Halifax, Swearingen would return to Green Bay the No. 14 ranked rider in the world, 325 points outside of the Top 10.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT –This weekend’s Monster Energy Tour event in Halifax will feature a field of 12 riders, all competing in two rounds, with the Top 10 advancing to the championship round where the event winner will be crowned. To begin the night, all entered riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1 and Round 2. The Top 10 based on the combined score from those two rounds will then advance to the championship round where they will attempt one final bull in an effort to win the event title, their share of the purse along with crucial world and Canadian points. Specific to the Canadian standings, a rider has the chance to earn augmented national points compared to a traditionally formatted, one-day Monster Energy Tour event. Compared to an event with two rounds, where a rider could earn a maximum 550 Canadian points, one rider has the chance to leave Halifax with 700 Canadian points.
TIGHT TITLE RACE – With one rider capable of leaving Halifax with 700 Canadian points, the stakes are high in the race to be crowned the 2019 PBR Canada Champion. Entering the Nova Scotia event, the Top 6 riders in the Canadian standings are all within that that margin of one another, with five of those riders set to compete inside the Scotiabank Centre. Led by No. 1 Jordan Hansen, No. 2 Jared Parsonage trails the top spot by 190 points, while No. 3 Daylon Swearingen is 232.08 points back, No. 4 Shay Marks is 320 points behind, and No. 6 Zane Lambert is within 402.08 points. With an intense summer run in Canada nearly upon the world’s best riders, the race’s intensity heightens when you look further down the standings, with the Top 20 all within 1,000 points of one another.
I SPY THE TOP 35 – This year the PBR’s Executive Competition Committee (ECC) approved a revised PBR world points system pertaining to the Velocity Tour and International Tour events for the 2019 season and beyond. International Cup events in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico will now award 170 world points to the winner.
With the increased points available, the stakes are raised for the Halifax event, with five riders in position to possibly earn a berth or alternate position to the Unleash The Beast’s next event, the Last Cowboy Standing Major in Cheyenne, Wyoming, now part of Cheyenne Frontier Days. While none of the five will be able to climb inside the Top 35, should any of them win, they will all be within 195 points of the Top 35.
Shay Marks is currently No. 48 and would rise to No. 36, just 27.5 points outside of the Top 35
Jordan Hansen is currently No. 51 and would ride to No. 37, just 40 points outside of the Top 35
Jared Parsonage is currently No. 53 and would rise to No. 37, just 60 points outside of the Top 35
Cody Casper is currently No. 59 and would rise to No. 38, just 80 points outside of the Top 35
Zane Lambert is currently No. 81 and would rise to No. 47, just 192.5 points outside of the Top 35
PREVIOUSLY IN HALIFAX – Last season in Halifax, Brazilian Marcos Gloria made history when he won the inaugural Monster Energy Tour event in the city, becoming the first rider to win back-to-back events on Canada’s premier bull riding tour. Backed by an 86.5-point ride on Ulterra’s Night Vision, Gloria surged to the No. 1 ranking in Canada, overtaking then No. 1 Brock Radford by 132.5 points. Of the riders set to compete this season in Halifax, Zane Lambert was the top finisher in fourth. Covering Smash for 83.5 points Lambert’s Top 5 finish allowed him to rise from No. 6 to No. 3 in the Canadian standings.
2018 Marcos Gloria
FAMILIAR WATERS – During Rounds 1 and 2 of this weekend’s Halifax Toughest Cowboy, fans will witness seven rematches. Of those renewed showdowns, only two riders have previously covered their bovine athlete opponent. In what is shaping up to be one of the grudge-matches to watch, two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert will attempt Kool Air for the fourth time in his career in Round 2 of the event. After riding him for 85.5 points in their first meeting in 2018 at the Touring Pro Division event in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Lambert and the R Saga Ranch bull next met in the Canadian Finals in 2018 when Lambert was bested in 6.76 seconds. The two most recently squared off at the Canadian Iron Cowboy in early May when Lambert recorded his second qualified ride on the bull, marked 85.5 points. Also set to be seen in Round 2, Shay Marks will look to remain perfect aboard Diesel. Also meeting at the Canadian Iron Cowboy in early May, the Alberta rider covered the bull for a score of 83.5 points. Of the remaining five rematches, the bovine athlete has emerge victorious each time.
In Round 1, those renewed showdowns are:
Cody Casper vs. Aftermath (0-1; 3.67 seconds – 2019 Moncton MET)
Cole Young vs. Black Bath (0-1; 7.78 seconds – 2019 Moncton MET)
Daylon Swearingen vs. Big Tymer (0-1; 3.92 seconds 2019 Quebec MET)
In Round 2, the remaining rematches are:
Young vs. Dylans Devil (0-1; 2.4 seconds – 2019 London MET)
Zac Bourgeois vs. Flash Forward (0-1; 7.34 seconds – 2019 London MET)
BULL PEN – With reigning PBR Canada Bull of the Year Happy Camper staying home for the eastern swing of this season’s Monster Energy Tour, One for the Money has the chance to surpass him for most bull of the event honors thus far in 2019. Splitting the honors last weekend in Moncton after being marked 43.5 points for his 7.54-second buckoff of Shay Marks, One for the Money is now tied with Happy Camper with two event titles. From Two Bit Bucking Bulls, Happy Camper recorded his high scores in back-to-back events in Lethbridge and Calgary. Of Vold Rodeo, One for the Money was first the top bull in Quebec, marked 44 points when Derek Kolbaba successfully rode him for an 88-point score to be crowned the 2019 Canadian Iron Cowboy.
NEXT UP – Following a fourth month break, PBR Canada’s Monster Energy Tour will next travel to Abbotsford, British Columbia, and the Abbotsford Centre for the Abbotsford Classic. The event will be the eighth event of the 2019 season and will get underway on Saturday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. PT.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bullfighters on hand for this weekend’s event in Halifax are Bo Byrne, Greg Loring Jr., and Dominic Roy.
BROADCAST COVERAGE – Fans will be able to watch the action in its entirety live via PBR’s new streaming digital platform RidePass. Coverage of the Halifax Toughest Cowboy, presented by GO! Store, will begin at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 1. The event will also be broadcast on TSN2 on Tuesday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
HALIFAX COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY
Canada (9) –Zac Bourgeois, Todd Chotowetz, Jordan Hansen, Zane Lambert, Shay Marks, Jacob Moore, Jared Parsonage, Coy Robbins, Cole Young
United States (3) – Cody Casper, Austin Richardson, Daylon Swearingen
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta –Jordan Hansen, Zane Lambert, Shay Marks, Coy Robbins, Cole Young; Ontario – Jacob Moore; Quebec – Zac Bourgeois; Saskatchewan – Todd Chotowetz, Jared Parsonage.