Game Notes – Abbotsford
By: Kacie Albert Friday, October 18, 2019 @ 10:03 AM
BACK TO BRITISH COLUMBIA – This weekend, for the fourth time in league history, PBR Canada’s Monster Energy Tour will buck into Abbotsford, British Columbia, and the Abbotsford Centre with the Abbotsford Classic on Saturday, October 19. Action for the tour’s first event in four months gets underway at 7:00 p.m. PDT.
WHILE WE WERE AWAY – Since the last Monster Energy Tour event of the 2019 season on June 1 in Halifax, PBR Canada has held 19 Touring Pro Division events, where 1,000s of points have been available. As a result, the nation’s Top 10 has shuffled greatly, featuring five new faces, as the season winds ever-closer to the 2019 PBR Monster Energy Canadian Finals, presented by Dakota Dunes Casino on Nov. 22-23 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the SaskTel Centre where riders will not only be chasing the national title, but $50,000 bonus as well. This weekend, with the nation’s Top 3 within 480 points of one another, the tour could easily leave Abbotsford with a new Canadian No. 1 with one rider having the chance to earn a maximum 550 Canadian points. A few moves to note:
Dakota Buttar: While Dakota Buttar may not be competing in Abbotsford, set to ride on the overlapping elite Unleash The Beast stop in Nampa, Idaho as the No. 26-ranked rider in the world, he is the man everyone is chasing in Canada. After sustaining what he thought was a season-ending shoulder injury in mid-April in Billings, Montana, the Kindersley, Saskatchewan man got news from his surgeon that he would indeed be able to ride the remainder of the 2019 season. On June 8, he made his return to competition, and season debut on Canadian soil, and has been on a tear since. Going an impressive 25-for-38 (65.79%) Buttar has earned a league-leading five event wins, in addition to an accompanying 10 Top-10 efforts. The impressive results led from Buttar to go from unranked to overtaking the nation’s No. 1 ranking from Jared Parsonage, who has held it the majority of the year, on Sept. 13 following his most recent Touring Pro Division win in St. Tite, Quebec. As the Monster Energy Tour travels to Abbotsford, he leads No. 2 Parsonage by a slim 122.51 points.
Jake Gardner: When the Monster Energy Tour left Halifax, Jake Gardner was ranked No. 15 in the nation, 1,248.33 points behind the No. 1 ranking. Despite still being a sizeable margin removed from No. 1 Dakota Buttar, 1,525.83 points, he is the No. 6-ranked rider in Canada and well on his way to qualifying for the second consecutive PBR Canada Finals of his career. The British Columbia native made his biggest jump in the standings after capturing the second PBR event win of his career on July 20 in Manor, Saskatchewan. Winning both rounds of the event, Gardner earned a crucial 350 Canadian points and skyrocketed from No. 25 to No. 8 in the nation. Since, he has recorded four Top 5 efforts, finishing fourth in Frog Lake, Alberta, Stavely, Alberta, Magrath, Alberta, and St. Tite, Quebec. In Round 1 of the Abbotsford Classic, he’ll attempt Vold Rodeo’s Timber Jam for the second time in his career.
Brock Radford: For Brock Radford, the past two years have ended in heartbreak in Saskatoon, finishing No. 2 in the national standings in consecutive seasons. Relegated to the sidelines for the majority of the first half, Radford, however, returned more determined than ever during the summer to capture his first PBR Canada Championship. On July 4, the De Winton, Alberta-man made his return to competition at the Touring Pro Division stop in Calgary, however was unable to make the eight. After finishing 15th at the Calgary Stampede, his subsequent PBR event, Radford steadily began to climb the national standings by recording four Top 10 finishes in July, three in August and a runner-up effort at his most recent event in Grande Prairie, Alberta on October 5. Going a collective 16-for-32 (50%) on Canadian soil, Radford has surged from unranked to No. 7, now within 1550.83 points of No. 1 Buttar. Still on the hunt for his first event win in 2019, Radford will attempt Preacher Man of X6 Ranch in Round 1 of the Abbotsford Classic.
NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN: 2019 C-MET THUS FAR – The 2019 PBR Canada national title race has arguably been one of the most fiercely contested in league history. Despite the nation’s premier tour set to return from a four-month hiatus, the Canadian Monster Energy Tour has had a great hand in shaping the current rankings. Let’s take a look back:
Winnipeg: The 2019 PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour season launched on January 26 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with the competition starting with a bang form the first out. Competing for the first time since 2017 after undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery, Shay Marks went a flawless 2-for-2 to capture his first event win on the tour. Tying for the win in both rounds of action, the performance netted the Albertan a massive 510 Canadian points and skyrocketed him to the No. 1 ranking in Canada, overtaking the previously top-ranked rider Jordan Hansen. The stop also featured a break-through performance from Daylon Swearingen, who finished second, who is now solidly ranked inside the world’s Top 35 and a contender for the year’s Rookie of the Year title.
Lethbridge: After a one month break, the Monster Energy Tour traveled to Lethbridge, Alberta for the first time in history with a two-day event on March 1-2. As the only rider to go a perfect 3-for-3, Jared Parsonage won the second Monster Energy Tour event of his career inside the ENMAX Centre. Collecting 535 Canadian points, Parsonage overtook Shay Marks for the nation’s No. 1 ranking, leaving the Alberta event with a 90.83-point lead.
Calgary: Three short weeks later, the tour was back in action with yet another two-day event, this time in Calgary on March 22-23. While Parsonage remained atop the standings, carrying a 175.83 point lead over then No. 2 Shay Marks into the event, a new rider left the Nutrien Western Event Centre atop the standings. Going a perfect 3-for-3, and the lone rider to cover all his draws, Jordan Hansen won the first Monster Energy Tour event of his career at the Calgary Classic. The victory awarded him 575 Canadian points and allowed him to surge from No. 5 in the nation to No. 1 with a 119.17-point lead over No. 2 Parsonage. While Parsonage rode at the stop, he tied for 10th, only earning 42.5 points.
Quebec: Turning its focus to the Eastern provinces, the Monster Energy Tour next travelled to Quebec for the third edition of the Canadian Iron Cowboy, the lone international Major, on May 4. With Derek Kolbaba winning the event for the second time in his career, earning a monstrous 680 Canadian points, he went from unranked to No. 3 in the nation. Among the Canadian hopefuls, Zane Lambert was the top finisher, concluding the stop third to net 50 national points. As a result of the event, which featured both No. 1 Jordan Hansen and No. 2 Jared Parsonage failing to make the 8, the top positions in the national standings remained unchanged.
London: The very next weekend in London, however, the drama continued. Prior to the tour making its return to the Ontario city, Jared Parsonage reclaimed the nation’s No. 1 ranking after finishing second the night prior to the event on the Touring Pro Division in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. The win earned Parsonage a clutch 117.5 national points, leading him to overtake No. 2 Jordan Hansen by 45 points leading into the fifth Monster Energy Tour event of 2019. In London, backed by a Round 1 win, Daylon Swearingen earned his third event win of the 2019 season to collect 450 Canadian points and catapult from No. 19 to No. 4 in Canada. The event also featured a runner-up finish by Shay Marks, earning him 200 Canadian points, and allowing him to advance from No. 4 to No. 3 in the nation, inching within 200 points of No. 1 Parsonage.
Moncton: At the next stop in Moncton, things continued to get interesting. Another American contender, Michael Lane, captured the event win, sling-shotting him to No. 9 in the nation. Daylon Swearingen delivered yet another impressive performance, finishing second to collect 340 Canadian points. He rose from No. 4 to No. 2 in the national standings, within a mere 17.08 points of the top spot. Shay Marks also collected points for his sixth-place result. Earning 95 Canadian points, Marks left the event No. 4 in the nation, closing within 105 points of No. 1 Jared Parsonage.
Halifax: Making his return to the Monster Energy Tour in Halifax on June 1, Jared Parsonage left his mark. While he briefly surrendered the No. 1 ranking the night prior to Jordan Hansen who tied for the win on the Touring Pro Division stop in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Parsonage was determined to leave the Nova Scotia event back atop the rankings. As the only rider to go 3-for-3, Parsonage captured his second Monster Energy Tour event win of 2019 in Halifax, erasing Hansen’s 190-point lead, and propelling him back to the No. 1 ranking. Garnering him 550 Canadian points, Parsonage left Scotiabank Centre with a 202.08 point lead over the No. 2 contender. Hansen was also overtaken by Daylon Swearingen who finished second at the stop. Earning 390 Canadian points, Swearingen reclaimed the No. 2 ranking, backed large in part by his Round 1 win.
IN NEED OF A BOOST – Heading into this weekend’s Abbotsford Classic, one rider, two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert, finds himself in unfamiliar waters. With only the nation’s Top 20 set to compete at the 2019 PBR Monster Energy Canadian Finals, presented by Dakota Dunes Casino on No. 22-23, Lambert is currently No. 17, just 81.25 points in front of No. 21 Jess Lockwood. For Lambert, who is the only rider to qualify for every PBR Canada Finals in league history, he is no stranger to second half surges. In fact, in 2017, Abbotsford was a crucial stepping-stone in Lambert’s second-half climb. Finishing second, to earn 170 Canadian points, Lambert rose to No. 2 in the nation. Thus far this season, the Albertan is 15-for-45 (33.33%) on Canadian soil with an event win and seven additional Top 10 efforts. In Round 1 of the 2019 Abbotsford Classic, Lambert will attempt Gone Platinum of Vold Rodeo.
HOME PROVINCE HOPEFULS – On Saturday night, three riders will vie for the event title in front of a home province crowd. Those home province contenders are: Jake Gardner (Fort St. John), Isaac Mack (Kamloops) and Jackson Scott (Kamloops). Gardner leads the contingent, currently No. 6 in the national standings, while Scott is No. 9. Fans will also be able to cheer on Williams Lake’s Greg Loring Jr., working the dirt all night long as one of three bullfighters tasked with protecting the event’s riders.
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 Abbotsford event, with one rider in position to possibly crack into the Top 35, with two additional riders in contention to be within striking distance as the PBR holds its final events prior to the 2019 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas on Nov. 6-10.
Those riders are:
Jared Parsonage is currently No. 39 and would rise to No. 35
Shay Marks is currently No. 46 and would rise to No. 40, just 171.66 points outside of the Top 35
Jordan Hansen is currently No. 59 and would ride to No. 46, just 299.16 points outside of the Top 35
PREVIOUSLY IN ABBOTSFORD – Aside from Saskatoon which is preparing to host the PBR Canada Finals for the tenth consecutive year, when the Monster Energy Tour returns to Abbotsford this season, the city will become the lone tour stop that has been a fixture on the nation’s elite tour in each of its four years of operation. After the late Ty Pozzobon won the inaugural event in 2016 en route to winning the season’s national title, young gun Lonnie West delivered an impressive 2-for-2 performance to capture his career-first event win in Abbotsford in 2017, while current Canadian title contender Jared Parsonage won the most recent event in the city in 2018. Last season, Parsonage surged to the event lead after earning the top marks in Round 1, making the 8 aboard Muddy Water for 85.5 points. A re-ride draw, the match-up was one that was familiar for Parsonage, helping him to the event win earlier that season at the Canadian Touring Pro Division in Magrath, Alberta. As the final man to explode from the chutes, he recorded the high marked ride of the event in the championship round, bringing the crowd to its feet with an 87.5-point ride on Ripped at the Seams. Earning 550 Canadian points, Parsonage climbed from No. 6 to No. 4 in the national standings. He concluded the year No. 4 in the nation. The win was Parsonage’s first on the Monster Energy Tour. Since, he has earned two additional victories on the elite tour in 2019 and now leads the league in most Monster Energy Tour wins in Canadian history.
Positioned near the end of the season, the Abbotsford event has proven to be a great springboard for riders to climb both the national and world rankings. With the win in 2017, West rose from No. 10 to No. 5 in the national standings, concluding the year No. 5. A vital event in his 2017 second-half surge, and further illustrating the event’s impact on the nation standings, Zane Lambert finished second in Abbotsford that season, narrowing the gap on then standings leader Brock Radford who he overtook the next weekend to capture his second PBR Canada Championship.
2018 Jared Parsonage
2017 Lonnie West
2016 Ty Pozzobon
FAMILIAR WATERS – During Round 1 of this weekend’s Abbotsford Classic, fans will witness two rematches, with nether rider having previously covered their bovine athlete opponent. Of the duo, Tim Lipsett has faced his opening round draw three times prior. First meeting at the PBR Canada Finals in 2015, Hillbilly Heaven of Wilson Rodeo sent Lipsett to the ground in 5 seconds to earn a 43.5 point bull score. In their two meetings since, the bovine athlete has only made quicker work of the Saskatchewan man. The two next went head-to-head at the Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Touring Pro Division event in 2016, this time with Lipsett bucked off in 4.22 seconds and Hillbilly Heaven earning a 43-point bull score. In their most recent meeting, at the 2016 event in Innisfail, Alberta, Lipsett was dispatched in a swift 2.69 seconds, while the bull earned just 41.5 points for his quick trip. The remaining rematch will be between Jake Gardner and Vold Rodeo’s Timber Jam. Drawing the bull during the championship round of the Stavely Touring Pro Division stop on Aug. 31, 2019, the bovine athlete denied Gardner the event win, leading him to a fourth-place result, after he bucked off the British Columbia native in 5.07 seconds to earn 41.5 points.
BULL PEN – Fresh off a trip to the United States to buck on the elite PBR Unleash The Beast in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Wild Hoggs’ Tractorland Arizona Dreamin and Kubota’s Big Orange Tractor will highlight the Abbotsford Classic’s championship round. Stateside, Kubota’s Big Orange Tractor earned a 42.25-point bull score for his 7.04-second buckoff of Taylor Toves, while Tractorland Arizona Dreamin was marked 41.25 points for dispatching Michael Lane in 4.66 seconds.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT –This weekend’s Monster Energy Tour event in Abbotsford will feature a field of 26 riders, all competing in one round, 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. The Top 10 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. One rider has the chance to win a maximum 550 Canadian and 170 world points.
NEXT UP –PBR Canada’s Monster Energy Tour will next travel to Edmonton, Alberta, and the Edmonton EXPO Centre for the Command Tubular Edmonton Classic. The event will be the ninth, and final regular-season, event of the 2019 season. Action will get underway on Saturday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. MDT.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bullfighters on hand for this weekend’s event in Halifax are Greg Loring Jr., Ty Prescott, and Brett Monea.
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 Abbotsford Classic, will begin at 10:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 19. The event will also be broadcast on TSN2 on Tuesday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
ABBOTSFORD COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY
Brazil (1) – Marcos Gloria
Canada (20) – Logan Biever, Todd Chotowetz, Wacey Finkbeiner, Jake Gardner, Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Dayton Johnston, Nicholas Klinck, Zane Lambert, Tim Lipsett, Isaac Mack, Shay Marks, Micheal Ostashek, Jared Parsonage, Brock Radford, Aaron Roy, Jackson Scott, Nick Tetz, Cole Young
Paraguay (1) – Fabien Dueck
United States (4) – Cody Casper, Thor Hoefer II, Cody Hudson, Kache Moosman
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Logan Biever, Wacey Finkbeiner, Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Dayton Johnston, Nicholas Klinck, Zane Lambert, Shay Marks, Micheal Ostashek, Brock Radford, Nick Tetz, Cole Young; British Columbia – Jake Gardner, Isaac Mack, Jackson Scott; Saskatchewan – Todd Chotowetz, Tim Lipsett, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy.