Game Notes – Lethbridge
By: Kacie Albert Wednesday, July 22, 2020 @ 5:44 PM
BACK TO BUCKING BULLS – Following a 138-day hiatus from competition in Canada, PBR will pioneer the return of fan-attended professional sporting events in the country when the elite Monster Energy Tour holds back-to-back events on Thursday, July 23 in Lethbridge, Alberta at ENMAX Centre. The return to Lethbridge comes after the city held the last PBR event in Canada prior to the shutdown, with ENMAX Centre hosting the two-day South Country Co-op Showdown on March 6-7.
An all-Canadian produced production, the doubleheader event on July 23 will get underway at 1:00 p.m. MT with the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, followed by the PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational at 7:00 p.m. MT. The PBR Cooper Tires Invitational will be closed to the public, available only on TSN and the league’s OTT channel RidePass. The second event, the PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational, will mark the first fan-attended professional sporting event in Canada since the onset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The fan-attended PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour LIVE: Drive-In Spectacular will welcome back fans by bringing the high-adrenaline action from inside the closed arena to fans via a suspended 23-foot big screen. More than 200 parking stalls will be available to the public for purchase in the West Parking lot of the ENMAX Centre to watch all the action from the comfort of their own vehicles.
EVENT FORMAT & POINTS – Both the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational and the PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational will feature one round of bull riding. Each rider will get on one bull in Round 1 in each event on Thursday. The 10 bull riders with the top scores will then advance to the championship rounds where they will attempt one final bull in an effort to be crowned the event champion.
Like any Monster Energy Tour event, both the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational and the PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational will award points towards both the world and Canadian national standings. World points will be awarded to riders based on their overall event finish, while Canadian points will be earned by both their performance in the rounds and overall event.
World points will be awarded as follows in the event aggregate: 1st – 15; 2nd – 8; 3rd – 7; 4th – 4; 5th – 3; 6th – 2; 7th – 1.
Canadian points will be awarded as follows in the rounds: 1st – 15; 2nd – 12; 3rd – 9; 4th – 6; 5th – 4; 6th – 3; 7th – 2; 8th – 1.
Canadian points will be awarded as follows in the event aggregate: 1st – 50; 2nd – 40; 3rd – 30; 4th – 20; 5th – 10; 6th – 5; 7th – 4; 8th – 3; 9th – 2; 10th – 1.
PERFECT BUTTAR SEEKS RECORD – Thus far in 2020, Dakota Buttar has climbed aboard 10 bulls in PBR Canada competition. Each of those outs has concluded in similar fashion, with the Saskatchewan man reaching the highly sought-after 8-second whistle. As a result, he’s won all three events he’s competed at on home soil, including both Monster Energy Tour stops held thus far in Calgary and Lethbridge, Alberta.
Inside the Nutrien Western Event Centre for the Monster Energy Tour’s season launch, Buttar captured his career-first win on nation’s premier series after going a perfect 3-for-3. Buttar began his march to victory when he recorded the fourth-best score of Round 1, logging an 85.5-point ride aboard Scarecrow. In Round 2, Buttar then faced a familiar opponent. Drawing Mish Mash, the Saskatchewan man had previously ridden the bovine athlete to a Round 1 win at the 2019 PBR Canada Finals, scored 86 points. In Calgary, Buttar again reached the 8-second whistle, this time marked 85.5 points. Sitting atop the aggregate entering the championship round, Buttar architected his second rematch of the night, drafting two-time PBR World Finals selection Tykro Pound Sand for the championship round. The duo had met once prior, teaming up for an 87.5-point score during the championship round of the 2018 PBR Canada Finals. Known to propel riders to notable victories, with phenom Daylon Swearingen winning both the 2019 PBR Canada Finals and PBR Canada Championship aboard the bovine athlete, Tykro Pound Sand once again earned his rider a coveted buckle. Brining the record-setting crowd to its feet, Buttar recorded an 87.5-point ride to cement his victory. Courtesy of the win, the four-time PBR World Finals qualifier earned $5,373.70, in addition to 83 Canadian and 30 world points. Buttar also competed in the first-ever 5/5 Bucking Battle in Calgary, riding Hanna Motors Homeboy for 86 points to finish second and net an additional 12 Canadian points. As a result, Buttar further extended his lead atop the national standings, travelling to the next event No. 1 in the nation and 47 points in front of No. 2 Garrett Green.
As the tour traveled to Lethbridge for the second premier series event of the year, Buttar’s momentum continued. As one of seven riders to record a score in Round 1, Buttar logged his seventh consecutive ride on home soil when he covered Big Tymer for 84.5 points. The Kindersley native then remained flawless in the event when he reached the 8 aboard Kubota’s Big Orange Tractor for 87.5 points, the second best score of Round 2. In the championship round, the rivalry between Buttar and Tykro Pound Sand was once again renewed. As the last man to leave the chutes, Buttar was once again in picture perfect form, matching Tykro Pound Sand jump for jump as he reached the 8, earning a 86-point score and his second consecutive Monster Energy Tour win. At the Lethbridge event, Buttar also participated in the second-ever 5/5 Bucking Battle, riding VJV Whiskey Hand for 86 points to finish third. Collectively netting 69 Canadian points, Buttar continued to expand his lead atop the national standings, now a season-best 100.5 points ahead of No. 2 Brock Radford.
In Lethbridge for the closed events, Buttar will not only look to continue his dominance, but he is on the verge of making league history. Currently having recorded 10 consecutive qualified rides, should Buttar reach the 8 aboard his next two draws he will hold the all-time record in PBR Canada for longest ride streak. Buttar is the current owner of the record, having recorded 11 rides in a row from November 24, 2018 until July 2, 2019 when Come On Over bucked him off in 2.85 seconds in Calgary. Within his current ride streak, Buttar is average 86.25 points, with his top score an 89-point trip on Kubota’s Big Orange Tractor at the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan Touring Pro Division event in early December.
Buttar will attempt to log ride 11 in his current streak in Round 1 of the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational aboard Shay Marks’ Trippy Hippy.
RADFORD RISES – Could 2020 finally be the year Brock Radford leaves Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and the PBR Canada Finals as the season’s national champion? While much of the season remains, if his performance at the most recent event in Lethbridge is indicative of what’s to come, the odds may finally be in his favor. For Radford, while his season began at the first Touring Pro Division event of the year in early December in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, it wasn’t until the subsequent weekend in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan that he notched his first national points. Going a perfect 2-for-2 to finish runner-up to current PBR Canada No. 1 Dakota Buttar, Radford earned his first 10 national points of the year climbing to No. 3 in Canada. The next event on Canadian soil then marked the season-launch for the Monster Energy Tour, as the nation’s premier series bucked into Calgary. In addition to winning the first-ever 5/5 Bucking Battle, courtesy of an 89-point ride on Cool Bricks, Radford also finished 17th in the main event after going 1-for-3. Collecting 15 national points, Radford left his home province event as the No. 5 ranked rider in the nation, 93.5 points behind No. 1 Buttar.
In Lethbridge however, Radford turned up the heat. Once again converting in the 5/5 Bucking Battle, fittingly re-matched with Cool Bricks who he rode for 88 points to finish the special round second, the DeWinton cowboy logged a matching runner-up effort in the main event after going 2-for-3. His matching silver finishes earned him a crucial 62 national points, allowing him to rise three positions in the national standings, now No. 2 and within 100.5 points of No. 1 Buttar. As Radford looks to further close the gap at the double-header in Lethbridge, he will attempt X6’s Off The Grid in Round 1 of the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational.
MARKS PULLS DOUBLE DUTY – RIDER & CONTRACTOR – At Thursday’s double-header event in Lethbridge, Alberta, one name will appear on both sides of the draw – Shay Marks. While the Sunnybrook-native will be an active competitor in both events, he will make his stock contracting debut on the Monster Energy Tour during the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational. With his outfit named SM Bucking Bulls, Trippy Hippy will be Marks’ first bull to buck on the premier series when he is attempted in Round 1 of the event by Dakota Buttar. Additional Marks bulls in the draw for the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational include: Dirty Lies (Wyatt Gleeson – Round 1), Glass Handle (Wacey Finkbeiner – Round 1), Family Feud (Ty Ellis – Round 1).
As a rider, Marks will travel to Lethbridge tied for No. 18 in the national standings, 211 points behind No. 1 Dakota Buttar. While the Albertan has yet to find success on the Monster Energy Tour, riding soley at the March stop at ENMAX Centre, he has a collective three Top 10 efforts on the Touring Pro Division, led by a fourth place finish in Dawson Creek, British Columbia in December. In Round 1of the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational, Marks will attempt Flying High Rodeo Co.’s Lil Loco.
FAMILIAR WATERS – Round 1 of the 2020 PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour’s PBR Cooper Tires Invitational will feature on rematch. For the second time in his career Tim Lipsett will attempt Vold Rodeo’s Strong Arm. Meeting in 2018 in Abbotsford on the Monster Energy Tour, Strong Arm dispatched Lipsett in a close 6 seconds en route to a 41-point bull score. Later Thursday evening, for the PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational, Round 1 will feature three riders climbing aboard familiar foes. Fabian Dueck leads the trio, set to attempt Hanna Motors Homeboy for the third time in his career, still in search of his first score. The duo first squared off in 2019 on the Touring Pro Division in Marwayne, Alberta, with Dueck sent to the dirt in 2.81 seconds. Later that season Dueck and Hanna Motors Homeboy met for the second time at the Ranchman’s event in Calgary, with Dueck lasting a slimmer 1.99 seconds. For both Aaron Roy and Thor Hoefer II they will be attempting their draws for the second time. Roy last attempted All Access in 2018 in Marwayne, bested in 2.18 seconds, while Hoefer was bested in 5.4 seconds by Hanna Motors Full Throttle in 2018 in Kinsella, Alberta.
BULL PEN – In 2019, paralleling the fierce race to be crowned the PBR Canada Champion, was an equally intense battle to be named the PBR Canada Bull of the Year. Entering the 2019 PBR Canada Finals as the No. 1-ranked bovine in the nation with a 0.4-point lead, Homegrown from Coronation, Alberta’s Eno Bucking Bulls, was able to hold off a hard-bucking Happy Camper, the 2018 PBR Canada Bull of the Year, from Magrath, Alberta’s Two Bit Bucking Bulls to capture the season’s end honor by a slim 0.083 points.
In Calgary, for the season-launch Monster Energy Tour stop, both bovine athletes bucked, beginning their quests to become the first-ever, two-time PBR Canada Bull of the Year in league history. Happy Camper emerged the more dominant bull in the duo, posting a 43-point bull score after he was ridden by Jared Parsonage for the second best score in the championship round, 88 points. Just 0.5 points behind, Homegrown was marked 42.5 points when he dispatched Nick Tetz in a swift 2.5 seconds, also in the final round. Both bovine athletes, however, were in the shadow of Tykro Pound Sand and Come on Over who tied for the high-marked bull of the event after posting matching 44-point trips. Both also bucking in the championship round, Tykro Pound Sand, from the Wild Hoggs, recorded his marks when he teamed up with event winner Dakota Buttar for an 87.5-point ride, while Come on Over, from Vold Rodeo, earned his score when he bucked off Callum Miller in a close 5.21 seconds.
For the second tour stop of the 2020 season in Lethbridge, all four powerhouses were back in action. All competing in the championship round, Homegrown was one of four bulls to post a 44-point score, tying for the Bull of the Event honors. In his second out of 2020 on the Monster Energy Tour, Homegrown was ridden by Jared Parsonage for an 89.5-point score to win the championship round. One for the Money, Vertigo Spy and Timber Jam, all from Vold Rodeo, were the three additional bulls to record the top marks. Vertigo Spy bucked in the 5/5 Bucking Battle, teaming with Garrett Green for an 88.5-point score to win the special round. One for the Money bucked in Round 1, dispatching Callum Miller in 5.71 seconds, while Timber Jam was out in the championship round, sending Kache Moosman to the dirt in 3.2 seconds.
While their scores trailed on the leaderboard, Happy Camper bested Nick Tetz in 2.16 seconds to earn a 43.5-point score, while Tykro Pound Sand was once again ridden by Buttar, this time for 86 points, earning a 42-point bull score.
This weekend in Lethbridge for the closed events, Happy Camper and Tykro Pound Sand will both travel to the Alberta event, set to buck in the championship round of the later PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational. Homegrown will not make the journey, nor will Come On Over, who now resides in the United States, owned by J.W. Hart.
NEXT UP – Following a two month break, the 2020 PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour is anticipated to next travel to Medicine Hat, Alberta, and the Canalta Centre for the PBR Thunderbuck in the Badlands on September 26. Action will get underway on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. MT.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bullfighters on hand for this weekend’s event in Lethbridge are Tanner Byrne, Brett Monea, and Ty Prescott.
BROADCAST COVERAGE – Fans will be able to watch the action in its entirety live via PBR’s streaming digital platform RidePass. Coverage of the PBR Cooper Tires Invitational will begin at 1:00 p.m. MT on Thursday, July 23, followed by the PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational at 7:00 p.m. MT.
2020 5/5 BUCKING BATTLE SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Each 5/5 Bucking Battle features the Top 5 riders in the Canadian national standings against the 5 highest-ranked bulls at the event for extra bonus points and an additional purse.
Jan. 24 in Calgary, Alberta // Brock Radford, 89 points on Cool Bricks
March 6 in Lethbridge, Alberta // Garrett Green, 88.5 points on Vertigo Spy
October 2 in Grande Prairie, Alberta
October 23 in Edmonton, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY – PBR COOPER TIRES INVITATIONAL
Canada (23) – Logan Biever, Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Ty Ellis, Tanner Eno, Wacey Finkbeiner, Jake Gardner, Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Dayton Johnston, Zane Lambert, Tim Lipsett, Isaac Mack, Shay Marks, Mike Ostashek, Jared Parsonage, Brock Radford, Aaron Roy, Ashton Sahli, Jackson Scott, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West
United States (1) –Thor Hoefer II
Paraguay (1) – Fabian Dueck
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Logan Biever, Tanner Eno, Wacey Finkbeiner, Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Dayton Johnston, Zane Lambert, Shay Marks, Mike Ostashek, Brock Radford, Ashton Sahli, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West; British Columbia – Jake Gardner, Isaac Mack, Jackson Scott; Saskatchewan – Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Ty Ellis, Tim Lipsett, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy.
LETHBRIDGE COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY – PBR BUILT FORD TOUGH INVITATIONAL
Canada (23) – Logan Biever, Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Tanner Eno, Wacey Finkbeiner, Jake Gardner, Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Chad Hartman, Dayton Johnston, Zachery King, Zane Lambert, Tim Lipsett, Isaac Mack, Shay Marks, Mike Ostashek, Jared Parsonage, Brock Radford, Aaron Roy, Jackson Scott, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West
United States (1) –Thor Hoefer II
Paraguay (1) – Fabian Dueck
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Logan Biever, Tanner Eno, Wacey Finkbeiner, Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Dayton Johnston, Zane Lambert, Shay Marks, Mike Ostashek, Brock Radford, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West; British Columbia – Jake Gardner, Zachery King, Isaac Mack, Jackson Scott; Saskatchewan – Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Chad Hartman, Tim Lipsett, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy.