Game Notes - Calgary
By: Kacie Albert Friday, October 22, 2021 @ 6:29 AM
BUCKING INTO THE STAMPEDE CITY – This weekend, for the third consecutive season, and fourth time in league history, PBR Canada’s elite Cup Series will buck into Calgary, Alberta, holding the PBR Pendleton Whisky Classic, at Nutrien Western Event Centre, Oct. 23. The tour stop is the fourth Cup Series event of the year, with action for Canada’s premier series getting underway in August in Lethbridge, Alberta, followed by a tour stops in early October in Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Calgary event will begin Saturday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. MDT with Round 1 and the championship round.
Including the PBR Pendleton Whisky Classic, two Cup Series events, in addition to one Touring Pro Division stop, remain prior to the 2021 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, Nov. 12-13 in Edmonton, Alberta. With an intense battle underway for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, the Top 5 riders in the nation will travel to Calgary within 102.16 points of one another. This weekend, one rider will have the chance to earn 80 national points.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT – The PBR Pendleton Whisky Classic will feature one long round and one short round of bull riding. Each rider will get on one bull in Round 1 on Saturday. The 10 bull riders with the scores will then advance to the championship round on Saturday where they will attempt one final bull in an effort to be crowned the event champion.
LAMBERT EYES THIRD NATIONAL TITLE – Two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert has his name firmly etched in the league record books, however, in 2021 he is chasing further history. Already one of just two multi-time PBR Canada Champions, should Lambert win this season’s honor, and accompanying $50,000 bonus, he would tie Aaron Roy for must titles held by one rider. And last weekend, at the first-ever PBR Canada Cup Series event held in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Lambert inched closer towards actualizing that goal. As one of four riders to go a perfect 2-for-2, veteran rider Lambert won the PBR Thunderbuck in the Badlands, presented by Robertson Implements and New Holland, to surge to No. 2 in the national standings. The Ponoka cowboy, who won the season-launch Cup Series event in Lethbridge, Alberta, in late August, began his outing inside Co-op Place in successful fashion, recording the sixth-best score of Round 1 when he covered Bob Rock for 83 points. The qualified ride avenged Lambert’s lone buckoff from his victory in Lethbridge earlier this season, when the Skori Bucking Bulls’ bovine athlete got the better of him in a swift 1.84 seconds during Round 2 inside ENMAX Centre. In the championship round bull draft, Lambert once again elected to go head-to-head against a familiar opponent, drafting Lil’ Hooch. Earlier this season, the veteran rider covered the bull for 87.5 points in mid-August en route to a runner-up finish at the Touring Pro Division event in Coronation, Alberta. Fast forward three months, and Lambert once again made the requisite 8, this time marked a championship round-best, and event victory-clinching, 86.5 points. Lambert’s flawless finish earned him a crucial 68 national points. After travelling to Medicine Hat ranked No. 4 in the nation, the 35-year-old is now No. 2 in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship and accompanying $50,000 bonus, a mere 23.66 points removed from the top spot. Competing in front of a near hometown crowd for this weekend’s event in Calgary, Lambert will attempt to overtake the No. 1 position in the standings when he faces off against Attitude Adjustment.
BUTTAR SEEKS HISTORY – In 2021, reigning PBR Canada Champion Dakota Buttar is attempting to accomplish a feat never before done by a rider in PBR Canada history – win the national title in consecutive seasons. And while he may have had a slower beginning to the season, Buttar has been one of the league’s hottest riders since the Cup Series campaign got underway in Lethbridge, Alberta in late August. While Buttar was shutout inside ENMAX Centre, he was quick to rebound when the Touring Pro Division resumed competition in September. Riding at the developmental event in Ponoka, Alberta, Buttar not only delivered a 90-point ride, but went a perfect 2-for-2 to notch his first event victory of 2021. The Saskatchewan man got off to an electric start in Round 1, delivering the second-best score when he went the distance atop Twisted Soul for 84.5 points. In the championship round, Buttar selected a new bovine athlete opponent, drafting Norse God who had been ridden just once prior in five outs on record. Becoming just the second rider to make the 8 aboard the powerful bull, Buttar matched Norse God jump-for-jump en route to a head-turning 90-point score. The 90-point ride was Buttar’s first of the 2021 season and fifth of his career across all levels of PBR competition. The flawless effort earned the Saskatchewan man a critical 30 national points, allowing him to crack the Top 5 in the national title race. He rose six positions from No. 9 to No. 3, climbing within 18.67 points of then No. 1 Zane Lambert.
After righting the ship in Ponoka, Buttar’s stock only continued to rise, winning two of the three events held the following week in Calgary, Alberta. As competition got underway at Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, Buttar delivered yet another flawless 2-for-2 performance to logging his second consecutive Touring Pro Division event win, victorious at the opening iteration of the Cody Snyder Charity Bull Bustin’. And not only did the perfect performance earn him the event win, but it also allowed Buttar to surge to the No. 1 rank in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, a position he has maintained ever since. Fresh off his victory the weekend prior in Ponoka, Buttar was one of eight riders to record a score in Round 1, making the 8 atop Sellin Dreams for 80 points. Drawing Slip Slap as his final opponent, a bull who had bucked just once prior in PBR competition, Buttar remained poised, registering the lone score of the championship round when he made the whistle for 84.5 points. The golden finish earned Buttar a crucial 25 national points, propelling him from No. 3 to No. 1 in the national standings. After beginning the tour stop 18.67 points behind Lambert, Buttar inched 2.33 points ahead of the two-time PBR Canada Champion. Buttar, however, still had work to do in Calgary. When the second iteration of the Cody Snyder Charity Bull Bustin’ began the following day, Buttar was once again unrivaled, netting his third consecutive event win and extending his lead over No. 2 Lambert to 29.33 points. Concluding the day with a six-out ride streak, Buttar posted the fourth-best score of Round 1 when he made the requisite 8 atop Double Deuce for 81 points, before capping his efforts with an event-best 89.5-point ride aboard One Eyed Charlie. Buttar concluded the trio of events with a fourth-place effort on the final day of competition. He recorded his seventh consecutive ride when he covered Fake News for 84.5 points in Round 1 but was inevitably bucked off by In Cahoots in 4.3 seconds in the championship round.
At the second PBR Canada Cup Series event of the season in Grande Prairie, Buttar remained in control of the No. 1 ranking in the standings. Going 1-for-3, Buttar finished seventh in the main event, but he also won the tour stop’s accompanying 5/5 Bucking Battle courtesy of an 87.5-point score on Trump Card. The stoic Saskatchewan native left Grande Prairie having netted a combined 29.5 national points to further his stronghold on the No. 1 position in the battle for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship. Last weekend in Medicine Hat, while Buttar again saw his lead shrink, his fourth-place effort allowed him to remain in control of the top position. Buttar punched his ticket to the championship round after riding Devils Boy for 79.5 points. The Saskatchewan man then punctuated his efforts at the third Cup Series event of 2021 when he became the first rider in PBR competition to cover Black Dust, scoring 84.5 points in the final round of the PBR Thunderbuck in the Badlands. Buttar left Co-op place having earned 27.5 national points and now leads No.2 Zane Lambert by 23.66 points. As the defending Calgary event winner, Buttar will hope to channel past successes when he faces off against Langham Kid in Round 1 of the PBR Pendleton Whisky Classic.
CHOTOWETZ CAPITALIZES IN CRUNCH TIME– With less than five events across all levels of competition remaining in the 2021 PBR Canada season, the pressure was on for the nation’s finest last weekend in Medicine Hat as they jockey for a coveted berth to the PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, Nov. 12-13 in Edmonton, Alberta, set to award more than $175,000 in prize money. In need of crucial points if he hoped to return to the year-end event, Saskatchewan-favorite Todd Chotowetz delivered under pressure last weekend inside Co-op Place, finishing second to earn 53.5 national points. In Round 1, Chotowetz covered Chairmand Frank for 81.5 points, which he followed with an 86-point trip on Wood Chuck in the championship round. Ranked No. 23 in the standings prior to the premier series event, Chotowetz is now No. 14. He trails No. 1 Buttar by 176.16 points. Chotowetz will attempt to remain red-hot this weekend in Calgary, an register his third consecutive qualified ride on Canada’s premier series when he faces off against a rematch in Red Jam.
SAHLI SURGES – Know the name – Ashton Sahli. A relative newcomer to the PBR Canada Cup Series ranks, at the most recent tour stop in Medicine Hat, Sahli delivered a career-best effort, going a perfect 2-for-2 to finish third. Sahli began the electric evening of competition with an 81.5-point ride aboard Broken Trigger. He remained perfect at the Alberta competition when he covered Hanna Motors Wilford for 84.5 points in the championship round. The bronze showing earned Sahli 39 national points. He is now the No. 12 ranked rider in the 2021 standings, trailing the Top 10 by a mere 17 points. In Calgary, Sahli will first attempt Sicilian Kiss in Round 1 from the Nutrien Western Event Centre.
PAST CALGARY EVENT WINNERS – Last season, in front of a sold-out crowd inside the Nutrien Western Event Centre, Dakota Buttar delivered a flawless 3-for-3 performance to capture his career-first PBR Canada Cup Series event win. Marking the season-launch event for the 2020 season, 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 event, 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 535 Canadian points. Remaining the No. 1-ranked rider in the nation, Buttar extended his lead atop the Canadian standings, surging 582.5 points in front of No. 2 Brock Radford. The win was one of Buttar’s six event victories en route to the 2020 PBR Canada Championship. Going a torrid 18-for-25 (72%) throughout the year, Buttar concluded the season 240.17 points ahead of runner-up and two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert.
2020 Dakota Buttar
2019 Jordan Hansen
2018 Brock Radford
2016 Brady Sims
FAMILIAR WATERS – In Round 1 of the PBR Pendleton Whisky Classic, three riders will face familiar opponents, with just one having found prior success. Eager to even the score against Spooky Lukie, Albertan Lonnie West has attempted the bull three times prior. In their first two meetings on record, the Two Bit Bucking Bulls’ bovine athlete bested West, first in 6.02 seconds during the 2019 July Touring Pro Division event in Calgary, and in 5.12 seconds earlier this season in Cluny, Alberta. This summer, however, West finally conquered Spooky Lukie. Going the distance aboard the animal athlete, West was marked 89.5 points en route to the event win in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Both Tim Lipsett and Todd Chotowetz will be looking to make the 8 aboard their bovine athlete opponent for the first time. Revelation dispatched Lipsett in 2.39 seconds this September at the Touring Pro Division event in Ponoka, Alberta, while Red Jam got the better of Chotowetz in 2.35 seconds earlier this season in Magrath, Alberta.
BULL PEN – This weekend’s bull pen for the PBR Canada Cup Series event in Calgary, Alberta, will be headlined by the 2021 PBR World Finals selected bovine athletes Catch My Drift and Unkle Kranky. As they both ready to make the trip to Las Vegas for the year-end event Nov.3-7 at T-Mobile Arena, Catch My Drift and Unkle Kranky will first buck at this weekend’s event in the championship round inside the Nutrien Western Event Centre.
In 2021, Catch My Drift is attempting to become the first two-time PBR Canada Bull of the Year, but is attempting to etch his name in the records books by doing it in consecutive years. The black bovine athlete has made nine trips on home soil in 2021, with three of those trips ending in 90-point scores. On the Touring Pro Division, Catch My Drift has notched one Bull of the Event honor, leading the field in Ponoka when he earned a 44.5-point score for his 6.06-second buckoff of two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert. Marking his second qualification to the PBR World Finals, Catch My Drift made his debut at the event in 2019. He was ridden by Chase Outlaw for 88 points in Round 3.
The 2021 PBR World Finals will mark Unkle Kranky’s first out on American soil. On Canadian soil, the animal athlete has been ridden just once in seven outs on record, covered by Australian sensation Callum Miller for 89 points at the season-launch Cup Series event in Lethbridge, Alberta in August. Unkle Kranky has also twice been marked in excess of 45 points. Bucking at the renowned Glen Keeley Memorial PBR this August in Stavely, the bull earned a 45-point score for his 7.53-second buckoff of Griffin Smeltzer, while in September, Unkle Kranky posted a career-best 45.5-point score for his 3.87 seconds of work with Smeltzer.
NEXT UP – The 2021 PBR Canada Sup Series will next travel to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and SaskTel Centre for the PBR Saskatoon Classic on October 29-30. Action will get underway at 7:00 p.m. CST on both Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bullfighters on hand for this weekend’s event in Calgary are Tanner Byrne, Ty Prescott, and Brett Monea.
2021 5/5 BUCKING BATTLE SCHEDULE AND RESULTS - Each 5/5 Bucking Battle features the Top 5 riders from the event following Round 1, competing against the 5 highest-ranked bulls at the event for extra bonus points and an additional purse. Here are the winners of the special rounds thus far in 2021:
Aug. 27 in Lethbridge, Alberta: Callum Miller, 88 points on Hanna Motors Wilford
Oct. 1 in Grande Prairie, Alberta: Dakota Buttar, 87.5 points on Trump Card
CALGARY COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY
Australia (1) – Callum Miller
Canada (25) – Logan Biever, Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Cody Coverchuk, Tyler Craig, Weston Davidson, Wacey Finkbeiner, Riley Gagnon, Jake Gardner, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Chad Hartman, Nicholas Klinck, Zane Lambert, Tim Lipsett, Micheal Ostashek, Jared Parsonage, Coy Robbins, Aaron Roy, Ashton Sahli, Landon Schmidt, Dawson Shannon, Blake Smith, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West
Paraguay (1) – Fabian Dueck
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Logan Biever, Tyler Craig, Weston Davidson, Wacey Finkbeiner, Riley Gagnon, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Nicholas Klinck, Zane Lambert, Micheal Ostashek, Coy Robbins, Ashton Sahli, Landon Schmidt, Dawson Shannon, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West, British Columbia – Jake Gardner; Saskatchewan – Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Cody Coverchuk, Chad Hartman, Tim Lipsett, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy, Blake Smith.