Game Notes – Edmonton
By: Kacie Albert Thursday, November 10, 2022 @ 1:15 PM
LAST STOP, EDMONTON – This weekend, for the second time in history, PBR Canada will hold its National Finals in Edmonton, Alberta, bucking into the state-of-the-art Rogers Place on Nov. 11-12 for the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products. PBR has only twice prior held an event inside the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, launching the Global Cup in the venue in November 2017 and debuting the National Finals at the facility in November 2021. The 2022 PBR Canada National Finals will mark the richest in history, set to award more than $175,000 in prize money to the 21 competing athletes, including a $50,000 bonus for the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. Further, the Finals event winner is guaranteed to earn a minimum $30,000.
With a maximum 180 points available to one rider, the Top 9-ranked riders in the nation are all in contention for the 2022 PBR Canada Championship.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT – The 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, will feature four rounds of bull riding. Each rider will get on one bull in Round 1 and Round 2 on Friday and Round 3 on Saturday. The 12 bull riders with the top combined ride scores will then advance to the championship round on Saturday where they will attempt one final bull in an effort to win the PBR Canada National Finals event and earn crucial points to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. During the event Round 2 and Round 3 will feature a rider drafted draw, while Round 1 and the championship round will be pre-determined
A STREAK CONTINUES, LAMBERT READIES FOR RETIRMENT – In PBR Canada history, one man has qualified for, and competed at, all sixteen editions of the event – Zane Lambert. Continuing the streak, the two-time PBR Canada Champion has further etched his name in the record books, qualifying for the 2022 edition of the event, his 17th qualification, as the No. 16-ranked rider in the nation, 274.5 points behind No. 1 Dakota Buttar. However, Lambert’s impressive streak will come to an end this season. The famed Canadian will retire at the conclusion of the event. While Lambert is eliminated from title contention, should he win the Canadian Finals event title, he would further etch his name in the record books as the first rider to win the year-end event three times. Lambert won the event in 2016 in 2017 becoming the first to win the prestigious year-end tour stop in multiple years, let alone back-to-back seasons. In the years since, only one other rider has been able to win the event multiple times, Daylon Swearingen in 2019 and 2021. Since making his PBR debut in 2006, Lambert has mounted a legendary career. He is PBR Canada’s all-time qualified rides leader (318) and has won the second-most events in Canadian history (30) over the course of his legendary 17-year PBR Career. Excelling on both home soil and aboard, Lambert qualified to the PBR World Finals five times, 2009-2010 and 2012-2014, and was selected to Team Canada for every iteration of the PBR Global Cup. Stateside, Lambert delivered his top season in 2014 when he went 11-for-54 and finished a career-best No. 28 in the world.
On home soil in 2021, Lambert battled with injury, competing at 12 events. Despite the setbacks, Lambert registered five Top 5 finishes across all levels of competition. Lambert last competed at the elite Cup Series event in Grande Prairie, Alberta, in late September when he sustained a lacerated kidney after his 7.17-second buckoff atop Emerald Inn. Returning in time for the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, Lambert will begin his final event with a showdown against Smog in Round 1.
A NEW NO. 1 … DAKOTA BUTTAR – For the third consecutive season, Dakota Buttar will begin the PBR Canada National Finals as the No. 1-ranked rider in the nation. However, this season, it was a podium finish at the final Cup Series event of the regular-season that allowed Buttar to rise to the top position just in time for the year-end event. When the dust settled inside SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Dakota Buttar went 3-for-3 to finish second and leap-frog Nick Tetz for the No. 1 rank in Canada. Should Buttar earn this season’s national championship, he would become just the fourth multi-time title holder in Canadian history, first earning the year-end honor in 2020. The reserved Saskatchewan man was sensational in the opening round of action, winning Round 1 via his 85-point score atop Time Well Spent. Buttar maintained his lead in Round 2 when he went the distance atop Crossfire’s Black Jack for 86 points. Chasing his first Cup Series victory of 2022 Buttar architected a rematch with Finning Lil Shorty in the championship round. Having met four times prior, Buttar clinched the 2020 PBR Canada Championship atop the bull in Grande Prairie via an 88-point score. Replicating his past success, Buttar reached the whistle for 87 points to conclude the tour stop second. The silver showing garnered Buttar a much-needed 84.5 national points. He surged from No. 5 to No. 1 in Canada.
Buttar has been a dominant force on Canadian soil in 2022, going a torrid 25-for-50 (50%) throughout the regular season. Additionally, the five-time Glen Keeley Award winner has registered a PBR-best four Touring Pro Division event wins. When competition gets underway inside Rogers Place, Buttar has drawn Funkadelic in Round 1.
LONNIE WEST WINS STOON TO CRACK TOP 10 – At the final regular-season Cup Series event of the year in Saskatoon, Lonnie West rode hot when it mattered most. Delivering a perfect 3-for-3 effort inside SaskTel Centre, West won the Saskatoon Classic, presented by Redhead Equipment and CASE IH, surging to No. 7 in the heated 2022 PBR Canada Championship race to keep his title hopes alive. West first put points on the board in Round 1, conquering Time Marches On for 84 points. Positioned second on the event leaderboard, the charismatic Albertan drafted Look At This Dude as his Round 2 opponent. Remaining in time with the powerful animal athlete, West reached the requisite 8 for 85.5 points to punch his ticket to the championship round. The 26-year-old then elected to climb aboard Phantom Fury as his final matchup in Saskatoon. A decision which proved dividends, West logged the high-marked ride of the event, scored 89.5 points to clinch the event victory.
For his efforts, West collected a crucial 90.5 Canadian points. He rose from No. 9 to No. 7 in the national standings, now within 101.5 points of the No. 1 rank. Eager to continue his momentum, West will climb aboard Positively Bangin in Round 1 of the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals.
MAKING MOVES IN YORKTON – Prior to the PBR Canada Finals, a select few took to the two-day, four-round Touring Pro Division event in Yorkton, Saskatchewan to get last minute points. And that decision proved dividends for three riders.
- Cody Coverchuck: Going a perfect 4-for-4, Coverchuk won the event and surge from No. 9 to No. 7 in the national standings. Coverchuk got off to a quick start in Round 1, delivering the second-best score when he covered Pure Feeling for 83.5 points. The Saskatchewan man then surged to the top of the event leaderboard when he rode Stutter Step for 84 points in Round 2. As competition continued in the third round, Coverchuk went head-to-head with Farva. Reaching the requisite 8, Coverchuk tied for the round win when he was awarded 83.5 points. Coverchuk then clinched the event win in Round 4 when he went the distance atop Patches O’Houlihan for 81 points. The flawless 4-for-4 finish garnered Coverchuk a much needed 18 national points. He climbed from No. 9 to No. 7 in the heated battle to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. He is now within 101 points of No. 1 Dakota Buttar.
- Tyler Craig: On the outside looking in prior to the event, Craig finished third to punch his ticket to the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals. Craig collected 8 national points compliments of his 82.5-point ride on Liquor Shakesin Round 1 and 81.5-point score atop Moe Joe in Round 4. He rose one critical position in the national standings from No. 23 to No. 22.
- Aaron Roy: Seeking his unprecedented fourth national title, Roy was fifth in Yorkton. Roy’s 83.5-point ride on Bull Dognetted him 3 national points. He cracked the Top 5 in the national standings, rising from No. 6 to No. 5. He is now within 78 points of No. 1 Buttar.
ALVES RETURNS A TEAM SERIES CHAMP – At the final regular-season Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, event of the year in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves competed for just the third time in his career on Canadian soil. Making the most of his trek North, Alves went 2-for-3 to finish third and punch his ticket to the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals ranked No. 23 in the nation. After bucking off Broken Halo in a swift 1.53 seconds in Round 1, the Nashville Stampede rider returned determined on Championship Saturday. Drafting Heavy On The Grind in Round 2, Alves burst from the chutes, besting the bovine athlete for 87 points as the crowd erupted in raucous cheer. The score propelled Alves to fifth on the event leaderboard, giving him the chance to select Unkle Kranky in the final round. A renewed rivalry, Alves was upended by the bull in 4.04 seconds during the premier series event in Billings, Montana in April 2022. Alves, however, reversed his fortunes Saturday night in Saskatchewan, covering Unkle Kranky for 85.5 points to clinch the podium finish.
Since finishing Top 3 in Saskatoon, Alves travelled with the Nashville Stampede to Las Vegas to compete in the inaugural PBR Team Series Championship. After finishing the regular-season No. 8 with a 7-20-1 record, the Nashville Stampede delivered a historic Cinderella run through the tournament to be crowned the league’s inaugural Champions. The Nashville Stampede began their march to victory in Round 1 when they faced off against the No. 3 Oklahoma Freedom. The gritty contingent rode three bulls to stun the Freedom, defeating the powerhouse team by one ride score, 264.75-176, to advance in the team tournament. The Stampede’s performance was headlined by scores from Ryan Dirteater, who came out of retirement to seek his first championship, Cladson Rodolfo and 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco. As competition continued in Round 2, the Stampede were locked in a David vs. Goliath showdown with the No. 1 Austin Gamblers. Continuing their impressive run through the tournament, the Stampede bested the Gamblers by one ride score, 265-175.25, to earn the first direct berth to the Semifinals. On Championship Sunday, the Stampede then went head-to-head with the No. 2 Texas Rattlers, presented by Ariat, in the first Semifinal showdown. Compliments of an early score from Joao Henrique Lucas, and a 90-point, fifth-frame ride from Pacheco, the Stampede punched their ticket to the title game with a 178.5-90.25 win. The Stampede’s fate then came down to the Championship Game against the No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders. Delivering three qualified rides from Dirteater, three-time World Champion Silvano Alves and Pacheco, the Stampede defeated Arizona 264-182.75, completing their come-from-behind surge to be crowned the inaugural PBR Team Series Champions.
Alves will now return to Canada seeking another title – 2022 PBR Canada National Finals event winner. In Round 1 inside Rogers Place, Alves will first face Sons of Junkie as he looks to add another title to his resume.
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE – Compliments of a trans-continental partnership between PBR Canada and PBR Australia, Aussies Jake Curr and Braith Nock earned berths to the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals. Curr is presently No. 6 in the race for the 2022 PB Australia Championship, while Nock is No. 9. Curr has delivered a torrid riding percentage thus far this season, covering more than 50% of his draws on home soil in going 12-for-23 (52.17%). Curr, who also represented the 2022 PBR Origin Champions Team Queensland earlier this season, earned his berth to the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals fresh off this third event win of the season earned at the mid-October Monster Energy Tour event in Mackay, Queensland. Thus far in 2022, Curr has also logged two round wins. For Nock, his season has been highlighted by his monstrous ride aboard Rambo during the June Touring Pro Division event in Mount Isa, Queensland. Matching the powerful bull jump-for-jump, Nock was scored a mammoth 91 points. The score is the high-marked ride of his career and top score to date during the 2022 PBR Australia season. Curr and Nock will be joined by fellow Aussie Callum Miller in the draw who qualified to the event as the No. 14-ranked rider in the Canadian standings. In Round 1 of competition inside Rogers Place, Curr will matchup with Look At This Dude as the first rider out, Nock will face Brady’s Mr. Clean, and Miller will attempt Hot Pants.
PAST PBR CANADA CHAMPIONS – Set to ride at the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, are four former Champions, all looking to make further history. For the third consecutive season, Dakota Buttar will travel to the PBR Canada National Finals as the No. 1-ranked rider in the nation, 21 points ahead of No. 2 Nick Tetz. After having the title narrowly slip through his hands last season, Buttar will settled for nothing less than redemption this weekend. Having first won the title in 2020, should Buttar retain his ranking as the No. 1 man in Canada when the 2022 season concludes, he would become just the fourth multi-time Champion in history. Chasing his unprecedented fourth national title, Aaron Roy will begin the year-end event in Edmonton ranked No. 5 in Canada, within 78 points of No. 1 Buttar. Also inside the Top 10 Cody Coverchuk is not only attempting to tie Aaron Roy for most titles won by one rider in Canadian history, but the two-time and reigning title holder will look to become the first rider to win the honor in back-to-back seasons. Coverchuk is currently No. 7 in the nation, 101 points behind No. 1 Buttar. While he is eliminated from title contention, the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals will be headlined by two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert competing for the final time prior to retiring. Returning from injury, Lambert will begin Round 1 of competition ranked No. 16, 274.5 points back. The complete list of past Canadian Champions is:
2021 Cody Coverchuk
2020 Dakota Buttar
2019 Daylon Swearingen
2018 Cody Coverchuk
2017 Zane Lambert
2016 Ty Pozzobon
2015 Tanner Byrne
2014 Stetson Lawrence
2013 Zane Lambert
2012 Aaron Roy
2011 Tyler Thomson
2010 Aaron Roy
2009 Beau Hill
2008 Aaron Roy
2007 Tyler Pankewicz
2006 Scott Schiffner
PAST NATIONAL FINALS EVENT WINNERS – In 2021, delivering a flawless 4-for-4 performance, 2019 PBR Canada Champion Daylon Swearingen won the PBR Canada National Finals event title, becoming just the second rider in history to win the prestigious year-end event multiple times. Prior to the 2021 season, Lambert was the lone rider to achieve the feat, winning the event in 2016 and 2017. Swearingen delivered his first qualified ride of the event in Round 1 when he outlasted Bob Rock for 83.5 points, tied for the third best score. The New York contender then surged to second on the event leaderboard after he covered Al Capone for 84 points in Round 2. Swearingen then elected to go head-to-head against Home Grown in Round 3, a decision which proved dividends. Matching the powerful animal athlete jump-for-jump, Swearingen earned an 86.5-point score to overtake the No. 1 position in the event standings. Courtesy of his flawless effort in the opening rounds of action, a showdown of champions was architected as the last out of the 2021 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products – Swearingen vs. Happy Camper. As both athletes readied in the chutes, magic was in the making. With the crowd erupting in deafening cheer, Swearingen remained in perfect harmony with Happy Camper taking the striking bull to the whistle for 91.5 points – the top-marked ride of the 2021 season on Canadian soil. In addition to netting 151 national points, leading him to conclude the year No. 9 in the national standings, Swearingen also earned $40,468.75.
The complete list of past Canadian Finals event winners is:
2021 Daylon Swearingen
2020 *Multiple Riders*
2019 Daylon Swearingen
2018 Cody Coverchuk
2017 Zane Lambert / Edgar Durazo
2016 Zane Lambert
2015 Brady Oleson
2014 Aaron Roy
2013 Scott Schiffner
2012 Ty Pozzobon
2011 Dusty Ephrom/Harve Stewart
2010 Mike Lee
2009 Guilherme Marchi
2008 Jock Connolly
2007 Vince Northrup
2006 Brian Canter
FAMILIAR WATERS – Round 1 of the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, in Edmonton, Alberta, will feature two rematches. Those familiar showdowns are:
- Brock Radford will look to remain perfect atop Irish Rebel, slated to attempt the powerful bull for the third time in his career in Round 1. The two first met in 2019 when Radford rode the bull for 81.5 points during the Touring Pro Division event in Elnora, Alberta. The duo had their rivalry renewed earlier this season at the Cup Series event in Kelowna, British Columbia when Radford reached the requisite 8 for a commanding 88.5 points en route to the event win.
- Chad Hartman will look to earn his first score atop Tractorland’s Pound Sand during the bull’s final trip prior to retirement. Having met twice prior, Pound Sand bested Hartman in 3.96 seconds during the 2020 Cup Series stop in Lethbridge, Alberta, and in 4.6 seconds during the 2021 Touring Pro Division event in Ponoka, Alberta.
ONE LAST OUT – During this weekend’s PBR Canada National Finals, one renowned bovine athlete will buck for the last time before embarking on a much-deserved retirement – Tractorland’s Pound Sand. From the Wild Hoggs and Corey Chmelnyk, prior to his trip in Edmonton, Pound Sand has delivered 54 outs in PBR competition, ridden 23 times. In addition to bucking at the debut PBR Global Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2017, Pound Sand was twice selected to the PBR World Finals in both 2018 and 2019. Pound Sand delivered the top trip of his career during the 2018 Calgary Stampede, scored a monstrous 46 points when he bested Stormy Wing in 2.15 seconds. A fan favorite amongst the riders, Pound Sand propelled many riders to crucial titles and event wins, becoming a difference maker in both he 2019 and 2020 seasons. After numerous 2019 event wins were secured aboard Pound Sand, including the 2019 PBR Canada Finals and year-end championship by Daylon Swearingen, the victories continued to mount in 2020. At both elite Cup Series stops in the new year, Dakota Buttar won in both Calgary and Lethbridge courtesy of trips aboard the bovine athlete.
Thus far in 2022, Pound Sand has bucked just twice, at the Touring Pro Division’s Glen Keeley Memorial Bull Riding in Stavely, Alberta, and the elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, tour stop in Lethbridge, Alberta, with both trips marked 42.5 points. In his first trip of the season in Stavely, Pound Sand bucked off Coy Robbins in 3.44 seconds, while in Lethbridge he upended Weston Davidson in 2.91 seconds. Pound Sand will make his final trip in Round 1 of the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals Friday night, drawn by Chad Hartman.
BULL PEN – In addition to crowning a 2022 PBR Canada Champion, this weekend’s year-end event in Edmonton will also crown the season’s top bovine athlete. The 2022 Canadian Global PBR Canada Bull of the Year will be the animal athlete with the top average score when combining his Top 5 outs from the regular season across all levels of competition and his one out at the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, in Edmonton, Alberta, at Rogers Place Nov. 11-12.
The rank contingent of seven bulls who will contend for the honor is led by two-time and reigning PBR Canada Bull of the Year Happy Camper, who made history last season inside Rogers Place by becoming the first bovine athlete to win the honor multiple times. Thus far in 2022, Happy Camper has delivered 11 outs on home soil, crowned the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event four times. The “Bucking Sensation from the Two Bit Nation” dominated at the elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, events in Brandon, Manitoba; Regina, Saskatchewan; and Medicine Hat, Alberta, in addition to leading the pen at the third Touring Pro Division event held in Calgary, Alberta. Happy Camper was marked a season-best 45.5 points at the developmental event in Calgary when he upended Jake Gardner in a quick 4.38 seconds. Later this season, Happy Camper delivered a monstrous 45-point score at the premier series event in Medicine Hat when he tossed Aussie Callum Miller in 4.47 seconds. In May, Happy Camper also earned his fifth career selection to the PBR World Finals, where he earned two trips. In Round 3, he was ridden by Kaique Pacheco for 89 points, marked 43.5 points, while in Round 6 he bested 2021 PBR Rookie of the Year Eli Vastbinder in a close 7.78 seconds to earn a 42.75-point score. Concluding the regular season with a 44.5-point average, Happy Camper will travel to Edmonton with a 0.1-point lead over No. 2 Phantom Fury.
Hailing from Wild Hoggs Bucking Bulls, Phantom Fury is a two-time YETI Bull of the Event from the 2022 season. The bull delivered top outs at the Touring Pro Division stop in Ponoka, Alberta, and the elite Cup Series tour stop in Lethbridge, Alberta, marked 44.5 points both times. Phantom Fury earned his score in Ponoka courtesy of his 2.91-second buckoff of three-time PBR Canada Champion Aaron Roy. In Lethbridge, the commanding animal athlete upended two-time Canadian Champion Zane Lambert in 4.7 seconds.
Rounding out the Top 3 is Happy Camper’s pen-mate and fellow Two Bit Bucking Bulls’ star Langham Kid. In contention for his first Bull of the Year honor, Langham Kid concluded the regular season 0.3 points behind the No. 1 rank with a 44.2-point average from his Top 5 trips. Langham Kid is also a two-time Bull of The Event, earning the honor at the prestigious Glen Keeley Memorial PBR in Stavely, Alberta, and the debut event for the organization in Armstrong, British Columbia.
In Stavely, Langham Kid was scored 44 points via his 2.78 seconds of work against Chance Switzer, while in Armstrong, Langham Kid posted his top score of the season, awarded 45 points when he bested Lonnie West in a quick 1.93 seconds.
The complete list of contenders for this year’s Canadian Global PBR Canada Bull of the Year honor are:
No. 1 Happy Camper (Two Bit Bucking Bulls) – 44.5 points
No. 2 Phantom Fury (Wild Hoggs Bucking Bulls) – 44.4 points (-0.1 points)
No. 3 Langham Kid (Two Bit Bucking Bulls) – 44.2 points (-0.3 points)
No. 4T Superstition (Wilson Rodeo) – 44.1 points (-0.4 points)
No. 4T Al Capone (Wild Hoggs/Sure Fire) – 44.1 points (-0.4 points)
No. 6 Built Tough (Thompson Rodeo Livestock) – 43.9 points (-0.6 points)
No. 7 Time Marches On (Thompson Rodeo Livestock) – 43.8 points (-0.7 points)
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bullfighters selected to work the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, in Edmonton, Alberta, are Tanner Byrne, Ty Prescott, and Brett Monea.
2022 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 2022:
Sept. 30 in Grande Prairie, Alberta -- Logan Biever, 84 points on Catch My Drift
Oct. 28 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -- Tim Lipsett, 85 points on Sure Shot
EDMONTON COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY
Australia (3) – Jake Curr, Braith Nock, Callum Miller
Brazil (1) – Silvano Alves
Canada (16) – Dakota Buttar, Cody Coverchuk, Tyler Craig, Jake Gardner, Garrett Green, Chad Hartman, Zane Lambert, Jared Parsonage, Brock Radford, Coy Robbins, Aaron Roy, Dawson Shannon, Griffin Smeltzer, Blake Smith, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West.
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Tyler Craig, Garrett Green, Zane Lambert, Brock Radford, Coy Robbins, Dawson Shannon, Griffin Smeltzer, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West; British Columbia – Jake Gardner; Saskatchewan – Dakota Buttar, Cody Coverchuk, Chad Hartman, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy, Blake Smith.