Game Notes – Lethbridge
By: Kacie Albert Thursday, September 22, 2022 @ 3:30 PM
LETTING LOOSE IN LETHBRIDGE – This weekend, for the fourth consecutive season, PBR Canada’s elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, will buck into Lethbridge, Alberta. The PBR South Country Co-op Showdown, presented by VisitLethbridge.com and Ritchie Bros., will be two separate events. The tour stop is the fifth of the season, with the campaign for the elite Cup Series getting underway in Red Deer, Alberta on June 11, followed by tour stops in Brandon, Manitoba, and Regina, Saskatchewan in mid-June, and Kelowna, British Columbia, in late July. The Lethbridge events will begin on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24 at 7 p.m. MT.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT: SEPT 23 – The PBR South Country Co-op Showdown, presented by VisitLethbridge.com and Ritchie Bros., will feature two rounds of bull riding. Each rider will get on one bull in Round 1 on Friday. The 10 bull riders with the best scores will then advance to the championship round later that evening where they will attempt one final bull in an effort to be crowned the event champion. On Sept. 23, one rider will have the chance to earn 80 national points.
RADFORD RIDES HOT IN KELOWNA – When the PBR Canada Cup Series was last in action in late July in Kelowma, British Columbia, there was no rider more dominant than Brock Radford. As the lone rider to go a perfect 2-for-2, the surging Albertan won the PBR Okanagan Challenge, presented by T-Rex Excavating, overtaking the No. 1 rank in the feverish 2022 PBR Canada Championship battle and catapulting 12.67 points out front of new No. 2 Blake Smith. Radford, who won the first-ever PBR Canada event in Kelowna in 2017, traveled to the British Columbia event amidst a hot streak, registering three consecutive Top 10 finishes in his most recent outings. Continuing his momentum, Radford first struck in Round 1 when he delivered the second-best score, marked 85.5 points atop Trapped. With the second pick in the Round 2 bull draft, Radford used his early selection to architect a matchup with Irish Rebel, a decision which would prove dividends. As the penultimate man to leave the chutes, Radford was poised as he climbed aboard the powerful animal athlete. The 27-year-old remained centered as the chute gate burst open, matching the bull jump-for-jump en route to the requisite 8. With the crowd erupting in cheer, Radford was awarded an event-best 88.5 points to clinch the victory. Radford’s golden finish garnered him a crucial 77 national points. After beginning the tour stop No. 4 in Canada, Radford surged to the No. 1 position, 12.67 points ahead of No. 2 Smith. In the nearly two months since the most recent Cup Series event, Radford has slipped to No. 3 in the national standings, 47 points back of No. 1 Logan Biever. When competition in Lethbridge gets underway, Radford will attempt Smog.
TIME TO TALK TOURING PRO DIVISION – In the near two months since the most recent Cup Series event was held in Kelowna, British Columbia, the PBR Canada Touring Pro Division event has been in full swing, holding 15 events. Here’s a recap of how each event unfolded:
Czar Lake, AB (July 22): Compliments of a dominant 2-for-2 performance, surging young gun Nick Tetz was unrivaled in Czar Lake, Alberta, winning the Czar Lake Bullarama. As the first rider to leave the chutes at the Shorncliffe Lake Rodeo Grounds, Tetz conquered Revelation, leading the crowd to erupt in raucous cheer. Scored 83 points, the 2018 PBR Canada Rookie of the Year advanced to the championship round second on the event leaderboard. Tetz then readied to climb aboard Al Capone. In perfect time with the powerful animal athlete, Tetz again reached the requisite 8, this time marked 87.5 points, clinching the event win. For his efforts, Tetz left his home province event having garnered 30 national points. Ranked No. 10 prior to the event, Tetz gained four positions, surging to No. 6 and climbing within 67 points of then No. 1 Brock Radford. Tetz will travel to Lethbridge ranked No. 8 in the Canadian national standings. He’ll face a rematch in Slip Slap during Round 1 of competition for the PBR South Country Co-op Showdown.
Manor, SK (July 23): As the intense slate of summer Canadian Touring Pro Division events continued in Manor, Saskatchewan, Dakota Buttar inched closed to etching his name in the record books. Attempting to become just the fourth multi-time Canadian Champion in history in 2022, Buttar won the Manor Fun Daze PBR, surging to No. 3 in the national standings. In Round 1, Buttar was one of four contenders to deliver a qualified ride. Covering Night Blood for 82 points, Buttar set his sights on Round 2 second on the event leaderboard. The reserved Saskatchewan contender then faced off against Bat Chute Crazy. Once again reaching the requisite 8, Buttar clinched the victory with an 82.5-point score. Buttar’s golden finish garnered him 28 national points. He rose from No. 5 to No. 3 in the national standings, climbing within 34.5 points of No. 1 Brock Radford. Buttar will begin the fifth Cup Series event of the season as the No. 2 man in Canada, a mere 10.5 points back of season-leader Logan Biever. Buttar has drawn Crocodile Rock as his Round 1 opponent inside ENMAX Centre.
North Battleford, SK (July 27): Backed by a flawless 2-for-2 showing inside the North Battleford Access Communication Centre, Coy Robbins won his third Canadian Touring Pro Division event of the season, victorious at the 7th Annual McDonalds PBR Classic to crack the Top 10 in the feverish race to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. In Round 1, after earning a re-ride, Robbins went head-to-head with Thor’s Hammer. Reaching the requisite 8, Robbins was marked 83.5 points, advancing to Round 2 atop the event leaderboard. The 2017 PBR Canada Rookie of the Year remained perfect in the second round, again converting aboard a re-ride draw, when he covered Midnight Panda for 79.5 points to clinch the event win. For his efforts, Robbins earned a critical 32 points, elevating him from No. 15 to No. 9 in the national standings. Robbins inched within 85.5 points of then No. 1 Brock Radford as he seeks his first national title this November in Edmonton, Alberta. Robbins will begin the South Country Co-op Showdown ranked No. 6 in the nation, 133 points back of No. 1 Logan Biever. He has drawn a rematch in Trapped as the last man out in Round 1 on Friday evening.
Lacombe, AB (July 30): Delivering the high-marked ride of the event, Callum Miller won the Lacombe Pro Bull Riding, rising to No. 18 in the heated battle to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion and earn the accompanying $50,00 bonus. Going 1-for-2, the Missouri Thunder rider was unmatched in the second round of competition. Matched up with Lil’ Hooch, the Australian sensation matched the bull jump-for-jump en route to an event-winning 88 points. Attempting to become the first Aussie to win the title of PBR Canada Champion this November in Edmonton, Alberta, Miller earned a crucial 25 national points. He remained No. 17 in the standings but climbed within 134 points of No. 1 Brock Radford. Radford furthered his stronghold on the No. 1 position compliments of a seventh-place finish which netted him 6 national points. The Albertan sensation registered his ride in Round 1, delivering the second-best score when he covered Bull Dozer for 82.5 points. Compliments of the Top 10 finish Radford pulled 18.67 points ahead of No. 2 Blake Smith.
Magrath, AB (August 4): Going a perfect 2-for-2 in Magrath, Alberta, Logan Biever won his second Canadian Touring Pro Division event of the season, victorious at the Celebration for the Two Bit Nation. Biever first lit up the scoreboard in Round 1 when he delivered the top score, marked 83.5 points atop OMB Stones Throw. As action continued in Round 2, Biever remained atop the leaderboard, clinching the event win when he covered Slingin Stones for an event-best 88.5 points. For his golden finish, Biever earned 32 national points, rising to No. 3 in the feverish battle to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion and earn the accompanying $50,000 bonus. Biever edged within 34 points of No. 1 Brock Radford. Compliments of his success in the months since, Biever will travel to Lethbridge atop the national standings, 10.5 points ahead of No. 2 Dakota Buttar. He has drawn Alberta Twister in Round 1.
Coronation, AB (August 5): In front of a hometown crowd, Cauy Schmidt reached a critical career milestone in Coronation, Alberta. Compliments of a perfect 2-for-2 effort at the Coronation Rodeo Grounds, Schmidt won his career-first PBR Canada event, victorious at the Royal Rumbull. Schmidt was quick to punch his ticket to the championship round as one of four riders to convert in Round 1. Matched up with Canadian Miracle, Schmidt reached the requisite 8 for 83 points. Poised, the surging 19-year-old next readied to take on Wolf Bait in the final round. Matching the powerful animal athlete jump-for-jump, Schmidt was scored an event win-clinching 86.5 points. The golden finish earned Schmidt a crucial 27 national points as he seeks his career-first qualification to the PBR Canada National Finals this November in Edmonton, Alberta. Cracking the Top 20 in the national standings, Schmidt rose to No. 19 in Canada, 160 points removed from the No. 1 position. Atop the heated standings to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion and earn the accompanying $50,000 bonus, Brock Radford furthered his stronghold on the No. 1 rank courtesy of a third-place finish. Going 1-for-2, Radford’s podium finish was headlined by his second-place score in the opening round, marked 84 points atop Black Beetle. Radford left his home province event having earned 13 national points, surging 37.67 points ahead of No. 2 Blake Smith. In the months since, Schmidt gained one more position in the standings, now No. 18. This weekend in Lethbridge, he’ll first face Spooky Lukie in Round 1.
Tofield, AB (August 11): Attempting to become just the fourth multi-time PBR Canada Champion in history in 2022, Dakota Buttar inched closer to further cementing his name in the record books, sweeping the competition to win the Touring Pro Division event in Tofield, Alberta. In Round 1, Buttar surged to an early lead when he delivered what would remain the high-marked ride of the event, scored 86 points atop Times A Tickin. Buttar then readied to attempt Screamin Demon in the second round. Matching the bovine athlete jump-for-jump, Buttar again reached the requisite 8, this time for 84.5 points to clinch the victory. The flawless finish earned Buttar a crucial 32 national points, propelling him form No. 4 to No. 2 in the heated raced to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. Via the win, Buttar climbed within a mere 15.5 national points of then No. 1 Brock Radford.
Marwayne, AB (August 12): Compliments of a perfect 2-for-2 showing in Marwayne, Alberta, Coy Robbins captured his fourth Touring Pro Division event win of the season, victorious at the 10th Annual Marwayne PBR, presented by Garnier Custom Silage. In Round 1, the 2017 PBR Canada Rookie of the Year sailed to an early lead in the event when he covered Canadian Miracle for 81 points. Robbins then clinched the win in Round 2 when he went the distance atop Middle Age Crazy for 85.5 points. For his efforts, Robbins earned a crucial 28 national points. After traveling to the event ranked No. 9 in Canada, Robbins rose four positions to No. 5, 69 points back of No. 1 Brock Radford. Atop the national standings, Dakota climbed within 9.5 points of No. 1 Radford after finishing fourth. Buttar captured the Top 5 finish, and 6 national points, compliments of a strong showing in Round 2. As the event got underway, Buttar was bested in the opening round by Unbroken in 2.66 seconds. Determined, the Saskatchewan man returned with a vengeance in the second round, covering Uproar for 84.5 points.
Elnora, AB (August 13): As the only rider to go a perfect 2-for-2 in Elnora, Alberta, the Missouri Thunder’s Callum Miller captured his second Canadian Touring Pro Division event win of the season, victorious at the Elnora Braham Rama. Sweeping the event, Miller surged to the top of the event leaderboard in Round 1, when he covered Wild Child for 85 points. The charismatic Australian then readied to face Beer Buzz in the second round of competition at the Elnora Agricultural Grounds. Matching the bovine athlete jump-for-jump, Miller reached the whistle, scored an event-best 86 points to clinch the golden finish. Miller earned a critical 31 national points as he attempts to become the first Australian PBR Canada Champion in history. He rose three positions in the heated national standings, climbing from No. 17 to No. 14, inching within 125 points of No. 1 Brock Radford.
Winfield, AB (August 19): Backed by a perfect 2-for-2 performance in Winfield, Alberta, Dakota Buttar won the PBR Winfield to overtake the No. 1 rank in the race to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. After earning a re-ride in Round 1, unable to get out of the chutes aboard Wild Time, Buttar next readied to attempt Red Rust. Matching the animal athlete jump-for-jump, Buttar reached the requisite 8 for 80 points. Buttar advanced to Round 2 runner-up on the event leaderboard, next tasked with Devils Dues. The stoic Canadian delivered his second score in as many attempts as he covered the bull for an event-best 87.5 points to clinch the victory. For his golden finish, Buttar earned a crucial 30 points, overtaking the No. 1 rank in the national standings. He surged 13.5 points ahead of new No. 2 Logan Biever. Biever was second in Winfield as the only other rider to go a flawless 2-for-2. After riding Canadian Miracle for a Round 1-best 80.5 points, Biever punctuated his event with an 84-point score atop Bar Star in Round 2. Biever left Winfield have earned 20 national points. He climbed from No. 3 to No. 2 in the nation.
Stavely, AB (August 20): Wyatt Gleeson reached a crucial career milestone in Stavely, Alberta, registering his career-first 90-point ride in PBR Canada competition, winning the Touring Pro Division’s prestigious Glen Keeley Memorial Bull Riding. Gleeson advanced to the championship round second on the event leaderboard after riding Twist of Fate for 83.5 points. The charismatic Albertan then climbed aboard Superstition. In perfect time with his animal athlete counterpart, Gleeson reached the requisite 8 for a monstrous 90 points. Not only was the score a career-best for Gleeson, but it also clinched his first event win since 2018. For his efforts, Gleeson earned 30 national points. He catapulted from No. 34 to No. 23 in the race to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. Atop the race, Logan Biever finished third to solidify his No. 2 rank and inch within a mere 2.5 points of overtaking the No. 1 rank. Despite being bucked off in Round 1, Biever was quick to rebound in the championship round, conquering Touch Too Much for 86 points. Biever left Stavely Arena having earned a crucial 11 national points.
Bowden, AB (August 26): Young gun Weston Davidson delivered a perfect 2-for-2 showing in Bowden, Alberta, to earn his first PBR Canada event win, victorious at the Touring Pro Division’s Les Supernant Memorial Bull Bash. The 20-year-old first put points on the board in Round 1 when he went the distance atop Salty Dog for an 82.5-point score. Positioned second on the event leaderboard entering the second round, Davidson next readied to attempt Bull Dozer. Remaining in perfect time with the animal athlete, Davidson reached the requisite 8 for a round-winning 85.5 points to clinch to event victory. Davidson’s golden finish earned him a critical 30 national points, catapulting him from No. 36 to No. 24 in the national standings. Davidson will travel to Lethbridge ranked No. 22 in PBR Canada competition. He’ll attempt Whiskey Clouds during Round 1 inside ENMAX Centre Friday night. In Bowden, Dakota Buttar strengthened his then grip on the No. 1 rank compliments of a third-place finish which garnered him 13 national points. After bucking off in Round 1, Buttar returned determined in Round 2, drawing Barnyard. The reserved Saskatchewan man reached the whistle for 84.5 points to cement his podium finish. While Buttar traveled to Bowden with a slim 2.5-point lead over No. 2 Logan Biever, he left 8.5 points out front.
Gleichen, AB (August 27): In Gleichen, Alberta, Logan Biever won his third Touring Pro Division event of the season, victorious at the Wheatland Charity PBR, presented by HeckYa.ca, and overtook the No. 1 rank in the heated battle to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. Biever was quick to strike in Round 1, surging to an early event lead when he conquered Peaky Blinder for a round-winning 83 points. The reserved Albertan then remained atop the leaderboard when he delivered the high-marked ride of the event in the second round. In perfect time with Get Nic’d, Biever reached the requisite 8 for an event-winning 86 points. For his golden finish, Biever earned a crucial 32 national points. While he traveled to the Wilson Rodeo Grounds 8.5 points behind No. 1 Dakota Buttar, Biever leapfrogged the Saskatchewan man, rising to a 23.5-point lead as the new No. 1-ranked rider in Canada.
Armstrong, BC (September 4): At the penultimate PBR Canada Touring Pro Division event of the 2022 season in Armstrong, British Columbia, the race to be crowned the year’s national Champion reached a new level of intensity. Going a perfect 2-for-2, Dakota Buttar won the first-ever Touring Pro Division event in Armstrong, victorious at the Interior Provincial Exhibition & Stampede, to inch within a mere 10.5 points of the No. 1 rank in the nation. Buttar travelled to the Interior Provincial Exhibition Association No. 2 in the nation, then trailing No. 1 Logan Biever by 23.5 points. Eager to reclaim the No. 1 rank in the nation, Buttar got off to a hot start in British Columbia, riding Wolf Bait for 85 points to tie for the Round 1 win. Biever, however, was quick to respond, registering his own 85-point effort when he went the distance atop Big Deuce. As a result, Buttar and Biever advanced to Round 2 tied for the event lead. In the final round, Buttar readied to take on Up Shift, while Biever found his name across from Back Cracker. First to leave the chutes, Buttar was a near picture of perfection as he matched Up Shift jump-for-jump en route to an event-best 89.5-point score. While Biever also made the whistle aboard Back Cracker, his 85 points were not enough to surpass Buttar, delivering him the event win. Buttar’s golden finish earned him a crucial 31 national points, and Biever, who concluded the event second, netted 18 national points. Seeking his second national title in 2022, 2020 PBR Canada Champion Buttar decimated Biever’s lead from 23.5 points to 10.5 points as the season approaches the final weeks, all culminating Nov. 11-12 for the 2022 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, in Edmonton, Alberta at Rogers Place.
Longview, AB (September 17): Young gun Tyler Craig reached a crucial career milestone in Longview, Alberta when he won his first PBR Canada event, victorious at the Touring Pro Division’s PBR Longview. In the one-round event, Craig was unrivaled. Matched with Boo, the 21-year-old reached the requisite 8 for a victory-clinching 82.5 points. The golden finish garnered Craig a crucial 18 national points. He is now ranked No. 23 in the race to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion, 18 points outside of the Top 20.
PAST LETHBRIDGE EVENT WINNERS – Last season, after a near nine-month hiatus from competition, the PBR Canada Cup Series launched the 2021 campaign in Lethbridge. Backed by a monstrous 90-point ride, two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert clinched the event win, surging to the No. 1 rank in the race for the PBR Canada Championship. Lambert’s efforts inside ENMAX Centre included an 84-point score on Gandy before he matched 2020 PBR Canada Bull of the Year Catch My Drift jump-for-jump in near picture-perfect form en route to a season-best, 91-point score. The 2021 PBR event in Lethbridge also featured one of PBR Canada’s 5/5 Bucking Battles, pitting the event’s Top 5 riders against five of the nation’s rankest bucking bulls. Backed by an impressive 88-point score on Hanna Motors Wilford, Australian sensation Callum Miller won the special round. As the season unfurled, both Lambert and Miller chased history as top contenders for the PBR Canada Championship. However, despite a hard-fought effort on the final days of the season, Lambert and Miller fell short of the year-end title, concluding the season ranked No. 3 and No. 7, respectively.
2021 Zane Lambert
2020 Garrett Green
2020 Brock Radford/Ty Ellis
2020 Dakota Buttar
2019 Jared Parsonage
FAMILIAR WATERS: SEPT 23 – During the opening round of competition for the first iteration of the PBR South Country Co-op Showdown, eight riders will face rematches. Those showdowns are:
- Reigning PBR Canada Champion Cody Coverchuk will be locked in a rubber match with Southern Heat. After Coverchuk rode the bull for 87 points during the championship round of the 2021 Cup Series event in Lethbridge, Southern Heat bested Coverchuk in 3.54 seconds later that year in Calgary.
- Garrett Green will look to remain perfect against Blue North. Green conquered the bull twice in 2021, first for 86 points during the Touring Pro Division event in Cluny, Alberta, and then for 82.5 points during Round 1 of the Cup Series event in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
- Nick Tetz is slated to attempt Slip Slap for the third time in his career. Having made the 8 in both of their meetings on record, Tetz first covered the bull for 84 points during the 2021 Touring Pro Division stop in Marwayne, Alberta, and then for 87 points during this season’s Touring Pro Division event in Calgary.
- Three-time PBR Canada Champion Aaron Roy will have his rivalry with Housefire renewed. Roy rode the bovine athlete for 84 points at the Cup Series season-launch event in Red Deer, Alberta.
- Ashton Sahli will again face Big Easy, the very bull he rode for 83.5 points this winter during rhe debut Touring Pro Division event in Camrose, Alberta.
- Cauy Schmidt will look to reverse his fortunes aboard Spooky Lukie. The powerful animal athlete bucked off Schmidt earlier this summer in 4.78 seconds during the Touring Pro Division event in Magrath, Alberta.
- Coy Robbins will be keen to avenge a buckoff from the 2021 season dealt to him by Trapped. Going head-to-head in the championship round of the PBR Canada National Finals, Trapped bested Robbins in a swift 2.17 seconds.
- Elijah Gordon is the final rider to have drawn a past foe in the opening round of competition in Lethbridge. Once again facing off with Black Jack, the bull bucked off Gordon this season in Prince Alberta, Saskatchewan, in 2.85 seconds.
BULL PEN – This weekend’s bull pen for the PBR Canada Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, event in Lethbridge, Alberta, will be headlined by two-time and reigning YETI PBR Canada Bull of the Year Happy Camper, and Up Shift, the surging bucker from Vold Rodeo, both scheduled to buck in the championship round Friday evening. Happy Camper has bucked seven times thus far on home soil in 2022, thrice crowned the Bull of the Event. The “Bucking Sensation from the Two Bit Nation” first earned the honor at the Cup Series event in Brandon, Manitoba, marked 43.5 points for his 7.64 seconds of work against Dakota Buttar. Happy Camper again led the pen in his very next out at the elite Cup Series event in Regina, Saskatchewan. Matched up with reigning PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen, the two teamed for an event-winning 89.5-point score, with Happy Camper marked 43.5 points. Happy Camper earned his latest Bull of the Event honor at the third or four consecutive Touring Pro Division events held in early July in Calgary, Alberta. Drawn by Jake Gardner, Happy Camper sent the British Columbia rider to the dirt in a swift 4.38 seconds to earn a season-best 45.5-point score. This weekend’s event in Lethbridge will mark Up Shift’s second out in PBR Canada competition in 2022. He made his season-debut at the early September Touring Pro Division event in Armstrong, British Columbia. Up Shift was scored a career-best 44 points as Buttar took him to the whistle for an 89.5-point ride.
NEXT UP – The 2022 PBR Canada Sup Series, presented by Wrangler, will next travel to Grande Prairie, Alberta, and Bonnetts Energy Centre on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1. Action for the PBR Peace Country Invitational, presented by Ritchie Bros., will get underway nightly at 7:00 p.m. MT.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bullfighters on hand for this weekend’s event in Lethbridge, Alberta, are Tanner Byrne, Brett Monea and Ty Prescott.
LETHBRIDGE COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY – SEPT. 23
Australia (2) – Cody Fraser, Jake Maher
Canada (24) – Logan Biever, Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Cody Coverchuk, Weston Davidson, Jake Gardner, Clay Gordon, Elijah Gordon, Garrett Green, Garrat Harrigan, Chad Hartman, Zane Lambert, Tim Lipsett, Eric O’Flynn, Radford, Coy Robbins, Aaron Roy, Ashton Sahli, Cauy Schmidt, Dawson Shannon, Blake Smith, Nick Tetz, Stefan Tonita, Lonnie West.
Nicaragua (1) – Osman Alvarez
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Logan Biever, Garrett Green, Zane Lambert, Brock Radford, Coy Robbins, Ashton Sahli, Cauy Schmidt, Dawson Shannon, Nick Tetz, Lonnie West; British Columbia – Jake Gardner, Clay Gordon, Elijah Gordon, Eric O‘Flynn; Saskatchewan – Dakota Buttar, Todd Chotowetz, Cody Coverchuk, Weston Davidson, Garrat Harrigan, Chad Hartman, Tim Lipsett, Aaron Roy, Blake Smith, Stefan Tonita.