Reigning PBR Canada Champion Nick Tetz Taking Advantage of Opportunity in Corpus Christi
By: James Youness Saturday, May 6, 2023 @ 4:21 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Regardless of your occupation, it straight up stinks when things aren’t going well at work sometimes.
Whether it’s boss man asking for those pesky TPS reports, some extracurricular water cooler drama or any of the distractions from allowing one to focus on the ever-shifting task at hand, it’s part of punching the clock to some extent.
In professional bull riding, where your family is depending on you to meet the 8 and earn a check to keep the bills paid, some would say there’s an added pressure to perform.
After capturing the 2022 PBR Canada National title last year, Nick Tetz hadn’t been feeling much of it lately when it came to covering his bulls, as the Calgary, Alberta, native seemed to have the upper hand when facing the bovine talent north of the border.
Storming into Unleash The Beast territory for the first time in his career in December of 2022, he made his premier series debut in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by turning in an 0-for-2 performance. Bucked off in 3.93 seconds (Next Question) and 3.49 seconds (Pearl’s Ghost), respectively, it was back to the drawing board for the talented 23-year-old.
With a taste of what the stateside talent and corresponding animal athletes bring on an every-night basis, he went on to grind out some appearances on the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour and within the PBR Canada scene while continuing to get his bearings in the U.S.
Eventually resurfacing to compete within the UTB pack in mid-March, Tetz wouldn’t fumble another opportunity to shine on the brightest stage in the industry.
Racking up three-straight Top 12 finishes, including a sixth-place result in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a fifth-place finish in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a 12th-place effort in Albuquerque, New Mexico, while logging two of the best ride scores of his career (88 points against Sonny B in New Orleans: new personal best, 87 points atop Death Warrant in Milwaukee: 4th-best) Tetz was officially ready to make to a run for what would be his first qualification to the PBR World Finals.
“It would be pretty sweet. I was listening to a podcast with a Canadian legend, Aaron Roy,” Tetz shared Friday night in Corpus Christi.
“Aaron’s helped me out a bunch and everything like that, and he was talking about the first time he got to go, so to be able to write that into my story would be pretty cool too.”
Just like in the movies, when everything is smooth and good, sometimes it’s too good to be true.
Enter the struggle bus, which had plenty of room for not only the various injuries stacking up around both UTB and PWVT, but a spot reserved for the up-and-coming cowboy.
Between a few nagging bumps and bruises and some timing concerns in battling against the various talents of PBR Canada, PWVT and UTB-level bulls, the Canadian sensation suddenly found himself bringing a 13-out buckoff streak into the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals, presented by Coastal Bend Chevy Dealers, with his last successful qualified ride dating back to March 25 (85.75 points paired with Mr. Winston) at the Ty Murray Invitational, presented by The Downs Racetrack & Casino.
“Being able to go to those UTBs pissed me off because I didn’t qualify for them (World Finals) and it kind of lit that fire in me, and I’m here to get to that next step,” Tetz said.
“Coming in here as the Canadian representative, I got a shot at getting to the World Finals and right now I’m sitting as the second alternate for those, too.”
With five berths to the PBR World Finals on the line, including a spot dedicated to one of four athletes who received an international invite (Tetz: Canada, Cassio Dias: Brazil, Francisco Garcia Torres: Mexico, Sam Woodall: Australia), Tetz is also second in line to qualify via the UTB alternate list, potentially allowing a secondary path to the year-end showcase depending on rider health and availability.
Of course, that wouldn’t stop the dedicated youngster from giving it his all on Friday night.
Eventually teaming up with Chain Breaker in the opening round for 87.25 points, Tetz surged to the top of the event’s leaderboard with the conversion.
Farewell rideless streak, hello World Finals?!
“It feels good. I went and got on some practice bulls and got some things fixed and slowed down and just coming back from injuries, trying to figure all of that stuff out. I feel like we got our timing back now,” the Canadian shared following his ride.
While it was 2023 Rookie of the Year frontrunner Rafael Jose de Brito who captured the round win, Tetz' runner-up status and getting back in the win column positions him for a successful Day Two.
As to whether a strong opening-night ride has any extra weight in looking to parlay the effort on Saturday:
“Yeah, it always helps. Now you just got to try to just ride the wave and keep the momentum going for the rest of the weekend. Honestly, you feel good getting one rode. Your confidence is up, just stick to having fun and doing what got you to the dance, don’t try to switch something up because it’s the Finals,” Tetz concluded.
“At the end of the day it’s still bull riding, so you gotta do whatever you gotta do to get your mind right.”
Round 2, followed by the exclusive championship short go, will wrap up the 2023 Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals on Saturday, May 6, with action slated to resume at 7:30 p.m. CST inside American Bank Center.