Game Notes – Saskatoon
By: Kacie Albert Friday, October 27, 2023 @ 11:28 AM
ALL ROADS TO FINALS LEAD THROUGH SASKATOON – This weekend, for the 15th time in history, PBR Canada’s elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, will buck into Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and SaskTel Centre with the PBR Saskatoon Classic, presented by Redhead Equipment and CASE IH. The Saskatoon tour stop will be the final regular-season Cup Series event before the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, on Nov. 17-18 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The Saskatoon event will begin on Saturday, October 28 at 7:00 p.m. CST and Sunday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m. CST.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT – The PBR Saskatoon Classic, presented by Redhead Equipment and CASE IH, will feature three rounds of bull riding and is a Tier 1 Velocity Tour Global event. Each rider will get on one bull in Round 1 on Saturday and Round 2 on Sunday. The 10 bull riders with the best combined scores will then advance to the championship round on Sunday, where they will attempt one final bull in an effort to be crowned the event champion. This weekend, one rider will have the chance to earn 140 national points in the main event, in addition to ride score points. Following Saturday night’s Round 1, the Top 5 riders from the opening round will attempt five of the event’s top bulls. Featuring both a separate purse, and national points, $2,500 will be available, with the winner set to collect 15 national points.
5/5 BUCKING BATTLE – In 2023, at all two-day PBR Canada Cup events, the opening night of competition will feature a 5/5 Bucking Battle. Pitting the Top 5 riders from the event’s opening round against the five best bucking bulls at the event, the special round will feature both a separate purse, and national points. The national points will be awarded as: 1st – 15; 2nd – 8; and 3rd – 7. The money will payout as: 1st - $1,250; 2nd - $750; and 3rd – $500. The bulls slated to buck in the 5/5 Bucking Battle in Grande Prairie are:
Edge of Tomorrow (Lazy S Bucking Bulls)
Disco Daze (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Legend Rodeo Stock)
Easy E (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Legend Rodeo Stock)
Finning Lil Shorty (Flying Four Bucking Bulls)
Chico (Vold Rodeo)
JORDAN HANSEN CATCHES FIRE AT SEASON’S END – At the most recent Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, event of the year in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Jordan Hansen caught fire, going a perfect 2-for-2 to win the event and crack the Top 10 in the heated national championship race. Hansen got off to a quick start, tying for the Round 1 win when he covered Irish Rebel for 84 points. With an early pick in the championship round bull draft, Hansen elected to go head-to-head with Bull of the Year contender Langham Kid. A decision which proved dividends, Hansen remained in perfect time with the powerful animal athlete, matching him jump-for-jump en route to the whistle. Marked an event-best 89.5 points, the 8-second effort cemented the tour stop win for Hansen. The golden finish garnered Hansen a much needed 129 national points in the race to be crowned the 2023 PBR Canada Champion and earn the accompanying $100,000 bonus. While he began the event ranked No. 13, the Albertan catapulted six positions climbing to No. 7 in Canada. He is now within 236 points of No. 1 Dakota Buttar. In the weeks since, Hansen has continued to light up PBR scoreboards. Qualifying for the 2023 PBR Challenger Series Championship, Hansen parlayed a commanding 88-point ride atop Turner Burner into a fifth-place finish. Returning to home soil, Hansen has drawn Lil’ Hooch in Round 1 of competition inside SaskTel Centre.
BUBBLE WATCH: GARDNER AND FRASER MAKE MOVES IN THE HAT – The pressure is on for the world’s finest to qualify for the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals, with just two events remaining before the year end event. The Top 17 in the national standings will earn a berth to the year-end event, making this PBR Saskatoon Classic, presented by Redhead Equipment and CASE IH, a crucial stop for those on the bubble. At the most recent Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, event in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Jake Gardner and Cody Fraser tied for second to make up considerable ground in their quests to punch their ticket to the PBR Canada National Finals. For Gardner, after tying for the Round 1 win via an 84-point ride aboard Whiskey Moon, he punctuated his outing inside Co-op Place with an 84.5-point ride atop Cadillac. The perfect performance netted Garnder a much-needed 80 national points. Garnder’s silver showing firmly positioned him inside the nation’s Top 17. Ranked No. 17 prior to the PBR Medicine Hat Classic, presented by Art’s Excavating, Gardner climbed to No. 14. Surging Aussie Fraser also went 2-for-2 in Medicine Hat to collect 77 national points. He first rode Blurred Lines for 80 points in Round 1, and then went on to deliver the second-best score of the event when he topped The Remedy for 88.5 points in the championship round. Fraser, who began the event outside of the Top 17 ranked No. 20, rose four spots to No. 16 in the national standings. This weekend in Saskatoon, Garnder has drawn Chairman Frank and Fraser will take on Jail Break in the opening round of action,
CRIMBER COMES TO CANADA – At the PBR Saskatoon Classic, presented by Redhead Equipment and CASE IH, generational talent John Crimber will make his Canadian debut. - A day after turning 18 this past August, Crimber burst onto the PBR scene, placing third at his first Challenger Series event in Goliad, Texas. A week later, the young gun tied for his first event buckle in Lamar, Missouri, courtesy of a triple-entry. The Texan really found his groove at month’s end, riding to both a first and third-place result in Eureka, Montana, before winning his first PBR Stockyards Showcase in Fort Worth, Texas, the following week. In September, the teenage phenom placed inside the Top 10 at all seven events he entered, including four victories, skyrocketing to No. 2 in the Challenger Series Global standings. The young cowboy stayed hot to begin October, recording two more wins at the PBR’s weekly Stockyard Showcase in Fort Worth in back-to-back weeks. Having won a combined nine events since his debut, Crimber will look to capture his tenth in Saskatoon, first drawing Desperado.
INJURY UPDATE – This weekend in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, two of the riders ranked inside the nation’s Top 3 will be continue to be sidelined due to injury – No. 1 Dakota Buttar and No. 3 Nick Tetz. Following his event-winning ride in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Buttar sustained a broken collarbone during his dismount atop Chico. The injury will sideline Buttar upwards of six weeks, keeping him out of PBR competition until the National Finals in Edmonton, Alberta. For No. 3 Tetz, he sustained a fractured shoulder blade while riding for the Arizona Ridge Riders in the separate PBR Teams League when he hit the ground after 6.61 seconds atop Flyin Wired. The injury kept Tetz out of action for the 2023 PBR Teams Championship in Las Vegas Oct. 20-22, and he is anticipated to be back in competition form for the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals. Their absence opens the door for No. 2 Cody Coverchuk to not only put more distance between himself and No. 3 Tetz, but also overtake No. 1 Buttar for the top spot. Coverchuk currently leads No. 3 Tetz by 11.16 points and is only 10.84 points behind No. 1 Buttar. As competition gets underway in Saskatoon, Coverchuk will first attempt Red October in Round 1.
PAST SASKATOON EVENT WINNERS – Last season in Saskatoon, Lonnie West went a perfect 3-for-3 to win the Saskatoon Classic and catapult to No. 7 in the heated battle to be crowned the 2022 PBR Canada Champion. West first put points on the board in Round 1, conquering Time Marches On for 84 points. Positioned second on the event leaderboard, West drafted Look At This Dude as his Round 2 opponent and recorded an 85.5 point-score to punch his ticket to the championship round. The then 26-year-old elected to climb aboard Phantom Fury as his final matchup in Saskatoon and logged the high-marked ride of the event, scored 89.5 points to clinch the event victory. West collected a crucial 90.5 Canadian points and rose from No. 9 to No. 7 in the national standings, moving to within 101.5 points of the No. 1 rank.
Atop the standings, when the dust settled inside SaskTel Centre a new man stood atop the standings in the battle for the 2022 PBR Canada Championship. Dakota Buttar also went 3-for-3 to finish second and leap-frog Nick Tetz for the No. 1 rank in Canada. The 2022 iteration of the event in Saskatoon marked the second consecutive season the town welcomed the regular-season finale for the nation’s premier bull riding tour. Prior to the 2021 Cup Series event, Saskatoon had been home to the PBR Canada National Finals. Of the 14 prior PBR Canada events held in Saskatoon, 10 have marked the year-end PBR Canada National Finals.
2022 Lonnie West
2021 Jordan Hansen
2019 Daylon Swearingen*
2018 Cody Coverchuk*
2017 Zane Lambert / Edgar Durazo*
2016 Zane Lambert*
2015 Brady Oleson*
2014 Aaron Roy*
2014 Rosendo Ramirez
2013 Scott Schiffner*
2012 Ty Pozzobon*
2011 Dusty Ephrom/Harve Stewart*
2010 Mike Lee*
2009 Aaron Roy
FAMILIAR WATERS – Round 1 of the PBR Saskatoon Classic, presented by Redhead Equipment and CASE IH, will feature two rematches. Those riders facing familiar opponents are:
- Two-time PBR Canada Champion Cody Coverchuk will look to remain perfect against Red October. In the pair’s first meeting, Coverchuk rode the bull for 76 points during the opening round of the July Touring Pro Division event in Calgary, Alberta.
- Garrett Green will attempt to replicate past success aboard Mogely. In October 2019, Green rode the bull for 84.5 points during Round 1 of the elite Cup Series event in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
NEXT UP – Following a three-week break, the 2023 PBR Canada season will conclude in Edmonton, Alberta for the PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, when the 2023 PBR Canada Champion will be crowned, earning the accompanying $100,000 bonus. Action for the year-end event inside Rogers Place will get underway at 7:00 p.m. MT on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bullfighters on hand for this weekend’s event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, are Tanner Byrne, Brett Monea and Ty Prescott.
2023 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 five 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 2023.
March 3 in Lethbridge, Alberta | Coy Robbins, 89.5 points on Positively Bangin
September 30 in Grande Prairie, Alberta | Wyatt Gleeson, 89 points on Times A Tickin
SASKATOON COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY
Australia (3) – Cody Fraser, Jake Maher, Callum Miller
Brazil (1) – Marcos Gloria
Canada (20) –Cody Coverchuk, Weston Davidson, Cody Fitzpatrick, Jake Gardner, Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Chad Hartman, Orrin Marshall, Kade McDonald, Micheal Ostashek, Jared Parsonage, Brock Radford, Coy Robbins, Aaron Roy, Ashton Sahli, Cauy Schmidt, Blake Smith, Chance Switzer, Stefan Tonita
United States (5) – John Crimber, Jake Dunham, Gage Gay, Conner Halverson, Daylon Swearingen
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Wyatt Gleeson, Garrett Green, Jordan Hansen, Micheal Ostashek, Brock Radford, Coy Robbins, Ashton Sahli, Cauy Schmidt; British Columbia – Jake Gardner; Saskatchewan – Cody Coverchuk, Weston Davidson, Cody Fitzpatrick, Chad Hartman, Orrin Marshall, Kade McDonald, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy, Blake Smith, Chance Switzer, Stefan Tonita.