Peace Country Contender Jake Gardner Wins Elite PBR Canada Cup Series Event in Grande Prairie

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PBR image by Covy Moore
PBR image by Covy Moore

By Kacie Albert

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. – After beginning his 2021 season stateside, Peace Country contender Jake Gardner (Fort St. John, British Columbia) made his return to home soil in triumphant fashion. As the lone rider to go a perfect 3-for-3, Gardner captured his career-first elite Cup Series event win, victorious at the PBR Grande Prairie BuckWild.

In Round 1 Friday evening, Gardner was quick to strike, covering Oldsmobile (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Leitch Cattle Co.) for 82 points.

Positioned sixth on the event leaderboard ahead of Championship Sunday, Gardner returned determined as he readied to go head-to-head against Blue Blood (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Rank Pen Cattle Co.).

Gardner erupted from the chutes, matching the bull jump-for-jump en route to the 8-second whistle and an 83-point score.

With the second pick in the championship-round bull draft, Gardner selected 2021 PBR Canada Bull of the Year contender Lil’ Hooch (Flying High Rodeo Co.), a decision which would prove dividends.

Gardner, in picture-perfect form, covered the striking bovine athlete for a championship round-best 89 points, clinching him the event win and leading the crowd inside Bonnetts Energy Centre to erupt in raucous cheer.

In addition to his success in the main event, Gardner also finished second in the PBR Grande Prairie BuckWild’s accompanying 5/5 Bucking Battle. As one of two riders to record a score in the special round, Gardner outlasted Wolf Bait (Vold Rodeo) for an 84.5-point score.

Collectively, Gardner earned 96 national points for his efforts, allowing him to crack the Top 10 in the Canadian standings after beginning the second Cup Series event of the year ranked No. 26. Rising 17 positions, Gardner is now No. 9 in the feverish title race, 109.83 points behind No. 1Dakota Buttar (Kindersley, Saskatchewan).

Since making his debut on home soil last weekend on the Touring Pro Division in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Gardner has been perfect in Canadian competition, making the 8 aboard all eight of his bovine athlete opponents. The record for longest ride streak held by any one rider on Canadian soil is 11, last seen in 2020 when Buttar achieved the feat at the start of the campaign.

Buttar, who is attempting to become the first back-to-back PBR Canada Champion in 2021, was unable to continue his momentum on Championship Saturday for the PBR Grande Prairie BuckWild, bested by both of his draws.

The 1-for-3 showing in the main event led Buttar to conclude the tour stop tied for seventh. Despite the less-than-ideal finish, Buttar notably won the accompanying 5/5 Bucking Battle courtesy of an 87.5-point score on Trump Card (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Lazy S Bucking Bulls)

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. Buttar now leads the No. 2-ranked rider by 40.66 points.

Jordan Hansen (Okotoks, Alberta) parlayed a perfect 2-for-2 outing on Championship Saturday into a runner-up finish.

Following an uncharacteristic 2.68-second buckoff dealt to him in Round 1 by Mr. Legit (Vold Rodeo/Prescott), Hansen was back to his title-contending form in Round 2, topping the field when he rode Norse God (Wild Hoggs Bucking Bulls) for 88.5 points.

Hansen then selected a new opponent for the championship round in Al Capone (Wild Hoggs/Sure Fire). Poised, Hansen reached the requisite 8, earning a score of 88 points to cement the silver finish.

Marking just his second PBR event of the season on home soil, Hansen netted 77 national points to surge from No. 17 to No. 11 in the Canadian standings. The 28-year-old trails the Top 10 by a mere 2 points and is within 113.16 points of No. 1 Buttar.

Three-time PBR Canada Champion Aaron Roy (Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan) was third, earning 59 points.

Roy dominated the opening round of action for the Alberta Cup Series event, surging to the top position on the leaderboard via his 84.5-point ride atop Stutter Step (Vold Rodeo).

In Round 2, Roy remained the No. 1 man in the race for the event title when he went the distance on Big Chill (Wild Hoggs Bucking Bulls) for 81 points.

Roy’s string of successes, however, came to an abrupt halt in the championship round when he was brought down in 3.62 seconds by Gifted (Vold Rodeo).

Seeking an unprecedented fourth national title in 2021, Roy is now No. 12 in the Canadian standings, 131.33 points behind No. 1 Buttar.

Cody Coverchuk (Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan) was fourth.

Going 1-for-3, the 2018 PBR Canada Champion earned the Top-5 finish compliments of his 86-point ride on Night Blood (Vold Rodeo/Robinson) in Round 2.

Earning 42 national points, Coverchuk climbed three positions in the national standings, now the No. 2-ranked rider in Canada. Also attempting to earn his second PBR Canada Championship this season, Coverchuk is within 40.66 points of No. 1 Buttar.

Should either Buttar or Coverchuk win the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, they would become just the third multi-time Canadian national champion in league history. To date, three-time title holder Roy and two-time Champion Zane Lambert (Ponoka, Alberta) are the only two riders to have achieved the feat.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Logan Biever (Claresholm, Alberta), collecting 29 national points.

Advancing to the championship round on time, Biever made the most of his second chance, covering Spooky Lukie (Two Bit Bucking Bulls) for 85.5 points to cement his fifth Top-10 effort of the year in Canadian competition.

Biever is now ranked No. 14 in the heated race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, which will come to a climatic end Nov. 12-13 in Edmonton, Alberta, at Rogers Place at the 2021 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products.

In the bull pen, Muzzle Blast (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle) was the high-marked bull of the event. The powerful bovine athlete, who has previously been selected to buck stateside on the elite PBR Unleash The Beast, bested Coverchuk in 4.99 seconds in the championship round to earn a 44-point score.

PBR Bull Fighter Covy Moore
PBR Bull Fighter Covy Moore

Following a one-week break, the 2021 PBR Canada Sup Series will travel to Medicine Hat, Alberta, and Co-op Place for the PBR Thunderbuck in the Badlands on October 16. Action will get underway at 7:00 p.m. MDT.

PBR Canada Cup Series
PBR Grande Prairie BuckWild
Bonnetts Energy Centre – Grande Prairie, Alberta
(Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

  1. Jake Gardner, 82-83-89-254.00-84 Points.
  2. Jordan Hansen, 0-88.5-88-176.50-77 Points.
  3. Aaron Roy, 84.5-81-0-165.50-59 Points.
  4. Cody Coverchuk, 0-86-0-86.00-42 Points.
  5. Logan Biever, 0-0-85.5-85.50-29 Points.
  6. Callum Miller, 0-85-0-85.00-19 Points.
  7. Dakota Buttar, 83.5-0-0-83.50-14.5 Points.

(tie). Jared Parsonage, 83.5-0-0-83.50-14.5 Points.

  1. Tanner Eno, 83-0-0-83.00-8 Points.
  2. Garrett Green, 82.5-0-0-82.50-5 Points.
  3. Zane Lambert, 81.5-0-0-81.50-2 Points.
  4. Lonnie West, 81-0-0-81.00-1 Points.

Ashton Sahli, 0-0-0-0.00

Micheal Ostashek, 0-0-0-0.00

Tyler Craig, 0-0-0-0.00

Chad Hartman, 0-0-0-0.00

Cole Young, 0-0-0-0.00

Todd Chotowetz, 0-0-0-0.00

Coy Robbins, 0-0-0-0.00

Dawson Shannon, 0-0-0-0.00

Riley Gagnon, 0-0-0-0.00

Fabian Dueck, 0-0-0-0.00

Tim Lipsett, 0-0-0-0.00

Nicholas Klinck, 0-0-0-0.00

Landon Schmidt, 0-0-0-0.00

2021 PBR Canada National Standings

(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5’s, Points, Total Winnings)

  1. Dakota Buttar, 22, 4, 13, 210.16, $26,300.98
  2. Cody Coverchuk, 20, 2, 8, 169.50, $13,491.53
  3. Callum Miller, 18, 1, 6, 155.50, $11,383.90
  4. Zane Lambert, 13, 1, 7, 146.00, $10,828.04
  5. Griffin Smeltzer, 20, 1, 7, 135.50, $12,462.25
  6. Nick Tetz, 17, 2, 7, 120.66, $12,710.48
  7. Lonnie West, 11, 2, 5, 115.00, $9,533.01
  8. Jared Parsonage, 19, 3, 4, 105.50, $10,979.66
  9. Jake Gardner, 4, 0, 1, 100.33, $5,149.81
  10. Garrett Green, 6, 1, 3, 99.00, $5,273.49
  11. Jordan Hansen, 3, 0, 1, 97.00, $5,717.07
  12. Aaron Roy, 16, 0, 1, 78.83, $3,620.24
  13. Tanner Eno, 10, 1, 3, 57.50, $5,518.36
  14. Logan Biever, 12, 0, 1, 54.50, $2,937.76
  15. Micheal Ostashek, 18, 0, 3, 49.50, $3,394.28
  16. Ashton Sahli, 22, 0, 2, 48.50, $7,030.79
  17. Tyler Craig, 20, 0, 2, 34.83, $4,094.90
  18. Chad Hartman, 9, 0, 2, 31.00, $3,800.19
  19. Cole Young, 4, 0, 1, 28.33, $2,635.74
  20. Brock Radford, 11, 0, 0, 15.00, $550.00
  21. Edgar Durazo, 1, 0, 1, 15.00, $2,078.04
  22. Todd Chotowetz, 9, 0, 2, 8.00, $994.29
  23. Wacey Finkbeiner, 11, 0, 1, 8.00, $1,151.47
  24. Coy Robbins, 13, 0, 1, 7.00, $1,177.23
  25. Dawson Shannon, 18, 0, 1, 7.00, $929.88
  26. Daylon Swearingen, 1, 0, 1, 7.00, $1,079.50
  27. Weston Davidson, 10, 0, 1, 4.00, $482.46
  28. Dakota Louis, 2, 0, 0, 0.50, $188.91
  29. Tim Lipsett, 15, 0, 0, 0.33, $0.00
  30. Dayton Johnston, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  31. Shay Marks, 12, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  32. Fabian Dueck, 13, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  33. Wyatt Gleeson, 6, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  34. Rosendo Ramirez, 4, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  35. Riley Gagnon, 5, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  36. Cawl Braithwaite, 4, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  37. Marcos Gloria, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  38. Zachery King, 1, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  39. Blake Smith, 12, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  40. Nicholas Klinck, 14, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  41. Landon Schmidt, 8, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  42. Ethan Schultz, 3, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  43. Wyatt Laughlin, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  44. Cooper Zur, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  45. Tanner Skene, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  46. Eric O’Flynn, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  47. William Barrows, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  48. Zane Tully, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  49. Lonnie Phillips, 2, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  50. Austen Watier, 1, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  51. Coy Doore, 1, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  52. Travis Maguire, 1, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00
  53. Billy West, 1, 0, 0, 0.00, $0.00