Current No. 1 Dakota Buttar set to chase history, attempting to become the first back-to-back PBR Canada Champion
By Kacie Albert
SASKATOON, Sask. – Ahead of the 2021 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, in Edmonton, Alberta, on Nov. 12-13, the league has announced the 20 riders that will compete for this historic $175,000 prize purse and 2021 PBR Canada Championship inside the state-of-the-art Rogers Place.
The contingent of riders anticipated to compete is led by current No. 1 Dakota Buttar who will be chasing history at the first-ever PBR Canada National Finals held in Edmonton. As the reining PBR Canada Champion, should he repeat as the national title winner, he would become the first rider ever to win the coveted honor in back-to-back seasons.
Buttar has been a dominant force on Canadian soil in 2021, going a torrid 32-for-48 (66.67%) throughout the regular season. The five-time Glen Keeley Award winner has registered three Touring Pro Division and one elite Cup Series event victory, along with a win at one of the league’s three 5/5 Bucking Battles.
The four-time PBR World Finals qualifier is also one of five riders to record a 90-point score to date in 2021. In September at the Touring Pro Division event in Ponoka, Alberta, Buttar covered Norse God for a monstrous 90 points en route to the event win.
Buttar will begin his quest for his second PBR Canada Championship with a 53.66-point lead over No. 2 Cody Coverchuk.
Coverchuk, the league’s 2018 PBR Canada Champion, is also in pursuit of history. Should either him, Buttar or 2019 PBR Canada Champion Daylon Swearingen earn the year-end honor they would become just the third multi-time PBR Canada Champion in league history, joining the likes of two-time Champion Zane Lambert and three-time title holder Aaron Roy.
Lambert and Roy, however, are both firmly inside the Top 10 of the national standings, poised to make a come-from-behind surge at the year-end event. Ponoka’s Lambert is presently No. 4 in the heated race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, and accompanying $50,000 bonus, 100.16 points back of the top position, while Roy is No. 8 and within 163.83 points of the No. 1 rank.
If either legend of the sport earns the title, Lambert would tie Roy for winningest bull rider in PBR Canada history, while Roy, the lone Canadian to have earned more than $1 million in his PBR career, would enter even rarer air, as the only four-time PBR Canada Champion.
The 20 riders that will compete in Edmonton are:
Dakota Buttar (Kindersley, Saskatchewan)
Cody Coverchuk (Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan)
Jordan Hansen (Okotoks, Alberta)
Zane Lambert (Ponoka, Alberta)
Lonnie West (Cadogan, Alberta)
Callum Miller (Warwick, Queensland, Australia)
Jake Gardner (Fort St John, British Columbia)
Aaron Roy (Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan)
Griffin Smeltzer (Claresholm, Alberta)
Ashton Sahli (Red Deer, Alberta)
Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta)
Jared Parsonage (Maple Creek, Saskatchewan)
Garret Green (Meeting Creek, Alberta)
Coy Robbins (Camrose, Alberta)
Tim Lipsett (Lumsden, Saskatchewan)
Micheal Ostashek (Edson, Alberta)
Todd Chotowetz (Major, Saskatchewan)
Tanner Eno (Coronation, Alberta)
Tyler Craig (Crossfield, Alberta)
Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York)
Each rider will attempt one bull each in Round 1 and Round 2 on Friday, November 12, followed by Round 3 on Saturday, November 13. Following Round 3, the Top 12 riders will advance to the championship round.
The rider with the highest aggregate score throughout four rounds will win the PBR Canada National Finals event title and 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 2021 PBR Canada Championship.
PBR also announced the Canadian National Finals bullfighters who will take to the dirt to protect the 20 competing bull riders.
Tanner Byrne, Ty Prescott and Brett Monea will be vigilant throughout each 8-second ride or wreck throughout the week. Of note, in 2019, Byrne earned his first selection to work the PBR Canada Finals, becoming the first individual to both ride and cowboy protect at the year-end event.
The bull riding action for 2021 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, begins at 7:00 p.m. MDT on Friday, November 12 and Saturday, November 13 at Rogers Place, home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.
Tickets for the event are on sale now, and start at $30, standard fees may apply. They can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.ca.