GRANDE PRAIRIE – SPORTS – For the third time in history, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada’s elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, will travel to Grande Prairie, Alberta, returning to Bonnetts Energy Centre on September 30 – October 1 with the PBR Peace Country Invitational.
PBR Canada’s Cup Series regularly features Canada’s best riders alongside some of the league’s top international athletes, squaring off against the rankest bucking bulls from across the nation.
For two nights only, fans will witness exhilarating 8-second rides and wrecks throughout the action-packed event as the PBR’s courageous bull-riding athletes face off against their 2,000-pound opponents.
The PBR Peace Country Invitational will mark the fifth event of the 2022 season for the PBR Canada Cup Series, presented by Wrangler. The tour will launch on June 11 in Red Deer, Alberta, and travel across Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan prior to arriving in Grande Prairie.
Last season, Peace Country contender Jake Gardner (Fort St. John, British Columbia) was triumphant inside Bonnetts Energy Centre, going a perfect 3-for-3 to win his career-first elite Cup Series event title.
In Round 1, Gardner was quick to strike, covering Oldsmobile (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Leitch Cattle Co.) for 82 points, the sixth best score of the round. Gardner continued his success in Round 2 covering Blue Blood (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Rank Pen Cattle Co.) for 83 points to surge to second on the event leaderboard.
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.) and covered the bovine athlete for a championship round-best 89 points, clinching him the event win.
Earning 96 national points for his efforts, Gardner cracked the Top 10 in the Canadian standings after beginning the second Cup Series event of the year ranked No. 26. Rising 17 positions, Gardner surged to No. 9 in the feverish title race, climbing within 109.83 points of then No. 1 Dakota Buttar (Kindersley, Saskatchewan).
As the electric season continued to unfurl, Gardner remained a title contender until the final rounds of the year, a key contender in one of the most exciting, and historic, battles for the PBR Canada Championship in history.
After a dominant season, including four event wins across all levels of competition and a victory in one of the division’s special 5/5 Bucking Battles, Buttar entered the 2021 PBR Canada National Finals with a firm grip on the No. 1 ranking in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, and accompanying $50,000 bonus.
However, a groin injury initially sustained at the final regular-season event of the year proved too much for Buttar to battle, inevitably sidelining him from competition the last day of the campaign.
With the title decided on the final outs of the year, 2018 PBR Canada Champion Cody Coverchuk (Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan) mounted an incredible come-from-behind surge, erasing Buttar’s 53.66-point lead, to conclude the year No. 1 in the nation, capturing his second career national championship.
The Saskatchewan contender clinched the title, and his share of the record $175,000 purse paid out at the year-end event, with an impressive 89.5-point ride aboard annual PBR Canada Bull of the Year contender Finning Lil Shorty (Flying Four Bucking Bulls).
Coverchuk is now one of just three riders to have won the coveted PBR Canada Championship in multiple seasons, joining the likes of two-time title holder Lambert and three-time Champion Aaron Roy (Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan).
The PBR Canada Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, debuted in Grande Prairie in 2020 when the organization held the three-day, four-event 2020 PBR Canada Finals at Bonnetts Energy Centre.
After a competitive quartet of events inside the Alberta venue, Dakota Buttar (Kindersley, Saskatchewan) capped his dominant season with the 2020 PBR Canada Championship.
Entering the series of season-culminating events with a firm grip on the No. 1 rank on the national standings, Buttar furthered his stronghold in the opening tour stop, finishing third to expand his lead over then No. 2 Garret Green (Meeting Creek, Alberta) to 137 points.
Buttar then notched his third Cup Series event victory of 2020 on the second night of action in Grande Prairie to clinch his first national championship.
As the 2020 PBR Canada Finals wound to a close, Buttar completed his impressive tear through the first-ever Cup Series events held in Grande Prairie with a win in the final event, earned courtesy of an 88-point ride on Bull of the Year contender Finning Lil Shorty (Flying Four Bucking Bulls).
The Saskatchewan-native concluded the 2020 season 240.17 points ahead of runner-up Zane Lambert (Ponoka, Alberta), having gone a torrid 18-for-25 (72%), including a historic 11-out ride streak to begin the year. He also registered a head-turning six event wins across the 13 events he competed at on home soil throughout the year.
The bull riding action for PBR Canada Cup Series’ Peace Country Invitational begins at 7:00 p.m. MDT on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1.
Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, April 1 at 10:00 a.m. MDT, and start at $35, standard fees may apply, and can be purchased online at BonnettsEnergyCentre.com, and by phone at (780) 538-0387.
All PBR Canada events are subject to change, planned in accordance with directives issued by relevant government and health authorities given the evolving regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2022 slate of events marks the seventh season for the PBR Canada Cup Series as a unified competitive series traveling across the country and broadcast on TSN.
Stay tuned to PBRCanada.com and follow the tour on Facebook (PBR Canada), Twitter (@PBRCanada), and Instagram (@PBRCanada) for the latest event and broadcast schedule, results, news, stats and more.
About PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada:
PBR (Professional Bull Riders), which has events in five countries, has competed in Canada since 1996 where it operates two tours. Joining the Touring Pro Division (TPD), the Cup Series debuted in 2016 as the nation’s first cross-country, nationally televised series. At PBR Canada events riders have the opportunity to earn points towards both the Canadian and world standings. For more information on PBR Canada, go to www.pbrcanada.com