Cody Coverchuk Begins 2024 Campaign Strong, Surging to No. 1 in the Nation with Win in Lloydminster
By: Covy Moore Wednesday, November 29, 2023 @ 11:17 AM
AIRDRIE, Alta. – Two-time PBR Canada Champion Cody Coverchuk walked into Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, for the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals as the season leader. But after a lackluster performance, denied his record-tying third title, he left the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers third in the nation.
Never one to be defeated for long, Coverchuk returned to competition a mere one week later in triumphant form, winning the 2024 season-launch Touring Pro Division event in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.
In Coverchuk’s own words, his 1-for-3 performance at the 2023 Canadian National Finals was rider error and he let one slip away.
“To go in as the season leader, I told myself I don’t think any season leader has won the year end. I just pushed it to the back of my mind,” Coverchuk explained. “But I definitely thought this is something we can change here soon. It was an outstanding Finals for the riders and the bulls. Things came together really well. They rode a lot of bulls in Edmonton.”
“I rode one out of three, a couple of tough buckoffs, all rider errors. They are things you have to look past. I am capable of riding those bulls, and I know that. I messed it up a bit. Moving forward you just got to keep on going.”
After leaving third overall in Canada, making no money at the richest bull riding in the nation, the Saskatchewan rider took a couple days to be sour about it, but says it's important to look forward.
“I was sour at bull riding for Sunday and Monday,” Coverchuk explained. “I was bitter at the whole world. After that I had to go to work Tuesday, so I pushed past it. I didn’t think about bull riding until this weekend. Bull riding is 95% mental I feel. All of us can ride these bulls, and it comes down to who is mentally stronger and who can get past those tough defeats. Just keep moving forward, that's who comes out on top I feel.”
“I have all the ability to ride the rankest bulls in Canada, I just have to capitalize in those pressure situations, that's what makes a Champion.”
And move forward he did.
His perfect 2-for-2 performance in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan this past weekend vaulted him to a familiar spot atop the standings for the 2024 season.
“It feels good,” Coverchuk said. “It was bittersweet. I was pretty sour I messed up for $100,000. Heading to Lloydminster I felt good, my body felt good. My hand is a little jacked up still. After this weekend in Dawson, I am going to take time off and relax.”
“I went back to an American rope in Lloydminster, and it really helped my riding. I grew up with an American rope and I don't really know why it helps me to switch back and forth, maybe a mental thing.”
Suffering from torn ligaments in his riding hand, Coverchuk said the rope change this weekend wasn’t so much about changing the feel for that hand, but his overall feel while riding the bull.
“Nothing is broken. It's ligaments that are torn. No broken bones thank god. I am a wimp when it comes to pain, if my bones were broken, I don't think I could tough it out. I was riding with a Brazilian for the second half of the season, and at finals,” he said.
“I don't think it was the rope that made me fall off those bulls, I just like to keep things changing up. It's a mental thing, new equipment and a newfound hope.”
The man who did end up leaving Rogers Place with the big cheque and buckle was Dakota Buttar.
Coverchuk said that he feels Buttar is a deserving two-time Champion, and that his time off ahead of the Finals helped keep the championship race interesting.
“Dakota had a great Finals. He did what he does, and that is ride rank bucking bulls. He deserves to win the Canadian Championship, he had tough luck right after Grande Prairie breaking his collarbone, he made it interesting.”
“It was a great race and I am happy for him,” Coverchuk continued. “Everybody knows Dakota rides rank bulls, and he just did what he does.”
One thing Coverchuk highlighted was the ability to make a living riding bulls in Canada and the always increasing prize money available.
Illustrating the difference between the 2018 PBR Canada National Finals, when he won his first title, to this year’s, he said the team at 3D Bullriding are setting a high bar bar for Western events in Canada.
“Jason [Davidson] and Blaine [Fyson], and their 3D team have done a great job. They are setting the bar high for anyone in Canada. To never have to leave home and make a living doing what we love, it's pretty awesome.”
“The first year I won the title, 2018, I think I made $8,000 from the Finals. Then flash forward to the second one in 2021, and I made $67,000. This year Dakota made $121,000 in 2023. That speaks volumes, numbers don't lie. PBR Canada is doing all the right things in looking out for us riders. I know the riders sure appreciate it.”