Game Notes - Abbotsford
By: Kacie Albert Friday, October 12, 2018 @ 12:28 PM
ABBOTSFORD GETS RANK – This weekend, for the third time in as many years, PBR Canada’s Monster Energy Tour stops in Abbotsford, British Columbia at the Abbotsford Centre for the seventh event of the season. The event is the second elite tour stop in the province this season, stopping in Kelowna in July, and penultimate regular season tour event of the year prior to the 2018 PBR Canada Finals.
SO FAR THIS SEASON – With the tour’s third Western event of the 2018 season for the Monster Energy Tour set to take place in Abbotsford, the already held six events have played host to the rise of new faces. After young-gun Brock Radford kicked off the elite tour’s season with a win in Calgary, the series then travelled East for a four-event stretch. Beginning in Ottawa, fans watched on as 18-year-old Texan Austin Richardson went a perfect 2-for-2 inside the home of the Ottawa Senators to capture his first PBR event title. The following two weekends, however, belonged solely to surging Brazilian Marcos Gloria. Compliments of his wins in both Québec and Halifax, he surged to No. 30 in the world and catapulted to the top of the Canadian national standings. Concluding the slate of events, rising Canadian Lonnie West stunned the sold-out crowd in Moncton, going 2-for-3 to capture the title at the first-ever PBR event in the city. At the most recent tour event in Kelowna, Australian sensation Lachlan Richardson continued his strong summer surge going 2-for-2 to earn his first win on the tour. Collectively recording two event wins and 13 Top-5 efforts across both Canadian tours, Richardson is presently the No. 1 ranked rider in the Canadian national standings, 94.99 points ahead of No. 2 Radford, 666.66 points ahead of No. 4 West and 737.49 points in front of No. 5 Gloria.
While West is out injured and Richardson, Radford and Gloria stateside competing on the PBR’s top 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast, the door is open this weekend for No. 3 Cody Coverchuk to surge to the top of the standings, just 138.33 points off the lead. Also competing in Abbotsford, Zane Lambert, currently No. 6 in the standings and 1058.33 points behind Richardson, could be poised for a second-half run that mirrored his campaign in 2017 that culminated with the 2017 PBR Canada Championship, the second of this career.
RUN TO VELOCITY FINALS– With the 2018 PBR Canada Finals (Nov. 23-24) set to take place following the 2018 PBR World Finals (Nov. 7-11), the Canadian invite to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour Finals (Nov. 2-3) will be the top-ranked Canadian rider in the Canadian national standings as of October 29. With just two events remaining prior to the cutoff, including this weekend’s stop in Abbotsford, the pressure is on to earn the coveted bid, awarded to Zane Lambert last year as the 2017 PBR Canada Champion. With the invite, the rider will compete alongside representatives from each of the other international territories, with the top finisher from the contingent subsequently earning a berth to the PBR World Finals. Last year, Brazil’s Jose Vitor Leme advanced via the Velocity Finals, then stunned the world in going a perfect 6-for-6 to capture the 2017 PBR Rookie of the Year honor and 2017 PBR World Finals event win.
Currently, the top contenders in the standings are No. 2 Brock Radford, No. 3 Cody Coverchuk, No. 4 Lonnie West, No. 6 Zane Lambert, No. 7 Jared Parsonage and No. 8 Nick Tetz. Among the list, Radford is on the cusp of automatically qualifying for the 2018 PBR World Finals, currently No. 36 in the world and only five points outside of the Top 35. West also finds himself within the Top 35, currently No. 32 in the world, however is presently sidelined with a shoulder injury. With those two not competing this weekend, Coverchuk, Lambert, Parsonage and Tetz have the opportunity to gain ground in the race and inch closer to earning the coveted invite.
JUST LIKE LAST YEAR– Compliments of his win at one of the most recent PBR Canada events of the season, the prestigious Glen Keeley Memorial Bull Riding, two-time, and reigning PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert finds himself in a familiar position he was at this time last season prior to his late surge up the national standings. Also winning the event in 2017, Lambert departed Stavely Arena the No. 4-ranked rider in Canada, 902.1 points behind Radford, who was also the nation’s No. 1 following the event. This season, when he departed the Stavely, Alberta venue, he had risen to No. 6 in the national standings, and trailed then Canadian No. 1 Brock Radford by 963.34 points. While the standings have shifted slightly with the annual Touring Pro in Magrath being the latest event, Lambert remains No. 6 in the nation, but now trails No. 1 Lachlan Richardson by 1,058.33 points. With two Monster Energy Tour events and one Touring Pro Division stop remaining prior to the Finals, where thousands of points are available, Lambert could be poised to capture his third national title and tie Aaron Roy for most won by a rider in PBR history.
HANSEN IS BACK – After healing up a broken vertebrae and hip earlier in the season which forced him to the sidelines for the most recent leg of the PBR Global Cup in Sydney, Australia, Jordan Hansen will compete at his first Monster Energy Tour event this weekend in Abbotsford since sustaining the injury. His entry this weekend will be his second since returning to competition riding at the 2018 Calgary Stampede where he finished 5th after advancing to Championship Sunday as one of the top two riders from Wild Card Saturday. At the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth he remarked that he was feeling, “a lot better now,” and was “just a little bit muscle sore.” Three months later, the Abbotsford event will mark his second Monster Energy Tour event of the season, shutout in March at the Calgary event. He will attempt Eno Bucking Bulls’ Headstruck in Round 1.
TEAM CANADA – With the next date for the inaugural Global Cup set for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 9-10, 2019, the contingent set to represent the Maple Leaf is still largely undecided. While three-time Canadian Champion Aaron Roy will return to lead the nation, and has already selected top-ranked riders Dakota Buttar and Tanner Byrne for the squad, five slots and the alternate position remain to be filled. With Aaron Roy making the journey to Abbotsford for this weekend’s event, he will have yet another opportunity to evaluate some of the nation’s top talent. Among the contenders for selection riding this weekend are former Global Cup team members Zane Lambert, an integral member in both Edmonton and Sydney, and Jared Parsonage, one of the contingents top riders in Sydney where they narrowly fell short of the win. While Wacey Finkbeiner sustained a concussion on the first day of the event in Sydney, and Jordan Hansen was unable to compete in Edmonton (CFR) or Sydney (injury) despite being selected, both will be competing this weekend for Roy to scout. Other potential team selections competing this weekend are Cody Coverchuk, who rode as part of the team in Edmonton and is currently No. 3 in the nation, and Nick Tetz the current Rookie of the Year standings leader.
HOME PROVINCE HOPEFULS – On Saturday night, seven riders will vie for the event title in front of a home province crowd led by hometown rider Jordan Jenson, set to make his Monster Energy Tour debut. The additional home province contenders are: Jake Gardner (Fort St. John), Lane Goertzen (Kelowna), Kolton Higginbottom (Lillooet) Isaac Mack (Kamloops), Jackson Scott (Kamloops) and Denton Spiers (Ques Hill).Gardner leads the contingent, currently No. 15 in the national standings. Fans will also be able to cheer on Williams Lake’s Greg Loring Jr., working the dirt all night long as one of three bullfighters tasked with protecting the event’s riders.
ANOTHER RICHARDSON – While Canadian fans have become accustomed to seeing Lachlan Richardson at various events, this weekend they will watch on as his brother Cliff competes at the Monster Energy Tour event. After riding side-by-side at the Edmonton leg of the inaugural Global Cup, a situation replicated when the event was held this June in Sydney, the brothers rode together at two 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast events in the United States. This weekend they will be divided as Lachlan heads to Greensboro ranked No. 25 in the world. Cliff travels to Abbotsford ranked No. 40 in the world, 190 points outside of the Top 35.
PAST ABBOTSFORD EVENT WINNERS – Last season Lonnie West went a perfect 2-for-2 to capture his first-ever PBR event win in Abbotsford. His win was backed by an 84-point trip on Tippin Point (S&E Bucking Bulls) in Round 1, and capped with a rounding-winning 89-point ride on Anika’s Pet (Big Chief/Armstrong) in the championship round. The event victory came just one weekend after the young gun was runner-up on the Monster Energy Tour in Winnipeg. Collecting 455 Canadian points for the win, West rose from No. 10 to No. 5 in the national standings. He concluded the year No. 4 in Canada.
2017 Lonnie West
2016 Ty Pozzobon
BULL PEN – This weekend, three bulls who have been the high-marked bull of the event at past tour stops will compete in Abbotsford. The field is led by VJV Whiskey Hand who has earned the honor twice this season. The Vold Rodeo bovine athlete most recently won the honor in Kelowna earning a 44-point bull score for his 3.12-second buckoff of Cody Floyd. He is joined by Muddy Water and Carlier Cartel, all of whom split the top-bull spot at the Calgary event for their matching 43.5 point bull scores. Both from X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle Muddy Water’s score came from tossing Jake Lockwood in 2.74 seconds, while Carlier Cartel earned the top marks for his 2.58-second buckoff of Zane Lambert. The field will also include nine bulls making their PBR debuts. Among them, two will compete in the championship round: R Saga Ranch’s Cause n’ Effect and Vold Rodeo’s Blow Me Away.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT –This weekend’s Monster Energy Tour event in Abbotsford will feature a field of 26 riders. To begin the night, all entered riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1. The Top 10 will then advance to the Championship Round where they will attempt one final bull in an effort to win the event title and part of the event purse.
NEXT UP – PBR Canada’s Monster Energy tour will next travel to Edmonton, Alberta, and the Edmonton EXPO Centre on Saturday, October 20 for the eighth and final regular season event of 2018. Action will get underway at 7:00 p.m. MT.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – The bull fighters on hand for this weekend’s event in Abbotsford are Greg Loring Jr., Brett Monea and Ty Prescott.
ABBOTSFORD COMPETITORS BY COUNTRY
Australia (1) – Cliff Richardson
Brazil (1) –Italo Aguilar Goncalves
Canada (24) – Logan Biever, Cawl Braithwaite, Todd Chotowetz, Cody Coverchuk, Wacey Finkbeiner, Jake Gardner, Lane Goertzen, Jordan Hansen, Kolton Higginbottom, Ron Hunt, Jordan Jenson, Dayton Johnston, Klayton Lakevold, Zane Lambert, Tim Lipsett, Isaac Mack, Kale Marks, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy, Jackson Scott, Denton Spiers, Nick Tetz, Chase Thielen, Cole Young
BREAKDOWN BY PROVINCE –
Alberta – Logan Biever, Cawl Braithwaite, Wacey Finkbeiner, Jordan Hansen, Ron Hunt, Dayton Johnston, Klayton Lakevold, Zane Lambert, Kale Marks, Nick Tetz, Chase Thielen, Cole Young; British Columbia – Jake Gardner, Lane Goertzen, Kolton Higginbottom, Jordan Jenson, Isaac Mack, Jackson Scott, Denton Spiers; Saskatchewan –Todd Chotowetz, Cody Coverchuk, Tim Lipsett, Jared Parsonage, Aaron Roy.