Event of the Year Producer Coy Robbins Looks Back at Monumental 2023 Season

By: Covy Moore  Wednesday, December 13, 2023 @ 2:41 PM

Coy Robbins finished No. 5 in the 2023 PBR Canada Championship race. Photo: Covy Moore/CovyMoore.com.

AIRDRIE, Alta. – In 2023, the PBR Canada Event of the Year changed hands, going to the Rose City Invitational in just its second year of operation in Camrose, Alberta.

Run by 2017 PBR Canada Rookie of the Year Coy Robbins and businessman Geoff Turnquist, the event packed Encana Arena, delivering the raucous crowd a performance they won’t soon forget.

“It makes me speechless to know that we were acknowledged as an event of the year, voted on by my peers,” Robbins said. “It really is crazy. They are my friends, and we share locker rooms everywhere, but for them to put that aside and vote for what it is. It’s special.”

“The whole deal is neat. It's a great venue, with a good atmosphere. I think guys like that too. I don’t have many more words for it, I can't thank them all enough. It’s appreciated, it’s a dream come true.”

The Rose City Invitational was the brainchild of a young Robbins when he was playing in his parent’s living room, and he says, and the moment it all came together with the opportunity to partner with Turnquist came serendipitously.

“The idea I had in me from the time I was young was to bring the sport that I love, and now my livelihood to my hometown,” Robbins said.

“Life goes on and you gain relationships with people. It was funny the way it worked out, I was thinking seriously about it one day and taking the steps to make it a reality, and the same day Geoff Turnquist called out of nowhere and said we should put a PBR on in town. That's where our PBR partnership started. We haven’t looked back.”

While receiving the Event of the Year title is special for Robbins, he says that the first year of the event was made extra special. In front of a sold-out inaugural crowd in 2022, Robbins dominated the field, earning his first ever PBR Canada event win.

With his career marred by injuries in the early years, Robbins says being able to focus on things like his business, Proline Feed and Forage, while also working on the event helped change his perspective, allowing him to break through and have two incredibly strong seasons beginning at his event in 2022.

“The first year was the most memorable I think, seeing how Camrose supported it, sponsors wise and fans in the seats, and then getting my first PBR win that year to top it off,” Robbins said.

“When I was coming back from the different injuries, I was thinking about bull riding 24/7. I was watching videos, thinking about it, obsessing about it even. I got sick of bull riding. I have pivoted a bit in my career, and I run my own business selling feed and minerals, and then now with this PBR. I think it helps me keep my mind off of bull riding when it doesn’t need to be. It helped me win that first one, I wasn’t thinking of the bull riding until my bull was in the chute."

Managing a bull riding career, and a business is one thing, but for Robbins what he has learned these past two seasons is to appreciate each and every event he competes at just that much more.

“My appreciation has grown immensely for every committee and community, city and team that puts an event on of any scale,” Robbins said. “I have had an idea of what goes into doing it, but until you have done it like Geoff and I have now, and we do have a lot of help. It really opened my eyes and that appreciation for every event, every venue you go to. Without their hard work, we don’t have a living really.”

“There are so many committees working right now on those next tiers, and bringing lots to the riders and the fans, and it’s appreciated. We don’t have the sport where it is without people like that. We wouldn’t be doing what we love and making a living at it.”

As for the 2024 edition of the Rose City Invitational, it will be back in early May, and will be bigger and better than ever.

“We have the best in the business across the board. From production people to the bull riders and the bulls, bullfighters, sports medicine. It really is one of the best bull ridings in Canada, right here in the Rose City. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun afterwards too. There are plans to make it bigger and better. You, your friends and family, make sure you buy your tickets.”