Chad Hartman and Company Taking on PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Stateside

By: Covy Moore  Wednesday, January 10, 2024 @ 5:55 AM

Chad Hartman is beginning is 2024 season stateside at the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour. Photo: Covy Moore/

AIRDRIE, Alta. – While we are only 10 calendar days into the new year, the 2024 season is in full swing for a bunch of the Canadian bull riders who have travelled south to compete at PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour events.

The group includes Chad Hartman, who is keen to sharpen his skillset ahead of the 2024 PBR Canada Cup Series season. 

Beginning their time stateside last weekend in Lexington, Kentucky, Hartman and travelling partner Weston Davidson didn’t have much luck. But with a multitude of events remaining on their trip, they are looking forward to what awaits. 

Looking back at 2023, Hartman said he has come a long way. Finishing No. 11 in the standings, he said it was an eye-opening year, having improved greatly since 2022. 

“At the end of 2022 things started to click and by the end of 2023 things felt very different,” Hartman explained. “I don't know what it was exactly, maybe it was confidence. But by the end of the year I think it showed.”

“Rolling into the Finals and finishing up right near the Top 10, it was definitely my best PBR season so far. I don’t really set goals of where I want to be exactly. You can't control much in bull riding, except how hard you try, and I wanted to ride as many bulls as I can, and not stress about the ones that get me down. That is how the chips laid last year.”

And what changed for the Lancer, Saskatchewan native in 2023?

He said it was confidence and getting on practice bulls every chance he had. 

“I wasn’t someone who wanted to get on practice bulls, but last year and a lot at the start of this year I have been getting on every other week and as much as I can. I think that has helped me a lot, I wasn’t worried about whether I could stay on or not because I know I did the work before.”

Hartman put a renewed focus on the basics, enrolling in PBR World Champion Troy Dunn’s Canadian Bull Riding School in Brooks, Alberta, two weeks ago.

“I thought it was one of those opportunities you won't ever have again,” Hartman said of the chance to work with PBR’s lone Australian World Champion. “I think it was just seeing his attitude towards the sport and talking a lot about discipline. I think I can relate to him with that part, the discipline. I don't go out and party a whole bunch, and I try to stay straight when I am at events. I think that was making me feel like I was on the right path.” 

“I think anybody who could, should have gone to that school. Even if you took only one thing away from it, it was something you didn’t have before. If you have been on 500 bulls or 5, there was something to learn. I think that it was even better for us experienced guys because you knew what he was saying.”

With a month of events ahead of him, Hartman said it will be nice to take them on with a truck full of familiar faces alongside him.

“Me and Weston Davidson went to Lexington, Kentucky last weekend. We drew really good, but didn’t make it happen, didn’t do my job. Now we are in Denver, Colorado, and Ashton Sahli and Tyler Craig will be meeting us down here. Then Charleston, West Virginia, this weekend, Reno, Nevada the weekend after that, then Laredo, Texas to wrap up the month then back home for Red Deer.”  

“It will be nice with all these boys being down here with me,” Hartman added. “It will feel a little bit more like home. It’s a good group of guys that I consider friends, it will be nice to roll with them.”

While he says he isn’t a goal setter, he did say he hopes to take the trip one bull at a time, and to work on one thing that can be almost every bull rider's Achilles heel – getting down on yourself. 

“My goals are vague for the year. Like everybody, you want to ride everything they run under you. You aren’t going to ride them all, but you do your best and try your best.”

“But the biggest thing is not getting down on myself when it doesn't go my way and just having fun,” Hartman continued. “That is why we do it after all, winning is great, but if you aren’t having fun then why are you doing it. You have to keep having that good attitude, whether it's going your way or if it's not, just keep going with it.” 

Once he returns to Canada, Hartman has his eyes on the ultimate prize – the title of PBR Canada Champion and accompanying $100,000 bonus.

“Last year opened my eyes. I think I showed myself what I am capable of. This year I want to go into those Finals inside the Top 5 and be in the hunt for that $100,000.” 

“Last year I had to do everything right to be within striking distance of that $100,000, and then you rely on other people to fall off or buck off which isn’t something you ever want to do in bull riding,” Hartman said. “This year I want to go in with everything in my hands and win that $100,000.”

While the 2024 PBR Canada Cup Series season starts in Red Deer, Alberta, on February 3, Hartman says he is looking most forward to the second stop on the tour in Lethbridge, Alberta, on March 1-2 as his past results make it a fond stop for him. 

“It is definitely one of the most fun events all year, its two days and the crowd in Lethbridge is hard to beat,” Hartman said. “It reminds me of the crowds down here at these Velocity events. They really get into it. It is easy to get pumped up at that one.”

“Lethbridge was my first big event in the COVID year when we had no fans inside the building, and I did well there. The next year I did good, rode one in the 5/5 Bucking Battle and it was another one of those eye opener moments for me. So going there the last two years and doing good, coming home with lots of money. I don't know if it's the building or the atmosphere, but I do good there, so I look forward to it for sure.”

With no less than six Canadian bull riders taking on the PBR in the United States, honing their crafts in time for the season launch, Hartman says picking up your tickets for Red Deer is imperative, as it will be one of the best events of the season with riders sharp and ready to ride. 

“I think Red Deer is going to be one of the best events of the year,” Hartman concluded. “There are six of us down here right now getting on every week, and getting on practice bulls too, so once we get home for Red Deer there are a bunch of us who will be riding at the top of our game, and I don't think that is going to be one anyone wants to miss.”