Canadian Young Gun Griffin Smeltzer Finishes Career-Best Second at PBR Velocity Tour Event in Fresno, California

By: Mandi McCary  Monday, March 21, 2022 @ 1:19 PM

Canadian Griffin Smeltzer finished a career-best second at the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event in Fresno, California. Photo: Andre Silva.

FRESNO, Calif. – Continuing his successful campaign stateside, Griffin Smeltzer (Claresholm, Alberta, Canada) reached a new milestone this past weekend at the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event in Fresno, California. With his efforts inside Save Mart Center highlighted by a Round 1 win, Smeltzer finished a career-best second at the PBR Tractor Supply Co. Invitational, surging to No. 57 in the world standings.

As action for the event got underway, Smeltzer was unrivaled. After earning a re-ride following his trip with Hunch Back (Pasillas Cattle Co.), the 22-year-old was a near picture of perfection as he matched Spirit Guide (Rodriguez Bucking Bulls) jump-for-jump en route to an 87-point score.

On Championship Sunday, however, Smeltzer’s momentum came to an abrupt halt, bested by Red (JD Nix Rodeo Co.) in 4.51 seconds in Round 2 and Not Today (Nancy Haverty/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in a hard-fought 6.84 seconds in the championship round. As a result, Smeltzer fell a mere 14.5 points short of his first event win on the PBR’s expansion series.

Despite the setback on Sunday, Smeltzer collected 27 world points and now sits at No. 57 in the world standings. 

Smeltzer was joined by fellow Canucks Blake Smith (Abbey, Saskatchewan, Canada), Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) and Brock Radford (De Winton, Alberta, Canada) in the event.

Smith led the remaining field of Canadians, going 1-for-3 to finish eighth. He rode Pillow Drift (Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for 83 points to earn 1 world points.

Tetz and Radford were both shutout, going 0-for-2.

Atop the leaderboard for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Tractor Supply Co. Invitational, it was Adriano Salgado (Batatais, Brazil) who stood humbly on the dirt inside of Save Mart Center, collecting the event win for the second consecutive year.

Translated by fellow countryman Junior Patrik Souza (Sonora, Brazil), Salgado thanked God and dedicated his win to fallen best friend Amadeu Campos Silva (Atair, Brazil) before kneeling to pray. Campos passed away in late August 2021 due to injuries sustained in competition at the previous year’s event in Fresno.

As the two-day event began on Saturday night, Salgado declined a re-ride offered by judges, shocking fans and fellow riders alike by keeping his 18.5-point score aboard High Jacked (Humpz and Hornz/ ET Cattle).

As Round 2 began on Sunday afternoon, Salgado was paired with Spirit Guide (Rodriguez Bucking Bulls) for a solid 83-point ride score.

In the championship round, the talented young Brazilian was paired with Red Bones (Kathy Boone/ Joe Beaver/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger). Despite his best attempt, Salgado was dispatched after a mere 2.13 seconds.

Salgado’s 2-for-3 weekend in Fresno earned him 37 world points, and he now sits at No. 48 in the world standings. 

Tying for third place were Dustin Martinez (Canjilon, New Mexico) and Dallee Mason (Weiser, Idaho) after recording matching 86.5-point scores on Saturday night.

Sunday was not ideal for Martinez. After being bucked off by Rougie (Walking Lazy J Bull Team/ Hawkins Bucking Bulls) in Round 2, he was also dispatched by Sam I Am (Heald Pro Bulls/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in the final round.

Mason had a similarly unsuccessful Sunday. He hit the ground early aboard Frat Boy (Rodriguez Bucking Bulls) in Round 2 and was bested by Crazy Corona (Jeb Fredericks/ M Rafter E Bucking Bulls/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in the championship round. 

Both cowboys leave Fresno having collected 11.5 world points. Martinez now holds the No. 91 spot in the world standings and Mason No. 113.

Dawson Branton (Jefferson, Oregon) rounded out the Top 5 of the PBR Tractor Supply Co. Invitational, also going 1-for-3.

After a successful Saturday night, Branton began Sunday aboard Simple Jack (Hawkins Bucking Bulls). The athletic animal athlete prevailed, bucking him off after 4.97 seconds.

Paired with Surprise Package (Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in the championship round, he again fell short.

For his efforts, the Oregon man received six world points and holds the No. 54 spot in the world standings.

The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour next travels to Oakland, California, on Saturday, March 26. Action for the PBR TicketSmarter Classic at Oracle Arena gets underway at 7 p.m. PDT.

PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour
PBR Tractor Supply Co. Invitational
Save Mart Center – Fresno, California
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Adriano Salgado, 18.5-83-0-101.50-37 Points.
2. Griffin Smeltzer, 87-0-0-87.00-27 Points.
3. Dustin Martinez, 86.5-0-0-86.50-11.5 Points.
(tie). Dallee Mason, 86.5-0-0-86.50-11.5 Points.
5. Dawson Branton, 85.5-0-0-85.50-6 Points.
6. Cody Casper, 85-0-0-85.00-4 Points.
7. Mason Moody, 83.5-0-0-83.50-3 Points.
8. Blake Smith, 83-0-0-83.00-1 Points.
9. Cody Campbell, 82-0-0-82.00
10. Ednélio Almeida, 0-81-0-81.00-4 Points.
11. Kache Moosman, 78-0-0-78.00
12. Justin Rowell, 0-77.5-0-77.50-3 Points.
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0.00
Cladson Rodolfo, 0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Rudman, 0-0-0-0.00
Thor Hoefer II, 0-0-0-0.00
Justin Houston, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Davis, 0-0-0-0.00
Zach Miles, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
Codrick Murphy, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Hudson, 0-0-0-0.00
River Stephenson, 0-0-0-0.00
Jory Markiss, 0-0-0-0.00
Edgardo Figueroa, 0-0-0-0.00
Bryan Titman, 0-0-0-0.00
Nick Tetz, 0-0-0-0.00
Brock Radford, 0-0-0-0.00
Alex Guzman, 0-0-0-0.00
William Wright, 0-0-0-0.00
Alex Santana, 0-0-0-0.00
Hunter Salter, 0-0-0-0.00
Brock Udy, 0-0-0-0.00
Chase Wimer, 0-0-0-0.00
Zach Laney, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Maher, 0-0-0-0.00
Wyatt Remington, 0-0-0-0.00
Garrett Remington, 0-0-0-0.00
Zerrick Ponder, 0-0-0-0.00
Andy Valdez, 0-0-0-0.00