Prairie Post (West Edition)
Monstrous 90-Point ride propels two-time PBR Canada Champion win at season-launch Cup Series event in Lethbridge
Going a near perfect 2-for-3, Lambert earned 85.5 national points to catapult to the No. 1 ranking in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship
For photos from Championship Saturday, courtesy Covy Moore, click here. For video highlights, courtesy PBR, click here. When sharing photo/broll assets on social, please tag @PBRCanada. Contributed
After a nearly nine-month hiatus from competition, the elite PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada Cup Series returned in momentous fashion in Lethbridge. The nation’s finest kept the raucous crowd inside ENMAX Centre on the edge of their seats for the two-day South Country Co-op Showdown, presented by VisitLethbrige.com. Backed by a monstrous 90-point ride in the championship round, two-time PBR Canada Champion Zane Lambert (Ponoka, Alberta) clinched the seasonlaunch event victory, catapulting to the No. 1 rank in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, and accompanying $50,000 bonus.
Lambert began the tour stop in dominant fashion, tying for the Round 1 win compliments of an 84-point effort atop Gandy (Skori Bucking Bulls).
As Championship Saturday got underway, however, the Ponoka native was unable to continue his hot streak, dispatched by Bob Rock (Skori Bucking Bulls) in a quick 1.84 seconds.
With his opening-round score enough to secure his spot in the championship round, Lambert drafted a familiar opponent in reigning PBR Canada Bull of the Year Catch My Drift (Two Bit Bucking Bulls/K Rose Ranch). In June, the veteran Canuck delivered the first 90-point ride of the Canadian season atop the striking bovine athlete, scored 91 points in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Replicating his past success, Lambert once again matched the bull jump-for-jump, making the requisite 8 for an event-best 90 points in Lethbridge.
For his efforts, Lambert netted a critical 85.5 national points, catapulting him from No. 9 to No. 1 in the race for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship. The 35-year-old now leads No. 2 Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta) by a mere 1.34 points.
Should Lambert earn the national title in 2021, he would tie three-time Champion Aaron Roy (Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan) for most Canadian Championships won by one rider in league history. Lambert won the honor in 2013 and 2017, while Roy was the top Canadian in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Callum Miller (Warwick, Queensland, Australia) was second, earning 71 national points.
Competing in just the second PBR Canada Cup Series event of his career, Griffin Smeltzer (Claresholm, Alberta) tied for fourth with Lonnie West (Cadogan, Alberta), reaching a crucial career milestone along the way.
Rebounding from a 3.53-second buckoff dealt to him by Devils Boy (Two Bit Bucking Bulls) in Round 1, Smeltzer earned his position in the final round courtesy of his 79.5-point score aboard Duke Ka Boom (Flying Four Bucking Bulls) in the second round.
Remaining electric, Smeltzer selected a bull capable of elevating him to his career-first PBR event win – 2018 PBR Canada Bull of the Year Happy Camper (Two Bit Bucking Bulls).
While the 21-year-old fell just short of the win, he achieved yet another important goal in any bull rider’s career– his first 90-point ride in PBR competition. Reaching the necessary 8 aboard the “Bucking Sensation from the Two Bit Nation,” Smeltzer tied for the championship round win via a 90-point score.
Smeltzer’s 2-for-3 showing netted him 43.5 points. He remained No. 8 in the national standings, now 40.5 points behind No. 1 Lambert.
West is now ranked No. 6 in the battle for the 2021 PBR Canada Championship, up one position after travelling to Lethbridge No. 7 in the country. He trails the top position by 37 points.
In the bull pen, Happy Camper and Hanna Motors Winston Bruce (Skori Bucking Bulls) tied for the high-marked bull of the event honor, each registering 44.5 points in the championship round.
Happy Camper earned the marks when he teamed with Smeltzer for the 90-point score, while Hanna Motors Winston Bruce logged the points when he bucked off Brock Radford (De Winton, Alberta) in 2.87 seconds in the championship round.
Following a more-than-one-month break, the 2021 PBR Canada Sup Series will travel to Grande Prairie, Alberta and Revolution Place for the PBR Grande Prairie BuckWild on October 1-2. Action will get underway on both Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. MDT.
Stay tuned in to PBRCanada.com and follow the tour on Facebook (PBR Canada), Twitter (@PBRCanada), and Instagram (@PBRCanada) for the latest results, news, stats and more.