Cody Coverchuk motivated to ride graded bulls at Calgary Stampede

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Cody Coverchuk has extra motivation to ride rank bulls at the Calgary Stampede.

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Competing in Pool A from Friday to Monday, Coverchuk would love nothing more than to earn enough money to finish in the top four bull riders to advance directly to Showdown Sunday on July 17.

“It’s kind of what I’m hoping for is a big exposure at the Calgary Stampede to pay for a nice wedding,” said Coverchuk, who will wed his fiancée Katelyn Tallentine in Craven, Sask., on Aug. 27.

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“I’ve been watching the Calgary Stampede on TV since I was little,” added the 29-year-old cowboy veteran from Meadow Lake, Sask. “It’s like the epitome of bull riding in Canada. Getting to ride here is pretty special every time. The crowd is still behind you.

“They are the best bulls in Canada, the best bull riders and rodeo competitors in the world, so it puts on a good show.

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Although he was dropped from Jump Start on the opening day of competition at the Stampede Rodeo, Coverchuk is confident he can bounce back with better runs over the next three days.

“If I back out, I’m mad at myself and the whole world, basically, for 10 minutes,” said Coverchuk, who is the defending PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada National Finals champion. “But after 10 minutes I cool down, refocus, regroup and prepare for the next day because the next day you could be a champion and the next day you could lose again.

“Bull riding is a very humbling sport, I would say, because you could be diamonds one day and dust the next. »

Although Josh Frost of Randlett, Utah finished top of the leaderboard on Friday after an 88-point performance aboard Big Bird, he will have to wait until Saturday afternoon to find out if he finishes first to win the $5,500 prize. .

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This is because Australian bull Ky Hamilton has been granted a reride, which will take place early on Day 2 of the competition.

Nonetheless, Frost was thrilled to start the competition with such a solid ride.

“It’s always good to start out strong,” Frost said. “I’m super excited to be back here in Calgary. I came last year and it’s pretty cool to see everything wide open (and) all the fans. There is a lot of energy in this place. I was happy to get in there and get the win.

After riding 10 rodeos over six days over the Fourth of July weekend, in what is known as Cowboy Christmas, Frost is happy to hole up in Calgary next time.

“I’m so excited to come here and hang out at one of the best rodeos in the world for four days in a row,” he said, while echoing Coverchuk’s sentiments that riders from bulls must have short memories. “When you go to 125 rodeos a year, you definitely have to learn to roll with the punches. It’s always fun when it’s going well, you can move on to the next day with a bit of momentum.

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With Frost eagerly awaiting a night’s rest before the second day of competition, Coverchuk headed to the Gray Eagle Resort and Casino to take part in the final night of Cody Snyder’s 2022 Charity Bullbustin action.

“It’s just across town, not too far, so it should be fine,” said Coverchuk, who is used to running longer distances in his effort to ride as many bulls as possible. . “We hit two or three in a day on some occasions. It’s a bit more unique because there’s a lot more money involved.”

Coverchuk shook off his previous Stampede wins by doing jump for jump with Wutang to score 86 points and advance to the final round on the final day of the Bullbustin’ show. Brock Radford, of De Winton, Alta., rode a pair of bulls in Round 1 and finished first and second ahead of Coverchuk.

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In his third appearance at the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, Coverchuk is looking to improve on his performance from last year when he made it to the final round of Showdown Sunday.

“I think I came out of there with just under $20,000, but hopefully this year I come away with a lot more than that,” said Coverchuk, who finished tied at three for second place. behind the $50,000. winner Jorden Hansen of Amisk, Alta. “Having a fellow Canadian win it in the last four after we battled all week for 10 days, it was really good to see him win, but I want to win some more. »

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