COCHRANE— Twenty-five bull riders bucked for bragging rights and a helping of the meaty $10,000 prize this past Saturday (Aug. 21) at the 20th annual Cochrane Classic Bull Riding.
Weston Davidson of Strongfield, SK. came out on top with 80 points and $6,400 in winnings. Carving out a nice little slice of his own, Dixon Tattrie of Youngstown, Alta., earned 78 points and $5,676 as runner-up.
Jason Borton, organizer of Cochrane Classic Bull Riding, said that the turnout for the event was amazing, with somewhere between 2000-2500 people coming out to enjoy the show and cheer on the riders.
“The community support is the biggest thing for me,” Borton said. “Everybody was there to have a good time and a lot of people showed up.”
The event marks four years of teaming up with the Cochrane Fair at the grounds of the Cochrane Ag Society, where earlier in the day there were mini chuckwagon races, mutton bustings, reptile shows and fire safety courses and demos. While most events were outdoors and the Fair was scaled-back this year, organizers still worked hard to ensure Alberta Health Services guidelines were met as closely as possible.
The bull riding event showcased half-time performances from the Mini Thni Dancers, a dance troupe from Stoney Nakoda and four trick riders. Wrapping up the evening was a barn dance featuring country artist Chris LeBlanc and his band.
After a year with no rodeos, Borton noted that some of the athletes were having a tough time riding the bulls this year. Only Davidson and Tattrie qualified for standings at this year’s Classic, and the Darwell, Alta. Bull Bash the day before saw no qualified rides.
“I think right now just because everything’s opening up, they’re going to so many rodeos that they’re probably coming in a little bit sore,” he said.
Bull riding is back in full swing with Bull Riders Canada’s ninth season starting at the beginning of June, with 13 new events on the schedule. The season will close out at Sylvan Lake with the BRC Finals presented by Wrangler on Nov. 12 and 13, with a minimum of $21,000 up for grabs and $10,000 guaranteed to the average winner. Bull Riders Canada will only be accepting entries for Finals from the top 25 contestants in its overall standings.
Davidson, who took home first at the Cochrane Classic, came in second for Airdrie’s Bikes and Bulls event on Aug. 14 less than a week before the Cochrane Classic and scooped up fifth place in Kinsella, Alta. for the Gravel Dome Bullarama July 21.
It was also a busy weekend for Tattrie traveling from Grunthal, Man. where he placed eighth with 80 points on Aug. 19 and 20 at the Hanover Ag’s Bull Riders Canada Invitational presented by Steinbach Feeds.
Bull Riders Canada reports Cody Coverchuk from Meadow Lake, Sask. in first place for overall standings with 1,860 points earned. Davidson is in second place with 1,400 points but almost twice the amount of earnings as Coverchuk, with $11,337 under his belt so far this season. Tattrie is tied with Nick Tetz of Calgary for ninth and 10th place with 890 points each.
Taber hosts MNP Cornfest Bull A Rama next on Aug. 27 with a $4,000 payout.