Inaugural PBR World Cup to kick off in Edmonton
There are just hours to go before the inaugural Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Global Cup gets underway in Edmonton.
The event, which will be held at Rogers Place, will see countries rather than individual riders pitted against one another. The teams will be competing for a purse of $1 million.
Zane Lambert, 31, of Ponoka said it is quite something for Edmonton to host the first-ever Global Cup.
“To have a good quality event like this that I don’t have to travel to, it’s special. It’s definitely neat,” he said.
“Some of my friends and family that know I do this but haven’t really seen this at this quality are going to be able to watch it.”
Lambert started bull riding at the age of 16 and joined PBR when he was 18 years old. He said the format of the Global Cup will ultimately bring riders and fans closer together.
“We’ve never really had guys in our corner. We’re always competing against those guys. We’re here. We’re actually helping each other out,” he said.
“You can watch your country compete in other countries’ home soil, follow us all year and that way you’re not just following one single cowboy, you’re following the whole team.”
He said the eight-second contest on the enormous animals is a battle every time.
“Even if the guys say, ‘That’s an easy one to ride, that one is rider-friendly’… it’s still hard,” Lambert said with a laugh.
Lachlan Richardson is representing Team Australia at the three-day event.
“It means a lot to be riding. They’re bringing the top seven bull riders from each country so [it’s] pretty special to be named in and amongst the top seven bull riders,” he said.
It’s not just the riders who will be on display at Rogers Place – the bulls are athletes too.
“We monitor what they eat so they don’t get too many pounds put on. The more in shape they are, the better they can do at their jobs,” said stock contractor Daphne Findlay.
Findlay, who has raised bulls for 17 years, has two bulls at the PBR and has worked with PBR Canada for several years.
“Sometimes it’s like you’re a nervous parent, you want your bull to do really good. You don’t want them to stumble and you want them to have fun,” she said.
“They love coming here. They love bucking.”
The action gets underway at 7 p.m. on Thursday.