Over 750 tons of dirt has been moved into the ENMAX Centre with six football fields worth of steel set up for the top bucking bulls, and bull riders in Canada to compete in the Canadian Cup Series’ PBR South Country Co-op Showdown presented by VisitLethbridge.com.
PBR General Manager Jason Davidson explains set up for event is treated the same as the set up for a concert, because it is hockey season, the first step is taking out the ice at ENMAX Centre, with the following steps being to remove the glass around the boards. Decking will then be put down on the arena floor, the difference though, instead of their being a stage to set up, the dirt and steel comes in.
“The live-stock equipment we use is second to none, and is designed around the safety of the animals. There is no sharp corners anywhere, there is no ridged edges or any of that,” Davidson says. “Our stuff is all powder coated and painted so not only does it look good, but the safety concerns are at the forefront when it was made.”
Once the set up is done, it is just waiting for for the first night of competition. Davidson says when it comes to the bovine athletes themselves, they are all proven competitors, same with the bull riders, they have come up through the minor leagues and have proven themselves to be among the best in the country.
To bull rider Chad Hartman, the Lethbridge stop is a homecoming of sorts, as the Saskatchewan native made his debut appearance at the Lethbridge event back in July of 2020. Lethbridge seems to be where the 23-year-old has success, finishing third at last years event.
“This is probably one of my favorite events of the year. Every time I have rode a bull or won some money, so it is always good to be back,” Hartman says.
The ‘Surging Young Gun’ is not the only one to look forward to coming to bridge city, as PBR rider turned bull-fighter Tanner Byrne echoed the sentiment. He explains the Lethbridge stop usually has a sold out crowd, with an electric atmosphere, which most of the time leads to there being highlight reel worthy rides coming out of the two day event.
“The fan base as well has continued to grow, I think with the western life style being at the forefront now adays, people come out in droves and are wanting to take this in and get to know our lifestyle a little bit more, and understand it,” Byrne says.
The Canadian Cup Series’ PBR South Country Co-op Showdown presented by VisitLethbridge.com is taking place at ENMAX Centre Friday and Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.