A name all-too-familiar to Trail bull riding fans bucked his way to the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association’s (CPRA) bull riding championship in Edmonton last weekend.
Four-time Kootenay Chrysler Bull-a-Rama champion, Chad Besplug was one of only two riders to ride six bulls, five of them on Saturday, on his way to the national bull-riding championship.
“I don’t think I’ve ridden five bulls in one day since I was 16, but I’m glad I took that last one,” Besplug told the Edmonton Journal.
The Claresholm native had two re-rides in the evening after his first bull, Nic Nac, stopped bucking and his first re-ride bull, Glass Tiger, just took off down the arena. Besplug’s third bull, Risky Remedy, was the charm as he rode that one for 85 points, good for fourth money. Then on Sunday, the final day of competition, Besplug held on for 85.5 points on Outlawbuckers Rodeo Corp.’s Drop Kick good enough for the championship.
“There was no way my hand was coming out on that last bull,” said Besplug. “I told one of the bullfighters that I didn’t know if I would still be on the bull, but my hand will be in the rope at eight seconds.”
Guy Thompson, Kootenay Chrysler Bull-a-Rama organizer and former Trail resident, was at the event.
During the award presentation Besplug told a crowd of 17,000 that his wins in Trail paved the way for his ride to the championship, said Thompson.
“Trail was a stepping stone for him winning, to give him a good shot at Edmonton.”
Thompson and organizers are planning another Bull-a-Rama in Trail, April 30, and has at least one rider confirmed.
Thompson awarded the 26-year-old cowboy the championship spurs for his win at the Cominco Arena and Besplug told him then that, ‘As long as he keeps having the bull riding competition I’m coming.’
Besplug has pulled in over $70,000 on the CPRA this year, topping it off with the Canadian championship.
“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid,” said Besplug who has been working out three times a day for the last six months to prepare for the event.