The bulls are on the way, the cowboys are signed up, and while organizers are unsure who will be climbing on the bulls next Saturday, one familiar face has confirmed his return to the Kootenay Chrysler Bull-a-Rama.
Chad Besplug, was called up to the big stage earlier this month, but the four-time consecutive champion of Trail’s Bull-a-Rama has confirmed his participation in this year’s ride.
“Yeah, I think it (the deadline) was last week,” said Besplug, while traveling through Texas. “So I’ll be there.”
After a great year on the Canadian Pro Riding Association (CPRA) circuit Besplug qualified for the “Built Ford Tough” series in the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) circuit in the U.S.A. Last weekend he shot out of a chute in Indianapolis, Ind., and will follow that up with a PBR ride in Des Moines, Iowa this weekend.
The 26-year old led the CPRA bull riding series and is the 2011 national bull riding champion, but he hasn’t owned an event like he has Trail’s Bull-a-Rama.
“I don’t know, I think it’s just luck. I mean I win a certain amount of events every year and you never know where those ones are going to fall. I just seem to get lucky and draw good bulls there, it’s just one of those things – sometimes cool things like that happen.”
Organizer Guy Thompson is looking forward to another successful go around, with a full compliment of riders, 50 bulls, youth steer riders and mutton busting all ready to hit the corral at the Trail Memorial Centre.
“We did fill up (with riders), so that’s good news, and I’m sure we’re going to have some of the top guys, but we won’t find out until Monday,” said Thompson.
For Besplug, his success coupled with a relatively injury-free year can largely be attributed to his work ethic and dedication to the sport. The Claresholm native’s jump from the CPRA into the PBR is welcomed and well earned.
“It’s definitely a step up but for me,” said Besplug. “I feel like I’ve belonged there for a long time. I’ve mostly stayed in Canada the last while, but I’m happy to be going to those ones, for sure. There is just a lot more opportunity. They are all televised and it’s just where you want to be.”
Despite the bigger spotlight, after Des Moines, Besplug will hit a rodeo in Fresno, Calif. then head up to an event in Edmonton, before driving all night to make it to Trail for the Apr. 28 Bull-a-Rama.
Besplug has won close to $20,000 in prize money from the Kootenay Chrysler Bull-a-Rama in the past four years alone.