Vulcan County’s Brian Hervey made national bull riding history following his performance over the weekend at the Lloydminster Exhibition where he became the first bull rider to secure two Bull Riders Canada (BRC) National Championships.
He was awarded the Jensen silver buckle for winning his second national championship, concluding a season that netted him over $31,000 and 6,500 points. Hervey also announced he would be hanging up his spurs and retiring from the sport Saturday evening.
“As far as going out on top, I couldn’t ask for a better outcome,” he said.
Born and raised in Vulcan, Hervey, who now hangs his hat in Leduc, started professionally bull riding at the age of 18. In just nine years he has claimed two national championships and “at least” 20 bull riding event titles.
“You can’t say it for everybody, but Brian was good right out of the gate and simply continued to elevate his riding percentage as he progressed through the sport, and frankly it’s been a pleasure,” said Russell Friend, BRC President.
“I’ve watched him since forever. He’s the epitome of what our company stands for – to build bull riders by giving them opportunities to consistently get better,” he said.
Hervey won his first national title in Cold Lake in 2013 and has ridden bulls in four different countries. Friend said he would be “very comfortable” vouching for Hervey’s riding percentage at “well over 65 per cent,” a rare average in the bull riding circuit.
“If you have a 30 per cent riding average you’re getting by, and it grows exponentially from there. A 60 or above riding average is phenomenal,” he said.
Friend explained Hervey’s impact on the sport extends to the new generation of bull riders who look up to Hervey and his peers as athletic exemplars and role models, “far beyond” his ability to ride bulls.
“Brian’s going to be missed because he was a leader. When he spoke, people listened. When he had something to say, it was valid,” said Friend, further adding not many know how much of a well-rounded “true cowboy” Hervey really is.
While he hasn’t committed to a long term plan just yet, Hervey said he’s thought about making his way back to Vulcan County to buy some land and has expressed interest in utilizing his rodeo skills to become a bull roper or safety man.
“(Bull roping) is a very, very skilled position and he wants to do more of that so the good news is we’re going to get to see him as frequently, but we’re just not going to be able to witness his bull riding talents,” said Friend.Hervey said regardless of what the future holds, he’ll be taking some valuable lessons he learned as a bull rider with him – how to present and respect himself, and how not to take anything in life for granted.
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