Lloydminster, Alberta - The 2018 Season VI Wrangler Bull Riders Canada Finals ended on Saturday night at the Lloydminster Exhibition in dramatic fashion, and everybody was on their feet.
The BRC Finals, in it’s 5th year in the border city, provided two performances of bull riding that fans won’t soon forget.
On Friday, 25 of the nations top bull riders, started the battle for the $10,000.00 Finals Champion payday and the trophy hardware. The cowboys came to play in Round 1, with 14 qualified rides on a great set of bulls.
Wyatt Gleeson (Sundre, AB) put up an 85.5pt ride on Lazy S Bucking Bulls’ “Red Line” to take the first-place honors. Brazil’s Italo Aguilar & Delburne, AB native Shane Peters would split 2/3 in round 1 with matching 85pt scores.
Wyatt Gleeson, on LSBs Red Line - Season VI BRC Finals. Photo courtesy of Wildwood Imagery
Following the 25 man long go, the Top 5 in the National Standings came back for the $5000.00 Canadian Global Grudge Match. This matched the top bull riders against the highest voted bucking bulls of the year.
If the bull rider made the 8 second ride, he would take home the $1000.00. If the bull won, $1000.00 to the Stock Contractor. A format that has been a highlight of the BRC finals for fans and members alike.
Cody Coverchuk (Meadow Lake, SK), the 2018 Season leader, would be the only man to cover his bull and earn the $1000.00 in the match. He also earned 200 pts towards his National title race and extended the gap on #2-man Cawl Braithwaite, who bucked off in both round 1 and in the grudge match.
Following the grudge match, Thompson Rodeo’s “Twist of Barbwire” was named the 2018 BRC Bull of the Year.
Jim Thompson accepting the Bull of the Year award for Thompson Rodeo's 314 "Twist of Barbwire", presented by Dana Hergenhein, of Pioneer Marble & Tile. Photo courtesy of Wildwood Imagery.
On Saturday, Lloydminster proved they were excited for the final night of bull riding. An announced sell-out crowed, and line ups out the doors, delayed the start of the event about 15 minutes. Once the capacity crowd was in, they were treated to a big night of bull riding.
BC’s Matt O’Flynn, who was riding the final bull of his career, got the crowd going with an 82.5pt effort early in the night to cap his amazing career.
During the round, Rimbey, AB cowboy Justin Siemens, was presented with the Jensen Silver “Rookie of the Year” buckle for finishing as the top rookie in the National standings.
When the dust settled on the round, Riley Gagnon (Innisfail, AB) would take the go-round win with and 84 pt ride on Sawyer Pro Rodeo’s “Big Willow”. Italo Aguilar would register his second score of the weekend, an 83.5pt ride on Wild Hoggs “Can’t Catch Me”. Gagnon and Aguilar would be the only two bull riders to go 2 for 2 heading into the championship round.
The Canadian Global Championship Round showcased the Top 8 bulls and the Top 8 bull riders vying for the $10,000.00 first place prize. Cody Coverchuk, who had the National title all but won, was also looking for his 3rd BRC Finals average championship. He would put the heat on with a huge 87pt ride on Wild Hoggs’ “Stuntman Hank” early in the section. He would take the lead with 169.5 on 2 bulls, but Gagnon and Aguilar were still left to ride.
Cody Coverchuk on WHBs "Stuntman Hank" - photo courtesy of Wildwood Imagery.
It came down to 1 bull when Gagnon bucked down on his 3rd bull of the weekend, and the Brazilian was left to ride.
Aguilar, who picked Vold’s “Venom”, jumped out and made a big 85.5pt ride with the crowd on their feet to seal the finals title.
Italo Aguilar on VRCs "Venom" - photo courtesy of Wildwood Imagery.
Aguilar would be the only cowboy to go 3 for 3 on the weekend and picked up the $10,000.00 Finals cheque and trophy buckle for Finals Champion.
Italo Aguilar, presented with the Finals Champion buckle from Ike Johansen with Aspen Developments, and the $10,000.00 Average winner cheque presented by Bull Riders Canada's, Jennifer Friend. Photo courtesy Wildwood Imagery.