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Professional Bull Riders pack the house at National Western Stock Show

by Bert Entwistle
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Bert EntwistleBrian Canter covers his second round bull to qualify for the short round.

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The National Western Stock Show is famous for many things, but the last dozen years the PBR has helped to raise their profile even higher. Bringing the Challenger Tour in for three days every year has proven to be a great fit for the NWSS and gives Colorado fans an opportunity to see both up and coming riders and the super stars riding great bulls.

Monday, January 12, the first of the three rounds ended in a three-way tie with Mark Lopes, from Jackson, California, sharing the spotlight with J.B. Mauney from Mooresville, North Carolina, and Nick Landreneau out of Welch, Louisiana. The three riders each scored an 87 on their first round bull and advanced to Wednesday’s long round.

Colorado riders made an impression on the fans at Tuesday night’s performance by finishing first and second. Josh Koschel from Greeley claimed the first spot with 89 points with long time friend and traveling partner Kody Lostroh covering his re-ride bull for 88 points, good for second place. Riders Cory Rasch from Clarksville, Tennessee, and Billy Robinson out of Galax, Virginia, shared third with 86.5 points.

By Wednesday, the 35 top riders from Monday and Tuesday came back for another chance to ride and qualify for the 15 man short round. The competition was exceptional and the fans knew it. When great stock contractors like H.D. Page, Gene Owen and Ty Rinaldo bring their top bulls to the event it generates excitement from the first ride until the last buzzer.

By the time the last bull bucked out of the freshly painted yellow chutes the crowd was on their feet, cheering Brian Canter out of Randleman, South Carolina, as the winner of the event. Canter, one of the smallest and toughest riders in the business, rode three head for a total of 264 points and a check for $20,083 for the event. The bull called Frosty, owned by H. D. Page, performed spectacularly in the short round and Canter was up to the challenge, covering him for a 91-point trip and the high marked ride of the show. Nick Landreneau claimed second with 263 points good for $13,144 and Austin Meier, out of Kinta, Oklahoma, took home $7,429 for his 262 point score.

The PBR event is one of the best attended events at the NWSS and if this years crowd is any indication, fans new and old should be thinking about next season’s tickets now ” it’s never too soon when the PBR is coming to town.


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