Kail Ethier (L) presents Josh Berezay (R) with his championship jacket and buckle for 465 Happy Camper, 2017 Champion ABBI Canada Classic bucking bull. Photo by Covy Moore.
PONOKA, Alberta — A New Year’s Eve bull riding at the Calnash Ag Events Centre put an exclamation point at the conclusion of the second season of American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) competition in Canada.
Coming into the finals, a pair of bulls, 481 Buck Nasty (Foley Bucking Bulls) and 465 Happy Camper (Two Bit Bucking Bulls) were in contention for the title of Canadian Classic Champion.
Happy led Nasty by $2,115. With a top prize of $4,500 on Sunday evening, numerous situations could play out. In addition, both bulls trailed season leader 6453 Double Did from K&J Bucking Bulls who entered with a $5 lead.
Buck Nasty would show his work first, putting up a score of 86 points bucking off bull rider Fabian Dueck, hanging him up and getting him into an outright nasty wreck.
Happy Camper would be next, spinning to the left getting rider Dylan Somerville on the ground before the elapsed time of 8 seconds. His score would be 85.75 points for third place and $1,800 while the No.3 bull in the season standings would finish second for $2,700. First place on Sunday would be won by 403 Ripped at the Seams from event hosts Vold Rodeo and the Rafter G Cattle Co. for $4,500 with a score of 86.25 points.
The additional $1,800 in earnings would push 465 past 481 for the season title with respective earnings of $10,255 and $9,040.
Hauling these bulls isn’t cheap, but for Josh, Tammy, Nevada and Montana Berezay of Two Bit Bucking Bulls, seeing their pal Happy get the year-end buckle is all worth it.
“That’s all part of it so it’s kinda nice to be able to have a platform that we can get something back,” Josh Berezay said driving home from the event on the first day of 2018. “It makes it a little easier to go down the road if you’re going to get a good payday out of it here and there.”
Both three and four year old bulls compete in the classic events around the world.
“He means a lot to us,” Berezay said. “We raised his mom and his dad and it doesn’t get better than that when you see him achieve good things.”
465 Happy Camper won the title at only three years old and was also one of five Canadian bulls selected for the 2017 PBR World Finals.
“He can compete all this year (2018) still as a classic bull,” Berezay said. “We do have some interest as well for him to go south but I think we are going to just keep him up here and see if he doesn’t possibly take a run at the PBR Canada Bull of the Year title.
“But he’s got a long way to go to get there for sure.”
Much of the ABBI pertains to the registration and parentage of athletes in the bucking bull business.
“He’s a grandson of Rooster, his sire was Pedro,” Berezay said. “On the other side it’s Berezay breeding back to one of our cows.”
There are around 150 ABBI Breeders in Canada, 36 have been active in entering events in the past two seasons. Competing in these events isn’t easy. Especially in Canada in the dead of winter.
“It was minus 50 (celcius) with the wind chill when we left home yesterday,” Berezay said. “That was quite a trip to get them up there. To have them perform after all that is great.”
Josh was up at 4:30am clearing snow to even be able to be in Ponoka on New Year’s Eve.
“We moved a lot of snow to get them there. We wouldn’t have been there if we wouldn’t have. It’s a lot of work this business all around, long days and short nights.”
ABBI Canada Events paid out over $97,000 in 2016. In 2017, the same series of events paid out a total of $140,065.
“The more people that get involved the better it’s going to be,” Berezay said.
Final ABBI Canada Classic Standings as of December 31st, 2017.
- Two Bit Bucking Bulls’ 465 Happy Camper (101918290) – $10,255
- Foley Bucking Bulls’ 481 Buck Nasty (10177104) – $9,040
- K&J Bucking Bulls’ 6453 Double Did (10168266) – $8,460
Official results from the ABBI Classic Finals in Ponoka, Alberta at the Calnash Ag Events Centre on December 31st, 2017.
- 403 Ripped at the Seems – Vold Rodeo/Rafter G Cattle Co., 86.25 points, $4,500
- 481 Buck Nasty – Foley Bucking Bulls, 86 points, $2,700
- 465 Happy Camper – Two Bit Bucking Bulls, 85.75 points, $1,800
On the bull riding end of things a helmet-less Cody Coverchuk would win going a perfect 2-for-2 to earn $2,700. Coming off a win at the Chase Hawks Memorial in Billings, Montana Jared Parsonage would ride both his bulls for $1,400. Hometown bull rider and CFR qualifier Wacey Finkbeiner would ride 2-of-5, one of which would be a re-ride. Finkbeiner earned $1,600 for his dual entry.
ABBI Canada introduces new features in 2018 including junior and ladies events, under 78 point futurities, and a yearling division giving bulls a full four years of competition.
About ABBI Canada: American Bucking Bull, Inc. (ABBI) is the world’s largest bucking cattle DNA registry and holds competitive events for bulls. A sister company to PBR (Professional Bull Riders), ABBI focuses on preserving pedigrees, helping to develop animal’s natural athletic ability and rewarding the stock contractors who raise the bucking bulls. Between the three branches of ABBI, over $2.5 million is paid out to bucking bulls annually. ABBI Canada is a division of American Bucking Bull,