MAGRATH, Alberta — You’ll get far more than ‘two bits’ worth of entertainment if you head to southern Alberta on September 21st. Not only will there be a top line-up of bulls and riders going head-to-head in the final PBR Canada Touring Pro event of 2017, but it’s also a chance to help out in the battle against the biggest bully of them all – cancer.
The invitation has been issued to take part in the third edition of the Celebration for the 2 Bit Nation. The event originated back in 2014, when the Berezay family, of Two Bit Bucking Bulls fame, decided to hold a bull riding to help raise funds for Renee Ephrom, wife of bull rider Dusty Ephrom, who was battling cancer. Not even snowfall could dampen the enthusiasm and support of that first celebration. It was held again in 2015, and this time they gave some assistance to neighbors Brent and Paige Stock, also affected by cancer.
After a one-year break, the Celebration is back, and Josh, Tamara, Nevada and Montana have put out the welcome mat at their ranch near Magrath.
“As usual, we will be Kicking Cancer’s A$$ again this year,” says Josh. “Proceeds will be going to help not just one, but a couple of different causes in the fight. In the past, we have helped give some relief to those burdened financially by this disease.”
In fact, thanks to great support from friends and sponsors of the 2 Bit Nation, the initiative raised $31,200 to help some families on the front line. Now the Berezay’s want to expand their reach.
“This year, we unfortunately lost my Dad, Dean, to the disease. Fourteen years ago, Tam and I lost her hero, and father, Lawrence Deimuth, who was much too young to leave us. He was a big part of why Two Bit Bucking Bulls even exists today, and the driving force as to why this event means so much to our family.”
With such powerful inspiration, the family is in the process of starting a foundation to try and carry on their legacy, by providing assistance to people who need a ‘hand up’ at such a trying time.
With an objective like that, and with the relationships Two Bit Bucking Bulls have built over the years, sponsors have stepped up to do their part to make this a successful bull riding.
The evening, put on with 3D Bullriding, will feature 25 of the best Professional Bull Riders from all over North America, eager for a part of the $10,000 purse, and the valuable points near season’s end to help them get to the PBR Canada Finals in Saskatoon in October. Also up for grabs is a treasured Montana Silversmith championship buckle.
There’s lots at stake for the bull end of the equation as well. The night includes an ABBI Canada Classic Bucking Bull competition. Berezay explains the first round contestants get on will be either a three or four-year-old BBI Classic bull, as those animals compete for the opportunity to go to the ABBI World Finals Wildcard, that runs in conjunction with the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas this November.
“This could possibly give the winning bull a chance to compete at the PBR World Finals, which is comparable to the Super Bowl for bull breeders and cowboy alike,” says Berezay.
Because Magrath is the last stop on the ABBI Canada Classic tour, the top bull in the Classic standings after the event, as well as the best bull at Magrath will both get the chance to advance.
Celebration for the 2 Bit Nation #3 starts at 7:00 pm on September 21st, at the Two Bit ranch, which is just off Range Road 221, 28 kilometers south of Lethbridge on Highway 5. Signs will be posted to lead visitors to the scenic ranch location.
While the hospitality and excitement of the action will be the same, one change that’s for certain is the victor at the end of night. For both Celebrations #1 and #2, talented Australian Josh Birks rode to the title.
“Josh will be missed,” Berezay comments. “He’s getting married this year and won’t be able to make it here. So there will be a new champion this year!”
For more information on the event, or if you’d like to contribute, contact the Two Bit Ranch at 403-758-6137.