Oyen, AB: The Girletz Family and Bull Riding in Canada go hand in hand. Their histories are very intertwined. An event that proves this history is the White Lightning Dodge Professional Cowboy Crunch.
It started off in 1999 in Oyen paired up with the Cereal Lights Out Bull Riding Event. Winning those two events then meant you drove yourself home a new car.
Merle Freeman, who’s now judging many of the bull riding events here in Canada made the first ever White Lightning Dodge Professional Cowboy Crunch one to remember. As the last rider out in the short round in 1999, he rode the then un-ridden Girletz superstar bull, E39 Lights Out. The score was 95 points according to Randy Girletz in an interview earlier yesterday. Merle rode another great of the Girletz Families to win the Long Go. H35 Fatal Instinct took him to an 89 point score on that occasion. Fatal Instinct would go on to be the 2003 CPRA Bull of the Year and CFR.
Freeman, the 1998 Canadian Champion won the event that year and set the stage for future years of bull riding in downtown Oyen.
Another highlight that stuck out in Randy’s mind was when Chad Pighin rode the infamous Heaven on Earth in 2001 for the win. In the dark.
“The lights were kinda out already, some guys got hurt then we had to wait for another ambulance, that took like an hour and by that time it was just getting really dark.” Pighin told this morning over the phone. “I’m here getting on the meanest bull in captivity and there’s no lights, which was probably better actually.”
Better, maybe. But the 90 points were more than enough for Chad to win the car that year. He only needed about three points since he had rode more bulls than anyone else.
2012 marks the 14th Anniversary of the events inception. This year will feature 30 of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association’s top bull riders up against some of the top bulls in the CPRA.
Skori Bucking Bulls, Big Country Rodeo, Sawyer Bucking Bulls and of course Girletz Rodeo Stock will supply the evening’s bulls.
Bo Byrne, Scott Waye and Brett Monea will be protecting the cowboys from actually getting crunched as the event’s name suggests.
Doors open at 5:00pm with the first bull to be bucked at 7:00. Tickets for Adults are $15 with youth aged 12-17 at $10, 7-11 at $5 and kids 6 and under are free.
There will of course once again be a Beer Gardens with a Kareokee Dance.
A kids zone with a sand box will also be present and they are more than welcome to enter the pig scramble too.
It all will happen at the RCMP Centennial Park Corrals in Oyen just across from the golf course.
Two of the major sponsors they would like to include here on Everything Cowboy include the Oyen Foutain Tire and Napa Auto Parts. Come back soon for more on those great sponsors as well as links to their websites so you can support them and therefore support the bull riding too.
See you all in Oyen on Wednesday July 25th, 2012!