By Dwayne Erickson, For the Calgary Herald August 17, 2011
Drop in on the websites of the numerous bull riding outfits and you’re sure to spot Tyler Thomson’s name in all of them.
He leads the Professional Bull Riders Canadian standings. He’s seventh in the PBR’s Tier II Touring Pro Division and 29th on the PBR’s world qualifier list for its 45-man world championships at Las Vegas.
He’s eighth in the Canadian rodeo bull riding standings, 45th in the world rodeo standings and 26th on the Wrangler Tour playoff qualifying list
And, he’s ranked just outside the top 60 in Tuff Hedeman’s Championship Bull Riding outfit. In other words, the Black Diamond product is all over the place and he has accepted an invitation from Hedeman to compete at a $100,000 event in Brazil during the last week of this month.
“I’m just trying to make as much money as I can,” said Thomson, who estimates his total earnings this year at about $100,000. “My goals at the start of the year were to lead the PBR Canada standings and get back to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. “Now that I’m getting that done, I’m cruising around entering as many big events as I can. I had a $50,000 July, including the Calgary Stampede, but I don’t know how much I’ve won this month because I haven’t been home to see the cheques yet. I’ve placed at pretty well everything I’ve been to so far.”
Thomson was offered a PBR promotion to the major league Ford Series, but chose to remain as an alternate so he can fly to Brazil, enter the Wrangler Tour rodeo at Ellensburg, Wash., and work the annual St. Tite, Que., event, which is sanction by the PBR.
“If I could qualify for the tour playoffs at Puyallup and Omaha, it would be pretty darn cool to make the Canadian Finals, the PBR Canada and PBR world finals and the National Finals Rodeo at Las Vegas.
“Nobody’s ever done that before,” Thomson pointed out.
As 53-year-old rookie Texas barrel racer Lee Ann Rust said this spring: “If you aim for the stars, you might hit the barn, if you aim at the barn, you might not hit anything.”
NFR thin on Canucks so far
Pro rodeo’s regular season wraps up in six weeks and right now only one Canadian — 2008 world champion barrel racer Lindsay Sears — is guaranteed to be at the December Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Las Vegas. Two others — saddle bronc rider Sam Kelts and steer wrestler Curtis Cassidy — have a shot.
Kelts, from Milllarville, is trying to extend Canada’s streak of 52 consecutive years with at least one contender on the WNFR bronc riding roster. He goes into rodeos this weekend 21st in the world standings with nearly $32,000 in earnings, slightly more than $5,300 shy of the 15-man cut.
Kelts helped himself this past week by placing at rodeos in Missoula, Mont., Sikeston, Mo., Omak, Wash., and Dawson Creek, B.C., for $4,690.
And, he’s in a position to qualify for the 24-man first round of the American Wrangler Tour playoffs at Puyallup, Wash., that starts on Sept. 9. He’s 17th in the tour standings with two more stops left in Washington.
Mote’s going for the double
Oregon’s Bobby Mote has won enough money to qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo four of the last five years.
But, it was never a priority for the four-time word champion bareback rider because he didn’t have time to work the minimum 15 Canadian rodeos. But, this year he made the November CFR at Edmonton a goal — in two events.
Mote added the team roping to his bareback riding workload last spring, hooking up with 1984 world champion heeler Mike Beers, and going into the last half-dozen rodeos on the Canadian calendar, they’re in a tight scrap for the 12th and last qualifying hole. Their fate could be decided at the Wrangler Canadian Tour Championships at Armstrong, B.C., on Labour Day weekend.
One thing is definite — Mote and his Oregon bareback riding travelling partner Jason Havens are second and third in the Canadian standings in that event and have clinched spots in the CFR lineup.
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