Canada’s Premier Bull Rider Enjoying His Best Season

-Story by Rodeo Media Legend Dwayne Erickson for the Calgary Herald

Aaron Roy has unfinished business to take care of this weekend before the Professional Bull Riders outfit heads into its summer break.

He’s 12th in the PBR’s world championship Ford Built Tough Series standings and his goal is to make it inside the top 10.

Canada’s premier bull rider from Asquith, Sask., is on the roster for the two-day U.S. air force Invitational, which starts Friday at Pueblo, Colo.

“I’m having, by far, my best season,” said the 23-year-old two-time Canadian PBR champion. “I had a little bit more money won at this time last year, but my riding percentage is 10 points higher than it was in 2010.

Roy has covered 21 of 47 bulls for a .477 batting average that translates into $47,965 in prize money.

During the past two weekends at Des Moines, Idaho, and Atlanta, he reached the championship round on both occasions to earn just over $10,000.

If there was a hitch in his giddy-up, it was the fact he couldn’t finish off his closing-round bulls.

“Those bulls are a lot harder to cover than the others in the early rounds, even though we get to pick the ones we get on,” said Roy.

He chose a bull called Red Hot at Des Moines, “one of the nicer ones in the pen that I’d wanted to get on for a long time. But he jerked the rope out of my hand the first jump out.

“I managed to stay on for seven seconds, then he turned back to the left and I had nothing to pull on to keep me in the middle of him.”

At Atlanta this past weekend, Roy lasted six seconds before a left-spinning, horned red bull called Bahada pulled the right-hander down in the well.

“I’d seen him go the night before and he looked really good to ride, but I made one little mistake and it cost me,” he muttered.

Had Roy managed to make the eight-second whistle in those two championship rounds, he would have earned about $40,000.

Once the summer break arrives, he’ll work PBR events on the home front at Swift Current, Sask., his own bull riding at Asquith and another at Montreal.

And, of course, he’ll be a crowd favourite in Calgary for the Stampede in July.

Oh! Ochocinco

Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Ochocinco showed up at Atlanta and fulfilled his twitter commitment to ride a bull during the intermission.

The PBR put him on Deja Blu that had been ridden eight of 13 times this year and carried Missouri’s Luke Snyder to a $216,500 payday at Las Vegas a month ago. Ochocino, who got a crash course on bull riding the day before from PBR founder Ty Murray, lasted 1.5 seconds.

He earned $10,000 for nodding his head. Had he made it to the whistle, he would have received a Ford F150 truck.

Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda is a co-owner of Deja Blu.

“The guys who do this week in and week out deserve the utmost respect,” Ochocinco told reporters. “They should be the highest paid athletes in sports.”

Brazile hits $4 million

Professional rodeo’s 14-time world champion Trevor Brazile has reached $4 million in earnings.

He collected $5,652 at a weekend rodeo in Bridgeport, Texas, to hike his career income to $4,000,397.

The 34-year-old Texan became the youngest cowboy to win $2 million in July of 2006 and the first to surpass $3 million in December of 2008.

Hometown hero

Canadian all-around champion Steven Turner won $5,564 at his hometown weekend rodeo bull riding in Cochrane with rides of 87 and 82.5 points.

That boosted him into third in the Canadian standings with $7,752.

Turner, as the defending champion, will work a $360,000 four-event jackpot this weekend at Cloverdale, B.C., where he earned $52,000 a year ago.

There are also rodeos in B.C. at Luxton and Falkland.

On the limp

Injuries have already disabled two Calgary Stampede invitees.

North Dakota saddle bronc rider Shaun Stroh pulled out after surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left hip joint and remove two bone spurs. He’ll be sidelined four to six months.

Reigning PBR world champion Brazilian Renato Nunes has undergone surgery on a left shoulder (riding arm) dislocation that put him on the disabled list until October.

South Dakota’s Jesse Bail replaces Stroh and Washington’s Shane Proctor, leading the world rodeo standings and ranked No. 7 in the PBR, gets Nunes’ spot.

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