Byrne speaks of stacked Team Canada heading into PBR Global Cup

Tanner Byrne pulls on his Team Canada Jersey before the inaugural PBR Global Cup in Edmonton, Alberta in November 2017. Photo by Covy Moore / CovyMoore.com

CALGARY, Alberta — 2015 PBR Canada Champion Tanner Byrne has experienced it before. Surrounded by teammates, cheering on your buddies going for national glory. 

But we aren’t talking about a hockey game. We are talking about this weekend’s PBR Global Cup in Arlington, Texas where he and seven other bull riders from Canada will take on four other nations and a rank pen of bulls. 

“Our team is stacked up,” Byrne said.  “When I look at all the other teams there are a lot of injuries and little things. I think our team is the frontrunner right now.”

And that team is stacked, filled with 10 combined National titles in the likes of Dakota Buttar, Wacey Finkbeiner, Zane Lambert, Aaron Roy, Jordan Hansen and Byrne himself. Additionally, Team Canada is boasting the likes of Lonnie West and Jared Parsonage both of whom are on the cusp of National titles themselves. 

“Jordan Hansen has been to the NFR, he was hurt last year and didn’t get to show what he is all about, but that guy is in my opinion on of the best in the world, and Jared Parsonage stays on everything,” Byrne said of his teammates. “I have seen a bunch of videos on him and he rides everything no matter what they put under him, he will stay on them. He has that consistency factor to him too, which in this type of competition is what you need.”

Byrne spoke about each of his teammates, adding what each bring to the table for this third edition of Team Canada.

“Dakota and Lonnie are on the tour down here so we don’t just have some of the best guys in Canada, we have some of the best guys in the world right now. We will get a bunch of scores on the board with the consistent guys and then with the guys like Dakota and Lonnie who have some style that will get those higher scores as well,” Byrne said. 

“Our alternate is our reigning Canadian Champion Wacey Finkbeiner, and he will be ready the moment we need him, or find that one that fits him. He has already winning this year, he won the shootout down in Fort Worth. We’ve got Zane Lambert, a two-time PBR Canada champion. He brings that veteran presence and calmness that we will need to keep guys cool. He has been there and done that. It won’t matter that we are at Cowboy Stadium in front of 50,000 people, it’s the same as if we are riding in Prince Albert or a Touring Pro somewhere.

“Then we have Aaron who is his later years of his career for sure but he is still one of the best bull riders that there has ever been, one of the best bull riders that we have had in Canada for sure. He will be coaching and riding and knows what Global Cup feels like.”

Confidence is high for the team rolling into Arlington, but the challenge in the bullpens should be the toughest that Global Cup has had on offer. 

“The thing with this leg of the Global Cup is we are in bull country, we are in the heart of Texas,” Byrne said. “The bull power you are going to see is going to be just as good as the PBR World Finals. The key is getting all your rides down and that team is just going to win. That will play into our game plan trying being a consistent team. 

“These are the best of the best that we are going to be going up against. Just wait till that final round, you are going to see the World Champion contending bulls.”

As for Byrne’s role on Team Canada? He says he is just going to take things one bull at a time and trust what the team wants to do with match ups.

“When I go into these Global Cup events I have a whole new mentality, it’s not about me, it’s about the team and our country. I have always seemed to do better when the pressure is on, and there is no pressure like that,” Byrne said. 

“Whatever Aaron tells me I need to get on, or the team thinks I need to get on, it doesn’t even matter. If he rolls over backwards in the chutes or front flips out of there, I am going to be getting on for the team. Doesn’t matter which one they run under me, it’s game on. 

“When you have guys that are just as excited as you when you stay on and you are just as excited for them as teammates, there is nothing really like this event. It is my favourite event bar-none and I sort of wish the sport and our careers were based off of this sort of team aspect.

“It can be a lonely sport, but when you get to have fun like this and spend time with each other and when you win everyone wins, it’s just a cool concept.” 

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