Fittingly, Thursday’s big winner on the final day of The Ranchman’s PBR Bullbustin’ was a father of three.
Cody Nance of Paris, Tenn., won the aggregate title and top prize of $3,718.75 on a night that supported the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.
“This is a great event because it’s a benefit and I love the cause,” said Nance, who is ranked 14th in Professional Bull Riders, after turns of 85.5 points and 86 for a 171.5 total.
Jordan Hansen of Okotoks was second at 168.5 and Tanner Byrne of Prince Albert third in 168.
Nance had the final ride of the night.
“I was pretty nervous because the bull (Off The Hook) was a handful in the chute. He’s a big old, scary looking black bull and he had me intimidated, but I prayed all the intimidation away,” said Nance, who had his family with him Thursday and left immediately after for an event in Pendleton, Ore., planning on returning for the B pool of the Stampede on July 7.
Hansen won $2,337.50 and Byrne $1,753.13.
Nance placed third the first two nights, winning $1,721.25 and $1,530.25.
“It’s great for me to be to ride night after night coming into the Stampede. When you get on all the time you don’t get nervous. It just becomes second nature.”
It’s the second year the Ranchman’s event has added a third night as a fundraiser for Kennedy’s charity. Kennedy spoke to the riders beforehand and thanked them for coming and for helping the centre raise money and awareness.
“Like I was saying to them, there was a time I could clear the kitchen but that’s not the way it is today,” Kennedy said.
“People knew why they were buying tickets and who they were supporting and that they were coming to watch a real event and supporting a charity that’s very real. For me it’s all about conversation and raising awareness and tonight’s event does that.”
Thursday represented the final Ranchman’s event for Tyler Thomson of Black Diamond, the 2011 PBR Canada champion who confirmed that he was retiring after the season.
Thomson was sixth on Day 3 for $775.62 in winnings and was also fifth on Day 2. He climbs back in the chutes on Friday on the opening day of the Stampede.
“I come here every year and it’s a great atmosphere. People are right on top of you and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great tune up for (the Stampede). I feel like I’m riding real good right now,” he said.
Byrne, who is from Prince Albert, Sask., was fourth on Day 1 on Tuesday and second and fourth in Day 2 on Wednesday. He’s currently the top ranked Canadian in PBR in 18th spot and is the top ranked man in both points and money in PBR Canada.
Those in attendance for the first night on Tuesday saw Tim Lipsett of Lumsden, Sask., pick up his first PBR victory and $4,462.50.
Nance’s buddy, 2008 Calgary Stampede champion Mike Lee of Decatur, Texas, won Day 2 of the event, but did not sign up for Thursday, choosing instead to rest because he’s in action at the Stampede on Friday. The 2004 world champion was the only man to ride both his bulls Wednesday and made $5,600. Lee sits 13th in the world standings entering the Stampede.