DEREK KOLBABA WINS PBR'S FIRST INTERNATIONAL MAJOR IN QUÉBEC CITY

Derek Kolbaba went 3-for-3 to win in Québec City. Photo: Monster Energy Canada / Russell Dalby

By: Kacie AlbertSaturday, June 3, 2017 @ 11:05 PM

 

QUÉBEC CITY, Québec – Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) went 3-for-3 to win the first event of the 2017 Monster Energy Tour at the Videotron Centre in Québec City, Québec.

Kolbaba began the night winning Round 2 after riding Time Bomb (K-C/Josie McElroy Bucking Bulls/Spark-lin Acres) for 87.5 points. The 21-year-old followed that with an 88.5-point ride aboard Pneu-Dart’s Doomsday (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls) in the championship round to claim the buckle.

The event win is Kolbaba’s fourth this season. He has won two events on the elite Built Ford Tough Series, Little Rock, Arkansas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour stop in Clovis, California.

For the win, Kolbaba earned $34,100 Canadian dollars and 300 points towards the world standings, moving him to No.3 in the world rankings. He now trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido by only 910 points and is the No.1 ranked rider in the PBR Canada national standings.

Fabiano Vieira (Pérola, Brazil) finished second, riding both of his bulls Saturday night. The Brazilian rider began the night with an 86.5-point ride aboard Mud Duck (Cornwell Bucking Bulls) in Round 2.

Vieira then logged his first 90-point ride of 2017 when he covered Jammin’ Jackson’s Handsome Jeff (K-C/Josie McElroy Bucking Bulls/Spark-lin Acres) for 90.5 points in the Championship Round.

The finish earned him $23,100 Canadian dollars and 120 points towards the world standings, elevating him from No.21 to No.18.

2016 Rookie of the Year Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) finished third. The 19-year-old rode Wrongful Termination (Cornwell Bucking Bulls) for 85.5 points in Round 2 and Ram It (K-C/Josie McElroy Bucking Bulls/Spark-lin Acres) for 87 points in the Championship Round.

Lockwood leaves Québec City having earned $11,100 Canadian dollars and 80 points towards the world standings, where he is now ranked No.5.

Jordan Hansen (Okotoks, Alberta) was the event’s highest finishing Canadian in fourth. In Round 2 he covered Ottis for 85 points (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls) and in the Championship Round rode Captain (Mike Miller/Torres Bros) for 87.5 points. 

Hansen’s 2-for-3 performance earned him $8,300 Canadian dollars and 60 points towards the world standings, where he is now ranked No.47 after beginning the weekend at No.55. He is now the No.2 ranked rider in the PBR Canada national standings, trailing Kolbaba by 96.67 points.

Rounding out the Top 5 was Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas). Outlaw rode Gucci Galore (Bar D / Rawhide Rodeo) for 85 points in Round 2, but bucked off Well Hello (Mike Miller/Torres Bros) in the Championship Round. Outlaw earned $7,900 Canadian dollars and 45 points towards the world standings.

After opening in Québec City, the national series moves on to visit Ottawa on June 9; Toronto, June 24; Calgary, September 23; Winnipeg, October 6; Abbotsford, October 14; and Saskatoon, October 20 and 21, where a PBR Canadian champion will be crowned.

The PBR Monster Energy Tour will be showcased on TSN/RDS, including a post-season highlights show. Fans should check local listings for broadcast event dates and times.


Professional Bull Riders

Quebec City Monster Energy Tour - International Major

Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points - Earnings)

1. Derek Kolbaba, 89.5-87.5-88.5-265.50-300 Points - $34,100
2. Fabiano Vieira, 83-86.5-90.5-260.00-120 Points - $23,100
3. Jess Lockwood, 85-85.5-87-257.50-80 Points - $11,100
4. Jordan Hansen, 0-85-87.5-172.50-60 Points - $8,300
5. Chase Outlaw, 87-85-0-172.00-45 Points - $7,900
6. Brennon Eldred, 86-84.5-0-170.50-25 Points - $5,150
(tie). Matt Werries, 0-85.5-85-170.50-25 Points - $3,650
8. Matt Triplett, 81.5-85-0-166.50-15 Points - $2,100
9. Riley Blankenship, 0-86-0-86.00-10 Points - $3,400
10. Jared Parsonage, 85-0-0-85.00-5 Points - $1,200
11. Zane Lambert, 83.5-0-0-83.50
12. Thor Hoefer II, 83-0-0-83.00
(tie). Juliano Antonio Da Silva, 83-0-0-83.00
14. Robson Aragao, 0-81.5-0-81.50
(tie). Justin Lloyd, 81.5-0-0-81.50
Reese Cates, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Oleson, 0-0-0-0.00
Garrett Green, 0-0-0-0.00
Lonnie West, 0-0-0-0.00
Tyler Harr, 0-0-0-0.00
Brock Radford, 0-0-0-0.00
Brant Atwood, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Coverchuk, 0-0-0-0.00
Zac Peterson, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Gardner, 0-0-0-0.00
Wacey Finkbeiner, 0-0-0-0.00
Tristan Carlier, 0-0-0-0.00
Todd Chotowetz, 0-0-0-0.00
Cole Young, 0-0-0-0.00
Eric Isabelle, 0-0-0-0.00
Cawl Braithwaite, 0-0-0-0.00
Lachlan Richardson, 0-0-0-0.00
Dusty McMullen, 0-0-0-0.00

KOLBABA TAKES ROUND 1 IN QUEBEC CITY

By: Kacie AlbertFriday, June 2, 2017 @ 11:43 PM

Derek Kolbaba rode Funky Junk (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls) for 89.5 points to win Round 1 in Quebec City. Photo: Andy Watson / bullstockmedia.com

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec —Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington), the top ranked rider in the world standings in the draw, dazzled fans in Quebec City for PBR’s inaugural international major, riding his way to a Round 1 victory.

The 21-year-old breakout star, currently ranked No.4 in the world standings, covered Funky Junk (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls/Torres Brothers) for 89.5 points and $4,000.

Taking second in the round was world No.5 Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas) who rode Second Hand Chance (K-C/Josie McElroy Bucking Bulls/Spark-lin Acres) for 87 points.

PBR rookie and 22-year-old Brennon Eldred (Sulphur, Oklahoma) took third in the round after lasting the full eight on The Joker (K-C / Josie McElroy Bucking Bulls) for 86 points.

Jared Parsonage (Maple Creek, Saskatchewan) and Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) tied for fourth, each logging 85 point rides. Parsonage, the highest finishing Canadian, covered Jaw Breaker (K-C/Josie McElroy Bucking Bulls/Spark-lin Acres), while 2016 Rookie of the Year and the No.6 ranked rider in the world Jess Lockwood rode One Cool Dude (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls).

There were a total of 11 qualified rides in Round 1, including Canadians Zane Lambert (Ponoka, Alberta) who covered Devil Dog (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls) for 83.5 points for sixth, and Justin Lloyd (Tisdale, Saskatchewan) who rode Wild Mexican (Rafter P) for 81.5 points and tied for tenth. Tying for tenth with Lloyd was world No.8 Matt Triplett (Columbia Falls, Montana) who rode Last One Standing (Cornwell Bucking Bulls).

 

Round 2 begins Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Quebec City is the first event in a seven-city tour culminating in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the Sasktel Centre on October 20-21 for the Monster Energy PBR Canada Finals.

Visit PBRCanada.com for the full PBR Monster Energy Tour schedule and tickets.

Professional Bull Riders

Quebec City Monster Energy Tour - International Major - June 2nd, 2017

Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. Derek Kolbaba, 89.5-0-0-89.50 - $4,000
2. Chase Outlaw, 87-0-0-87.00 - $3,000
3. Brennon Eldred, 86-0-0-86.00 - $2,000
4. Jess Lockwood, 85-0-0-85.00 - $500
(tie). Jared Parsonage, 85-0-0-85.00 - $500
6. Zane Lambert, 83.5-0-0-83.50
7. Fabiano Vieira, 83-0-0-83.00
(tie). Thor Hoefer II, 83-0-0-83.00
(tie). Juliano Antonio Da Silva, 83-0-0-83.00
10. Matt Triplett, 81.5-0-0-81.50
(tie). Justin Lloyd, 81.5-0-0-81.50
Reese Cates, 0-0-0-0.00
Robson Aragao, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Oleson, 0-0-0-0.00
Jordan Hansen, 0-0-0-0.00
Garrett Green, 0-0-0-0.00
Lonnie West, 0-0-0-0.00
Tyler Harr, 0-0-0-0.00
Brock Radford, 0-0-0-0.00
Matt Werries, 0-0-0-0.00
Brant Atwood, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Coverchuk, 0-0-0-0.00
Zac Peterson, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Gardner, 0-0-0-0.00
Wacey Finkbeiner, 0-0-0-0.00

A DARING CAREER

By: Kacie AlbertFriday, June 2, 2017 @ 10:32 AM

Eric Isabelle competes in St-Tite, Quebec. PBR Canada photo by Jean-Francois Birtz.

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec – In 2005 Eric Isabelle’s career began on a dare; fast forward more than ten years and this weekend the Quebec cowboy is set to make his PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour debut at the inaugural international major and season launch event in Quebec City.

As a twenty-year-old Isabelle travelled to the famed Festival Western de St-Tite to support his friend who was competing in the bull riding event, a decision which would permanently alter his career trajectory. While at the event, Isabelle was challenged by his bull rider friend, believing he didn’t have what it takes to last the 8-seconds. The proposition sparked a fire in Isabelle and soon after he found himself attempting his first ride.

“I saw nothing,” Isabelle recalled. “They opened the chute, and I was like holy that’s rank.”

While he didn’t make the buzzer in his first attempt, it instantly hooked Isabelle and he has made the sport his life’s work ever since, drawn to the extreme nature and adrenaline rush he gets each time the chute door swings open.

Since his first ride, Isabelle has worked towards his ultimate goal of one day competing on the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS), looking to the riders who compete on the elite tour, especially two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney, as role models.

This weekend not only will Isabelle have the opportunity to inch closer to his dream of riding on the BFTS, with 300 world points up for grabs, the equivalent of winning a round at the 2017 Built Ford Tough World Finals, but he will also have the opportunity to compete side-by-side with his idols.

Joining Isabelle in Quebec City for the season launch event are four riders currently ranked in the Top 10 of the world rankings -- No. 4 Derek Kolbaba, No.5 Chase Outlaw, No.6 Jess Lockwood, and No.8 Matt Triplett. The high level of competition only excites the Quebec rider.

“When you ride with the best guys, you’re going to be better,” Isabelle said. “If you ride with the best guys, you’re going to be the best.”

Further adding to the excitement for Isabelle is the chance to compete in his home province in the first-ever PBR event in Quebec City. Isabelle says that Quebec is like family, and the opportunity to ride for them is special.

When action gets underway with Round 1, Isabelle will face Mike Miller Bucking Bulls’ Slow Ride.

PBR Canada’s Monster Energy Tour kicks off the 2017 season on Friday, June 2nd,  at 8 p.m. ET at the Videotron Center in Quebec City, Quebec. For tickets visit www.ticketmaster.ca or www.gestev.com, or call 1 855 790-1245. 

KOLBABA, OUTLAW, LOCKWOOD AND TRIPLETT HIGHLIGHT BFTS RIDERS IN QUEBEC CITY

By: Kacie Albert May 25, 2017@ 01:00:00 PM

Derek Kolbaba, Chase Outlaw, Jess Lockwood and Matt Triplett are the members of the Top 10 in the world standings heading to Quebec City. Photos: Andre Silva / Andy Watson 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Several of the BFTS' best riders will head to Quebec City for the PBR Monster Energy Canadian Tour Canadian Major June 2-3.
  • No. 4 Derek Kolbaba, No. 5 Chase Outlaw and 2016 Rookie of the Year Jess Lockwood will all head north of the border for the event.
  • As a PBR Canada Major, the winner in Quebec City will walk away with extra world standings points and $100,000.

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

QUEBEC CITY – Four of the world’s Top 10 bull riders highlight the field of international invitees from the elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) slated to compete at the Videotron Center when the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) invade Quebec City on June 2-3.

The PBR Canada Major, which marks PBR’s first stop in Quebec City, will open the PBR Monster Energy Canadian Tour – a unified, cross-country and nationally-televised series visiting seven cities, which culminates with the Monster Energy Canadian Tour Championship in Saskatoon on Oct. 20-21. 

Leading the contingent of riders traveling to Canada from the elite BFTS is world No. 4 Derek Kolbaba. In just his second full season on the BFTS, the 21-year-old has already won two BFTS events (Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Arkansas), and recorded one of the highest-scored rides of the season when he covered 2016 PBR World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser for 92 points en route to his title in Oklahoma City. Kolbaba currently trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido by 1,215 points.

Hamburg, Arkansas, bull rider Chase Outlaw (No. 5) leads the BFTS with six round wins at the season’s summer break.  The 24-year-old cowboy is no stranger to Canadian events. Last year, Outlaw won PBR events in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and Edgerton, Alberta. 

2016 PBR Rookie of the Year, and current world No. 6, Jess Lockwood held the No.1 spot in the world standings for the first six weeks of the season. The 19-year-old phenom began his 2017 campaign by winning the PBR Major event at Madison Square Garden in New York, going a perfect 4-for-4. Three weeks later, he bested the world’s top cowboys in Sacramento, California. 

Rounding out the slate of Top-10 ranked riders competing in Quebec City is world No. 8 Matt Triplett. The Montana cowboy won the BFTS stop in Sioux Falls and recorded two round wins before the tour entered its annual summer break. Triplett holds one of the top riding percentages (44.44 percent) and ranks in the Top 10 for most bulls ridden (20) on tour. 

Other notable names from the BFTS scheduled to compete include No. 21 Fabiano Vieira, No. 35 Brennon Eldred, No. 36 Reese Cates and No. 37 Robson Arago.

Leading the Canadian field of riders is Jared Parsonage and Lonnie West, the Top 2 riders in the PBR Canada national standings. Other Canadians anticipated to ride in Quebec City are 2013 PBR Canada Champion and 2016 PBR Canada Finals event winner Zane Lambert, along with Quebec’s own Eric Isabelle.

The PBR Monster Energy Canadian Tour will award a total purse of $100,000 in prize money for the Québec City event. PBR Canadian Majors award riders with additional prize money and championship points. Points earned at all PBR Monster Energy Tour events count toward qualifying for the prestigious PBR Built Ford Tough Series and PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas.

After opening in Québec City, the national series moves on to visit Ottawa on June 9; Toronto, June 24; Calgary, September 23; Winnipeg, October 6; Abbotsford, October 14; and Saskatoon, October 20 and 21, where a PBR Canadian champion will be crowned.

The PBR Monster Energy Tour will be showcased on TSN/RDS, including a post-season highlights show. Fans should check local listings for broadcast event dates and times.

Tickets for the Quebec City event are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.ca or www.gestev.com, and via telephone a 1-855-790-1245.

© 2017 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

LOCKWOOD: ‘I WASN’T BEING AGGRESSIVE’

By: Justin Felisko June 02, 2017@ 12:41:00 PM

Jess Lockwood has earned only 110 world points since winning in Sacramento, California, in January. Photo: Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jess Lockwood will head to Quebec City Friday knowing what he has to do to turn things around.
  • After starting the 2017 season with one of the hottest runs of his career, a injury at Iron Cowboy derailed his early-season dominance. 
  • Aside from the injury, Lockwood admitted to bad habits creeping into his routine and has entered the summer vowing to regain his aggressive edge starting in Quebec City.

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

PUEBLO, Colo. – Jess Lockwood is well aware of what is at stake this weekend in Quebec City.

A victory and 300 points toward the world standings could go a big way toward the former world No. 1 ranked bull rider getting back on track in the hunt for the 2017 World Championship.

RELATED: Click HERE for the complete Friday daysheet for Quebec City.

You don’t need to remind Lockwood, currently sixth in the world standings, he has earned only 110 world points in the last four months since winning the Sacramento Invitational at the end of January.

Nor should you feel the necessity to bring up the fact that he has only picked up three qualified rides on the BFTS since February.

“It is a hell of a big one, but I haven’t been getting my bulls rode,” Lockwood admitted. “I have to not worry about anything. I have to get back to having fun and having confidence in myself.”

Still, when Lockwood got on one final practice bull at home in Volborg, Montana, before heading to Billings Logan International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, he wasn’t thinking about gold buckles or event victories.

Instead, the 2016 Rookie of the Year – amidst his first sophomore slump – is thinking more about aggression.

And, no, the Space Jam sweatshirt wearing, fun-loving bull rider isn’t planning on adopting any bad-boy look or personality. 

Rather, he wants to erase the boiling anger that comes from ending the first half 3-for-18 by taking it to his bovine opponents immediately.

“I wasn’t being aggressive,” Lockwood said of his four-month spiral. “That is something I worked on today in the practice pen. Once that bull turned back, I told myself to kick a leg out and spur this sucker. Be aggressive. I felt like I had that aggressiveness today.”

Aftershock, as Lockwood calls his trusty practice bull, is by no means a BFTS-caliber bull, but the bull was the kind of tune-up Lockwood felt he needed before heading north of the border.

“I finally got back to riding and moving and feeling really good and not clamping up and trying to make the whistle,” Lockwood said. “I rode through the whistle and rode them 10-12 seconds. I am back to feeling smooth. My moves felt right.”

Lockwood is slated to take on One Cool Dude in Round 1 Friday night inside the Videotron Center.

Other top riders competing in Quebec on Friday and Saturday include No. 4 Derek Kolbaba, No. 5 Chase Outlaw, No. 8 Matt Triplett, No. 21 Fabiano Vieira and No. 35 Brennon Eldred.

Lockwood is currently 1,237.5 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido in the world standings.

The last time Lockwood voiced this amount of frustration in his performance was after his 0-for-5 showing at the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

Lockwood returned this season motivated to hit the ground running, and he did just that by winning the season-opening PBR Major in New York and then the Sacramento Invitational.

 

The 19-year-old was a blistering 11-for-16 to begin the season and quickly asserted himself as a world title contender despite having competed on the BFTS for an entire season.

That was before Cooper Tires Brown Sugar flipped Lockwood’s season upside down in Arlington, Texas.

Lockwood wound up tearing his left groin and had to miss five weeks.

He has yet to regain his prior form.

“I was so hot there at the beginning of the year and then I got hurt,” Lockwood said. “I had to sit out. Whenever you are on a hot streak, you never want to stop. You want to keep going because you have the confidence that there is no bull that can throw you off. That is how I felt before Iron Cowboy when I got hurt.

“Whenever you have to sit out from that and nurse an injury, it just sucks. You then come back and you haven’t been on a bull for five weeks. You get on and if it doesn’t go hot right away, it carries along. Everyone has those in their career, it just sucks when it happens.”

Lockwood also admits it wasn’t just the injury that led him to struggle in his return, but also some lazy and bad habits.

He agrees with mentors Cody Lambert and Justin McBride that he has been “sitting on his ass” too much this season.

Lockwood tried to switch to an American bull rope at the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event in Uvalde, Texas, to curb this habit, but realized it was only causing him to think more about his equipment and not about simply making the 8-second whistle.

“I did go back to the Brazilian,” Lockwood said. “I like to do what works for me. After I rode with that American, it didn’t feel good for me. I was the first to ride Margy Time and I had to get off my ass to ride him, and I did that with the Brazilian. I don’t like to blame it on the equipment. It is just things I have to fix. I don’t think there is no need to switch equipment. I just didn’t feel comfortable with that other rope.

“I don’t like riding when you are already going in thinking. ‘Well, I don’t like this rope. There is no reason to do that.”

McBride said he doesn’t care what rope Lockwood decides to use as long as he is aware of what is causing him to not get over the front of his bulls.

It is more so about the fundamentals than any kind of equipment issue.

“He is going to ride a lot of them long-round bulls, and he is going to ride the lighter end of the championship round, but those real buckers that J.B. Mauney can ride, he can’t ride sitting down the way he does,” McBride said. “He is such a tough, and pretty strong, little guy that he can get by with it on some of the bulls. It is almost a bad thing. I hate to say that, but he gets to relying on how tough and strong he is instead of riding like J.B., who doesn’t rely on strength at all.”

Lockwood is ready to fix those errors this weekend in Quebec, but he cautioned that he isn’t necessarily planning on making a full-blown summer run either.

Last year, Lockwood only competed in Decatur, Texas, and Bismarck, North Dakota, before a partially torn MCL and a gash on the back of his head led him to electing to rest until the resumption of the Built Ford Tough Series.  

“I am just going by the week,” he concluded. “I am not looking ahead. I went to that one event last summer and was hurt all summer. Heck, when you get back to the Built Ford Tough that is where you have to make the most of it.

“You have to (consider the summer) extra credit.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

© 2017 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

KOLBABA READY FOR HUGE OPPORTUNITY IN QUEBEC

By: Justin Felisko May 26, 2017@ 12:31:00 PM

Derek Kolbaba is currently 1,215 points behind world No. 1 Eduardo Aparecido. Photo: Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Derek Kolbaba doesn't speak French, but that won't matter once he's in the bucking chutes.
  • Kolbaba, the current No. 4 rider in the world standings, will head to Quebec City to compete in the PBR Canada Major event. 
  • It is a unique opportunity for riders, where the world points and money on the line in Quebec will not be matched by any other event this summer, and can be the equivalent of winning a round at the World Finals. 

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

PUEBLO, Colo. – Huit seconds.

Or as English-speaking bull riding fans would say, “Eight seconds.”

That will be the name of the game when Derek Kolbaba, as well as fellow Top 10 riders No. 5 Chase Outlaw, No. 6 Jess Lockwood and No. 8 Matt Triplett, head to Quebec City next week for the PBR Canada Monster Energy event.

Quebec is the first-ever PBR Canada Major and the winner of the international major will earn 300 points toward the world standings.

No other summer PBR event will offer up that many points to one rider.

“I was going to get on a bull somewhere, so it might as well be for a lot of points and money somewhere,” Kolbaba, currently fourth in the world standings, said. “You look at last year’s world title. It wasn’t very far apart. To lose it by that many points because you didn’t go is kind of all on you.”

Cooper Davis edged Kaique Pacheco for the 2016 World Championship by 488.42 points.

Winning Quebec will be the equivalent to winning a round at the 2017 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 1-5 in Las Vegas.

The Top 10 finishers in Quebec earn points toward the world standings – 300, 120, 80, 60, 45, 30, 20, 15, 10, 5).

Quebec is one of two Canadian provinces that recognizes French as its official language, but that shouldn’t be a problem for Kolbaba once he nods his head inside the Videotron Center on June 2-3.

“It is going to be a little different,” Kolbaba said with a laugh. “They speak French over there. It is going to be weird, but it will be fun.”

The 21-year-old, breakout star has used two victories on the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series – Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Arkansas – to propel himself to a career-best No. 4 ranking in the world standings as of the BFTS summer break.

Kolbaba has competed at a handful of events north of the border, but he has never been to Quebec.

“I have been to Canada quite a bit,” he said. “It is always good when you go to Canada. They got good bulls up there. It is fun going up there and seeing different parts of the world too.”

Instead of staying home and resting in his laurels, Kolbaba wants to keep the pedal to the medal since being eliminated in Round 3 of Last Cowboy Standing by Pearl Harbor.

“I like getting on a lot of bulls,” Kolbaba said. “I enjoy going during the summer. Whether it is rodeoing or going to Velocities is fun. You are only young once.”

Kolbaba finished in a three-way tie with Sage Kimzey and Brady Portenierfor the Redding, California, Rodeo victory last weekend with an 87.5-point ride on O Zone.

Coincidentally, Shane Proctor actually also won the Redding Wrangler Champions Challenge bull riding with an 87-point ride on O Zone.

Kolbaba was unable to really push it last summer because of a lingering wrist injury to his riding hand and competed at only one event.

It was a frustrating development for him because at this point last year he was eighth in the world standings and only 767.83 points – the exact same deficit as future champion Davis – out of the world lead.

This summer is going to be different, Kolbaba believes.

2017 has been relatively a healthy one for him. Kolbaba is planning on attempting to gain ground on world leader Eduardo Aparecido by competing at multiple events.

Kolbaba is 1,215 points behind Aparecido in the world standings.

“I am feeling good right now,” he concluded. “That is 90 percent of it. When you feel good, you show up you are excited.”

The Walla Walla, Washington, bull rider is 19-for-51 (37.25 percent) at the BFTS level with five Top-10 finishes.

“I am happy with (my first half),” he concluded. “I am always going to strive to keep pushing. Whether you are leading the World Finals or the world title right now, it doesn’t matter.

“At the end of November, if I have a World Champion buckle, then I will be able to crack a smile.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

© 2017 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

TRIPLETT RETURNS TO CANADA LOOKING TO HAVE FUN AND REPLICATE HIS EARLY-CAREER SUCCESS

By: Justin Felisko May 31, 2017@ 12:33:00 PM

Matt Triplett is one of six riders in the Top 35 who have earned PBR belt buckles in three or more countries. Photo: Andre Silva

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The trip to Quebec City this weekend will be a long one for Matt Triplett, but it's not the farthest east he's gone in Canada.
  • Triplett's win in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2011 actually helped pave the way for his rise to the BFTS, and he's hoping for a similar victory at this year's PBR Canada Major.
  • After dealing with multiple injuries in 2016, Triplett is savoring the chance to spend his summer riding again, and the 300 world points on the line in Quebec represent a truly unique opportunity. 

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

PUEBLO, Colo. – Matt Triplett has a 5-hour drive to Calgary, followed by a 6-hour flight to Quebec City, before he aims to begin his 2017 summer run with an important victory at this weekend’s PBR Canada International Major event at the Videotron Center.

However, it isn’t the farthest east Triplett has had to travel to Canada.

In fact, it was only Triplett’s fifth PBR event of his career when the then 19-year-old from Columbia Falls, Montana, won the Halifax Invitational in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2011. The win earned him his first PBR belt buckle, and a trip to the Built Ford Tough Series.

“I wasn’t doing so good right off the bat,” Triplett recalled on Tuesday afternoon. “I quit pro rodeoing and I started PBRing. That is when it finally clicked. I went to Halifax and won. Then it all started to roll for me.

“Canada played a big part of my career starting out.”

Fast forward to today, and Triplett is ranked eighth in the world standings, with three trips to the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals under his belt.

Triplett also appears to finally be regaining his World Champion form from 2014 and 2015 before multiple injuries (shoulder and elbow surgery) cost him the majority of the 2016 season.

“I feel like I almost am where I was when I left off,” Triplett said. “I am still not quite there. I still have little improvements to do. The big thing now is I am moving my feet. Really, it goes back to enjoying the moment and remembering you dedicated your entire life to get here.”

Triplett finished last year ranked 46th in the world standings. He used two victories this past fall at PBR Australia events to jumpstart his return to the Built Ford Tough Series this year.

Triplett is one of only six riders in the Top 35 of the world standings to have won PBR belt buckles in three or more countries during their respective careers.

Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves (United States, Brazil and Australia), 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (United States, Brazil and Canada), Chase Outlaw (United States, Canada and Australia), Cody Nance (United States, Mexico and Canada) and Troy Wilkinson (United States, Canada and Australia) have also accomplished the feat.

“That is something I never really thought about,” Triplett said. “That is pretty awesome. I may have to go down to Brazil and try and win another.”

Triplett originally had plans on returning to Australia this summer to make a run at the PBR Australia title, but he eventually decided to stay in North America where there were more events to hit.

With Quebec serving as the inaugural international major event, the first PBR Canada Major belt buckle will be on the line.

“Canada puts on good bull ridings and there are a lot of people that attend them,” Triplett said. “The Canadian side of the border likes to get a little wild and have fun. It is fun. It just makes it fun when everyone is like that.”

While the pride of being the first to win the international major is important, the greater goal for some of the top riders competing in Quebec will be the 300 points toward the world standings the event winner will receive.

Any rider outside of the Top 35, including PBR Canada national riders, would immediately jump within the Top 35 of the world standings, and have a chance to secure a bid to the resumption of the Built Ford Tough Series in August if they are victorious.

“This is huge,” Triplett said. “Not only to be able to win the amount of money you can, but 300 points. You can’t get that amount of points in one event this whole summer. To get that opportunity when there is no Built Ford Tough going on, you have to take advantage of the opportunity given to you.”

300 points is the equivalent to winning a round at the 2017 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

Other Top 35 riders competing in Quebec on Friday and Saturday include No. 4 Derek Kolbaba, No. 5 Chase Outlaw, No. 6 Jess Lockwood, No. 21 Fabiano Vieira and No. 35 Brennon Eldred.

Triplett is 1,495 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido after going 20-for-45 through 15 BFTS events.

His 44.44-percent riding percentage is the best of his career, and Triplett also has seven Top-10 finishes to go along with his victory in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The summer is more so about staying in tune for the stretch run to the World Finals vs. making a big push in the standings, says Triplett.

“That thought is not even in my mind,” Triplett said. “I am just trying to stay focused on one bull at a time and not get really into all the points and stuff that comes with it. That is when I tend to overly try. I am just going to go at it like it is going to be an enjoyable summer and I am just going to ride them jump for jump and have fun.”

Triplett is thrilled to even have the opportunity to go travel and compete this summer.

Last year, Triplett was recovering from left shoulder surgery, and a sprained riding wrist cost him six weeks of the 2015 summer run when he was No. 2 in the world standings.

“I’ve had two summers I have had to sit out, so, yeah, I am pumped,” he said. “There are a lot of events. All of the stuff that goes with the Built Ford Tough, these are the events to go have fun and relax and remember why we ride bulls.

“You keep it easy and it gets you tuned up for the second half of the season.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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