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Sports This Week: Buttar tops PBR Canada for 2023

Buttar concluded the campaign 38.84 points ahead of 2022 PBR Canada Champion and this season’s No. 2 Nick Tetz of Calgary, Alta.
Dakota Buttar of Eatonia, Sask. rides at the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals.

YORKTON - Only weeks ago it was unclear if Dakota Buttar would even be able to compete at the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals.

Only weeks ago Buttar, from Eatonia, Sask., had topped the field at the PBR Peace Country Invitational, at Grande Prairie, Alta.

He was a perfect 3-for-3 at the event to move into the number one spot in the 2023 PBR Canada Championship race, which made him a favourite to top the field in Edmonton at the finals.

That was the good news.

But getting off the final bull after the eight second buzzer in Grande Prairie Buttar injured his collar bone and was on the sidelines hoping the injury responded well with an eye to returning likely only days ahead of the PBR Canada final.

Buttar made it back, although his lead had evaporated.

As a result of being sidelined, Buttar began the year-end event No. 3 in the standings, 95.66 points back of regular-season number one Cody Coverchuk of Meadow Lake, Sask.

“It was a big relief,” he said, adding he “wasn’t quite at 100 per cent.”

Apparently Buttar didn’t need 100 per cent health to shine.

When the final bull ride was in the books in Edmonton Buttar had completed a come-from-behind run at the finals to be crowned the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada Champion. In the process he became just the fourth rider in history to win the title in multiple seasons.

The win came with good news – a $100,000 cheque, which Buttar noted “is the biggest one I’ve ever won.”

At least some of the money will be salted away for Buttar’s plan to one day retire from riding, but to stay in the sport breeding bucking bulls on the ranch.

Some of the money will also be spent just paying some bills as Buttar spends the next few month healing yet again.

Not realizing it in the excitement of his final ride, Buttar actually broke a bone in his arm, and will be out of action for at least 12 weeks.

After the ride he was all smiles collecting the cheque and popping the champagne.

“I still had quite a bit of adrenaline going,” he told Yorkton This Week.

The next day Buttar went for x-rays where the break was found.

So now it will be Christmas at home, and then rehab, hoping to be ready for the start of the 2024 season.

The 2024 season will launch on February 3 in Red Deer, Alberta, with the PBR Red Deer Classic at Peavey Mart Centrium.

Buttar’s run to the title began in round one when he was assigned Young Blood (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Legend Rodeo Stock) and rode him for 84.75 points.

“The first bull I drew I had seen once or twice,” said Buttar, adding he felt Young Blood fit his riding style.

From there riders were able to select bulls – at least from those left in the pen when it was their turn.

“I kind of picked bulls that fit my riding style,” he said, adding with early picks each round “I was able to pick bulls I wanted.”

Buttar had his second score on opening day scoring 86 points aboard High Voltage (Wilson Rodeo).

With the two rides Buttar rose to number two in Canada, pulling within 57.66 points of the top spot.

“Buttar returned to Rogers Place determined on Championship Saturday not to let another title slip through his fingers, a fate he suffered the past two seasons after entering the National Finals number one in Canada,” noted a PBR Canada release.

Buttar started hot Saturday recording the fifth best score of Round 3 when he rode Irish Rebel (Wilson Rodeo) for 85.5 points. The score earned Buttar the second pick in the championship round, an opportunity he used to select Time Marches On (Thompson Rodeo Livestock).

“In a decision which proved dividends, Buttar remained in perfect time with the animal athlete, matching him jump-for-jump enroute to the requisite eight as the crowd erupted in raucous cheer. The 86.75-point score punctuated Buttar’s perfect 4-for-4 outing inside the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, detailed the release.

Finishing the 2023 Canadian National Finals tied for second at the event, Buttar, who earned 199 national points, vaulted to the number one rank in the nation, crowned the 2023 PBR Canada Champion and earning the accompanying $100,000 bonus.

Buttar concluded the campaign 38.84 points ahead of 2022 PBR Canada Champion and this season’s No. 2 Nick Tetz of Calgary, Alta.

Tyler Craig of Crossfield, Alta., won the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals, finishing 3.5 points ahead of runner-ups Buttar and 2023 PBR Australia Champion Macaulie Leather in the aggregate.