Cody Coverchuk has extra motivation to ride rank bulls at the Calgary Stampede.
Competing in Pool A from Friday to Monday, Coverchuk would like nothing more than to earn enough money to finish among the top four bull riders to advance directly to Showdown Sunday on July 17.
“That’s kind of what I’m hoping for is a big showing at the Calgary Stampede to pay for a nice wedding,” said Coverchuk, who will marry his fiance Katelyn Tallentine in Craven, Sask., on Aug. 27
“For myself, I’ve been watching the Calgary Stampede on TV since I was a little boy,” added the veteran 29-year-old cowboy, who’s originally from Meadow Lake, Sask. “It’s like the epitome of bull riding within Canada. To get to ride here is pretty special every single time. The crowd’s always behind you.
“It’s the best bulls in Canada, the best bull riders and rodeo competitors in the world, so it makes for a good show.”
Although he was bucked off Jump Start on the opening day of competition at the Stampede rodeo, Coverchuk has confidence that he can bounce back with better rides over the next three days.
“If I buck off, I’m mad at myself and mad at the whole world, basically, for 10 minutes,” said Coverchuk, who’s the defending PBR (Professional Bull Riders ) Canada National Finals champion. “But after 10 minutes I make myself cool down and refocus and regroup and get ready for the next day because the next day you could be a champion and the next day after that you could lose again.
“Bull riding, it’s a very humbling sport, I’d say, because you could be diamonds one day and dust the next.”
Although Josh Frost of Randlett, Utah, finished atop the standings Friday after an 88-point performance aboard Big Bird, he’ll have to wait until Saturday afternoon to find out if he finishes first to win the top day money prize of $5,500.
That’s because Australian bull rider Ky Hamilton was granted a re-ride, which will take place early on Day 2 of the competition.
Nonetheless, Frost was pleased as punch to start off the competition with such a strong ride.
“It’s always good to start off with a bang,” Frost said. “I’m super excited to be back up here in Calgary. I got to come last year and it’s pretty cool to see everything wide open (and) all the fans. There’s a lot of energy in this place. I was happy to access some of it and get the win.”
After competing in 10 rodeos over six days on the 4th of July weekend, in what’s known as Cowboy Christmas, Frost is happy to hunker down in Calgary for the next while.
“I’m pretty excited to get to come out here and hang out at one of the best rodeos in the world for four days straight,” he said, while echoing Coverchuk’s sentiments that bull riders have to have short memories. “When you go to 125 rodeos a year, you’ve got to dang sure learn to roll with the punches. It’s always fun when it goes good, you can roll into the next day with a little bit of momentum.”
While Frost was looking forward to a night of rest prior to the second day of competition, Coverchuk made his way down to the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino to compete on the final night of 2022 Cody Snyder Charity Bullbustin’ action.
“It’s just across the city, not too far, so it should be good,” said Coverchuk, who’s used to travelling further distances in his efforts to get on as many bulls as possible. “We’re hitting two or three in a day on some occasions. This is a little more unique because there’s a lot more money on the line.”
In his third time competing at the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, Coverchuk is striving to improve upon his showing from last year when he made it all the way to the final round on Showdown Sunday.
“I think I walked out of there with just under $20,000, but I’m hoping this year I’ll walk out with a whole bunch more than that,” said Coverchuk, who finished in a three-way tie for second behind eventual $50,000 winner Jorden Hansen of Amisk, Alta. “Having a fellow Canadian winning it there in the final four after we battled it out all week over 10 days, it was really good to see him win, but I want to win a little bit more.”