BY ZACHARY CORMIER
Jordan Hansen has already taken his first jump out of the chute on the 2017 rodeo season.
The Calgary bull rider rolled out of the gate to an early lead in the Canadian standings on Saturday night, after winning the short-go and the overall championship at the Rebel Energy Services Xtreme Bulls Event at the ENMAX Centrium on Saturday night.
“I’m feeling really good. I’ve been down in the States here all winter, so everything’s been going good and I’m just happy I could come back to home soil and keep things rolling,” said Hansen after clinching the win at the first Canadian Pro Rodeo Association event of 2017 with an 88-point ride aboard a bull called Jesus & Bocephus from X over 6 Ranch during the short-go on Saturday night.
The event, which also counts towards the PRCA World Standings and PRCA Xtreme Bulls series standings, featured some of the best bull riders in the business including riders like Canadian bull riding legend Scott Schiffner and former Canadian Champion Tanner Girletz.
Hansen kicked off his winning night in the long-go with an 83.5 point ride on the Outlaw Buckers’ 2 Dark 2 C, a bull he is familiar with.
“I knew that first bull I got on really well. I rode him before, so I was really excited about him and actually the bull I rode in the short round; I rode him one time here last summer and was a bunch of points on him so I was pretty happy to have him again, too,” said Hansen.
Between the two bulls Hansen put up an aggregate score of 171.5 on two head which was enough to send him back to Calgary with a nice $3,250 cheque.
This was the first time the defending Canadian champion has made an appearance at the Red Deer bull riding event, but after riding in front of a raucous crowd at the Centrium, he said he’ll definitely be back.
“I’m usually in the States at this time. It was awesome. This is a bull riding event that I’m definitely going to try to come back to every year. It’s an awesome event and I’m happy everyone could make it out.”
Strathmore’s Jackson Scott came away with the second place cheque with an 155 on two and Schiffner took the third place money with a 91.5 on one thanks to a huge ride aboard Nickel Package from the Outlaw Buckers.
In addition to the intense bull riding action on display at the Centrium throughout the evening, fans in attendance were also treated to a display of dangerous leaps and stunts during a Bullfighters Only freestyle bull fighting event, which was eventually won by veteran bull fighter Scott Waye.
The Red Deer event was also the first rodeo the CPRA has held since the tragic death of 25-year-old bull rider Ty Pozzobon earlier this year and in order to honour him the Association put on a special tribute at the start of the night where they honored Pozzobon by letting one of the bulls he raised out into the arena during the intro ceremonies.
“He was one of the best bull riders in the world and definitely the best in Canada, so it was definitely a heartfelt intro,” Hansen said.
Led by Tanner Girletz, who was a close friend of Pozzobon, many of the bull riders who rode on Saturday were ‘riding for Ty’ to honour their fallen friend.
“He’s in our hearts tonight, that’s for sure,” Hansen said.