Bull riders will compete Friday through Saturday at the Professional Bull Riding (PBR) Canada Finals in Saskatoon this weekend.
In the wild ride that only lasts eight seconds, it boils down to one thing; attitude.
“If you think you’re going to be a badass bull rider on the weekend all week, then the weekend comes, you’ll go out there and be a badass bull rider,” Cody Coverchuk said while looking over the facilities at SaskTel Centre on Thursday.
Coverchuk enters the finals ranked third in points (1420), just over 700 behind the leader, Brock Radford. There are 2,000 points up for grabs in Saskatoon, meaning the Canadian title is anyone’s for the taking.
“You can go from a hero to a zero in eight seconds. You can be the best one day, and the worst the next day so it’s very humbling,” added the Meadow Lake, Sask., product.
Coverchuk will be riding Sheep Creek on Friday, a bull he’s never danced with.
“I ride left-handed so I really like when bulls go to the left, spin to the left right outside the chute. Some bulls will start to the left and go back to the right. From a bull riding perspective, that’s the hardest,” said Coverchuk, who’s been researching the bull.
Last year, Coverchuk finished third overall, but this year he’s been extra dedicated to the buckle. In December 2016, he lost his father to cancer and is riding in his honour this season.
“What my Dad has always taught me is just ride bulls and not have to worry about much, you know money anything like that. It’s been emotional and all that but I kind of dedicated this year to him, so it makes me want to do a little bit better,” Coverchuk said.
But the rider knows he need to focus on the bull this weekend.
“I really try to get my motor running. You know, just try to, really get, I kind get angry, get mad at the bull or whatever.”
“My mind just kind of blanks out. I try not to think about anything, just do what the bull does. It’s a dance, you just got to match the move,” Coverchuk said.
A Canadian winner will be crowned on Saturday night, and will also have the distinction of moving on to the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas from Nov. 1 to 5.
“There ain’t no better feeling than when you hear a whistle, and you know you made a good bull ride and you can step off and all the people are screaming,” said Coverchuk, who hopes to relive that feeling come Saturday night.