The 2018 Whoop-Up Days are coming to an end with the annual Bucking & Barrels tournament underway at Exhibition Park Grandstand.
The Canadian-America Pro Challenge is back for its third year, as five Canadian cowboys and five American cowboys compete in saddle bronc, bareback, barrel racing and bull riding.
Canada has won the challenge two years in a row, but this year may be different.
“I think the line-up could be stacked against Canada here by looking,” said stock contractor Duane Kesler. “We’ve got a lot of top U.S. cowboys here that have come to turn the tables.”
One of this year’s top U.S. competitors is last year’s bareback champion, Chase Erickson.
“I think there’s a lot of good match-ups,” Erickson said. “It’s up to the cowboys, and obviously how the horses preform. It’ll be exciting no matter what.”
WATCH: Whoop-Up Days set to hit Lethbridge
So does the reigning champ think his country could be taking home the bragging rights this year?
“It’d be neat to win that challenge, you know, just for country’s sake,” Erickson said. “But bottom line, Canada and the U.S., I mean, we all get together, it’s good. You know, it’s just for fun.”
The Canadians, too, are hoping to make their country proud.
“We have a ton of great Canadian athletes,” said Canadian barrel racing contestant Sydney Daines. “It’s just another great competition to partake in and hopefully Canada comes out on top.”
The event is extra special for Lethbridge native Raylee Edwards.
The top contestants will earn five points each night, second place will get four, third will get three, and so on, to accumulate points for their country. Along with the Canada-vs.-America challenge, contestants are also battling for more than $20,000 in each of their events over the three days.