Nick Tetz has had a year to remember.
Now, the Calgary cowboy will try to cap it with a win in the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals.
Last November, Tetz ascended to a new level of bull riding stardom, by being crowned the 2022 PBR Canada champion. And after a dominant 2023 season, Tetz is now preparing for this weekend’s Edmonton-hosted national finals, during which he will attempt to accomplish a feat never before achieved in Canadian history — win the title in back-to-back seasons.
“Come Finals time, I have full confidence in myself that I can pick the rankest ones in the pen and get them rode,” Tetz said. “That is what won me a title last year, picking up some high scores. If I can string together four this year, I think it will be hard to beat.”
“Lots can happen, though. You need some people to do good, some to maybe draw bad. You never really know ’til it all shakes out.”
Tetz is currently No. 2 in the national standings, a mere 68.5 points behind No. 1 Cody Coverchuk.
Among his season highlights, Tetz has delivered one of the top riding percentages in Canada his season, going 31-for-46 (67.39%). Along with winning the Cup Series event in Lethbridge, Tetz earned three Touring Pro Division victories.
The 23-year-old leads PBR Canada in Touring Pro Division round wins with nine and was responsible for the top score of the regular season, having ridden Time Marches On for a monstrous 92 points en route to his victory in his hometown.
And these national finals — running Friday and Saturday at Rogers Place — will be historic, marking the richest iteration of the event, set to award a historic $225,000, including a landmark $100,000 bonus to the 2023 champion.
The contingent of 21 riders anticipated to compete is led by two-time Canadian champion Coverchuk, who will be chasing history at the third iteration of the PBR Canada National Finals in Edmonton.
“As far as showing up and doing your job, having fun, we just have such a good group of guys,” Tetz said. “It’s the type of group you want to show up and do good for. Everyone is friends and we all want to do good for each other. That has shown over these last few events. This last half of the year we really built those bonds and it showed in our riding.”
Should Saskatchewan’s Coverchuk conclude the season atop the standings, he would tie Aaron Roy for most national titles won by one rider in Canada with three. After earning his first title in 2018, Coverchuk became the first rider to be crowned PBR Canada Champion inside Rogers Place in 2021.
Coverchuk has gone an impressive 44-for-78 (56.41%) on Canadian soil in 2023, riding to three Touring Pro Division event wins and five round wins on the organization’s developmental series.
Dakota Buttar will look to become just the fourth multi-time PBR Canada champion in history. The 2020 champion is currently No. 3 in the nation, 95.66 points behind No. 1 Coverchuk. At Rogers Place, Buttar will compete for the first time since breaking his collarbone in early October during his dismount from his event-winning ride in Grande Prairie.
While Roy already has his name firmly etched in the PBR record books, he will look to enter even more rarified air as he chases his unprecedented fourth PBR Canada championship. The veteran won a PBR Canada best five Touring Pro Division events this season and is presently No. 4 in the national standings, 146.16 points behind the top spot.
The year-end event will also again be headlined by two PBR world champions. Daylon Swearingen, the 2019 and ’22 winner, will return to Canadian soil seeking his unprecedented third PBR Canada National Finals event win. Swearingen won the year-end event en route to his title in 2019, and then collected the victory at the first PBR Canada National Finals held at Rogers Place in 2021. And three-time PBR world champion and 2022 PBR teams champion Silvano Alves made history earlier this season by becoming just the fourth rider to record more than 500 qualified rides in premier level PBR competition.
“This year is a history-making year for bull riding in Canada,” Tetz said. “This race this year has been great.”
PBR CANADA FINALS RIDERS
Cody Coverchuk (Meadow Lake, Sask.)
Nick Tetz (Calgary)
Dakota Buttar (Eatonia, Sask.)
Aaron Roy (Yellow Grass, Sask.)
Coy Robbins (Camrose, Alta.)
Wyatt Gleeson (Sundre, Alta.)
Garrett Green (Meeting Creek, Alta.)
Jordan Hansen (Amisk, Alta.)
Chad Hartman (Lancer, Sask.)
Tyler Craig (Crossfield, Alta.)
Jared Parsonage (Maple Creek, Sask.)
Jake Gardner (Fort St. John, B.C.)
Ashton Sahli (Red Deer, Alta.)
Stefan Tonita (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Cody Fraser (Wilmington, Australia)
Blake Smith (Abbey, Sask.)
Conner Halverson (Gordon, Neb.)
Macaulie Leather (Calliope, Australia)
Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, Australia)
Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil)
Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, N.Y.)