By Kacie Albert
When the dust settled Saturday night inside Rogers Place, Dakota Buttar cemented his name in history, completing a come-from-behind surge to be crowned the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada Champion, becoming just the fourth rider in history to win the title in multiple seasons.
The 2023 PBR Canada National Finals marked the richest iteration of the year-end event, awarding more than $225,000 to the competing riders, including a $100,000 bonus to Buttar as the year’s Champion.
The event also proved to be one of the most successful for the 21 qualifying riders. They covered 58.66% of their draws, going 44-for-75 as all but two contenders made the 8 at least once.
Buttar, who won his first title in 2020, travelled to Edmonton for the 2023 PBR Canada National Finals, presented by Command Tubular Products, having not competed in more than a month, suffering a broken collarbone following his early October Cup Series event win in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
As a result of being sidelined, Buttar began the year-end event No. 3 in the standings, 95.66 points back of regular-season No. 1 Cody Coverchuk (Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan).
Proving he had not missed a step, Buttar first put points on the board in Round 1 when he covered Young Blood (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle/Legend Rodeo Stock) for 84.75 points.
The reserved Saskatchewan native then delivered his second score in as many attempts as he went the distance aboard High Voltage (Wilson Rodeo) for 86 points.
Via the 2-for-2 showing on the opening night of action, Buttar rose to No. 2 in Canada, pulling within 57.66 points of the top spot.
Buttar returned to Rogers Place determined on Championship Saturday not to let another title slip through his fingers, a fate he suffered the past two seasons after entering the National Finals No. 1 in Canada.
Quick to convert, Buttar recorded the fifth best score of Round 3 when he converted aboard Irish Rebel (Wilson Rodeo) for 85.5 points. The score earned Buttar the second pick in the championship round, an opportunity he used to select Time Marches On (Thompson Rodeo Livestock).
In a decision which proved dividends, Buttar remained in perfect time with the animal athlete, matching him jump-for-jump en route to the requisite 8 as the crowd erupted in raucous cheer. The 86.75-point score punctuated Buttar’s perfect 4-for-4 outing inside the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.
Finishing the 2023 Canadian National Finals tied for second, Buttar, who earned 199 national points, vaulted to the No. 1 rank in the nation, crowned the 2023 PBR Canada Champion and earning the accompanying $100,000 bonus.
Buttar concluded the campaign 38.84 points ahead of 2022 PBR Canada Champion and this season’s No. 2 Nick Tetz (Calgary, Alberta).