Dakota Buttar didn’t have the greatest start to the season on the Professional Bull Riders Canada circuit, but his momentum has swung around, as the 22-year-old captured the Marwayne PBR championship on Saturday night, one of only four riders who managed to go a full ride in both the long-go and the short-go, while also picking up the nights top ride with an 86.5 point ride.
“It hasn’t been going good lately and I needed something like that tonight,” said Buttar. “It changes your confidence around quite a bit when you get a win.”
The victory is the first for Buttar since winning the 2014 Canadian Finals Rodeo bull riding championship in Edmonton last year, defeating many of the same riders that were in the field tonight.
In the long-go, Buttar rode Fidget to a score of 83.5, earning him the fifth highest spot coming out of the long-round of riding. On the back of Sworn Enemy in the short-round, Buttar’s 86.5 made him the clear winner of the night, giving him a combined score of 170 on the night.
Jared Parsonage and Wacey Finkbeiner finished tied for second with 166.5 points, while Todd Chotowetz finished in fourth with 157 points as the only other riders to go the distance in both rounds.
The short-round also featured PBR Canada regulars Jesse Torkelson, Adam Jamison and Josh Birks, as well as the PBR Canada points and money leader Garrett Green, who went into Marwayne with 600 points on the season, and over $7,200 in prize money.
But the big money on the night went to Buttar, who not only walked away with $3,370 in prize money, but also the Marwayne championship buckle after riding out two bulls.
“The bull was quite a bit faster and popping,” said Buttar of the final bull, Sworn Enemy. “You get a lot more points when they are faster.”
It was the second time Buttar has competed in Marwayne’s PBR, as he finished 11th in 2014, just outside the top 10, earning no money on the night. Last year’s championship, then 18-year-old Shay Marks, looked as if he would make a run at defending his championship as he stayed on the back of Jim Tom for the full ride. However, now 19-year-old Marks would be disqualified after his free hand touched the back of the bulls neck, resulting in zero points in the round.
Other noteable riders who missed out on the short-round included Tyler Pankewitz, who was thrown off Guitar Town on just the third ride of the night, while multi-time PBR Canada champion Zane Lambert wasn’t able to hang on to King Pin, falling just short of the eight-second mark.
But the night belonged to Buttar, who grew up around rodeo all his life, from steer riding to following his sisters around for barrel racing. Now the Kindersley, Sask. native can add a PBR Canada buckle to his collection, as he looks to use the momentum from Marwayne and build a successful season.
“It will help my confidence quite a bit.”