‘Man against beast’

Some of the best bull riders from across Canada, the United States and as far as Brazil are in P.A. this weekend for the Clunie-Cooper Memorial Professional Bull Riding competition. (File photo)

Annual Clunie-Cooper Memorial Professional Bull Riding event returns to Prince Albert

For the 12th year the Professional Bull Riding (PBR) Canada Canadian Touring Pro Division circuit is making a stop at the Art Hauser Centre.

On Friday and Saturday night 35 of the best bull riders from across Canada, the United States and as far as Brazil will be fighting to stay atop a bucking bull for the longest eight seconds in sports. This year’s event will also feature children riding miniature ponies.

“PBR is a worldwide event so we get bull riders from everywhere and we get the best bulls we can in Canada… You’re going to see man against beast and I guarantee you won’t use your whole seat,” organizer Ryan Byrne said.

“It’s not just completely bull riding, so we try to entertain with rock ‘n’ roll music and a pyro show and just a full package.”

Since 2012 the event has been named the Clunie-Cooper Memorial PBR in honour of bull riding fans Max Clunie, Wade and Cam Cooper and Danny Mantyka, who died in an airplane crash in 2011. Byrne’s son Tanner, one of the top PBR riders in the world, married into the Clunie family.

Byrne said the support the local community has shown towards the Clunie-Cooper Memorial has been “huge.”

“P.A, we’re 40,000 people but we’re still a small community, I think, as far as when things like that happen. Everybody gets behind each other, supports and helps out family-wise and friendship-wise and even if they didn’t know the boys, people still support the event and we appreciate that very much,” Byrne said.

“These guys were great friends of ours and they were huge and instrumental in bringing the event to town. So we each year try to — and we don’t make it a sad deal — make it a good, entertaining, fun time for everybody. That’s the way those guys would have wanted it, so that’s what we do for them.”

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