Sylvan Lake will host the Bull Riders Canada Finals this November and the following year.
“This is rodeo county, this is cowboy country and it is great to have another event like this in the area, and we are proud to host it here,” said Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre at Monday’s announcement.
Bull riders from across Canada, the U.S.A., Brazil, Mexico and Australia will converge on Sylvan Lake on Nov. 15 and 16.
Eckville bull rider Jerett Nash says he is excited at the prospect of having the finals so close to home.
He calls Sylvan Lake a “sweet” town, and is looking forward to having the event a little more central and local.
“There are a lot of bull riders from around central Alberta… It’ll be nice to have families be able to come out and watch the event together,” Nash said.
He has many family members in central Alberta, many of whom could not make it to Lloydminster to take in the spectacle for the past five years.
“I have a great-grandma who is 95 years old. She’ll probably be able to come to the finals this year, which will be good,” said Nash.
According to Russell Friend, president of Bull Riders Canada, the group’s mission is to provide an avenue for riders to get on a bucking bull, for stock contractors who raise the animals to show them off, and for small, rural communities to host large scale events.
In 2018, Bull Riders Canada hosted 85 events across the country. Each community profited from the event, he said.
Cowboys stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and the proceeds of the event stay in the community, Friend said.
“You will not be disappointed at all, and we can not wait.”