Chad Besplug and Tyler Thomson made a deal that if either of the bull riders won the Calgary Stampede’s $100,000 first prize, they’d take their travelling partners to Disneyland.
Besplug admitted to the commitment when, during the final-day Stampede cheque presentation, he told the 20,000 spectators he was going to Disneyland.
Somebody at the California resort must have been listening. A day later, the Claresholm bull rider learned he won’t be out of pocket. A Disneyland representative called and extended an invitation to the four bull riders and told Besplug the resort will pick up the costs — flight, hotel and all the in-park passes they want.
No date has yet been set, but Besplug said he, Thomson, and 20-year-old youngsters Ty Pozzobon and Tanner Byrne, are looking at a 13-day August window prior to Labour Day weekend. Surprising how an innocent comment in a moment of joy can turn out.
“Yeah, it was kind of funny,” Besplug said. “But, everything was kind of crazy those couple of days after the Stampede. I was surprised by about everything at that point. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was all pretty cool.”
Two days after Calgary, he was back on the road and has since won first at two Saskatchewan rodeos in Maple Creek and Kennedy, and second at a rodeo-sanctioned bull riding on Wednesday night at Oyen that returned $6,300 in all.
Besplug has jumped from 10th to third in the rodeo standings and has basically clinched a return to the November Canadian Finals Rodeo at Edmonton, where he won the championship in 2011.
Pozzobon won Oyen, picked up $4,200 and is now second in the rankings.
This year, Besplug has earned just over $172,000 in professional rodeo and Professional Bull Riders sanctioned events.
The $108,750 he took out of the Stampede has changed his itinerary considerably, where the PBR is concerned. Because it sanctions Calgary, Besplug is seventh in PBR earnings with $152,794. He has qualified for the last nine internationally-televised Ford Series stops and the PBR world finals at Las Vegas Oct. 24 to 28. He also leads the PBR Canada championship points standings.
His schedule this week takes him to the Medicine Hat Stampede tonight, at Cochrane on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. and a one-day rodeo at Bruce on Sunday at 1 p.m.