A local Meadow Lake bull rider has been named the Canadian Professional Rookie of the Year in the pro Rodeo Canada rankings.
Twenty-four-year-old Cody Coverchuk scored 21,599.96 points, beating out his closest competitor, Dawson Hay of Wildwood, BC by 824.33 points. Coverchuk’s season has been highlighted by wins and strong rides, propelling him to the honour.
Coverchuk said at the beginning of the year, he had no expectations. This was his first year getting his CPR card, but as the season drew on, he found himself in a battle.
“When it comes to the end, I actually came out on top,” he said. “It feels good, for sure. There was a great saddle bronc rider (Hay), whose dad went to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) 14 times. I knew he was going to be tough competition, but in the end we came out on top.”
With Coverchuk continuing to grow and progress through his fifth year of pro riding, he said the sport has also been growing. They recently moved the Canadian Finals to Red Deer and at first Coverchuk wasn’t all too sure about the move over, but through a few days of competition, he saw it all come together.
“The province and everybody here are all behind it,” he said. “When the rodeo is growing, that’s great, that means more money for the sport. It also means more chances for us to win more money.”
Throughout the five years, Coverchuk made quite the name for himself. From going from an unknown, ranked 54 in the World in Professional Bull Riding — and number five in Canada — it’s been quite the run for the Meadow Lake product.
Through his first five years, he never got his Canadian Pro Rider card until this year, something he attributes to the people around him.
“I got sick and tired of people always asking me why I’m not riding in the CFR,” he said. “It was just something I needed to do for my career. I’m here now, and I’m going to set my sights back on making the PBR world finals next year.”
The goal of the World Finals is something that’s always been on Coverchuk’s mind. As he goes through Canadian Finals this weekend, he has high hopes for the finale of the 2018 CPR season.
“Come out a Canadian Champion at the end of the CFR here, but I definitely see myself at the PBR world finals at the end of 2019,” he said.
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