This may well be the year of green and not restrictions and masks.
Specifically Garrett Green, the Meeting Creek bull rider who captured his second Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Canada event of 2020 with a superb victory as the Canadian Monster Energy Tour returned to action on July 23 in Lethbridge.
In the first fan-attended event since COVID-19 restrictions cancelled several events starting back in March, the 28-year-old Green put up a pair of scores that couldn’t be matched.
In the opening round, Green came away with an 85.5 on Finning Hou’s Deacon. For the final round, he rode Finning Lil Shorty to an event-best 88 for the win.
“My first ride went really great, so I knew I was going to pick a good bull for the final round,” Green said in a phone interview.
“When I found out it was Lil Shorty, I was looking forward to it as I had seen him last year at the Calgary Stampede where he was rode to a 91. Getting that ride and the score I did was awesome.”
Despite winning his first event, the 5×5 event back in June, he planned to stay on both rides this time no matter what.
“After coming off my last event like I did, falling off a nice one, I really wanted that redemption,” Green added.
Green’s performance was so good that night, it even generated a compliment from one of the top bull riders in the country.
“He’s got bull riding figured out. That championship round was one of the best we’ve seen. The guy shot the lights out and it was great watching,” said Strathmore’s Scott Schiffner, who provided commentary on the TSN broadcast of the event.
For Green though, the win meant more than just the $3,400 in prize money, the 80 Canadian tour and 15 World tour points.
“It was great to be back competing and being among the rest of the guys even with the restrictions,” he said.
“For the past few months, things have been going pretty well — doing yoga and my workouts along with riding horses around a bunch. Just doing different stuff and going camping sometimes.
“To get first is awesome and shows that the hard work I’ve put in sure worked out and shows I’ve been doing the right things and in the right way.”
As for the return to competition, Green lauded the efforts of the PBR to make sure everything was safe and he hopes there will be a PBR Finals later this year.
“They have made sure everyone knows and follows all the protocols, including providing enough space for social distancing in the warm-up area behind the chutes, everyone wearing masks and no hand shakes which I kind of forgot during the award ceremony,” he said with a chuckle.
The one thing that is drastically different is the overall atmosphere inside with no fans allowed, but it’s just something that takes some getting used to.
“It is definitely different and noticeable when you are getting ready, but by the time you get to the chutes and hopping on the bull, it is pretty much the same,” Green noted.
“There is the music, the guys helping out and the announcers that you know are there, but by then you are really well focused on the job at hand so you don’t notice much difference until you’re ride is done.”
In addition, as part of the Shell Rotella Rugged Ride for Charity initiative, a $1,000 donation will be made to the Ty Pozzobon Foundation — chosen by Green — in recognition of that 88 point score.
The next anticipated stop on the PBR Canada tour is Sept. 26 in Medicine Hat.