FORT WORTH, Texas - As the seventh PBR Canadian Cup Series draws to a close with this weekend's PBR Canada National Finals event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, there's a good reason Jason Davidson is smiling.
Since the PBR began sanctioning events in Canada in early 2006, Davidson has emerged as the driving force behind the continued development of the Canadian Cup Series, as well as the Touring Pro Division events hosted throughout his home country.
In addition to producing several events, Davidson serves as an agent for various riders and is the Canadian livestock director. Last month in Las Vegas, he was proud to watch four Canadian riders - Aaron Roy, Ty Pozzobon, Chad Besplug and Zane Lambert - and five bulls, including their top bull Slash, compete at the World Finals.
"With better bulls, you have better riders," Davidson said.
The event takes place Friday and Saturday at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
However, like other countries that play host to PBR events - namely Brazil and Australia - Davidson listed the lack of depth in terms of bull power as the biggest difference between Canada and the U.S.
"There's a considerable difference in the bull pen from here to there," Davidson said. "In fact, it's apples and oranges."
Considerable efforts are being put forth to change that sentiment.
Anyone attending this weekend's Finals will see PBR Canada feature their livestock just like the Built Ford Tough Series events. In fact, they're a big part of the equation.
Davidson credited Canadian stock contractors like Josh Berezay, Nansen Vold, Darin Eno and Todd Braithwaite as the catalyst to the growing success in Canada.
"I really have a lot of respect for what our stock contractors are trying to do up there," Davidson said. "They try to be the best at what they do, and that's great when you have that competitiveness with those stock contractors trying to raise the best bucking bulls."
As the bull pen continues to get better with each passing year, Davidson added, "So is our bull rider pen."
"(Aaron Roy is) in a league of his own in Canada."
One such rider, who has separated himself from the others, is Roy.
A regular on the BFTS, he's in a position to claim his third Canadian title. No other Canadian rider has won two, while Roy has finished as a reserve Champion in two of the other four seasons. In fact, in 2006, it came down to the final round before Roy lost out to Scott Schiffner.
Roy won the title in 2008 and 2010.
"Aaron has put himself in a position that he just has to do things right," said Davidson, who explained that Lambert will have to win rounds and win the event to catch him. "Aaron's done such a good job with the Touring Pro (Division) events. He can't go to 35 events like everybody else. Aaron gets the job done when he comes. It's all business for Aaron Roy when he comes to Canada (to compete).
"He's in a league of his own in Canada. I feel he really is and he proves that. He's likely going to be a three-time Champion."
Rounding out the Top 5 in the Canadian standings are Lambert, Pozzobon, Besplug and Matt Triplett.
Other past Champions include Schiffner, Tyler Pankewicz, Beau Hill and last year's winner Tyler Thomson. No Canadian rider has accomplished or earned more money than Roy in PBR history.
Roy, who has advanced to the championship round of the World Finals in four of the past five years, is 40th on the all-time list of PBR money earners and - barring injury - could likely eclipse the $1 million plateau next season.
"He's not done," said Davidson. "He's only 25 years old."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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