This year's Calgary Stampede became a career-defining moment for Chad Besplug.
The 26-year-old Canadian, who made his Built Ford Tough Series debut earlier this year, won the 100th anniversary of the legendary event. He beat out Aaron Roy, as well as last year's Stampede winner, Shane Proctor, in the championship round.
With the final ride of the afternoon, Besplug won the $100,000 payout with an 87-point ride on Kish This.
He was one of three riders to advance from Round 10, along with Roy and Proctor. Besplug covered Slash for 86.5 points to advance, before all three riders bucked off their first bull in the final round. Besplug then rode Kish This for the second time in a week.
Roy covered Risky Remedy for 86 points, finishing second, while Proctor claimed third with a 66.5-point ride on Northern Lights.
Besplug was one of four riders in Pool A to cover all four bulls to advance to Sunday's final rounds. Coincidentally, he also won the second long round with an 86 on Kish This. Additionally, he earned scores of 83.5, 82.5 and 82 points in the other rounds to accumulate $11,250. Besplug was the third qualifier from the pool, along with Austin Meier ($14,000), Roy ($13,500) and Wesley Silcox ($9,500).
Roy won the final two rounds of the opening pool of 10 riders, while Meier won the opening round.
Kody Lostroh won the first and fourth rounds of Pool B to advance with $15,500.
Also advancing from the second pool were Luke Snyder ($11,000), Robson Palermo ($9,000) and L.J. Jenkins ($7,500), while Tanner Girletz and Proctor, who was last year's winner, advanced through the wildcard round on Saturday.
Palermo, who is en route to Australia for this weekend's Australian Cup Finals in Sydney, was the lone rider in Pool B to ride all four long-round bulls. Like Roy in Pool A, Lostroh won two rounds - the first and the fourth - in Pool B.
Nine of the 10 riders that competed on Sunday have ties to the PBR, and eight of them - Besplug, Palermo, Meier, Snyder, Roy, Lostroh, Jenkins and Proctor - are likely to compete at the World Finals in October.
Besplug competed in the five BFTS events leading into the summer break.
The win in Calgary assures him of qualifying for the Vegas event.
He's currently ranked 51st in the world standings, and moved from 33rd into the Top 5 in the qualifier standings with just shy of $200,000 won in 2012.
He is also currently atop the PBR Canada standings, ahead of Roy, Zane Lambert, Ty Pozzobon and Tanner Byrne with several Cup events remaining before the Canadian Finals later this year.
As for his win in Calgary, Besplug joins an impressive list of recent Stampede winners that includes Proctor (2011), Douglas Duncan (2010), J.B. Mauney (2009), Mike Lee (2008), Brian Canter (2007) and Ross Coleman (2006).
His sister Jill is a two-time Stampede barrel-racing champion.
The Stampede, long known as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," paid out more than $1 million on Sunday. More than 1.4 million people attended the 10-day event this year.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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