He grew up playing hockey in Canada, won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche (1996), worked as a play-by-play broadcaster, became a competitive cyclist and even completed a triathlon all before pursuing a career as a stock contractor in the PBR.
Now Curtis Leschyshyn is teaming with Jason Davidson to host and co-promote his first PBR event in Langham, Saskatchewan, on Thursday night.
"I met him at my bull riding this past May," said veteran rider Aaron Roy, who is the most accomplished Canadians currently competing on the Built Ford Tough Series. "He seems like a really great guy and it's good that he's putting on a bull riding close to home--having a big time bull riding be part of Jason's deal."
Hockey is to Canada what football is to the United States.
When asked about Leschyshyn growing involvement in bull riding and, more important, PBR Canada, Ty Pozzobon said, "It's awesome to get guys like Curtis putting on events. It's good to see hockey players getting into it and it shows how much the sport (of bull riding) has grown."
Roy added, "Everybody likes to get their hands in it. We have professional athletes from other sports coming into it and it shows just how big it can become."
Leschyshyn has been involved in bucking bulls for the past couple season.
In the spring of 2011, while he and his family were living outside of Denver, Colo., he partnered with Cody Ohl on several bulls.
"Rodeo has always been huge in Canada and for bull riding to get big will make the sport even better because Canada is a huge audience for the PBR." -Aaron Roy
Since then, he and his family--wife, Laura; children, Jake, Anna and Kate--have relocated back to his hometown of Saskatoon, which is 20 miles southeast of the event.
The Curtis Leschyshyn Invitational is one of several being promoted by 3D Bull Riding in which the series winner will receive a brand-new pickup truck.
Leschyshyn is only latest in a growing list of Canadians who have fared far greater in recent years.
Just this past weekend, in Tulsa, Tanner Byrne made his BFTS debut.
He and Pozzobon, along with Roy, will be in Langham for the Canadian Touring Pro event.
More Canadian riders have been emerging--Chad Besplug won the Calgaray Stampede in July--and now along Davidson, there is someone like Leschyshyn getting involved first as a contractor and now as a co-promoter of an event in his home country.
Roy said he feels like the country, as a whole, is taking a step forward.
"I've been expecting it for the last few years," Roy said. "Rodeo has always been huge in Canada and for bull riding to get big will make the sport even better because Canada is a huge audience for the PBR."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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