CALGARY, Alberta – Ryan Dirteater and Nathan Schaper advanced to Showdown Sunday of the Calgary Stampede following strong performances in Pool A competition, which concluded Monday afternoon.
Dirteater, the No. 11 man in the PBR world standings, earned $11,500 through four days of action to finish in a tie for second place with National Finals Rodeo qualifier Chandler Bownds.
"I've drawn really good bulls and I've just got my job done and it's worked out real good for me,” the Hulbert, Oklahoma, bull rider said of his three qualified rides.
Dirteater placed second on Friday with an 85-point ride on All Fired Up, earning him $4,500. He then rode Frey Area for 84 points and $3,500 on Saturday. On Sunday, Dirteater checked in at 85.5 points on Scuttle Butt for another $3,500.
"Competition's tough here,” Dirteater said. “The bulls are really good and the guys are tough. I just placed in the round, but I don't mind, it still pays good in the round."
Dirteater was bucked off by I’m A Hustler on Monday afternoon.
Schaper finished Pool A in fourth place, having won $10,500.
The Grassy Butte, North Dakota, bull rider reared off three consecutive rides to conclude Pool A after bucking off Something Cool on Friday.
The 25-year-old put together scores of 84.5 points on Kish Me for second on Saturday, which was worth $4,500; 85 points on Moe for $2,500 on Sunday and 84.5 points for another $3,500 on Lone Butte for third Monday.
"It's been tough, everyone's been riding, but that's alright. That's the point though, that's what it's all about,” Schaper said. “We are all just riding our bulls and having fun. At the end of the week, the chips will fall where they fall. I’m just blessed being healthy and being able to be here riding bulls trying to win money.”
Schaper will now be able to head back home to North Dakota to tend to some business on his family’s ranch.
“I’m happy to go straight to the finals,” he said. “I’m going home, so I need to get some haying done. It gives me an extra day to get that done since I don’t have to come back Saturday.”
Dirteater and Schaper are enjoying their first trip to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
“I was really excited when I got the call to come by. It's awesome to be able to ride in front of a crowd like this," Dirteater said. "I got to go to the parade (Friday) when I first got here early in the morning. It was a three-hour long parade and there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets. It's just something to see if you've never seen it,"
Schaper added, "It's outstanding. It's something you watch when you're are a little kid and dream about. It's a privilege to be invited and come here.
“The first day when we ran out there for intros, that's probably the most jacked I've been in a long time riding bulls. It's a great feeling."
Two-time Canadian Rodeo Champion and current top PBR Canada bull rider Dakota Buttar led the charge in Pool A by winning two of the four rounds, as well as tying for the round win on Sunday, for $16,000 in earnings.
Tanner Girletz, Zane Lambert, Shane Proctor, Joao Ricardo Vieira, Jared Parsonage and Devon Mezei ride again on Wild Card Saturday for their second shot at Showdown Sunday and a chance at the $100,000 prize.
They will compete with the six riders that fail to advance to Showdown Sunday out of Pool B for the final two Showdown Sunday draw positions.
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