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Tuesday, 03 July 2012 07:30

Claresholm’s Chad Besplug continues to lead the pack

Written by  Susan Quinlan
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Chad Besplug is having a great season of bull riding this year. Chad Besplug is having a great season of bull riding this year. File photo

Described by one reporter as the most insane eight seconds this side of the electric chair, one has to wonder why some people choose bull riding as a career, but Claresholm’s Chad Besplug, the 2011 Canadian Professional Rodeo Association’s Bull Riding Champion, said it’s simple … he loves it.

“I like everything about it. Lots of my best friends do it. We travel around the world together,” said Besplug, who at 26 has ventured to points as exotic as Brazil and has no intention of quitting the sport any time soon.
As last year’s champ, Besplug said his goals for this year include again snagging that title along with winning the Canadian Professional Bull Riding (PBR) title and becoming a Calgary Stampede champ.
“I’m expecting this year to be even better than last.”
Besplug recently made the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series Cut and will tour with that crew of high level competitors for a minimum of five events, racking up points to insure he can participate in North America’s largest bull-riding competitions.
As of June 29, Besplug was ranked first overall in the CPRA and sat with $12,569.62 in earnings. With the PBR, he’s first with $25,509.33.
Having entered the sport at 18, Besplug wasted no time snagging the 2004 Rookie of the Year title conferred by the Professional Bull Riding Association. He has since qualified for the Canadian Professional Bull Riding finals almost every year since and as well has qualified to compete at the Calgary Stampede.
He said he has two more professional competitions to participate in before that circuit breaks for the summer, then he’ll tour the smaller rodeo circuit before returning to the professional circuit in the fall.
Although first in his family to become a professional bull rider, Besplug’s sister Jill beat him to the winner’s arena, having become a champ in barrel racing. She has since completed a post-secondary degree and moved on, and Besplug said he as well has given his future some thought.
“Eventually I’ll finish my education. I have two years towards a B.A. in Sociology, but right now, I do this for a living and I love competing. I’m extremely competitive, so if not this, then something else.”
As to when he’ll switch direction, Besplug said that’ll depend on how long his body holds up.
He said he makes time for the gym between competitions and as well has developed a mental strategy to stay focussed on the win. For the time being, he’ll continue on this career path.
“If I’m making lots of money I’ll do it as long as I can.
“It’s a difficult thing to figure out, when you’re already doing what you love.”

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