By: Ted Stovin
July 16, 2016
CALGARY, Alberta – On May 5th, 2016 Zane Lambert was stepped on by a bull at a professional rodeo in Stavely, AB. His injuries that night sent him for a ride in a helicopter to the city of Calgary’s Foothills Hospital.
There, he would spend the next ten days at the Foothills draining the fluid from both of his lungs, which had been collapsed, and recovering from multiple broken ribs.
Lambert’s season look like it was over. To the 2013 PBR Canada Champion, only one thought was in mind: a return to the Calgary Stampede only two months away.
“It was my goal right from when I got hurt to come back and compete at the Stampede,” Lambert said. “I’ve never wanted anything more in my life.”
On Saturday afternoon in the mud and pouring rain, Lambert showed the Calgary crowd what he was made of.
After not getting out of the chute on his first bull, Zane would match up with a bull he rode for 77 points. As the last man out on the day, it looked like it was game over, until he was offered a re-ride.
To set the stage, Wild Card Saturday affords the top two bull riders that hadn’t qualified for Sunday’s $100,000 round, another chance.
At the end of the rodeo, while the crowd was filing out, Zane Lambert matched up with a bull from Ryan Byrne and Rusty Clunie of Flying Four Bucking Bulls called Finning’s Bebop.
In that matchup, Lambert gritted out an 87-point effort to edge out Robson Palermo for the final spot on Sunday.
“It’s pretty cool to move on to Sunday and have a chance at winning it,” Lambert said. “That’s what I’m here for, it took a few bulls to knock the rust off. I think I’ve been on eight bulls now and it’s coming back.”
The Ponoka, AB man, originally from Manitoba, ended up having to switch some gear up between bulls.
“Yeah I had to go back and switch ropes, luckily I brought another rope. I knew the weather was going to be bad. I had an extra rope in the bag. The guys in the dressing room helped me switch my bells and put the pad on this new rope, that first rope got drug all the way through the mud so I had to trade it out. It made it difficult. I didn’t know that other rope was going to work for me but it sure did today.”
Work out it did as Lambert is lucky to be alive after his Stavely wreck, let along ride bulls again.
“I consider myself lucky but I consider myself really lucky to keep getting on bulls,” Lambert said. “It just means that much more, it makes you realize what’s important in life, this is what’s important to me.”
With two bulls to go, Lambert could be $100,000 richer with two bulls to go tomorrow. He’s been in the final four before, coming up short in 2014 on a Vold bull by the name of Feeling Blue.
Calgary isn’t the only thing Lambert has returned for in 2016. The newly announced Monster Energy PBR Canada Tour kicks off on August 20th in Ottawa, ON.
“I’m warming up here now so hopefully we’ll be ready to go by then,” Lambert said. “I’ve gotta play catch up now, I’ve kind of fallen back to the middle of the pack or the bottom of the pack in both standings. There’s going to be a lot of bulls before that tour yet but we’re darn sure looking forward to it.”
Lambert joined PRCA Champion Cody Teel on Sunday. Teel scored 88 on Nailed to win Wild Card Saturday. The two join Dakota Buttar, Chandler Bownds, Ryan Dirteater, Nathan Schaper, Josh Birks, Sage Kimzey, Fabiano Vieira and J.B. Mauney on Sunday.
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