By: Justin Felisko
February 08, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Ryan Dirteater still remembers being 20 years old and tying his hand into his bull rope in front of 80,000 screaming Brazilian bull riding fans during the 2009 PBR World Cup in Barretos, Brazil.
“When Team USA won, it was a great experience,” Dirteater said. “We beat the Brazilians on their home turf. It was something to see. There were 80,000 people in the stands supporting the Brazilians. All of the odds were against us. We beat them and won the cup.”
Team USA wound up winning the international team competition for the second consecutive year with Dirteater posting four qualified rides during the bull riding.
Competing in Brazil is one of the top moments of the 2016 World Finals event winner’s career.
It is why Dirteater could not be more excited for the first-ever Global Cup later this year in Edmonton.
“It is about time,” Dirteater said. “I am excited for it. It is just like the Olympics. The Global Cup is something that needs to happen every year. It keeps all the countries involved. There are five right now. It keeps the fans involved too.”
The PBR announced on Wednesday that the PBR Global Cup will be a year-long tournament that will visit five countries to decide which nation can claim to be the world’s best bull riding nation.
Unlike the World Cup, which was only one event per year from 2007-2010, the Global Cup will have each participating country – the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico – host a three-day PBR Global Cup event. The Global Cup will also have a unique team competition format unlike any previous international competition.
PBR and Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) announced Wednesday that Rogers Place in Edmonton will be the first-ever Canadian host of the Global Cup on Nov. 9-11. The three-day event will feature the world’s best bull riders from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Australia, all competing for their country and a Canadian-record purse of $1 million.
The Edmonton event will award the largest purse for bull riding in Canada and the second-largest payout in North America, next to the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas.
The Global Cup in Edmonton is the first major PBR international bull riding event held on Canadian soil.
Kindersley, Saskatchewan, bull rider Dakota Buttar, who is currently 25th in the world standings, was 14 years old when Team Canada finished runner-up at the 2007 World Cup in Australia.
“When I watched the World Cup when I was little, I always thought it would be fun to ride in,” Buttar said. “The Global Cup is pretty sweet. There hasn’t been anything like that in Canada for a long time. I remember quite a while ago they had a Built Ford Tough (Series) event in Calgary, but that was a long time ago.
“It is going to be cool to have something up there.”
Riders are excited about the opportunity to compete as a team and country against their good friends from around the world.
“It is fun to change up the format,” Dirteater said. “I like the team deal. Bull riding is an individual sport. You have to be a self-motivator to be a bull rider. When you put a team together, it is like other professional sports. It is like NFL, baseball, hockey. You push each other and drive each other.
“We root for each other all the time, but when you put a team together like that it just changes the game up. We should do it more often.”
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney helped lead Team USA to two World Cup victories in 2008 and 2009.
Mauney agreed with Dirteater that the stakes are different in a team format vs. individual.
“It changes it up a little bit,” Mauney said. “It is not just you, if you get thrown off, you let down your whole team. It adds a little more pressure to you. It is still the same thing when you crawl into that bucking chute. You have a job to do.”
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, who is from Leme, Brazil, is thrilled about each country hosting the international event every year.
“It is a fun competition,” Marchi said. “Cowboys for each country. It is good for the sport, media, TV, the fans and the other countries. The Americans and the other countries come to Brazil and the fans really love to see J.B., Jess (Lockwood), Cooper Davis over there. It is fun having this kind of event again.”
The Global Cup Trophy will be made of five vessels representing each participating country. The winning country at each event will get to take the host nation’s dirt in their piece of the Trophy, which is now being designed by Montana Silversmiths.
2016 PBR Australia Champion Cody Heffernan remembers when Australia hosted the World Cup in 2007.
He always looked forward to representing his country in an international format, which the Global Cup will now allow him to do.
“Especially for Australia and Canada, where we don’t have as many guys growing up riding (compared) to America and Brazil, we can try and step up and prove that we are just as good,” Heffernan said. “I know we have a whole ton of talented guys in Australia. The consistency gets us. At an event like this, we can show up and prove what our talent is.”
Global bragging rights will especially be on Marchi’s mind.
Brazil avenged their 2009 World Cup loss to the Americans in Brazil by defeating Team USA in Las Vegas the following year.
Each country won two of the four international team competitions.
“You want to beat the other countries pretty bad,” Marchi said. “It is fun. It is all good motivation. They beat us in our house. We beat them here.
“The people were going crazy.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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