Former Montana State Bull Rider Chase Dougherty Excited About New PBR Team Series | Rodeo
BILLING — A new league and a chance to make history.
Even more attractive and perhaps the icing on the cake is that a new league is inaugurated by a major professional sports organization.
It’s exciting for any professional sports competitor, including bull riders.
Former Montana State Bull Rider Chase Dougherty is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to compete in the new Professional Bull Riders Team Series kicking off July 25-26 at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Dougherty, 24, was drafted in the fourth round as the 25th overall pick by the Arizona Ridge Riders in Monday’s PBR Team Series Draft in Arlington, Texas. Dougherty recently finished 16th in the final PBR World Rankings as the Unleash The Beast season came to a close with the World Finals on May 22 in Fort Worth, TX.
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“It feels good to know that not everyone got drafted and to be among the chosen ones is amazing,” Dougherty told The Billings Gazette and 406mtsports.com in a phone interview. “And being drafted by the Arizona Ridge Riders makes me even more excited.”
According to a press release detailing draft selections for the Ridge Riders, which are owned by Teton Ridge, all PBR bull riders in good standing with the league who declared their eligibility by May 6 were eligible to be drafted.
The draft consisted of five rounds, and all eight league teams — the Austin Gamblers, Nashville Stampede, Ariat Texas Rattlers, Kansas City Outlaws, Missouri Thunder, Arizona Ridge Riders, Carolina Cowboys and Oklahoma Freedom — selected runners.
A statement from PBR said runners who declared for the draft and were not selected are eligible to become free agents. The statement also said riders who declared for less than 10 events are eligible for an additional two-round repechage, to be held on June 2. A PBR.com article by Justin Felisko said two-time world champion Jess Lockwood of Volborg had declared for the additional draft.
Arizona general manager Casey Lane said the Ridge Riders were lucky to be able to select a runner of Dougherty’s ability.
“Honestly, we’re looking for a specific type of guy that we think can fit into the team environment,” Lane told The Gazette and 406mtsports.com. “We’re looking for a guy with tremendous talent, but with an open mind and a willingness to develop that talent with the kind of resources we’ll bring with nutrition, film breakdown and sports psychology, and be willing to train. ”
Lane went on to say that Dougherty had several traits that the Arizona Ridge Riders admired.
“His character is really something that drew us to him,” Lane said. “You can see in his bull riding the continued development of his college career, at the PRCA and his PBR career. It progressed over time.
“He’s in control of his body, which is important so that a bigger rider doesn’t get out of control. He has very good control over his body. This development has led to consistency in his constituency. He continues to maintain a solid level of consistency and those are things we see in Chase.
Dougherty, originally from Canby, Oregon, now lives in Decatur, Texas with his wife Kara and baby boy Calgary. Baby Calgary was named after the town in Alberta where Dougherty met Kara.
“I was up for the Stampede riding bulls and she was doing a sports medicine internship,” he said.
Dougherty said he attended Montana State from fall 2016 to spring 2018 and was on the rodeo team while enrolled in the Bozeman school. In 2017, as a freshman at MSU, Dougherty finished third at the College National Finals Rodeo in bull riding and won Rookie of the Year. According to a post on the MSU Rodeo website, Dougherty finished second in the conference and won the bull at the MSU Spring Rodeo that season.
“I remember having a good coach. Andy Bolich was our coach,” Dougherty said. “It’s really beautiful there. You could do whatever you wanted, as long as there was no snow on the ground.
Dougherty’s mother – Lori (maiden name Van Cleave) – grew up in Billings.
“I have a handful of relatives there,” said Dougherty, who enjoys working on a ranch when not on PBR tour.
While Dougherty is now enjoying success on the PBR circuit, he still occasionally follows the Bobcats rodeo team and watches over them through PBR comedian Flint Rasmussen, whose daughters Paige and Shelby are on the team.
“From afar, I watch them,” he said. “I talk to Flint every weekend and keep them here and there.”
Dougherty thinks fans will welcome the concept of team bull riding. There will be 10 regular season events and then the championships at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas from November 4-6.
“I just like the team aspect. Bull riding has always been an individual sport and now we have friends and teammates,” Dougherty said. “I am thrilled to have Teton Ridge as my support.
“The bottom line is, look at football, people support their team and they have teams in places like Chicago and Philadelphia and people can support their teams. individual season and it will attract new fans and they will support people that they normally wouldn’t support.
Each of the league’s eight teams will host an event and there will be two neutral site stops (Cheyenne and Anaheim, Calif.), as well as the finals in Las Vegas. The stops will take place over three days – with the exception of the neutral site contests, which will take place over two days – and will be contested in a tournament style with teams competing in a five-on-five match.
“We’re really excited and think it will bring a whole new element to Western sports,” Lane said, “and a whole new way for people to watch and enjoy it.”
The Ridge Riders roster so far consists of Dougherty, Luciano De Castro, Mauricio Moreira, Eduardo Aparecido and Marco Eguchi.
The Ridge Riders’ technical coach is 10-time World Finals qualifier Paulo Crimber and team manager is five-time World Finals qualifier Colby Yates.
“I’m really confident that our team will work well,” said Dougherty, who won the middleweight title at the 2018 National Finals Rodeo and has ridden bulls, played soccer, wrestled and competed in the pole vault. at Oregon High School.
“I know that our team will definitely fight for the world championship.”
For Dougherty, the excitement of being part of a pioneering league in a sport he loves is another thrill as he pursues his passion and dreams of bulls.
Email Gazette Sports editor John Letasky at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsJohnL