Bull Riders Canada (BRC) recently announced that Cochrane Classic Bull Riding was awarded 'best event' in Canada.
Bringing an evening of thrills and spills to the Cochrane community for over eighteen years, Jason Borton, organizer of the Cochrane Classic is one proud cowboy these days.
Receiving a call from BRC, Borton shares he was thrilled to learn the bull riders themselves voted the Cochrane Classic as their top favourite stop out of 80 communities across Canada. "I got a phone call saying Cochrane Classic won event of the year. So there's different criteria like community support, the event itself, spectators, and community involvement. For eighteen years of doing this, it was a nice little thing to find out."
Borton shares while it is great to be recognized, he wants to share this triumph with the community at large. "Cochrane should be very proud of itself too. A great event is only great if the crowd is all into it. It is fun to be part of and the people from Cochrane make it fun for the bull riders to come to. It is a community event now...yeah I organize it...but the community is what makes it great."
Looking back over the event's eighteen-year history, Borton says although organizing has gotten easier over time he still has angst. "It is still a little scary but it's a proven event now. Now that I am working with the Ag Society and the Cochrane Fair Committee I think I have gone to the next level with adding the midway rides and the trade fair, now it is a complete event."
Giving credit to his family, volunteers, and longtime sponsors, Borton shares without support he couldn't pull the event off. "Rob is very important to me from Cochrane Dodge and I couldn't have done it without those guys and Dry Cleaning by Dave, I think he has been there from day one. This is all because of the community."
Continuing to attract the top 30 bull riders, Borton shares the quality and talent only gets better and better. Looking forward to the next couple of years, Borton has some big plans. "Big news, next year a group out of Manitoba and the Cochrane Classic are partnering up to be the biggest money winning weekend of the year in Canada. Then the following year is going to be my year twenty and I have already talked to sponsors about that, it's going to be a huge surprise for Cochrane. It's going to keep growing because that's the only way you keep people coming back."
Bringing this award home to Cochrane means a lot to Borton; with so many great community events he is incredibly proud to be recognized and having his event added to the list. "I think I am with the right group between the Cochrane Fair and the Bull Riding Association (Bull Riders Canada), I think everything has fallen into place over the last couple of years."
Borton says mark August 17, 2019, on the calendar for the 19th annual Cochrane Classic event at the Cochrane Ag Grounds in conjunction with the Cochrane Fair. "We'll make it a better event and we'll win it again."