RED DEER -- Jake Gardner has once again cemented himself as a PBR champion, as he takes first place at the 2024 Red Deer Classic.

The launch of the Professional Bull Riders Elite Cup Series showcased the country’s best bull riding talent at Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, over the weekend.

The Fort St. John cowboy managed to bring the energy, showing off his skill on two competitive bulls.

Gardner rode atop Highway to Heaven in round one with a near perfect ride that earned him 85 points, and a place in the championship round.

The round was all or nothing for Gardner, who sat in the fifth position in national standings going into the ride.

The pressure to stay on the bull was nothing new for Gardner, who placed first in a close challenge at the same event in 2022. 

His biggest competitor was another two-time champion, Cody Coverchuk of Saskatoon. 

As he bolted out the chute on Broken Pearl, he managed to exacute a flawless eight-second ride that gained him 87 points and shot his national score to 200, earning him top ranking and over $7000 in prize money.

It has been a long road to the championship for 27-year-old Gardner, who has been hailed by commentators as the “Prince of the Peace Country,” with 88 rides and seven professional years under his belt.

With this win, he bucks Coverchuk down to second and leads by 15 national points.

Gardner currently sits at 207th in the world ranking as he heads to Utah for "Unleash the Beast," the PBR’s premiere event, on February 9th in Salt Lake City.