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Knutson Drafted By Nashville Stampede PBR Team

Lindsey Branch, UMW Sports Information

DILLON, Mont. – University of Montana Western bull rider Gavin Knutson was drafted on May 29 in the 2024 PBR New Rider Draft as the 23rd overall pick by the Nashville Stampede.

Knutson, a sophomore from Polson, Mont., is a two-time CNFR qualifier who is slated to compete at the College National Finals Rodeo starting June 9.

"We are really excited to bring Gavin on board with the Nashville Stampede. He's a great young man with really strong fundamentals. He's the kind of guy that has the potential to be a great bull rider and help a team win championships." Nashville Stampede Head Coach Justin McBride said.

Knutson has been an all-around cowboy for the Bulldogs for the past two seasons, placing sixth in the men's all-around standings this season in the Big Sky Region. Knutson enters the CNFR as the fifth ranked bull rider in the nation.

"It's exciting to me because I am fulfilling my dreams of becoming a PBR bull rider and learning from some of the best. To to see it come true has me a bit taken back. I have watched the PBR since I was a little kid and one of my PBR Idols growing up will now be my coach, Justin Mc Bride," Knutson said. "I am very fortunate to have this opportunity. I can't wait to see what the PBR future has in store for me."

"We look forward to working with Coach Robbins to help Gavin reach his goal of becoming a National Champion and preparing him for success as a professional bull rider," Nashville Stampede Assistant General Manager Keith Ryan Cartwright said. "This is a great opportunity for a college program like Montana Western and a professional team like Nashville to work together toward a common goal of developing bull riders."

Knutson will continue to pursue his degree at Montana Western and will also continue to compete for the Bulldogs in the NIRA Big Sky Region.

"We are excited for Gavin. Our goal is always to help these kids get to the next level and the Stampede is a great fit for Gavin. They have a fantastic roster and Justin McBride is a great coach. I think the sky is the limit for Gavin." UMW Head Rodeo Coach JT Robbins said.

Knutson is one of eight men set to compete at the CNFR in just a few weeks, with a full men's team slated to compete as a team at the finals. The Bulldog men are currently ranked as the 10th team in the country by points after this season.

"I am now headed to Texas to get on some bulls with my new Stampede teammates and coaches. This will prepare me for the CNFR physically, mentally and emotionally." Knutson finished.

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