Curtis Cassidy’s goals don’t change much from year to year.
“At the start of every season you want to be as good as you can be and certainly I hope to qualify for the CFR and the WNFR every year,” the veteran steer wrestler/tie down roper acknowledged after a productive three rodeo weekend in Canada.
The $2760 haul in the steer wrestling courtesy of a 1/2 split at Grande Prairie and a 4th place finish at Hand Hills – coupled with an $1175 second place cheque in the roping – will help the 12 time Canadian champion as he pursues both goals. At least some of the reason for Cassidy’s optimism comes down to horse power.
“My good tie down roping horse, Stick, is healthy again and that should give me a real chance at getting to the CFR in the roping,” he noted. “And I took (dogging horse) Tyson this weekend and he was great.” In addition to the Donalda cowboy’s solid results with Tyson providing the transportation, Consort’s Brendan Laye also rode the horse and collected $3894 courtesy of the winning split at Grande Prairie and a second place run at Leduc while Kody Dollery added a 5/6 split, again at Grande Prairie, again aboard Tyson.
“I’m kind of kicking myself for not using him before this, the 22 year veteran chuckled, “but I like to have a horse rested up here in Canada and that’s kind of the plan for him.”
The tremendous start to Cassidy’s season has him in sixth place in the world standings and is the second best of his career–a welcome change from a year ago.
“Last year I got off to really slow start and wasn’t qualified for a lot of the big rodeos but things really got good in the summer and fall and that carried over to the winter.” The momentum took the second generation talent to a second place finish at the All American Classic in Waco that netted him over $10,000, followed by a $5800 win at the Wilderness Finals. Then came a near $20,000 payday at San Antonio and Cassidy really hasn’t taken his foot off the gas pedal since.
“It’s like that in this sport,” Cassidy added. “When you’re going good, it just seems to snowball uphill and when you’re going bad it snowballs downhill. Uphill is a lot better.”
When asked if the great start to the 2018 season has him thinking about Rod Warren’s record for most major championships (14 in all), Cassidy was candid. “I probably should have got that record before this but it just hasn’t quite worked out. To be honest, it isn’t really on my mind but every record you set and every goal you reach means a lot. And that would be a cool one to have, for sure.”
Other big winners from the weekend included 2016 World Champion Saddle Bronc rider, Zeke Thurston who was top money earner on the weekend with $7059 in earnings that included the win at the Wildwood Bronc Bustin’ capped off by an 89 point ride on C5 Rodeo’s Big League in the Final to seal the title, along with a ¾ spilt at Grande Prairie and a 5th place cheque at Hand Hills; timed event specialist Riley Warren who parlayed a second place finish in tie down roping at Grande Prairie, a third at Leduc, and another 3rd at Hand Hills, this time in team roping into a lucrative $4400 weekend, Hereford, Texas barrel racer Kelly Collier who came into the weekend’s competition in 8th place in the world standings and added $3861 to her bank account with a win at Grande Prairie and a second place run at Hand Hills; and Maple Creek, Saskatchewan bull rider, Jared Parsonage who rode to victory at Hand Hills (85.5 points on Calgary Stampede Rodeo’s 205 Rockin Out, $977.60), then added a 2/3 split at Grande Prairie for a $2400 plus weekend and top spot in the Canadian standings to date.
For full details and complete unofficial results, go to rodeocanada.com
Next up on the Rodeo Canada schedule are Rocky Pro Rodeo and Lea Park Rodeo, both slated for June 8-10, and the Brooks Kinsmen Pro Rodeo June 8 and 9.