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Courtesy of CPRA

Courtesy of CPRA

Heading For the Finish Line

Orin Larsen is enjoying the 2019 Canadian Finals Rodeo. The four time CFR qualifier just made his second consecutive victory lap and is well placed heading into tomorrow’s final performance… courtesy in large part to a spectacular 90 point ride on the Calgary Stampede’s celebrated stallion and former Canadian Champion bareback horse, Special Delivery. 
“I saw the draw last night right before I went on stage to get my (Round 4) buckle so I had a little more jazz when I saw that horse beside my name.” Larsen grinned. “He’s an outstanding draw of Calgary’s. I’ve had lots of success on him. I’ve had him four times. We’ve had some mixed feelings about each other… but I think we made up for that today. I was pretty happy about tonight.”
Larsen remains first in the all-important aggregate and took command of the overall lead with a margin of $5000 between himself and second place Richmond Champion.
The steer wrestling event is wide open heading into Championship Sunday with six men still in contention – including reigning Champion Scott Guenthner – who clings to a $5300 lead over the rest of the field that includes five time Canadian Champion, Cody Cassidy. Cassidy leads the aggregate but trails Guenthner in overall earnings by $15,000 (which, coincidentally is about what the aggregate pays).
In the tie-down roping, 21 year old rookie sensation Haven Meged has a slender lead heading into Sunday’s final round. Three time (and reigning) Canadian Champion, Shane Hanchey, could be the sleeper as the 2013 World title holder turned in a blistering 7.3 second run to win Round 5, take the lead in the aggregate and close to within $7000 of Meged.
The bull riding has become a two man race with one go-round yet in play. Edgar Durazo – the Mexican born Rookie of the Year – finished third on a night when only three bull riders rode for the required eight seconds. The 28 year old has amassed $92,466 in season earnings to date. Still within striking distance is 2016 Canadian Champion, Jordan Hansen, who is $19,000 back of Durazo, but leads the aggregate. Durazo and Hansen are the only bull riders to have covered all five of their bulls.
The barrel race is also up in th air. First time CFR qualifier, Brooke Wills, has won the last two rounds to jump to the overall lead with $51,207; but an unfortunate opening night that saw the Kamloops, BC barrel racer hit two barrels has her eighth in the aggregate and out of the money there. The only cowgirl who has not hit a barrel is another CFR rookie, Stacey Ruzicka, who sits first in the aggregate but trails Wills by $17,000.
In the team roping, header Matt Sherwood and heeler Hunter Koch bounced back from a rough round 4 to post a 4.4 second run in the fifth round and move to first in the aggregate and first overall. The team of Canadian Champion Kolton Schmidt and Canadian/World Champion Jeremy Buhler were the fastest of night five with a 4.0 second run that moved them to fourth in the aggregate and narrowed the gap between themselves and the leaders to less than $12,000.
And in the classic event of rodeo – the saddle bronc riding – 2016 World Champion, Zeke Thurston, took another step towards a first Canadian title by finishing second in the round with an 85.5 point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Timely Delivery. The Big Valley, Alberta cowboy extended his already commanding lead as he has placed in every round and won two of them.
For complete results, see rodeocanada.com
The sixth and final performance of CFR ‘46 kicks off at 2:00 pm tomorrow. Get in on all the action at the Centrium at Westerner Park in Red Deer, or sign up to watch live at FloRodeo.com

Courtesy of CPRA

Another Action-Packed Night at CFR ‘46

Ty Harris has a flair for the dramatic. Flash back one month to Hanna, Alberta and the final regular season stop for 2019. The San Angelo, Texas tie-down roper had to win the rodeo outright to qualify for his first Canadian Finals Rodeo. Not only did he do that, but he did it by turning in a 6.7 second run – the fastest of the CPRA season – and the fastest of his career.
Fast forward to performance number four of CFR ‘46. The 24 year old college student recorded a 7.0 second run to equal the Canadian Finals Rodeo tie-down roping record set by two time Canadian Champion Matt Shiozawa.
“This is a great rodeo with an amazing atmosphere. I’m just happy to be here,” Harris grinned.
The win moved Harris to second place overall – just $2100 behind travelling partner Haven Maged. The challenge for Harris is that he sits tenth in the lucrative aggregate standings while Maged is second behind Michigan roper, Cody McCartney.
As CFR moves into the final weekend, the aggregate – which pays one and a half times a regular go-round – is on the radar for many competitors. One of those athletes is 2013 Canadian Steer Wrestling Champion, Clayton Moore, who took over the aggregate lead in his event. And while the Pouce Coupe, BC cowboy sits fourth overall, all three men ahead of him are not factors in the all-important aggregate standings.
“I’m excited about being at CFR,” the veteran bull dogger commented. “My mare’s working really good. And it doesn’t really matter where I come in here as long as I have a seat at the table. They pay enough that you can cover a lot of ground pretty quick.”
Bareback rider, Orin Larsen also made a move in round four. The Inglis, Manitoba cowboy spurred out an 87.5 score on Outlaw Buckers’ Buckwheat to jump back into contention for the title. Tonight’s go-round win leaves Larsen within $3000 of overall leader Richmond Champion; but Larsen sits atop the aggregate standings with Champion in second place.
Maybe the most dramatic moment of the night was the ride of 2016 Canadian Champion Bull Rider Jordan Hansen. The last rider of the night matched up with Outlaw Buckers’ Bull of the Year, Blackstone After Party who had not been ridden in 2019. Hansen, who is one of five bull riders who are four for four heading into Saturday’s fifth round, was 90.25 points on the outstanding big gray. Hansen, who has also qualified for his second National Finals Rodeo, is within striking distance of 2019 Rookie of the Year, Edgar Durazo, who won the first three rounds and finished second tonight to Hansen’s amazing effort.
Other go-round winners were Zeke Thurston who rode the Calgary Stampede’s Zaka Kibitz to 87.25 points for his second go-round win and Kamloops, BC cowgirl, Brooke Wills, who broke through for her first win with the fastest time of this CFR to date – a 14.223 second run. There was a first place tie in the team roping; Justin and Brett McCarroll and Clay Ullery/Riley Warren both got the job done in 4.6 seconds.
And the 2019 Junior Steer Riding Champion was declared. Tristen Manning from Yellowhead County, Alberta won his second consecutive title. The second generation hand rode all four of his steers, making his strongest ride on Friday night with a 78 point score. Manning picked up $4000 in CFR earnings and $12,185 overall – a single season earnings record in steer riding.
Another title that was awarded during performance four was that of Miss Rodeo Canada 2020. Alicia Erickson – from the Ponoka Stampede organization – will carry the crown as we move into next season.
For complete results, see rodeocanada.com



Courtesy of CPRA

Special Night for Cole Goodine

Cole Goodine is making up for lost time.
A foot injury kept the Carbon, Alberta bareback rider sidelined for over half of the 2019 season, but once he cracked back out, he didn’t miss a beat. And he’s off to a solid start at his sixth straight CFR.
Goodine rode the Calgary Stampede’s outstanding 13 year old stallion, Special Delivery, to 86.25 points to win the second go-round and better position himself in the standings.
“When I saw the draw last night, I was pretty excited,” the second generation cowboy grinned. “Special Delivery is one of my favourite draws. He’s big and strong. He’s wild and has a big mane. Everything about him is cool. When I saw I had him, I knew I had a chance.”
Goodine’s association with Special Delivery goes back to 2014, his rookie season, when he met up with the big bay son of Grated Coconut in the Ponoka Stampede 4-round. “I was 87.5 and since then he’s been one of my favourite horses.”
Goodine came into this year’s Finals in seventh spot with $21,607 in regular season earnings. Tonight’s go-round win ($10,530) moves the 25 year old into a second place tie in the aggregate standings and fifth overall with $32,137 in total earnings. The bareback riding event is suddenly wide open after season leader, Caleb Bennett from Corvalis, MT, surprisingly bucked off Northcott-Macza’s Star Struck.
Other round winners included Edgar Durazo who won his second straight bull riding go-round. The first ever Mexican-born CFR qualifier recorded an 87.75 point ride on last year’s bull of the year, the Calgary Stampede’s -201 Night Moves. 2017 Canadian steer wrestling champion, Jason Thomas bounced back from an opening night 14.0 second run with a blazing 3.6 tonight. Saddle bronc rookie, Kolby Wanchuk marked  85.5 points aboard Outlaw Buckers’ W42 Comeback Red for the round win. Team Ropers, two time world champion, Matt Sherwood and CFR first timer, Hunter Koch, enjoyed a 3.8 second run while 15 year old Taylor Manning topped the barrel racing field with a 14.456 second run. And Texan, Ty Harris, made his first CFR cheque a good one with an 8.0 in the tie-down roping. 
In the novice events, which wrap up tomorrow, the round wnners were Chett Deitz in the bareback riding and K’s Thomson in the saddle bronc – both with 76.5 point scores. Griffin Koester marked 75 to claim top spot in the junior steer riding.
For complete results, see rodeocanada.com
CFR performance number three takes on a Halloween theme at 7 pm tomorrow evening (Oct 31) at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta. 

Courtesy of CPRA

Luck and Strategy Pay Off For Graham Brothers

Number 7 is lucky. Three sevens is even better.
With steer #777 as their team roping stock draw, Wainwright, Alberta ropers, Dawson (header) and Dillon Graham made the most of performance number one at their first ever Canadian Finals Rodeo. The youngest set of four brother combinations competing in the team roping event this year, the 2019 season leaders clocked a smoking 3.9 second run to win the round and pocket $10,500 each – which helps the duo maintain their hold on top spot with $21,891 overall.
“We were just hoping to get one caught,” 20 year old Dawson explained, “but we had some good luck. Our game plan coming in was just to make a good solid run, but as the team roping went on and there was four flat, 4.3, 4.2, we knew we had to go out there and be as fast as we could.”
The strategy paid off for the last ropers in the round, helped along by steer #777.
“We knew we had the one everyone had their eye on,” added 18 year old Dillon. “Our best friends, the Bonnetts won a rodeo on him, Levi (Simpson) ran him at Hand Hills and we ran him the other day. We’re excited about day one and we’re hoping to catch the rest of our steers as the week goes on.”
Other athletes who earned first place cheques in round one included bronc rider, Zeke Thurston. The 2016 world champion – one of only four men to ride – scored 87 points aboard the Calgary Stampede’s Y- 24 Yoyo Marbles. For Thurston, there’s really only one missing piece on an otherwise sterling resume, a Canadian championship. And tonight, the season leader took a big step toward rectifying that.
“I was excited to get on him,” the Big Valley, Alberta bronc rider said. “I’d seen him and kinda wondered why he bucks so many guys off. I figured that out tonight. He’s a big strong horse and he had me hustling for a while but it worked out.”
Calgary bareback rider, Spur Lacasse, rode Vold Rodeo’s 838 Mucho Dinero to 87.25 points. Season leader (and 2019 Rookie and Permit winner) Edgar Durazo (Montezuma, Sonora, MX) topped the bull rid- ing field with 87.25 points on Vold’s 42 Baja Midnight; Consort, AB’s Brendan Laye enjoyed a 3.4 second run to win the steer wrestling while CFR tie-down first timer, Haven Maged (Miles City, MT) took top money with an 8.2 second run. Season leader, Justine Elliott from Lacombe, AB made the most of top spot on the ground as she recorded a 14.510 second run aboard her mare Blondy (the 2019 Barrel Horse With the Most Heart). Drayton Valley novice bareback rider, Jake Plotts won his event with a 73 point ride; Condor, AB novice bronc rider Hayden Cole marked 75.5 to earn top spot and Weyburn, SK steer rider, Kegan Kmita, scored 76 to win his first CFR cheque.
For complete results, see rodeocanada.com

Courtesy of CPRA

Drama Highlights Hanna Season Wrap-Up

Drama Highlights Hanna Season Wrap-Up

  • Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Want some late season heroics in your season finale? How’s this…
San Angelo, Texas tie-down roper, Ty Harris, needed a big performance at the Hanna Indoor Pro Rodeo, last stop of the regular CPRA regular season, to qualify for his first Canadian Finals Rodeo. The college student turned in the fastest time of his career (and the fastest time of this year’s CPRA season), a 6.7 second run, for the win ($1275.58) and his first CFR berth.
Barrel racer Shelby Spielman needed a win and was riding her backup horse, Walter, as her 2018 CFR mare, Hot Donna, was recovering from some health challenges. Spielman and Walter put together a 12.433 second run, which netted the Dalhart, Texas cowgirl the win and $917.91 to edge BC barrel racer Rylee Trenholm (unofficially) by $1.27 for the final CFR berth.
Wainwright, Alberta’s Ty Miller topped the steer wrestling field with a 3.7 second run for $1281.22. The win – Miller’s second in seven days – jumped the veteran into the top 12 in Canada for his first CFR appearance since 2010.
Team roping (heeler) Tristin Woolsey from Nanton, AB, could finish no worse than second to make the post season. He and partner, Denver Johnson, put together a 4.0 second winning run for $1049.51, which enabled Woolsey to move up four spots in the standings to earn a second consecutive CFR qualification.
Bashaw, AB bareback rider Jacob Stemo needed the win in Hanna to move to 13th place in the Canadian standings and put himself in a position to go to the CFR – depending on the injury status of two competitors ahead of him in the standings. Stemo got the win with an 83.5 ride on Sawyer Pro Rodeo’s Turn Back Time for $1015.20, but must now wait until CFR entry day to see if he’ll be competing in Red Deer.
Harris, the 2018 College National Finals Champion, credited Logan Bird’s two time Tie-Down Horse of the Year, TJ, with enabling his late season success. “He’s great. TJ makes it so easy and you know he’s going to do the same thing every single run,” Harris enthused. “Now it’s time for me to practice and get ready to rope against those guys up in Canada.”
Fellow Texan, Shelby Spielman, was excited and surprised at her brilliant finish to the season. “I never expected that to happen. But I think I rode him (Walter) better than I ever have.” The 22 year Texas Tech student had a strange way of celebrating her return to the CFR. After taking three hours to get from Taber to Warner (55 kms), in a record September snowstorm, Spielman pulled her rig into the Warner Post Office parking lot to spend the night. She is planning to run Walter for at least the first couple of performances at CFR ‘46. “Hot Donna is pretty much ready to go but she’s really good in those big outdoor pens so we’ll see how this works out.”
For complete unofficial Hanna results, see rodeocanada.com
Next stop on the Pro Rodeo Canada trail is CFR ‘46 Oct 29-Nov 3 at Westerner Park in Red Deer, AB

Courtesy of CPRA

Timely Win for Ty Miller

It was the perfect time for Ty Miller to record his first win of the year.
The Wainwright steer wrestler bulldogged his steer in 4.4 seconds at the Dallas Sunstrum Memorial Pro Rodeo in Brooks, Alberta for a much-needed $1210 injection to his 2019 earnings total. Miller was sitting 14th in the Canadian standings prior to his Saturday night run but the win gives him $15,005 for the season with just one regular rodeo left on the roster—next week’s Hanna Pro Rodeo. 
When Alliance, Alberta’s Evan Spady, who had been occupying 13th place on the season leaderboard  dogged his steer in 4.8 seconds, just moments after Miller’s run, the stage was set for a four way showdown in Hanna. Spady’s pressure-packed run resulted in a 2/3 split for $974 giving him $15,211 going into the final week of the season. Spady’s Brooks performance also moved him into the top 10 in the race for a Maple Leaf Circuit spot.
With Montana cowboy, Bridger Chambers in 11th place at $15,267, Ponoka’s Brock Butterfield, who had been sitting in the 12th and final CFR qualifying berth at $13,325 taking a no time, it means that less than $900 separates the four men. Chambers, Spady, Miller and Butterfield will go head to head in Hanna – with two trips to Red Deer, site of CFR ’46 on the line.
“I didn’t back off and I did everything I could do,” Miller acknowledged after his Brooks effort. “I just wanted to give myself a chance in Hanna and I was able to do that.”
The veteran hand who made his last CFR appearance in 2010, had drawn the same steer he’d had in Armstrong (Labour Day weekend) for a fifth place finish in the Finning Pro Tour finale. “I felt I could have made a lot better run on him at Armstrong, so I was glad to have him here.
“There was pressure for sure but I think I’ve figured a few things out along the way.” Miller credited his success earlier this year at the Hoover Hays Memorial jackpot steer wrestling with preparing him for his late-season heroics. “I’d been in position to win that event three years ago and I messed up but this year, it was exactly the same deal and I was able to win it. That really helped me be ready for tonight. And one of my best friends in the world, Rowdy Hays, called me after Armstrong and said, ‘Be prepared for it to come down to Hanna’, and it looks like he was right.”
What added to the drama of the night was that Miller, who had the whole family on hand at the Silver Sage arena, traveled with Butterfield most of the year and was riding Brock’s horse for the winning run.
“That’s steer wrestling,” the veteran noted. “All of us are friends but all of us want to win.”
Another race that will likely be decided in Hanna is the tie-down roping as the 11th place man, Cody MacCartney (4th – $908), 12th place man, Riley Warren (3rd – $1102) and 14th placed Texan Ty Harris (7th – $324) all cashed cheques at Brooks.
Others who helped their CFR cause on the weekend were barrel racer Rylee Trenholm, the British Columbia barrel racer who cashed a 4th place $806 cheque to consolidate her hold on 12th place and team ropers, Tee McLeod and Trey Gallais. Their split of 4th place was good for $454 and enabled heeler McLeod to move up two spots to 12th place and bumped header Gallais up to 13th, just $109.00 back of 12th place man, Kal Fuller. McLeod also joined his partner in the top 10 of the Maple Leaf Circuit standings. And Taylor Manning’s barrel racing win moved the Edson, AB cowgirl from 11th to 8th in the Maple Leaf standings as well.
For complete Dallas Sunstrum Memorial results see rodeocanada.com
The all-important final stop of the 2019 regular season will take place next weekend with the Hanna Pro Rodeo, September 27-29.
About the Canadian Professional Rodeo AssociationThe Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alberta is the sanctioning body for professional rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves 55 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.7 million. The organization holds their premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) – at Westerner Park in Red Deer, AB, October 29 – November 3, 2019 and will oversee the Finning Pro Tour Finals September 1 in Armstrong, BC and their inaugural Maple Leaf Circuit Finals November 27-30, 2019 at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, SK. Follow the CPRA on Twitter and Instagram @prorodeocanada, ‘Like’ Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook or online at RodeoCanada.com. 

Courtesy of CPRA

Big Moves on Critical Finning Pro Tour Weekend

Brendan Laye knew he was running out of time.

The four-year pro responded to the urgency of the moment with a 3.7 second run at the Armstrong IPE and Stampede, which hosted the last Finning Pro Tour Rodeo of the season, and the Finning Pro Tour Finals Sept 1. Laye earned the Tour rodeo steer wrestling win and $3790. He followed that up with an even quicker 3.2 second effort to top the field at the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo in Merritt and add another $1513. The $6300 haul jetted the 2016 CPRA top rookie up almost ten spots in the Canadian standings, from 16th place entering the weekend to a comfortable spot well inside the top ten, virtually assuring Laye of a late October/early November date in Red Deer (CFR ’46).

“With the position I was in, I knew I had to have a big weekend,” the Consort bulldogger acknowledged. The “position he was in” was about $2000 out of the 12th and final qualifying berth with only a handful of rodeos left in the 2019 regular season. The good news for Laye was that the Armstrong Stampede, followed by the Finning Pro Tour Finals, made up the two biggest remaining potential paydays on the CPRA schedule.  Coupled with the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo, the BC run is always a critical moment in the long, challenging Canadian rodeo season.

Laye was ready. “I just wanted to be excited about the things that could go right and not worry about the things that could go wrong,” the 2018 PRCA Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year noted. “I was riding (Curtis Cassidy’s Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year) Tyson and I knew he’d give me a good chance to win. I guess it worked out pretty well. There’s a lot less stress for the rest of the season, that’s for sure.”

And while the 29 year-old was blanked in the Finning Tour Finale on Sunday night, he was able to watch his talented cousins enjoy a profitable evening at the picturesque Armstrong rodeo layout. Cadogan’s Clint Laye captured the bareback riding win and a $4800 cheque, and Provost dogger, Scott Guenthner split the Finning honours (with Curtis Cassidy) for a $4200 boost to his earnings, keeping him comfortably at the head of the pack as the season roars down the home stretch.

“We’re not just cousins, we’re buddies,” remarked Brendan Laye, “going back to starting out in the Wild Pony racing together. We cheer each other on and it’s pretty cool when we all have a weekend like this one.”

Lacombe, AB barrel racer, Justine Elliott, is enjoying a fairy-tale year. The 17 year old high school senior and her cow-bred mare, Blondie, are not only headed to their second CFR, but they’re doing so in style. With solid placings at both Armstrong (15.890 secs/7th/$997) and Merritt (16.254 secs/6th/$464), and a winning 15.844 sec run at the Finning Pro Tour Final ($4800), Elliott added an overall $6261 to her bank account and is well placed to earn Season Leader barrel racing honours.

“I went into the Finning Pro Tour Finals just trying to have a good run, and let whatever happened, happen,” explained the young horsewoman. “I wasn’t one bit expecting to win it. The field was very tough. I tried to stay off Blondie until right before my run as I was nervous and didn’t want to make her worried. But Blondie likes the crowd and smoked a run.” Elliott grinned.

The duo will enjoy a more limited schedule for the next month, then start preparing for CFR at the start of October. With a 2018 CFR appearance behind her, Elliott is heading to this year’s Finals with a better idea of what to expect.

2019 Finning Pro Tour Finals Champions are: Clint Laye (bareback), Jake Burwash (saddle bronc), Edgar Durazo (bull riding), Shane Hanchey (tie-down roping), Scott Guenthner and Curtis Cassidy (steer wrestling tie), Dawson and Dillon Graham (team roping) and Justine Elliott (ladies barrel racing). This year’s Finning Pro Tour Final was particularly lucrative as it paid double the prize money of 2018.

Additional Weekend Highlights

It was just six weeks ago that Jake Burwash posted his first professional win in the Saddle Bronc Riding at the Teepee Creek Stampede. This weekend he all but assured himself of a spot on this year’s CFR roster with a huge 85.5 ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Bright Lights to take home the Finning Tour Finals win and the $4800 reward. The sizeable payoff vaulted the second generation Nanton, Alberta talent from 15th into the top ten in the standings.

And a couple of eye-popping 90 point rides bookended the weekend’s Armstrong action. Regina bareback rider, Ty Taypotat, matched up with the Calgary Stampede’s Agent Lynx in the opening performance of the Stampede to earn a $3711 stipend (an Armstrong IPE arena record) while Mexican born and raised bullrider, Edgar Durazo, made the final ride of the Finning Finals a good one as he combined with Outlaw Buckers’ One-Eyed Charlie for his 90 pointer and the accompanying $4800.

About the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alberta is the sanctioning body for professional rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves 55 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.7 million. The organization holds their premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) – at Westerner Park in Red Deer, AB, October 29 – November 3, 2019 and will oversee the Finning Pro Tour Finals September 1 in Armstrong, BC and their inaugural Maple Leaf Circuit Finals November 27-30, 2019 at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, SK. Follow the CPRA on Twitter and Instagram @prorodeocanada, ‘Like’ Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook or online at RodeoCanada.com. 

Courtesy of CPRA

Huge Weekend For Cort Scheer

Cort Scheer is making up for lost time.

The Elsmere, Nebraska bronc rider set his sights on the Canadian Finals Rodeo and National Finals Rodeo when he established his goals for 2019.

The plan took a hit when the 33 year-old broke some ribs while competing at Leduc at the end of May, forcing him to miss a number of rodeos on both sides of the 49th parallel. But this past weekend’s results at the Medicine Hat Stampede, the Hard Grass Bronc Match in Pollockville, AB and the Bruce Stampede have the likeable Nebraskan back on track.

“We live for weekend’s like this,” Scheer grinned. “It was awesome to win a bunch at those really good rodeos.” The five time CFR qualifier topped the field at Medicine Hat (Finning Pro Tour rodeo) with 87.5 points on Kesler Rodeo’s Flaming Shadow for $2722.08. 

“That horse was outstanding,” Scheer noted. “I’d seen Zeke (Thurston) at Cloverdale and knew he was good, but he was even better than I thought he would be.”

Scheer then added $7462 to his weekend pay packet by splitting second and third in both the long and short go’s, and the average, at Pollockville. He collected an additional $848 for a third place result at Bruce for an overall total of $11,032 – second only to Zeke Thurston who padded his Canadian and Season totals by $12,258 – much of that courtesy of his win at Pollockville’s Bronc Match. While Thurston remains comfortably in the lead in the Canadian saddle bronc standings, Scheer’s weekend success vaulted him from 25th to well inside the top ten.

A frequent visitor at Canadian rodeos since the beginning of his career, Scheer recalled, “I was rodeoing with Chet Johnson and Tyler Corrington and I was a ‘young, dumb kid’. I just went where they wanted to go. I came to love these Canadian rodeos and keep coming back.”

Scheer, like all of the bronc riders, is pursuing Thurston, who has been ‘lights out’ all season long. “He’s awesome,” Scheer acknowledged. “I think he’s riding better this year than the year he won the World. And when somebody’s riding like that, it makes all of us ride better.”

Other recent event winners included Regina, SK bareback rider, Ty Taypotat, who hit the winner’s circtle at the Bowden Bonanza Daze Bareback Challenge; Sunnybrook, AB bull rider, Shay Marks, who captured the crown at the inaugural Lacombe Bull Riding event and Lonnie West (Cadogan, AB) who forty percented the field (won both go’s and the average) at the White Lightning Professional Cowboy Crunch in Oyen, AB.

See rodeocanada.com for complete results.

There CPRA roster remains busy with the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo July 30-31, two Finning Pro Tour events – Strathmore Stampede August 2-5 and Regina, SK’s Pile ‘O Bones Rodeo August 2-4 as well as the North Peace Stampede in Grimshaw, AB August 3-4.

Courtesy of CPRA

Thurston Wins Cowboy Christmas Tour Events

The 2016 World Champion saddle bronc rider rode like a world champion is expected to ride. And when the dust settled and the smoke cleared, Big Valley, Alberta’s Zeke Thurston, had just added another $26,000 to his bank account, and just as importantly to his Canadian and PRCA world standings earnings.

The second generation cowboy rolled into Williams Lake for the Finning Pro Tour stop and matched up with Duffy Rodeo’s CFR selected Appaloosa mare, Rip n Zip for 86.5 points and the win. After adding a small cheque at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo, Thurston saved the high drama for Canada Day at the Ponoka Stampede (also a Finning Pro Tour event). Having already won the long go with 89 points on C5 Rodeo’s Showtime, the 24 year old mastered a pair of Calgary Stampede buckers—Timely Delivery for 88.25 to win the short go and clinch the average, then another 89 point-er on Ancient Delivery in the Showdown for the biggest of his six weekend cheques—a $9750 strike. 

Coming off “the best winter I ever had”, Thurston has been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks and the huge start to his Cowboy Christmas vaulted him to first place in the Canadian standings and helped him close ground on the world leader—Ryder Wright.

On a cold, blustery Canada Day evening, Thurston grinned, “It’s only fitting that a rodeo in Canada takes place in sub-zero temperatures.” But despite the coolness, the gifted central Alberta athlete was blazing hot throughout the weekend. Of the Ponoka win, Thurston added, “This is awesome. Ponoka’s not far from home; the family’s all here to support me and it’s a lot of fun.”

Another big mover on the weekend was Mexican born bull rider, Edgar Durazo who picked up the win at Ponoka including a spectacular 90 point effort on Vold Rodeo’s Whisky Hand in the Showdown round. The July I weekend haul ($17,818 at Ponoka and $1059 at Airdrie) took him closer to the goal he stated was his primary focus for 2019—a first trip to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Durazo will wake up Tuesday and see his name at or near the top of the CPRA standings leaderboard.

Additional Weekend Highlights:

The Manning twins from Edson, Alberta grabbed a share of the spotlight – Taylor for her Williams Lake barrel racing win (16.571 seconds, $4291.10) which will keep her placed near the top of the standings and Tristen for earning the Ponoka Stampede Steer Riding title (80.5 points, $1908.96).

* Manitoba bareback rider, Orin Larsen, thrilled the Airdrie Pro Rodeo crowd with a spectacular 91 point ride aboard Outlaw Buckers’ Awkward Todd – good for the win and $1931.89.

Mike Beers, 23 time NFR qualifier and 1984 World Champion heeler and his partner, Chad Evenson came away from the weekend over $10,000 richer courtesy of their performance at Ponoka that included the Showdown win (8.3 seconds) for over $7500 each.

For complete weekend results, go to rodeocanada.com

Pro Rodeo Canada action continues this week with Cody Snyder’s Charity Bull Bustin; July 2-4, Coronation Pro Rodeo July 5-6 and the 102nd Benalto Fair and Stampede July 5-7.

Courtesy of CPRA

Kimzey Looks North

It’s the question Canadian rodeo Fans have been asking: Is Sage Kimzey eyeing a Canadian Finals Rodeo qualification? The five time World Champion bull rider answered that question right after another successful weekend at Canadian rodeos.

“Definitely,” Kimzey responded. “That is absolutely one of my goals for this year.”

The Strong City, Oklahoma superstar added another $4245 to his Canadian bank account with wins at Rocky Mountain House (85.5 points on Vold Rodeo’s Simple Man, $1460) and Lea Park (87 on Calgary Stampede’s Wounded Warrior for $2030) and a second place finish at Brooks (79.5 for $755).

“The CFR had been in the back of my mind since I was in college with (Canadian cowboys) Layton Green and Jacob Stemo. They were both in the novice events back then and talked a lot about the CFR. This year my schedule worked out so that I could get my fifteen rodeo count so I’m excited about trying to get to Red Deer.”

The productive weekend will put Kimzey in the top three in the Canadian standings and give the Oklahoman eight of the fifteen rodeos he needs to punch his ticket to CFR 46.

“It was all good up here until the cold this weekend,” Kimzey chuckled. “It was 91 degrees (Fahrenheit) when I left home and I was awful cold in Brooks and Rocky. But the people are super nice and super accommodating. It’s been great being up here.”

Kimzey and traveling partner, Tyler Bingham, will next be on this side of the 49th parallel for the Wainwright-Sundre-High River run later this month followed by stops at Ponoka and Williams Lake as part of his July 1st run in Canada and the 4th in the US.

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Blair Smith is another name that keeps popping up on top of the leaderboard. The young tie-down roper from Wimborne, Alberta won two of three CPRA rodeos over the weekend – Brooks Kinsmen Pro Rodeo and Rocky Pro Rodeo.

“I drew some good calves,” the second generation cowboy noted. “My calf in Rocky was an add-on and I didn’t know him. He was faster than I thought he’d be. And in Brooks I knew I had a pretty good calf. I had a good start, was solid on the ground and everything worked out.”

Smith topped the field of 65 ropers with an 8.3 second run at Brooks – good for $1686. And his run in slack at Rocky (9.2 secs) added $1772 for a total of $3458.

As for his horse, “With my regular calf horse out for some maintenance, I rode an older gelding I hadn’t been on yet this year. He’s a pretty trustworthy horse. I actually had him for sale,” he grinned, “but I might have to keep him now.”

With his main goal in 2019 to qualify for his first CFR, and a tradition of roping in his family (Dad, Garnet and cousin, Guy were both CPRA ropers and both brothers compete) Smith is off to a great start.

Additional Weekend Highlights:

– Jake Watson kept his amazing streak going on the weekend, adding two more wins to give him six over the last four rodeo weeks and ten Canadian rodeos in that span. This time up, the number one bronc rider in the Canadian standings won Lea Park with an 87.5 point effort on Calgary Stampede’s Redon Acres for $2156 and added a ½ split (with Layton Green) at Rocky Pro Rodeo, putting up 83 points on Prime Time Rodeo’s Good Vibrations for another $1260.

Justine Elliott, the Lacombe high school student, followed up her Grande Prairie win of a week ago with another strong performance this weekend as she topped the field at Lea Park with a 16.573 second run for $2838.80 and added a fifth place $968 cheque at Rocky to move to within $1000 of season leader (and fellow teenager) Taylor Manning.  

Check out www.RodeoCanada.com for complete results.

Next up on the CPRA schedule are two Maple Leaf Circuit events: Bonnyville Pro Rodeo June 14-15 and Innisfail Pro Rodeo June 14-16.

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