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Courtesy of CPRA

Courtesy of CPRA

Champion Loads Up At Canadian Cowboy Christmas

Friends. Partners. Teammates.

Call it what you want—Richmond Champion and Virgil fit all three categories.

The Dublin, Texas bareback rider and the much-decorated C5 bucking horse met again in Ponoka in the Showdown round of the Ponoka Stampede. And the result was the same as it had been almost one year previous when the two got together at the Calgary Stampede. The combination topped the competition and Champion slipped a large cheque into his wallet.

This time it was $12,948 that the reigning Alberta Circuit champion pocketed, with the biggest chunk ($8250) coming courtesy of his 91.25 ride aboard the famous grey in the Showdown.

“They were all great horses in the final four but he was the one to have,” Champion said of the 2017 Canadian and World Champion bucker. “I knew that if I wanted to beat Jake, I better draw the grey. I drew third and he was still in there. When I picked him, I knew I had a chance.”

It was a welcome moment for Champion, the former million dollar American winner, as he sat in an unaccustomed position—17th in the world standings and outside of the group of fifteen qualifiers for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The weekend’s success at Ponoka, combined with the win at Williams Lake Stampede (87.5 points on Duffy Rodeo’s Tweety Bird for $3768) and a third place $1241 cheque at Airdrie Pro Rodeo resulted in an $18,000 boost in season earnings for the CFR qualifier of a year ago. And both of his wins came at Finning Pro Tour Rodeos, which puts him in line for a berth at the Finning Pro Tour Finals in Armstrong, BC in September.

“I came to Ponoka for the first time last year and I’m addicted to this place. I love a format like this where it goes right down to the wire.” Champion admitted, moments after his winning ride on Virgil. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

And while it was Vold, last year’s Ponoka bareback riding titleist that Champion edged out for the win, no one needs to feel too sorry for the three time Canadian champion. Vold, who only recently returned to competition after the injury he incurred at last year’s WNFR, put a tidy $14,000 into his bank account for his Ponoka effort.

The two, who are traveling partners—Richmond stayed at Jake’s place over the last week—will continue their friendly rivalry once again at Calgary and very likely later in the year at Red Deer’s first CFR and maybe even at Las Vegas in December.

The strong showing over the Canadian “Cowboy Christmas” events should make the likable Texan one of the favourites for a Canadian title and perhaps even the elusive world title. And that’s exactly the way he wants it.

“I absolutely want to win at least one of each,” he grinned as he got ready to head south of the 49th parallel for the 4th of July potential bonanza.

Aldergrove, BC’s Carman Pozzobon is following up her Canadian title year of 2017 with a huge season on her outstanding mare, Ripp. The duo collected wins at both Airdrie and Williams Lake and picked up a third place go-round cheque at Ponoka for a profitable $11,000 start to her Cowboy Christmas run. Pozzobon came into the Canada-Day-Long sitting first in Canada and 13th in the world standings and will solidify her hold on top spot in Canada while inching up the WPRA leaderboard and ever closer to a coveted first-ever berth at the National Finals Rodeo.

And there’s a new “fear the beard” figure in the team roping. With 2016 World Champion, Jeremy Buhler, shaving off his somewhat famous facial hair, Tristen Woolsey, the heeler on the other side of the box from header Denver Johnson, has the beard and the talent to take up the mantle from Buhler who teamed with Levi Simpson to win the world in 2016 and the Canadian title in 2017.

Woolsey and Johnson already had a commanding lead in the Canadian standings going into the weekend and added Ponoka to their growing list of 2018 accomplishments winning both the aggregate (18.9 seconds on three runs) and the Showdown (5.3 seconds) for a $7734 addition to their season’s earnings to date.

For complete unofficial results from the Ponoka Stampede, Williams Lake Stampede and Airdrie Pro Rodeo, go the rodeocanada.com.

Next up on the CPRA schedule are Coronation Pro Rodeo, July 6-7 and Benalto Fair and Stampede, July 6-8.

Courtesy of CPRA

FloSports Announces Multiyear Partnership with Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Canadian Finals Rodeo and Finning Pro Tour Events to be live only on FloRodeo.com  

AUSTIN, Texas — June 12, 2018 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, announced a multiyear agreement with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) to air the Finning Pro Tour events and finals, The Grass Roots Final, and Canadian Finals Rodeo, exclusively on FloRodeo.com.

This year, with the addition of CPRA events, FloRodeo will carry 27 events spanning 93 days of live rodeo coverage, including the International Finals Youth Rodeo, National Little Britches Association Finals, and American Junior Rodeo Association Finals.

As Canada’s premier professional circuit, the Finning Pro Tour brings top competitors to fans across the western provinces. The nine rodeos on the tour are responsible for a total of more than $1.3 million in added money for the regular season as CPRA contestants compete to qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR).

The season’s crowning event, the CFR, now in its 45th year, is Canada’s national championship for professional rodeo. Annually, it features one of the nation’s largest prize purses—$1.65 million—and accepts the top 12 money-earners from the CPRA rodeo season. Over six days, FloRodeo will capture some of rodeo’s top athletes competing through six rounds to determine each of the seven event winners, a high-point, and all-around champion.

FloRodeo’s live and comprehensive coverage of the CPRA begins on June 21, 2018, with the yearly schedule of events as follows:

Finning Pro Tour Events:

  • Wainwright StampedeJune 21-24, 2018, Wainwright, Alberta
  • Ponoka StampedeJune 26-July 2, 2018, Ponoka, Alberta
  • Williams Lake StampedeJune 29- July 2, 2018, Williams Lake, British Columbia
  • Manitoba Stampede & ExhibitionJuly 19-July 22, 2018, Morris, Manitoba
  • Edmonton K-Days RodeoJuly 20-22, 2018, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Medicine Hat Exhibition & StampedeJuly 26-28, 2018, Medicine Hat, Alberta
  • Strathmore StampedeAug. 3-6, Strathmore, Alberta
  • Dawson Creek Exhibition & StampedeAug. 10-12, 2018, Dawson Creek, British  Columbia
  • IPE & Stampede (Armstrong)Aug. 29-Sept. 1, Armstrong, British Columbia
  • Finning Pro Tour Finals: IPE & Stampede (Armstrong): Sept. 2, Armstrong, British Columbia
  • Grass Roots FinalSept 27-28, 2018, Stampede Park – Calgary, Alberta
  • Canadian Finals: Canadian Finals Rodeo: Oct. 30-Nov. 4, Red Deer, Alberta

“The CPRA is one of the most established rodeo associations in the world, attracting some of the best athletes, and a global audience,” FloSports SVP, Rights and Acquisition Strategy Adam Fenn said. “We’re excited to showcase these athletes’ hard work as they compete during one of the most anticipated competitions on FloRodeo.com.”

 

“We’re excited about broadening our reach through our new partnership with FloSports,” said Canadian Professional Rodeo Association General Manager Jeff Robson. “The opportunity to live stream the Finning Canada Pro Tour rodeos and both our finals – the Grass Roots Final and the Canadian Finals Rodeo – will provide welcome exposure for our sport and expand access for our fans.

 

“An added element of this new relationship is the larger platform through which we can tell the stories of rodeo…behind-the-scenes snapshots of our contestants – both two legged and four-legged – as well as our rodeos themselves. The FloSports-CPRA affiliation will also enable the CPRA to allocate funds back to rodeo committees, which will help promote growth at the community level as well. All in all, we see partnering with FloRodeo as a home run for the sport of professional rodeo at every level.”

 

To access live and on-demand coverage of the Finning Pro Tour Events, Finning Pro Tour Finals, Grass Roots Final, and Canadian Finals Rodeo, users can sign up to become a monthly or annual PRO subscriber on FloRodeo.com. All subscribers unlock access to premium content across the entire FloSports network. Subscribers can watch events across all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Roku or Apple TV 4.

For more information, visit www.FloSports.tv

About FloSports

FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, partners with event rights holders and governing bodies to unlock a world of sports coverage that true fans have been waiting for. Through live streaming premier events, providing original video programming, and airing weekly studio shows, FloSports grows the sports, the events, the athletes and the fans. Current verticals under the FloSports header include rodeo, basketball, MMA, football, wrestling, track and field, gymnastics and more.

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 over 50 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.1 million. The organization holds the Grass Roots Final September 27-28 at Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta and their premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) – at the ENMAX Centrium, Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta, October 30 – November 4. Follow the CPRA on Twitter and Instagram @prorodeocanada, ‘Like’ Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook or online at RodeoCanada.com.

Courtesy of CPRA

Ky Marshall Has His ‘Eyes on the Prize’

Bowden, Alberta cowboy, Ky Marshall, has enjoyed some major successes in the sport of rodeo. The 26 year-old has already captured two All-Around titles. But he’s very clear that there’s another goal in his sights—the Canadian Bareback riding title.

And so far in 2018, that goal looks like a very realistic aspiration for the six-year pro. After kicking off the season with a major win at Regina’s Agribition Rodeo, Marshall has been a picture of consistency to this point in the season. And a productive weekend at Lea Park, Brooks and Rocky Mountain House added a tidy $2897 bump to the bank account, giving him $11,069 in season earnings and first place (unofficially)  in the bareback standings, just dollars ahead of second place man, Ty Taypotat.

The lion’s share of Marshall’s weekend haul came from Lea Park Rodeo where he teamed with Calgary Stampede’s Rum Flavoured, a Grated Coconut/Zippy Delivery daughter, for 87 points and the win.

 

“I’d had that horse twice before,” Marshall recalled. “She bucked me off at the CFR maybe four years ago and then I had her in the Wild Card round at Calgary and I was 87 there as well. But this was the best trip I’ve seen her have. She stayed close to the chutes and just bucked higher and harder as the ride went on.”

Then it was off to Brooks for a 5/6 split on Kesler Rodeo’s Critical Smile and Rocky Mountain House where Marshall and Wayne Vold’s Sheer Ice splashed their way to an 82 and third place.

The central Alberta talent acknowledges that it’s tough getting to the pay window in the spring as the early rodeos often attract guys who’ve been getting on bucking horses all winter in the US.

”With my family and cows and commitments up here, I just haven’t been going south at all,” he acknowledged.  “The guys who do are in really good shape but I found that this year after a couple of rodeos I had kind of caught up—that I was riding good and feeling good.”

Marshall also noted that he’s continually tweaking his rides, trying to do little things to make himself better. “I’m really concentrating on finishing strong every time I get on. I think I was starting horses pretty well in the past but sometimes I wasn’t as strong as I needed to be for the whole ride. Now I’m really working at being aggressive and strong right to the eight seconds and even a little beyond. I think that’s really helped me.”

After two days of glorious sunshine, the rain and mud made Rocky’s last day a little challenging—but a lot of fun, especially in the steer wrestling. Amazingly three bulldoggers were under four seconds on Sunday afternoon. First Scott Guenthner posted a tremendous 3.9 second run and moments later Harley Cole duplicated the feat, then celebrated by diving into ‘Rocky Lake’, a massive puddle that sat almost directly in front of the timed event chute. But it was Cochrane’s Straws Milan who made the biggest impression, first with an unbelievable 3.6 second run for the win, then with an even more spectacular splash into that same body of water.

Ponoka barrel racer, Shayna Weir, enjoyed the biggest weekend of her career as she placed at all three events, including a first place finish in Rocky Mountain House, a sixth at Lea Park and a ninth place cheque at Brooks for a $3092 boost to her season total, vaulting her from 33rd place in the standings to a top fifteen spot on the 2018 leaderboard.

Another interesting sidebar to the season is the performance to date of veteran Oklahoma roper, Mike Johnson, as he seeks to plug one hole in his brilliant resume—a trip to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. The genial Johnson, who has spent a lot of time on the north side of ’49 over the years was sitting ninth in the standings heading into the weekend and, courtesy of a win at the Brooks Pro Rodeo and a sixth place finish at Lea Park, collected $2622 and a solid move still further up in the standings. The 54 year-old Johnson, a 23 time NFR qualifier and his barrel racer wife, Sherry-Lynn, were married in Canada and are popular figures at every Canadian rodeo stop they make.

For complete results from Brooks, Lea Park and Rocky Mountain House, go to rodeocanada.com

Next up on the CPRA schedule is a trip to Innisfail’s Daines Rodeo Ranch, longtime home of the Innisfail Pro Rodeo, slated for June 15-17.

Courtesy of CPRA

Cassidy Firing On All Cylinders

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.

Courtesy of CPRA

Second Win For Switzer

Courtesy of the CPRA

When Bailee Switzer was offered the opportunity to climb aboard Twila Zunti’s talented mare, Joanie, late last spring, the Aneroid, Saskatchewan barrel racer didn’t hesitate for long. After confirming she could purchase the horse if things worked out, Switzer made her first run at Ponoka. The 2017 season had its ups and downs but overall the duo enjoyed some strong placings on the pro trail.

Fast forward to spring 2018 where Switzer and 14 year old Joanie just enjoyed their second rodeo win of the season this past weekend at the Stavely Indoor Pro Rodeo.

“I’m super happy and kind of shocked,” the many time CCA finalist commented after a 13.521 second run that topped the field of 107 barrel racers and earned $2152.60 for her rodeo account. And this on the heels of a win at Coleman two weeks prior. “We’re still figuring each other out,” she admitted, “though Joanie is so great. I just push, kick and I need to ride up into my turns.”

Switzer keeps the Special Effort-Streakin Six mare happy by hauling a buddy along to the rodeos but with young horses on the go, that’s easy to do.

When asked about the season ahead, Switzer summed things up pretty quickly, “Make as much money as I can and qualify for the CFR… but I’m going to take it one rodeo at a time.”

It was “Déjà vu all over again” as Yogi Berra famously said for 2016 Canadian Champion saddle bronc rider, Clay Elliott as for the second year running, the Nanton cowboy teamed up with Vold Rodeo’s Pedro, this time for 87.5 points and a $1584 first place cheque. The score was two points higher this time around on the celebrated bronc Wayne Vold has called the ‘Sidney Crosby of his herd’ and the win enabled Elliott to sustain his run at the bronc riding standings leaders.

Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan’s Jesse Popescul continued to have the hot hand in the tie down roping as he went back to back, following up his Drayton Valley win of a week ago with a 7.9 second effort good for a $2010 boost to his bank account and a further climb up the Canadian standings.

Reigning Canadian Bareback Riding Champion, Seth Hardwick of Ranchester, Wyoming climbed aboard Wayne Vold’s bareback riding slot machine, Mucho Dinero for an impressive 87.5 points; when the dust settled, Hardwick padded his Canadian season earnings by $1354.

Two time titleist, Tanner Milan, was on his game as the Cochrane steer wrestler dogged his steer in 3.9 seconds for a tidy  $1794 payday while the team roping was split between Steele Depaoli and his partner Chase Simpson and the duo of Grady Branden and Colten Fletcher. Both teams recorded 5.6 second times with each of the four pocketing $1192.

And in the bull riding, Nick Tetz of Calgary mastered Vold Rodeo’s Fire Nails for 84 points and a $1713 haul for his trouble. Red Deer steer rider Carter Sahli rounded out the roster of champions with a 75.5 point ride to earn $436.

And just a little way up Highway 2, the Night at the Ranch Bull Riding in Innisfail saw Montana cowboy Luke Gee amass 84 points on C5 Rodeo’s Hot Roddy Road. Gee collected $1694 in winning the long go and the same amount in the average as there were no qualified rides in the short go.

For complete Stavely and Innisfail results go to rodeocanada.com.

Next up for cowboys and cowgirls is the 100th Anniversary Edition of the Falkland Stampede May 19-21.

Courtesy of CPRA

Popescul Double-Dips at Drayton Valley

Courtesy of the CPRA

Every rodeo season begins with new partnerships forming in the team roping event. Some work better than others.

If the recently completed Drayton Valley Pro Rodeo is any indication, one of those partnerships that might prove to be a handful for the rest of the team ropers is the newly minted duo of Jesse Popescul and Wyatt Eirikson.

Popescul, a 2017 CFR heading qualifier, and Eirikson, a second generation heeler, blistered the field with a 3.7 second run for a tidy $1243 first-place cheque for each man.

“I honestly didn’t think we were going to be that fast,” Popescul admitted. “But I knew things were happening really rapidly and it really worked out for us.” Popescul also noted that the run was easily the fastest of his competitive career to date.

But the Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan rancher/roper wasn’t done yet. He also posted a 9.0 in the tie down roping to win that event as well and, no surprise, was crowned the Drayton Valley High Point Champion.

“This was a real confidence booster for me because I didn’t have the best calf and I still managed to win,” Popescul commented. “He’d stuck a leg on a couple of guys and he tried to do that with me, but I got a wrap on him and I guess I got lucky.”

The Drayton Valley win added another $1794 to the Popescul bank account for a total weekend haul of $3037 and a solid move up the standings in both roping events for the six year pro. With both his horses – a nine year-old mare owned by Rocky Houff and Tom Flanigan and a grey gelding he’s been heading off for three years – working well and a Saskatchewan/Alberta duo clicking early in the season, it’s no wonder Jesse Popescul is excited about the 2018 rodeo campaign.

“We’ll try to get to everything up here and maybe venture south to Montana and down that way a little as well.”

Bull rider Zane Lambert kept his hot start to the season rolling with another win at Drayton Valley. The Ponoka talent put together an 85 point ride on Duffy Rodeo’s Skid Mark for $1307 to increase his lead atop the season standings.

Other Drayton Valley winners included steer wrestler Stephen Culling with a blazing 3.0 for the win and $1751; Nanton’s Clay Elliott in the bronc riding (87.5 points on Duffy Rodeo’s Tool Time, $1322), Rylee Shields in the barrel race (13.034 seconds, $1470), Ty Taypotat in the bareback riding, (86 points on C+ Rodeo’s The Graduate, $1188) while novice bareback rider, Chett Dentz, captured a win with 70.5 points and $256.

For complete Drayton Valley results, go to rodeocanada.com

Next up for CPRA rodeo fans are stops at the long-standing Stavely Indoor Pro Rodeo May 10 to 12 and the new-this-year Innisfail Night at the Ranch Bull Riding May 12.

Courtesy of CPRA

Richardson on a Roll

 

  • Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

“Pretty darn good right now, thanks!

That was Matt Richardson’s answer to “Hey, how ya doin?” on the heels of the Olds bulldogger’s current winning streak.

The third year pro just recorded a $2865 weekend, first as part of a 4.5 second four-way split of top spot at the Kananaskis Pro Rodeo, then with a blistering 3.5 second run that had the Olds College grad winning first outright at the Camrose Spring Classic Pro Rodeo.

The productive weekend coupled with a win at the Medicine Hat Broncs and Honky Tonks earlier in the month has the former intercollegiate champ comfortably in third spot in the Canadian standings.

“I took five months off after the end of last season,” Richardson noted. “I didn’t feel like I was able to bear down the way I should have at the end of last season. So I blanketed my horses and turned them out with a round bale and played hockey and worked all winter.”

The Alberta Junior Hockey League alumnus headed to northern BC and spend an intensive week practicing with Clayton Moore and traveling partner Stephen Culling before kicking off his season at Medicine Hat.

“Being around winners—guys with great attitudes, that helps a lot,” Richardson added. “And the win at Medicine Hat was huge for my confidence.”

With over $4100 in the bank, it should come as no surprise that the 6’1” 225 pound athlete has his sights set squarely on the CFR that this year will be taking place just a half-hour down the road.

With his 20 yeqr-old dogging horse, Worm, who he acquired from Brock Butterfield, and a solid hazing horse from Leon Laye, the likeable central Albertan looks poised to make some big-time noise in 2018. And that means he just might be feeling “pretty darn good right now, thanks,” a few more times as the season unfolds.

Richardson wasn’t the only guy sporting a big grin after the Kananaskis/Camrose weekend. CFR bull rider Zane Lambert swept the weekend events with a spectacular 89 point effort at the Kananaskis event on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Ivy League for a $1237 payday and added a solid 87.5 point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Bandera for $1466. The $2703 total will vault the Ponoka talent to first place in the crowded bull riding standings.

And while the weekend featured some first time winners – bareback rider, Jacob Stemo (85 points, $1308), barrel racer Brett Wills (13,393 seconds, $2199) and steer rider Tristen Manning (77.5 points, $368)—all at Camrose; and steer rider Derrien Ferrence (66.5, $500) at Kananaskis—one smooth moving veteran was making sure the kids didn’t get all the money. Water Valley roper Mark Nugent, who won both the Rookie of the Year and Canadian titles in 1987, topped the tie down roping field at Kananaskis with a 9.1 run for $1837, then picked up a 5/6/7 split at Camrose for another $710.

Next up on the CPRA schedule is the Drayton Valley Pro Rodeo May 4-6.

For complete results check out rodeocanada.com

Courtesy of CPRA

Finkbeiner Makes Early Season Move

Courtesy of the CPRA

Wacey Finkbeiner had been knocking on the door.

A pair of 7.8 second rides at Regina (Agribition Rodeo), then the crying hole at the Red Deer Bull Riding event were an indication that he was “going in the right direction, just not quite there.”

So the eight-year CPRA veteran headed off to the Xtreme Bulls Tofield Bull Bash feeling good both mentally and physically. And it showed as the twenty-five year-old put together a masterful 90 point ride in the short go to top the field with a 179 total on two rides and earn a $4876 winner’s cheque.

Finkbeiner had earlier combined with Girletz Rodeo’s Oklahoma Blues to win the long go with an 89 point ride. That set the stage for his confrontation with a Vold Rodeo four year-old Sheep Creek offspring called Devour in the short round.

“Nansen’s (Vold) is really excited about this bull,” Finkbeiner noted. “He’s got him going to a Built Ford Tough event in Billings next week so he was really wanting him to be solid in Tofield. Normally he’s out of a right-hand delivery and he goes right, but with me he jumped out a couple and went left. But he was really good.”

The second generation cowboy shared the short go honours with fellow Ponoka resident and veteran Tyler Pankewitz who rode Elli Skori’s legendary Minion Stuart for a 90 of his own. Pankewitz’s 186 on two was good for second spot with 2016 Canadian Champion and 2017 WNFR qualifier, Jordan Hansen (also from Ponoka), taking home the third place cheque with 161.5 on two rides.

“I’ve worked hard this winter,” Finkbeiner acknowledged. “I’ve really concentrated on stretching and mobility and I feel ready for a big year. I’ll be heading down south after May 1 when I’m done calving some heifers I bought.”

As for his game plan for the year, the two-time CFR qualifier is very clear. “I’ll be going to the places that make the most sense and have the most money. It’s what you have to do in this business.”

The Tofield results impacted the Canadian standings as well, as Pankewitz moves to fifth place with Finkbeiner right behind him in sixth. For complete Tofield Bull Bash results, go to rodeocanada.com

Next up on the CPRA calendar is a pair of Alberta stops—Camrose Spring Classic Pro Rodeo and Kananaskis Pro Rodeo in Coleman. Both events run April 27-29.

Courtesy of CPRA

Hot Start Continues For Taypotat

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Medicine Hat, Alberta – April 9, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

  • Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Ty Taypotat’s Medicine Hat (Broncs and Honky Tonks Spring Rodeo) meeting with Kesler Championship Rodeo’s CFR/NFR mare, Garden Party, was about redemption.

“She made me look pretty silly at the CFR last year,” the Regina bareback rider recalled. “I didn’t want that to happen again. She was awesome in Medicine Hat and the ride felt really good.”

The result was a whopping 88 points on the 11 year-old buckskin and a win worth $1169.47. One of the key differences this time around had to do with Taypotat’s health.

“I was riding pretty sore at the end of last year. I broke my sternum at Kennedy earlier in the year and I was hurting pretty good the last part of the season.”

Despite the lingering effects of the injury, the six-time CFR qualifier managed to pull off the win at the Grass Roots Final in Calgary. “I knew there was a chance I could get bumped from the CFR (roster) so I needed to go to the Grass Roots Final. I guess it worked out pretty well.”

After kicking off the 2018 campaign with a second place finish at Regina, a healthy Taypotat could be a force to be reckoned with throughout the season.

“I’ll take a look at things this week and see if I can get headed back down south for a while.” Taypotat had managed a split of 8th at the recently concluded Austin, Texas but got bumped from the Final by a coin toss.

“Yeah, that was a pretty crappy way to lose a shot at a short-go for sure,” the veteran recalled with a

laugh. “Who knows, maybe I could have won that one too.”

Other winners at the kickoff to the calendar year’s CPRA rodeos included hometowners Braidy Davies and Kevin Schreiner who topped the field in the team roping with a 4.7 second run for $1156 each. Matt Richardson captured the steer wrestling honours dogging his steer in 4.7 seconds for $1275; bronc rider Jim Berry put together 85.5 points on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s 733 Flash Dance for $1169.47; Kirsty White navigated the barrels in a blistering 12.868 seconds to earn $1959.20; Saskatchewan bull rider, Cody Coverchuk recorded his own 88 score, this one on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Pink Panther for a first place cheque of $1264.87; and after a disappointing 2017, tie down roper Scot Meeks posted a quick 8.1 second run for $1816.06 and a nice start to his season as well.

For complete results go to rodeocanada.com

Next up on the CPRA calendar is the Tofield Bull Bash on April 14 and two three day rodeo events, the Camrose Spring Classic and the Kananaskis Pro Rodeo, both slated for April 27-29

Courtesy of CPRA Results

Back to Back Wins For Garrett Green

Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

The Chad Besplug Invitational has been known throughout its five year history as a great place to kickstart your season. In fact, through its first four years, the winner of the event has gone on qualify for the CFR—Dakota Buttar in 2014, Devon Mezei in 2015, Brock Radford in 2016 and Garrett Green in 2017.

Green, the Meeting Creek bull rider is hoping that statistic holds up in 2018 as he won a head to head confrontation with Radford at the Claresholm venue on Saturday night.

“It’s pretty cool to be 90 points in the short round last year and then to do the same thing this year,” Green smiled after his winning ride. This time around the 90 score came on the back of the Wild Hogs bull, Smiling Bob, and combined with his long-go score of 83.5, gave the 26 year-old 173.5 on two for a $3712 payday and a beautiful custom painted electric guitar.

“I can play a little bit,” Green grinned, “so this is awesome.”

The only real challenge came from 2016 champion, Brock Radford, who won the long go with 84, then added an 85.5 mark in the short round for a 169.5 total good for second place and $3656.

“Winning this event twice in a row means everything to me,” Green admitted. “Chad (and Alpha bull) do an amazing job putting on this bull riding and the crowd here is totally into it. It’s so much fun riding here.”

Green and Radford from Dewinton, Alberta then battled it out one more time in the Don Mills $2500.00 Country Chrysler Shoot Out but this time neither man rode (Green on Outlaw Buckers’ Anika’s Pet, Radford on Mud Bog), and Mills donated the money to the Ty Pozzobon Foundation.

The win, for Green, at the Xtreme Bulls event, keeps the three-time CFR qualifier solidly in 4th place in the Canadian standings. Third place in Claresholm went to Maple Creek bull rider, Jared Parsonage, who moves past Zane Lambert into first place in the Canadian standings.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

And on one of the richest weeks south of the 49th parallel, Canadians made some serious noise on the world rodeo stage.

At the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, 2016 World Champion Saddle Bronc rider, Zeke Thurston, led the Canadian charge to the pay window. His 3/4 split overall netted the Big Valley, AB cowboy $13,983. In the steer wrestling, Curtis Cassidy – holder of 12 Canadian championships – split fourth overall for a lucrative $9616 payoff while in the bareback riding event, three time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Orin Larsen, topped the Canadian bareback riders with $6354. Other Canadians to cash in at the rich Texas stop included bareback riders Clint Laye ($4831) and Luke Creasy ($2378); steer wrestlers Scott Guenthner ($3270) and Tanner Milan ($595); bronc rider Sam Kelts ($2378); barrel racer Carman Pozzobon ($2378) and tie down roper Kyle Lucas ($1784). The San Antonio Finals saw two Calgary Stampede horses in the spotlight. In the saddle bronc riding, 2015 World Champion Jacobs Crawley put together an 87 point ride on Tokyo Bubbles en route to the overal championship and $25,767. And in the bareback event, Mason Clements, topped the Finals with a spectacular 90 point ride on 2012 Canadian saddle bronc, Special Delivery.

At Tucson, Arizona’s La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Clint Laye carried the Canadian colours very well in the bareback riding as he placed in both the long go and short go, finishing third overall, for $5907. Luke Creasy won the long round to collect $3868 and continue enjoying his best ever early season results to remain solidly in the world standings. (The bad news is that Creasy suffered separated ribs and will be out for a few weeks.) Michael Solberg finished up 8th in the average to take home $387. Steer wrestler, Harley Cole, placed in one round and the short go, finishing up fifth in the average for a sizable $3781 payoff and Curtis Cassidy collected $1661 by placing in the second round of the tie down roping. Barrel racer, Kirsty White caught a 7th place average cheque of $1072 while bronc rider Jake Watson ($514) and team roper Clay Ullery ($118) also cashed cheques at Tucson.

At the mega-profitable non-sanctioned ‘The American’, seven Canadians qualified for Sunday’s Final: bronc riders Clay Elliott, Zeke Thurston, Layton Green; steer wrestlers Tanner Milan and Scott Guenthner, bareback rider Orin Larsen and barrel racer Carman Pozzobon. Larsen, Guenthner and Elliott advanced to the Showdown round-of-4 in each event where Larsen was the big winner – finishing second for $25,000. Neither Elliott nor Guenthner were able to cash in on Sunday. In the bareback riding, C5 Rodeo’s much-celebrated Virgil did it again! The great gray carried 4 time world champion, Kaycee Feild, to 90.75 for the win and a share of the million dollar sidepot as a qualifier.

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