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Courtesy of CPRA

Arena Chatter Courtesy of CPRA Results

Vold Takes First Victory Lap of 2017 WNFR

Canadian cowboys got off to a fast start at the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Three time Canadian champion, Jake Vold, wasted no time in resuming his signature lights-out performances in Las Vegas. Vold who finished second in the world a year ago and won three rounds and $165,000 in the Thomas and Mack Arena, picked up where he left off with a tremendous 87.5 on Kesler Rodeo’s Oakridge. The win netted the Airdrie cowboy the $26,230 first place cheque and moved him to third in the world standings with $138,391 in the bank, now $87,000 back of season leader and defending world champion Tim O’Connell.

“It’s a good confidence builder,” Vold noted of his first night ride. “There are a lot of horses here and going at that kind of money, I find quite exciting. It’s keeps your blood flowing. I need to win a lot of money to have a chance at a world title. To get the win right off the bat is definitely key. Hopefully a guy can keep it rolling and see what happens after the 10 days”.

Provost, Alberta steer wrestler, Scott Guenthner, did not appear to feel any nerves as he made his first-ever appearance at the WNFR posting a solid 4.3 second run to be among a cluster of bulldoggers with that time. Guenthner split 3/4/5/6/6 for a nice $7530 start to his Finals. Cochrane’s Tanner Milan, at his second Las Vegas Finals, was 6.6 seconds on his steer and finished out of the money. Defending world champion, Tyler Waguesback, won the round with a 3.5 second run to keep his repeat title hopes very much alive. He sits third in the world at $140,000, $33,000 behind Helena, Montana dogger, Ty Erickson.

In the saddle bronc riding, defending world champion, Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alberta, closed the gap on the season leader and 2015 World Champion, Jacobs Crawley. The 23 year-old Canadian now trails Crawley by just $9,000 after a 5/6/6 split on the Calgary Stampede stallion Timely Delivery. The second generation bronc rider was 85 points on the horse on this night, as the pair reprised their July Calgary Stampede matchup that ended with Thurston collecting 90 points. Crawley finished out of the money on a night that saw Oklahoma cowboy Hardy Braden win the round with an 87.5 score. Utah’s Ryder Wright (86.5) and 2015 Canadian champion Cody DeMoss (85.5) won 3rd and 4th respectively on a couple of Canadian broncs, C5 Rodeo’s Black Hills and Outlaw Buckers’ three time Canadian champion Lunatic Party.

Clay Elliott and Layton Green, the other two Canadians in the bronc riding, both managed 79 scores on night number one.

Defending world champion team roping heeler, Jeremy Buhler of Arrowwood, caught a leg and was 9.3 seconds with partner Tom Richards after Canadian partner, Levi Simpson, finished just out of the 2017 WNFR. Buhler remains in 15th spot in the world standings in a round that was won by Kaleb Driggers and reigning All Around Champion, Junior Nogueira, who also sit atop the world standing, both with over $170,000 on the season.

And in the bull riding, Calgary’s 2016 Canadian champion, Jordan Hansen, first Canadian to qualify for the WNFR since 2001, was bucked off by Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Lumberjack. Hansen came to Las Vegas in 13th place overall. The round was won by Trey Benton lll, as he rode the Big Stone bull, Mortimer, to 90 points. Joe Frost, he Utah bull rider rode Outlaw Buckers’ Bomb Shell to 84 points for 5th place in the round. 2017 Canadian champion, Garrett Smith from Rexburg, Idaho, narrowed the gap on season leader Sage Kimsey as he posted an 85.5 point ride for 4th place in the round while Kimsey, the three-time titleist, finished out of the money with a 79 mark. Smith moves to within $20,000 of the leader as he vies for his first world crown.

Courtesy of CPRA

Contestants Kick Start 2018 Season with Big-Time Agribition Rodeo Results

Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Airdrie, ALTA – November 26, 2017

“I’ve never had this much money won even going into June so this is pretty nice.”

That was bull rider Jared Parsonage’s reaction to his season opening win at Agribition Pro Rodeo – which wrapped up yesterday in Regina. The Maple Creek, Saskatchewan product went two for two to finish second in both go rounds and won the aggregate with a score of 169 on two head for the win and a tidy $5044 addition to the rodeo bank account.

“This is a great rodeo; they run it well, it’s a good production and it pays really great so winning here is dang sure a good way to start the season,” Parsonage added.

“My first bull was an older bull from Prairie Rodeo—Booster Juice—(83.5 points) and he was just nice; then I got on C5’s Gambler in the second round (85.5 points). I’d seen him before and he was really good.”

Parsonage pointed to a change he made going into last fall that has taken his riding to another level. “I was talking to Adam Jamison just before the Glen Keeley Memorial Bull Riding and he got me using the Brazilian bull rope; there was some pretty good success right after that so I’ve stayed with it.”

Parsonage will team up with WNFR qualifier Jordan Hansen to hit some of the winter rodeos in the US before coming back up here for the spring bull ridings and Canadian rodeo season. “When spring rolls around up here, it’s so exciting and really gets you pumped up for the season.”

With the sizeable bank roll Parsonage has already gathered up, the pressure may be a little less as the ranch-raised bull rider embarks on what could be his best season ever.

Other Agribition Pro Rodeo winners included bareback rider Ky Marshall for the second year in a row (166 pts on two head, $5439); 2017 Rookie of the Year, barrel racer Diane Skocdopole (28.682 on two runs, $3861); team ropers Brett and Justin McCarroll (10.1 seconds on two runs, $3866 each), Manitoba bronc rider Tyrel Larsen (165.5 on two head, $5301), Morgan Grant in the steer wrestling (8.1 seconds on two runs, $6014) and Utah roper Rhen Richard in the tie down roping (17.8 seconds on two, $4295). Morgan Grant, the reigning Canadian High Point Champion, also finished second in the tie down roping.

Next up for Canadian rodeo fans… the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo which runs December 7-16 in Las Vegas, NV. Nine Canadians will fly the Canadian colours at the Thomas and Mack Arena (along with a large contingent of bucking horses and bulls). Contestants include bareback riders Jake Vold and Orin Larsen, steer wrestlers Scott Guenthner and Tanner Milan, bull rider Jordan Hansen, bronc riders Clay Elliott and newly crowned Canadian champion Layton Green, along with two defending world champions—Zeke Thurston in the bronc riding and Jeremy Buhler in the team roping (heeler). For up to the minute in progress results, stay tuned to rodeocanada.com every night.

For complete unofficial results from Canadian Western Agribition Pro Rodeo, go to rodeocanada.com

Courtesy of CPRA

2017 Canadian Champions Declared

Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Edmonton, ALTA – November 12, 2017

It was simply a case of unfinished business.

For Canadian team ropers Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler, CFR44 offered the opportunity to fulfill a dream that had been left incomplete up to now. While Ponoka, Alberta header, Simpson, had a Canadian championship to his credit, to go along with his 2016 World Champion buckle, heeling partner, Jeremy Buhler, was still looking for his first Canadian title. Despite a slow start to their CFR (they had two no times in the first three rounds), the duo blazed their way through Super Saturday with back to back 4.1 second go-round winning runs and added a 4.2 second run on Championship Sunday to emerge as victors.

“It was very exciting to follow up a ‘dream come true season winning the world’ to come back up here, finally have a good year to come in here number one then outlast everyone until the end and stay number one.”

Simpson and Buhler, who also finished fifth in the average, ended the season with $59,006 each for a comfortable margin over second place finishers Justin and Brett McCarroll.

Another season leader who was able to win a Canadian title was saddle bronc rider Layton Green of Meeting Creek, Alberta. Green saw second place man – and reigning world champion – Zeke Thurston, make up considerable ground on this lead over the first three rounds. But the 23 year old Green turned things around for the last three rounds of CFR44 and restored his comfortable edge. What was an amazing year for the second generation cowboy ended with Green establishing a new saddle bronc season earnings record. He wrapped up the year with $107,363 to move past eight time Canadian Champion Rod Hay who had previously held the record at $101,646 (set in 2005).

“It’s pretty special; it’s something I’ve dreamed of as long as I can remember,” Green said. “I always wanted to ride broncs and wanted to be a Canadian champion. It’s a dream come true. And to walk out in the arena with one of your best friends (Thurston) and know that either you or him is going to be Canadian champion is something I’ll never forget.”

For the first time since 2009, a Canadian reigns supreme in the tie down roping event. Nanton, Alberta cowboy, Logan Bird edged fellow Canadian, Riley Warren, by less than $1000 for the win. Bird had to overcome a broken barrier in the last round, and capitalized on the struggles of several in the field of 12 (including the defending world champion Tyson Durfey and the last Canadian to win it, Alwin Bouchard) to capture the title.

“When you come to the CFR, you’re not just roping against anybody,” Bird stated. “You’ve got to be on your game because these are the best in the world.”

The 23 year old’s success is due, in large measure, to two things: his encyclopedic knowledge of the calves and his 13 year old gray gelding, TJ, the 2016 tie down roping horse of the year. “I wouldn’t be here without TJ. He helps me out so much. In my opinion, he’s probably the best horse in Canada, and close to the best horse in the world.”

The closest race at this year’s CFR was in the ladies barrel racing where Aldergrove, British Columbia cowgirl, Carman Pozzobon, slipped byTexan, Jaime Hinton, by just $183. Pozzobon, the Canadian season leader, finished up the year with $68,399 and her first gold buckle.

“My main goal (on the final day) was to get around all three barrels; I didn’t care if it was ugly or not,” the gifted horse trainer said. Pozzobon was first out on Championship Sunday and finished fourth in the round with a 14.660 to capture second place in the average en route to the title. The two time CFR qualifier was riding her seven year old mare, Ripp n Lady (Ripp), 2017 Canadian barrel horse of the year.

A trio of American cowboys captured Canadian titles in 2017. Seth Hardwick of Ranchester, Wyoming caught season leader and three time Canadian champion, Jake Vold, in the bareback riding to win the title by a margin of just $850. Hardwick placed in every round and won the average for a total of $74,980.

The steer wrestling honor went to Benton, Arkansas cowboy, Jason Thomas, who – like Harwick – put together six go-round placings and an average win for a total of $59,177 to best second place finisher, Scott Guenthner, by $5000.

And in the bull riding, season leader, Garrett Smith of Rexburg, Idaho, laid claim to his first Canadian championship by riding four of his six bulls and finishing second in the average for an $8000 margin of victory over the second place man, Tanner Girletz. Girletz, the 2006 Canadian champion, was at his ninth Canadian Finals and announced before the start of this year’s CFR that this was his final season as a bull rider.

Ky Marshall in the All Around (second time) and Morgan Grant for the High Point award (3rd time) were repeat winners. Earlier in the week, the youth event champions were crowned. Connor Hamilton of Calgary is the 2017 Novice bareback champion; Dawson Hay (Wildwood, AB) is the novice saddle bronc winner and Luke Ferber of Irricana won his second steer riding title.

Top CFR stock honors went to C5 Rodeo for their bareback horse, Virgil; the Calgary Stampede for saddle bronc, Wild Cherry and the Kesler Rodeo company for their bull, Flight Plan.

In its 44th and final year at Northlands Coliseum, CFR 44 attracted 90,268 fans – a 3.3% increase over last year’s attendance figure.

Find complete results at rodeocanada.com

Courtesy of CPRA

ProRodeoTV to Livestream Canadian Finals Rodeo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The PRCA is pleased to announce that it is partnering with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and Northlands Coliseum to offer a livestream broadcast of the 44th Canadian Finals Rodeo on ProRodeoTV.

The Nov. 8-12 CFR will be exclusively broadcasted from Edmonton, Alberta, on ProRodeoTV.com. The broadcast will be available via home computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“We are extremely excited and honored to be the exclusive content provider of the great Canadian Finals Rodeo through our relationship with the CPRA,” said PRCA Chief Operating Officer Aaron Enget. “This is a big opportunity for both of our associations.”

There are six total performances of the CFR, with four night performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. (MT) on Nov. 8-11. There are also 1 p.m. performances on Nov. 11-12, with the latter being the final round of the rodeo.

Watching the CFR livestream is as easy as logging on to www.prorodeotv.com and signing up for a subscription. In addition to CFR coverage, ProRodeoTV offers a variety of premium archived rodeo footage, including videos of past Wrangler National Finals Rodeo performances. ProRodeoTV will livestream more than 20 rodeos during the 2018 season, as well as the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER – live internationally, and on a 12-hour delay domestically.

“The CPRA and our partners at Northlands are excited to bring the CFR live to the internet once again this year,” said Jeff Robson, CPRA spokesman. “With the help of the PRCA, the viewers will get an exceptional product at an affordable price. We hope to grow this partnership and bring the CFR to the masses for the fans who are unable to attend the rodeo. Pay-Per-View live streaming is a great way to broaden our fan base.”

“There is significant demand for the CFR to be available via livestreaming,” CPRA President Terry Cooke added. “We’re happy to work with the PRCA and Edmonton Northlands on this endeavor which will provide another avenue for ProRodeo fans to enjoy our sport.”

ProRodeoTV packages to stream the CFR are $29.99 (USD), which includes all six performances.

Courtesy of CPRA

Lonnie West On the Move As Season Winds Down

*Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Airdrie, ALTA – September 20, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

If there’s anybody who knows the importance of the Grass Roots Pro Final, it’s the West family.

In the first year of Grass Roots history (2014), bull rider, Billy West, the oldest of the bull riding West brothers, not only parlayed his performance at Calgary’s Agrium Western Event Centre into a CFR berth, the money he won at that year’s Grass Roots Final also projected him to the Rookie of the Year title.

And as the 2017 CPRA season winds down, Lonnie West is eyeing the upcoming 4th annual Grass Roots Final to help him clinch a return visit to the Northlands Coliseum for this year’s CFR. West, the middle brother, punched his ticket to Calgary with a critical 1/2 finish alongside Saskatchewan bull rider Jared Parsonage at Oldstoberfest on the weekend.

West rode the Bar C5 bull, Gambler to 87.5 points while Parsonage conquered another Bar C5 product, Calliope King, for a duplicate score. For West the win was doubly important as the $1397 payday inched him closer to that coveted spot among the twelve competitors heading to the CFR. With a logjam of guys seeking those last few positions on the Canadian Finals roster, West’s Oldstoberfest result was a welcome blessing.

The win propelled him into the top five in the Grass Roots standings with just under $10,000 in the bank and also took his season earnings total to the $12,500 mark and ever closer to that November date in the provincial capital. In a season that has seen the 21 year old (who followed his brother Billy’s Rookie of the Year title with a rookie honour of his own) battle injuries, West is getting ho – and healthy – at just the right time.

“I’d seen Gambler once before and I knew he was good,” West noted. “He bucked off Jess Lockwood at the Calgary Stampede this summer and I figured if I rode him, I’d win the rodeo.”

The two time CFR qualfier has battled injuries much of the year. “I tore some tendons in my hand this spring and missed some of those rodeos,” West recalled. “Then when I got back, I went to Grande Prairie and won the rodeo, but the bull stepped on my ankle and tore it up; I was out for two and a half months. I was just getting back to where I was riding and trusting my ankle again and I hit my head at Jasper and again at the Stavely PBR. So this is my first one back after that.”

West is looking forward to the Grass Roots Final and what success at the September 29-30 event might lead to.

“I don’t check the standings,” the Cadogan, Alberta hand admitted. “But I know I’m close. And the great thing about being near the bottom (of the standings) is there’s no pressure. There’s only one way to go… and that’s up.”

Other winners at Oldstoberfest were Colin Adams who was 85 points on C5 Rodeo’s F13 Virgil, $1395.72 in the bareback riding; Matt Richardson and Derek Frank, who split the steer wrestling with identical 3.8 second runs for $1667.32 each; Tyrel Larsen, 83.5 points on C5 Rodeo’s 184 High Valley, $1395.71 in the bronc riding; reigning World Champion team ropers Jeremy Buhler and Levi Simpson, 3.9 seconds, $1499.88 each as they pursue a return trip to the WNFR; Ben Robinson, 8.1 seconds, $1837.70 in the tie-down roping and Shayna Weir who topped the barrel racing field with her 17.445 second run for a tidy $1598.94 payday.

For complete Oldstoberfest results, check out rodeocanada.com

The final weekend of the CPRA’s regular season sees competitors making two stops—the Hanna Indoor Pro Rodeo September 22-24and the Dallas Sunstrum Memorial Rodeo in Brooks, September 22 and 23.

Canadian Success at Pendleton

Canadian bareback riders Jake Vold and Orin Larsen were among Canadian contestants who enjoyed significant success at the historic Pendleton Round-Up.

Unofficially, Vold won the first round on Wayne Vold Rodeo Co.’s Dancing Queen (85 points), earned 5th in the Final (on Korkow’s Harry’s Girl) and 2nd in the average to take home over $11,000. Larsen picked up 4th in round one, 2nd in the final and 3rd in the average for approximately $6900.

Saddle bronc riders Clay Elliott and Zeke Thurston won $3486 and $1131 respectively. Tie down ropers Morgan Grant and Alwin Bouchard added to their bank accounts as well; Grant finished 4th in the Final & 4th in the average for $3754 while Bouchard left Pendleton with $3597 by virtue of his 1st place finish in the the first round.

* And bareback rider Steven Peebles’ 89.5-point trip on Wayne Vold Rodeo’s Mucho Dinero topped the scores at Pendleton this year and earned the Redmond, Ore., cowboy his second Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up title.

Courtesy of CPRA

Al Bouchard—Healthy and (a Little More) Wealthy

* Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Airdrie, ALTA – September 6, 2017

Al Bouchard has become one of the Ironmen of rodeo – those people who are able to not only compete for a long time but continue to do so at a high level throughout a lengthy career.

With 16 CFR appearances to his credit, the veteran tie-down roper added to his impressive resume in Armstrong over the weekend as he finished in a 3/4/5 split during the regular IPE and Stampede Tour rodeo that concluded on Saturday night, then put together an impressive 7.6 second run to take top spot in the Canadian Pro Tour Final on Sunday evening.

The weekend netted the Canadian and Calgary Stampede champion $4950 in earnings to take his already substantial season total to over $21,000, virtually guaranteeing the Altario, Alberta cowboy a 17th tour of duty at the Northlands Coliseum in November.

Just as important as the money was the 170 tour points Bouchard garnered over the weekend (70 during Armstrong’s final tour stop and 100 for finishing first in the tour finale). The two results carried the long, tall 43 year-old past Logan Bird who had held the tour lead heading to Armstrong. And it assured Bouchard of a shot at a second Calgary Stampede victory as the tour champions in bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding along with the tie down roping and steer wrestling winners receive byes to the 2018 edition of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

Bouchard made it clear that while the trips to Edmonton and Calgary ”make a guy darn happy”, neither was on his mind as he made his way to the BC interior. “I haven’t been doing very good for quite a while,” he acknowledged. “My horse (Bo) got hurt at Ponoka and we just haven’t been able to get it together since then.

“I was pretty worried about him,” Bouchard admitted. “We’d been doing really well all spring but after he got hurt, it just hasn’t been good. But in the practice pen this week, he was back to really working so I thought things might get a little better.”

Bouchard, the last Canadian to win the Canadian tie-down roping title (2009), noted that it’s nice to have another shot at winning a Canadian title. “That’s the game plan every spring when I start out but it just hasn’t worked out. I guess the only good thing is that the guys who’ve beat me rope pretty good.”

Included in that group is Idaho’s Matt Shiozawa who one year ago edged Bouchard on the final night as the two friends went down to their last respective runs before Shiozawa emerged as champion.

One thing Bouchard has in his favour this time around is the fact that he heads into the last weeks of the season and the CFR totally healthy. That hasn’t always been the case including last year when he had to deal with a hand injury as he pursued that elusive second Canadian title.

Bouchard’s solid showing wasn’t the biggest payday earned by a competitor this weekend. That honour went to barrel racer Carman Pozzobon who won both the rodeo (15.796 seconds–$3835.20) and the tour finale (15.786–$2400), then added a 4th place $672 cheque at her hometown rodeo in Merritt for an impressive $6900 weekend haul.

And as with Al Bouchard, horsepower has been the key to success for the BC cowgirl. “I got ‘Ripp’ (Rip’n Lady) when she was three and started training her for barrels the November before her futurity year. She took to it right away and found it really easy which, of course, made my job easier as well.”

Pozzobon is all about goals and the first of her 2017 goals—capturing the season leader title is getting ever closer to being met. Her weekend winnings have taken her season total to over $32,000 and widened the gap between herself and second place cowgirl, Lynette Brodoway who also finished second in the tour finale to keep Pozzobon at least within sight.

Next up for Pozzobon, who now makes her home in Aldergrove, BC—the CFR and a different approach this time around after a decent first CFR appearance in 2016.

“I’m going to back off going as hard for the go-round buckles and concentrate on the average,” she asserted. “That’ll be a little easier on my horse and she can just do her thing. She has a ton of heart and tries really hard every time.”

And plans are already afoot for the next of Pozzobon’s stated goals—after that run at a Canadian title—to head south in the hopes of getting to the big winter rodeos and eventually a shot at the Wrangler NFR.

“A lot depends on how I do and on sponsorship,” the thirty-one year-old horse trainer conceded, but the buzz around a lot of rodeo arenas this year was to keep an eye on the BC barrel racer and her buckskin mare. That’s probably a pretty good idea.

 

And in the bull riding, just twenty-four hours after announcing this would be his last year, 2006 Canadian bull riding champion, Tanner Girletz, put together a flashy 89.5 point effort on the Calgary Stampede’s Sweet Like Sugar.

“I’m going to keep my foot on the pedal right to that last bull,” the eight time CFR qualifier stated as he put out the word on his impending retirement.

That mindset clearly worked on Sunday as Girletz once again worked his magic. The result and $2400 first place pay cheque virtually guaranteed that the popular third generation cowboy would go out the way he wanted—with one more trip to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. The win in the tour finale wasn’t enough to earn Girletz the Canadian Pro Rodeo Tour title, however. That honour and the accompanying berth at the Calgary Stampede went to Saskatchewan bull rider Todd Chotowetz who garnered the highest number of points among those who attended all of the Tour events – a requirement for competing at the Tour Finale and earning the overall Tour Championship. Chotowetz joins Bouchard, bareback rider Jake Vold, bronc rider Layton Green and Scott Guenthner who just edged Tanner Milan for the tour’s steer wrestling title. Additional Tour Champions (though no Stampede bye is granted in these events) are barrel racer Lynette Brodoway and team ropers Riley Roy (header) and Brady Chappel (heeler).

For complete Armstrong and Merritt results, go to rodeocanada.com

This week cowboys and cowgirls point their rigs in the direction of Medicine Lodge, Alberta for a Saturday, 2 pm performance (new time).

Arena Chatter Courtesy of CPRA

Pre Cowboy Christmas Riches

* Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Airdrie, ALTA – June 27, 2017 – “Things tend to go better when I actually enter the rodeo.” Steer wrestler Scott Guenthner chuckled ruefully as he thought back to his Wainwright Stampede (non) experience for 2016.

And he was right—this year the Consort cowboy did enter the rodeo and things went much better.

Guenthner followed up a winning 4.0 second run at High River’s Guy Weadick Days ($1989) with a strong three head performance at Wainwright. The three time CFR qualifier was third in the first go round, eighth in the second round, split 2/3 in the short go and wound up second in the average (13.7 seconds on three, behind only Coleman Kohorst’s 13.3). The result was a tidy $5077 haul out of Wainwright and a $7066 weekend overall.

The payday(s) virtually guarantee Guenthner another trip to Edmonton in November for the CFR; he was already leading the Canadian standings with $9617 won heading into the weekend, and will provide a handy boost up the standings south of the 49th parallel as well. The likable 26 year-old bulldogger was sitting 13th in the PRCA standings and hoped the productive weekend would see him claw his way back into the top ten in the world.

Guenthner pointed to mental preparation as the key to his 2017 success to date. “I’m trying to use my head, to make consistent, solid runs and put everything else out of my mind. Last year I got off to a pretty good start but between the middle of July and the end of August, I broke barriers to cost myself $30,000.”

The new game plan – that sees Guenthner have a target of $2000 in earnings every weekend – has been working well as he and Smoke (the Milans’ horse) have been lighting it up both in Canada and the US with a consistency that speaks to the confidence and focus that have become the Guenthner trademarks.

“I know there will be weekends when I don’t hit that $2000 but there will be some, like this one, where I can win more than that.”

Yeah, actually quite a lot more than that on this weekend. And that sets the stage for the next phase of Guenthner’s season. “I won’t be home for the next two months,” the second generation cowboy admitted. “I’m pushing to get to Salt Lake City (one million dollar gold medal rodeo) in July and I need to be in the top ten to get there. It’s tough… there’s so many good guys, both up here and down south but I know it’s there if I just keep doing what I do.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It might be the comeback story of the year. For Roosevelt, Utah roper, Rhen Richard, it looked like a lost season. Losing the thumb on his roping hand, having it re-attached but with accompanying numbness and missing four months during the recovery process seemed to signal the end – at least in the tie down roping – for 2017. But a casual practice session not long before Grande Prairie changed things. “It didn’t feel too bad so I decided to throw my name in there for Grande Prairie and Leduc and see what happened.”

While it didn’t go well at the northern Alberta rodeo, Richard split bottom hole at Leduc, then won Rocky Mountain House a week later, setting the stage for Wainwright, the first Pro Tour Rodeo stop of the season. Richard won third in the second go round, split the short go (with Russell Cardoza) with a 9.1 second run and captured the average with his 28.8 second total on three runs, to top out at just over $6000 and vault into contention for a return trip the CFR in November.

“I’m having a little trouble getting my slack,” Richard confessed. “It’s not as clean as I’d like it to be and I struggle a little with getting the (piggin) string out of my mouth. But other than that, it actually feels pretty good.”

While the 28 year-old has been riding a new horse through the spring and early summer (six year-old Patron), he returned to an old friend – Little Joe – for Wainwright. The combination clicked once again and the race for a CFR berth was on for Richard, now comfortably in the top ten in Canada.

And there’s more reason for optimism from the Richard camp as he has teamed up with eight time world champion Rich Skelton in the team roping. “I’m pretty excited about that. Our styles fit and I think we could do pretty well. Our goal is to get to the CFR and maybe our circuit finals this year and win enough to get into the big buildings down south next year,” Richard noted. “We’ll go hard until after Cheyenne and then re-evaluate at that point.”

Other big winners for the weekend included Barrhead’s Kolton Schmidt who won Wainwright for the second year in a row. After besting the field in 2016 with Shay Carroll on the heeling side, this time around the 2016 NFR qualifier teamed with seven time NFR qualifier Dugan Kelly to take home $5000 per man and confirm themselves as one of the teams to beat en route to the 2017 CFR.

Abilene, Texas barrel racer Jackie Ganter had a big weekend as she vies for a return trip to Northlands Coliseum in November. The 20 year old collected second place money at Sundre, High River and the long go at Wainwright, then finished 5th in the average at Wainwright where she too was defending champion, to grow her bank account by just under $7,000.

And in the saddle bronc riding, Layton Green won the long go, was second in the short go and won the average at Wainwright, then added a small cheque at Sundre for a $4900 weekend.

And south of the line, a quintet of Canadians made their presence felt at the rich Reno Rodeo, none more so than Donalda’s Curtis Cassidy who was 4th in the first go of the bull dogging, won the short go with a 4.2 second run and finished second overall for a whopping $9200 payday. Add in the $3200 the twelve time Canadian champion picked up in the tie down roping and steer wrestling at Sundre and Cassidy will need to lease a Brinks truck to get the week’s earnings to the bank. Manitoba bareback rider Orin Larsen placed in both go rounds and the finals to finish third overall for a sizable $5669 Reno payoff while World Champion saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston collected $4852 in Reno and Canadian bull riding champion Jordan Hansen rode out of Nevada just over $2000 to the good. And BC bronc rider Jake Watson had a productive $5692 weekend between a round win at Reno, the title at High River and a smaller cheque out of Wainwright.

For complete CPRA results go to rodeocanada.com

Cowboy Christmas kicks off in Canada this week with the Ponoka Stampede running from June 27 to July 3, the Williams Lake Stampede from July 29 to July 22 (both are Canadian Pro Tour rodeos) and the Airdrie Pro Rodeo from June 28 to July 2.

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About the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alta. is the sanctioning body for professional rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves over 50 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.1 million. Join us September 29-30, 2017 for our 4th Annual Grass Roots Final (at the Agrium Western Event Centre, Stampede Park in Calgary, AB) and for our premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) November 8-12, 2017 at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Alberta. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @prorodeocanada, like Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook, or online at RodeoCanada.com.

Arena Chatter Courtesy of CPRA

Goodwin Enjoys a ‘Sonny’ Result on a Rainy Weekend

* Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Airdrie, ALTA – June 13, 2017 – Bobbie Goodwin tries not to set barrel racing goals.

But when you’ve won over $5500 before the 15th of June, it’s hard not to at least have a thought about the Canadian Finals Rodeo in the back of your mind.

“It’s something I think about, that’s for sure,” the Cranbrook cowgirl admitted, “but my horse is 16 and he’s really sound and I just don’t want to run the legs off him.” Factor in a two and a half week family vacation to Alaska in July and there’s no doubt that a lot of things will have to go right for the Goodwin team to make the trip to Edmonton in November.

But things have been going right over the last two weekends as the veteran BC hand picked up wins at Leduc last weekend and Lea Park the weekend just ended.

“I tend to go to places that he really likes to run at,” Goodwin said of ‘Sonny’ – registered name Raisin Speedy, a Raise a Native bred gelding. “We placed at Lea Park last year and this time he really cranked first and just worked really well. In fact, I thought my time was going to be faster but then they announced we were leading so that was great.” Goodwin clocked a 16.576 for a $2462 payday.

Sonny is something of a story himself having survived impaling himself on a pole as a five year-old. “The pole went into his body about where the cinch goes and went all the back to the stifle. “We had to lay him down to get the pole out, then he had surgery; it’s a miracle he’s alive,” Goodwin admitted.

But the next year, Sonny had a tremendous Derby season and Goodwin knew she had something special. In fact, although the former Skookumchuck resident has never been to the CFR, Sonny has. Deb Renger leased him from Goodwin and rode him there in 2015 to win two rounds and $27,000 on the miracle horse.

So Bobbie Goodwin knows that things could go rather well if she and Sonny can earn a CFR qualification. “I’ll just have to see how it goes,” she stated. “I’ll go to as many as I think he can handle and especially the ones he tends to do well at. I’d really like to get to the Grass Roots Final in Calgary and see if that could jump us into the twelve that will be going to the CFR.”

One of the rodeos Sonny has excelled at just happens to be Innisfail, a rodeo the duo won two years ago. If history could repeat itself this week, and Goodwin and Sonny can win enough with a limited rodeo schedule, who knows. CFR fans may be cheering the BC gal and her amazing survivor, Sonny, at the 44th Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Other big winners from the Rocky Mountain House, Lea Park and Brooks weekend included Manitoba bareback rider, Orin Larsen, who posted wins at (the returning) Rocky Pro Rodeo – 85 points on Duffy Rodeo’s Blue Jeans for $1264, then added an 85.5 first place finish at Lea Park on the Calgary Stampede’s Wanaka Rocket for another $2039. Team ropers Garrett Rogers of Baker City, Oregon and Jacob Minor of Ellensburg, Washington, runners-up for the Canadian team roping title a year ago, made a big move, winning the Brooks Kinsmen Pro Rodeo with a 4.8 second run for $1329 each, and nailing second place $1250 cheques at Rocky Mountain House with a 4.4.

Stony Plain, Alberta steer wrestler, Derek Frank, clearly wanting to reprise his CFR appearance of 2016, placed at all three rodeos including a three way split of first place at Lea Park with a 4.7 (to equal Matt Richardson and Scott Guenthner) and earn a total of $3033 for the weekend’s work. And in the bull riding, Riker Carter made the trip from Stone, Idaho worthwhile, winning Lea Park with an 85 point score on Franklin Rodeo’s Red Dirt Road for $2063 and picking up the second place cheque at Rocky with an 81 score (behind Stephen Woolsey’s 87 point winning ride) and another $1094 for Carter.

For complete results from the weekend’s action, head to rodeocanada.com

This week the rodeo trail takes contestants to Innisfail for the Daines Ranch Pro Rodeo and to Okotoks for the Big E Round Up Team Roping Special Event.

Arena Chatter Courtesy of CPRA

Champion Sets Sights on CFR

*Courtesy of the CPRA

Airdrie, ALTA – June 6, 2017

Richmond Champion is a man who tends to reach his goals.

And the Stephenvile, Texas bareback rider has made it clear that one of his 2017 priorities is an appearance at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

“It’s always been a thought,” the two time WNFR qualifier admitted, “but this year, next to the WNFR, getting to the CFR is absolutely a goal—it’s important to me. I’d love to get up there to Edmonton and chase Jake (Vold) and Caleb (Bennett) for that Canadian championship. They stayed at my place recently and I was giving them the ‘twenty questions’ about it, that’s for sure.”

Champion took a big step toward fulfilling that goal with a terrific weekend that saw him split 1-2 at the Grande Prairie Stompede with an 89 point ride on Vold Rodeo’s One More Reason; then he spurred out an 88 score on Northcott-Macza’s Call Me Kindra for the win at Leduc Black Gold Rodeo before finishing off an impressive three days with a third place cheque (80.5 points) at the Hand Hills Stampede.

“He surprised me,” Champion said of Wayne Vold’s 7 year-old bay horse. “They’d moved him from the saddle bronc riding to the bareback riding and he was all there. I was first out and he was a little nervous but he got right to business and was just what I needed to get their attention up there.”

The Grande Prairie result—he split top money with Wyatt Bloom—netted the Texan $2152. Then it was on to Leduc and his date with Call Me Kindra. “I’d seen the video of her from a couple of weeks before with Ty (Taypotat). I was really happy when I got the call that I had her—she’s pretty well-known everywhere.”

That pay cheque was a tidy $1689 and coupled with his Hand Hills earnings gave Champion a $4300 weekend and a run at the top five in the Canadian standings.

The Tarleton State University grad leaped to prominence in 2014 when he was the one million dollar winner at the inaugural “American.” As for the whopping pay cheque that early in his career – he was 21 at the time – he said, “I invested most of it in a broad range of investments but I bought ten acres and built a house in Stephenville; I’ve enjoyed tinkering with that.”

Champion, who also placed at Silver City, New Mexico on the weekend, will continue his pursuit of a CFR berth next weekend when he heads for Brooks, Lea Park and Rocky Mountain House. With five Canadian rodeos already to his credit, the rodeo count (15) to qualify for the CFR shouldn’t be a problem. “I told my dad the other day that it’s going to be easier to get my Canadian count than my Texas count (for the Texas Circuit Finals),” he chuckled.

Top money honours for the weekend went to Athens, Louisiana roper Randall Carlisle who took home first place money at Grande Prairie (7.9 seconds for $2842) and a 1-2 split at Leduc (8.2 seconds, $2067) for just over $4900. Steer wrestler, Dayton Roworth of Czar, Alberta, was right behind Carlisle as he parlayed a win at Grande Prairie (4.1 seconds, $2939) and second at Leduc (3.7 seconds, $1899) into a $4800 plus weekend. Also enjoying a productive and profitable stay on Canadian soil was Cameron, Texas tie-down roper, Blaine Cox who spilt 1-2 at both Leduc (with Carlisle) and Hand Hills (8.3 seconds, $1445) and added a 7th place cheque at Grande Prairie for a $4500 haul. Brett and Justin McCarroll were double winners as well with the outright win at Leduc and a split of top spot at Hand Hills, netting the veteran duo $2962 per man.

For complete results from Grande Prairie, Leduc, Hand Hills and the Wildwood Bronc Bustin’ go to

rodeocanada.com.

This weekend sees the return of the Rocky Pro Rodeo to the June calendar as well as CPRA stops at Brooks, Alberta, for the Brooks Kinsmen Rodeo and Marwayne, Alberta for the Lea Park Rodeo.

 

Arena Chatter Courtesy of CPRA

Clay Elliott – No One Trick Pony

Airdrie, ALTA – May 15, 2017 – Sometimes things just work out. And for Clay Elliott, the weekend just completed was one of those times.

First of all, there was his draw in the bronc riding at the Stavely Indoor Pro Rodeo, on the longtime Vold Rodeo superstar, Pedro. “I’d never been on him,” the reigning Canadian champion acknowledged. “So that was obviously something I’d been looking forward to.

“He’s pretty electric feeling,” Elliott said of the 12 year-old brown gelding. “He stays low to the ground and makes a few lead changes out there. I thought he’d maybe bucked me off at about four seconds and I was glad to get by him. I’d say he’s kind of a semi-eliminator and I’d love to draw him again.

”Elliott followed up his first place 85.5 point, $1566 bronc ride with an 8.4 second run in the tie down roping, that netted the 23 year-old Nanton, Alberta cowboy fourth place and another $1263. It was the first time this year the second generation cowboy had entered the roping.

“I enjoy roping,” Elliott admitted, “but I also know that it takes as much time and energy and dedication to be successful at that as it does in the bronc riding. And I just don’t have the time to do all the things it would take to be successful in the tie down or team roping events. Plus it’s hard to work it when you’re entering with three other bronc riders. This worked out great because it was twenty minutes from home. Dad (Vern) got my horse ready and I roped for a couple of days at Taylors over in Parkland but I know it won’t work that way very often.”

Cue a huge sigh of relief from the other tie down ropers. The bronc riding win moved Elliott in to the top ten in the Canadian standings and gave him a nice bump in the world standings where he had been sitting in ninth place going into the weekend. The BC bred talent jumped on a plane after his Stavely effort to fly to Goodwell, Oklahoma where he was helping with a bronc riding school. Later this week he’ll make his way to Redding, California, then back to Canada for stops at Falkland and the non-sanctioned invitational Cloverdale Rodeo.

Other Stavely winners included Dewinton bull rider, Brock Radford who conquered the Vold bull, Corona Time for a spectacular 91 points and a $1547 payday. Three time Bareback Riding Champion, Jake Vold, continued his winning ways with an 87 point showing on Vold’s Dancing Queen to pocket $1492 and in Team Roping , it was the Barrhead Brandens, Grady and Quentin, with a 4.5 second run sending each home with $1329.

The steer wrestling saw a split of top spot with Ty Miller of Wainwright and Jay Many Grey Horses of Standoff both posting 3.5 second runs for $2000 each while another split in tie down roping featured a couple of CFR veterans, Carstairs cowboy, Kyle Lucas and Logan Hofer of Magrath who cashed identical cheques for $1940 by virtue of their 8.2 second runs.

In the barrel race, Rebecca Miller continued her climb up the Canadian standings. The Dalemead cowgirl’s 13.645 second time, earned her a tidy $2039.

Reigning Canadian champion, Dixon Tattrie of Youngstown, Alberta claimed the Stavely steer riding title with a 77 point ride for $426.

For complete Stavely results go to rodeocanada.com.

The Road to the CFR heads west for its next action—a May 20-22 stop at the Falkland Stampede in Falkland, British Columbia.

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About the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alta. is the sanctioning body for professional rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves over 50 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.1 million. Join us for our premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) November 8-12, 2017 at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Alberta. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @prorodeocanada, like Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook, or online at RodeoCanada.com.

* Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

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