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Courtesy of CPRA

Courtesy of CPRA

Nineties Night at the National Finals Rodeo

The grey did it again.

Virgil, the amazing 10 year-old gelding from the C5 Rodeo firm now holds the CFR and WNFR Arena records. A month ago, the two-time and reigning Canadian and World Champion Bareback horse was 90.25 with Jake Vold aboard to set the all-time CFR record. And tonight, with the California talent, Clayton Biglow’s hand in the riggin, the score was 93 spectacular points as the accolades and records continue to accumulate for one of the greatest Canadian bucking horses of all time. In a round when 86.5 points did not place, Manitoba’s Orin Larsen collected his second cheque of the Finals with his second 87 point ride. But where 87 earned the long lean Canadian a second place payoff in the third go round, this 87 score was good only for sixth in the round and a $4230 stipend. Tim O’Connell continues to lead the world standings as he vies for his third title in succession with the Utah cowboy, Caleb Bennett in second place and four-time World Champion, Kaycee Field in third spot.

And Virgil wasn’t the only Canadian in the nineties. In the saddle bronc riding, three-time World Champion, Zeke Thurston was a spectacular 90 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo and Robinson Bulls’ Marquee while the two-time and reigning Canadian titleist, Clay Elliott, was just a half point back at 89.5 on the Calgary Stampede’s outstanding Stampede Warrior. Amazingly, there were three guys with even higher scores—go-round winner Wade Sundell at 92, then Ryder Wright and Rusty Wright at 91 and 90.5 respectively. For Thurston the $11,000 cheque keeps him 4th in the aggregate and 7th in the world standings while the $6769 payday for Elliott represented just his second placing to date as he sits 10th overall.

Thurston was philosophical about the night. “That was a real good bronc riding,” he acknowledged. “The horses were amazing and everybody rode so good.” At the halfway point, Thurston’s happy with his Finals to date. “Yeah, shoot I’ve placed in every round so far except for last night when they threw me off right at the whistle. But I’m feeling great and I’m having a blast. Can’t wait for the next one.”

It was a little tougher night for the two Canadians in the steer wrestling. After Canadian Champion, Scott Guenthner won go-round number three and fellow Canuck, Curtis Cassidy followed up with a go-round win of his own on night number four at the Thomas and Mack Arena, the fifth round was not kind to the teammates. Guenthner managed only a 5.1 second time to finish 9th in the round and out of the money. And for Cassidy, the holder of twelve Canadian championship buckles, the news was even worse as the second generation Donalda, Alberta cowboy took his second no time of the week. While Cassidy continues to lead the world standings, he has fallen to 13th in the aggregate while Guenthner, the Provost, Alberta dogger dropped to 3rd in the world behind Will Lummus who won the round with a 3.3 run. Guenthner is in 10th place in the aggregate.

Header Clay Smith and his partner, former Canadian Champion Paul Eaves,­­­ bested the team roping field with a 3.8 second run and are now leading the world standings. But Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira who dropped to second place overall, lead the average while Smith and Eaves are in fifth in the all-important and very lucrative average standings (where the win pays over $67,000).

Carman Pozzobon who carries the Canadian colours in the barrel race was a 14.06 in the fifth round, good only for a 10/11 split but more importantly for the Savona, BC cowgirl, she is sitting third in the aggregate at the halfway point of the rodeo. Hudson, Colorado’s Ivy Conrado posted a 13.49 to win the round but Hailey Kinsel, the Cotulla, Texas barrel racer continues to lead the world standings as she moved past the $200,000 mark in season earnings.

Trevor Brazile, Ryan Jarrett and Reese Reimer all checked in at the 7.5 second mark to split first in the tie-down roping event for $20,871.79 each. For Jarrett, the 2005 World All-Around Champion, it was his first cheque of the finals. Shane Hanchey and Marty Yates remain 1-2 in the World standings, though neither man earned cheques in round 5. Yates was long – 14.6; Hanchey took a no-time. The result was a drop in average for both… Hanchey from 8th to 12th, Yates from 1st to 4th. Ryle Smith sits atop the average standings with 40.20 seconds on 5 head; 2015 World Champion, Caleb Smidt is just 3/100ths behind. This might be the closest race of the Finals with at least eight men, several of them former champions, with a shot at the gold buckle. And for Brazile, who is vying for his twenty-fourth—and maybe last world title, as he has announced he’ll be cutting back on his rodeo schedule and commitments when this season is completed—the “King of the Cowboys” extended his lead to $28,000 in the All Around race over his brother-in-law and last year’s Champion, Tuf Cooper.

The parade of 90 point rides didn’t end in the bareback riding and saddle bronc riding. Eli Vastbinder of Union Grove, North Carolina made his first ride of the 2018 WNFR a memorable one as he captured the round and the $26,230 with a 91 point effort on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Record Rack’s Shootin’ Stars. Sage Kimzey inched closer to his fifth successive bull riding title at just 24 years old. The Texan was fifth in the round with a 78 point ride but maintained his massive cushion over the rest of the field with his $358,000 in season earnings, $140,000 ahead of the second place Montana bull rider, Parker Breding.

Courtesy of CPRA

Oh Canada—We’re #1 and #2 in Steer Wrestling World ­­­Standings

It was another excellent night for the Canadian steer wrestlers. Donalda, Alberta’s Curtis Cassidy blazed his way to an outstanding 3.6 second run for his first go-round win at this Wrangler National Finals. The veteran who has twelve Canadian titles to his credit, used the $26,230 winner’s cheque to move back to the lead in the world standings as he and Tyson, the Canadian Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year were flawless on a speedy night of bulldogging that saw four men check in with times under four seconds.

“It’s an uphill battle here every day,” Cassidy acknowledged. “The first night my horse had an off night and that’s just not like him. I was up the next morning at five am watching the videos from that first round. But last night and tonight with Scott and I winning the rounds—Tyson showed his true colours. There’s no other rodeo like this one–it’s like ten one-headers; you go from dust the first night to diamonds tonight. But my job is to score good, ride good and bulldog good and just go at ‘em every night.”

The second of the Canadian contingent, Scott Guenthner, followed up his third round win with a solid 4.1 run, good for a fifth place $11,000 payout to stay just $3000 behind his Canadian teammate in the world standings. Guenthner, the reigning Canadian Champion, has been making a statement since his opening round misfortune when, like Cassidy, he took a no-time. In the last three rounds, the Provost, Alberta cowboy has won over $50,000 with a ¾ split in round two, last night’s win with his spectacular 3.3 and tonight’s fifth place finish.

The barrel racing event become a whole lot more interesting after round 4 with first time WNFR qualifier, Jessica Telford running the fastest time of the rodeo (13.49 seconds), Amberleigh Moore earning her fourth consecutive go-round cheque (to retain the aggregate lead) and overall leader, Hailey Kinsel hitting a barrel and dropping from 2nd to 7th in the Aggregate.  But for Canadians, even more compelling was seeing Savona, BC cowgirl, Carman Pozzobon, earn her first-ever WNFR cheque – $4,230 for 6th place courtesy of a 13.76 second run on her mare Ripn Lady (Ripp).

In the bareback riding, Orin Larsen managed an 83 score aboard Scarlet Lady from the Bridwell Rodeo firm but that wasn’t enough to get to the money in the 4th go-round. The round victory lap was made by Caleb Bennett who posted an 86.5 mark for the win. Larsen, the Inglis, Manitoba hand, fell to fifth in the world standings that are still led by the two-time and reigning World Champion, Tim O’Connell.

It was e-pen (eliminator) night in the saddle bronc riding and the horses bucked off the first five cowboys out (and 11 out of 15 overall). Unfortunately for Canadian fans, two of those first five guys were the Canadians—2016 World Champion, Zeke Thurston and two-time and reigning Canadian champ Clay Elliott who will remain in 6th and 11th respectively in the world standings after four rounds. Northcott-Macza’s superstar bronc, Get Smart, made short work of the Iowa talent, Wade Sundell, who was no match for the four-time Canadian Champion on this night. The Calgary Stampede’s Tiger Warrior carried Ryder Wright to third place in the round with 85 points. The round was won by Rusty Wright who was 87 points for top spot but Cort Scheer continues to be the story in the bronc riding. The Ellesmere, Nebraska cowboy, a former Calgary Stampede champion and a five-time Canadian Finals rodeo qualifier is four for four, has won two rounds, leads the aggregate and has moved to 4th overall, just $40,000 back of the leader, Ryder Wright.

In another quick team roping round, WNFR qualifiers, Lane Ivy and Buddy Hawkins II, picked up their first round win of 2018 with a 4.1 second run for $26,230 each. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira (one of four teams who’ve roped all four steers… and the only team to be under 5 seconds on every run) continue to lead the average and the World standings in one of the tightest races of this year’s Finals.

Twenty-three time World Champion Trevor Brazile enjoyed his biggest night of this year’s NFR with a 6.8 second run in the tie-down roping – the fastest of the rodeo to date. The Decatur, Texas roper, who recently announced a limited rodeo schedule for 2019, remains in the lead in the All Around standings–just $7100 ahead of brother-in-law, Tuf Cooper. Shane Hanchey’s 7.4 second run – good for tonight’s 4th place cheque – helped move the 2018 Canadian Champion back into the overall tie down roping lead, though the all-important aggregate is shared for the moment by Ryle Smith and Marty Yates.

And the bull riding, despite the fact that the race has long been over, was not without drama. Four-time World Champion Sage Kimzey had to get on two bulls tonight—the second was Mo Betta’s Oh No and the bull put the almost unstoppable Texan on the ground at the five second mark, giving the go round win to Garrett Tribble with an 87. With that result, Tribble, an Oklahoma bull rider moved up to fifth place in the world standings. For the second of the four nights to date, only three men made the eight second horn. One of them was Athens, Texas’ Jeff Askey who was 84 for second in the round on the Outlaw Buckers bull, Red Pheasant

Courtesy of CPRA

Guenthner Goes to Lead in World Standings

3.3 seconds.

Yes, you read that right.

Scott Guenthner bulldogged his steer in a time that was just three tenths of a second off the arena record for the third go-round win, and the $26,330 pay cheque at the 60th Annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. With that run, the Provost, Alberta cowboy moved to the head of the class as the world standings leader with $141,880 and an $8000 cushion over second place man and reigning world champion Tyler Pearson. Guenthner and Canadian teammate Curtis Cassidy have reversed the positions they occupied prior to the start of the finals as Cassidy checked in with a 4.1 to finish third in the round ($15,653) and sits third overall as well.

Guenthner called his shot to some extent as he talked about his misfortune in the opening round back on Thursday night. Guenthner had a steer that burst out of the chute and the result was a no time, that certainly hurt the Canadian champion’s chances in the aggregate.

“Yeah, that first night didn’t go as planned but you just have to blank that out,” Guenthner noted. There’s still a lot of go-rounds left and a lot can happen especially in our event with steers, horses and everything. There’s no point in stressing, you just go out and try to win every go round and hope that might be enough.”

And win the round is exactly what the 27 year-old did. With several doggers encountering trouble on night number three, it’s not out of the question that the Canadins could still get a little of the aggregate money on nine runs. Both Guenthner and Cassidy are riding Cassidy’s Tyson, Canada’s Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year with five-time Canadian Champion Cody Cassidy hazing for both cowboys.

It took a couple of nights but Orin Larsen brought his A-game to round number three of the 2018 Wrangler NFR bareback riding event. Matched up against the Calgary Stampede’s Trail Dust, Larsen shook off the effects of a leg injury that has been bothering him some and made an outstanding ride to finish second in the round behind two-time world champion Tim O’Connell who was 88.5 on the 2016 Bareback Horse of the Year – Craig At Midnight. Trail Dust is sometimes overlooked a little in a Calgary Stampede pen of bareback horses that includes Special Delivery, Reckless Margie and Xplosive Skies, among others, but this 11 year-old bay gelding is a perennial CFR and NFR horse as well as a final four selection at the Stampede. The 87 point ride provided the Manitoba product with a $20,730 injection to the Larsen bank account and sees him in 4th place in the world standings with $167,000 won.

Three for three. 2016 World Champion Saddle Bronc rider, Zeke Thurston, has been a picture of consistency at this year’s Wrangler National Finals. Thurston followed up a 5/6 split and a fourth place cheque in the first two rounds with another 5/6 split in round number three courtesy of an 86 point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Maria Bartiromo. And with the top two men in the world standings, Jacobs Crawley and Ryder Wright both having fallen well back in the aggregate, Thurston could be poised to be a big part of the championship conversation come the later rounds. Canada’s second bronc rider, the two-time and reigning Canadian Champion, Clay Elliott from Nanton, Alberta, was a solid 84.5 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Big Tex but was just a point and a half out of the money and is 11th in the world standings.

Stephenvile, Texas roper, Marty Yates, won his second go round in a row in the tie down roping, this time with a blazing 7.0 second run. Yates has now taken over the lead in both the aggregate and the world standings, dropping Tuf Cooper and season leader Shane Hanchey to second and third respectively.

In the barrel race, 2017 Canadian Champion Carman Pozzobon continued to be solid despite running on the bottom half of the ground for the third night in succession. The Savona, BC hand and her hard-running mare, Ripp posted a 13.87 to finish eighth in the round and just out of the money. However, Pozzobon’s three runs to date have her sitting eighth as well in the all-important, and very lucrative, aggregate. Salem, Oregon cowgirl, Amberleigh Moore, won the round with a 13.59 while Hailey Kinsel continues to sit atop the world standings after three rounds of NFR ’18.

A rapid section of team roping saw Derrick Begay and Cory Petska capture first place with a 4.0 second run. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira continue to cling to the overall lead but with several teams in contention, this race looks like it could go down to the last run next Saturday night.

In the bull riding, four-time and reigning World Champion Sage Kimzey and Utah bull rider Tyler Bingham spit the round with identical 88 point scores. And while Joe Frost is now three for three after his fifth place 83 point ride on C5 Rodeo’s Double Vision, Kimzey continues to lead the world with a remarkable $156,000 margin over the second place man, Parker Breding, with Frost now in third place.

Courtesy of CPRA

WNFR Round Two – Solid Night for Canada

It was bounce back night for Canadian competitors in round number two of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Both Canadian saddle bronc riders picked up cheques on Friday night at the Thomas and Mack Arena. 2016 World Champion Zeke Thurston picked up his second placing in two nights—this time surviving a wild ride and an even wilder get-off for 85 points and a 4th place $11,000 payday while two-time and reigning Canadian Champion Clay Elliot split 5/6 with an 84.5 score for $5500. For the second night in a row, Cort Scheer won the go-round, this time with a spectacular 92 points on a horse called Larry Culpepper from the Hi-Lo Rodeo Company but, best of all, this eight year-old roan gelding was Saskatchewan raised from the Art and Shawn Francis outfit. Thurston and Elliott now sit 5th and 9th in the world standings.

It didn’t take long for Scott Guenthner and Curtis Cassidy to get the ship righted. After both Canadian steer wrestlers took no times in WNFR round one, the Alberta hands came back with solid efforts on night number two. Guenthner, who just a month ago claimed his first Canadian title, bulldogged his steer in 4.1 seconds to split 3/4 in the round for a $13,692 cheque. Cassidy, who came to the NFR as the number one ranked steer wrestler in the world, checked in with a 4.3 and split 7/8 just one tick out of the money. Cassidy and Guenthner have fallen back to 4th and 5th respectively in the world standings after two rounds. The go-round was won by Tyler Pearson with a 3.6 run and with that the Louisville, Oklahoma cowboy went to the lead for the world.

In the bareback riding Canadian cowboy Orin Larsen was bucked off Powder River Rodeo’s Knot So Foxy. Larsen who looks to be favouring a leg injury he picked up at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, was limping as he left the arena after the ride. The round was won by Tilden Hooper who posted an 87.5 while two Canadian horses took cowboys to the pay window—Kesler Rodeo’s Uptown Flash (Steven Dent, 87 points for 2nd) and Calgary Stampede’s Yippee Kibitz (Mason Clements, 85.5, 4/5 split).

In the team roping, Clay Smith and 2012 Canadian Champion Paul Eaves topped the field with a 4.0 as Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira continue to lead the world standings.

The tie down roping is shaping up to be one of the closest races at this year’s WNFR as Marty Yates of Stephenville, Texas won the round with a lightning fast 7.6 second run. Yates is one of five men within $22,000 of the lead and is second in the aggregate as well with three-time world champion Tuf Cooper atop the standings after two rounds.

Carman Pozzobon, the 2017 Canadian Champion, rode her mare Ripp to a solid 13.81 to finish 8th in a blazing-fast round of barrel racing that was won by four-time Canadian champion, Lisa Lockhart from Oelrichs, South Dakota. Pozzobon, despite being well down on the ground for a second straight night was almost a half second faster than her opening night run.

On a night when the e-pen (eliminator) bulls bucked off twelve of fifteen riders including four-time and reigning World Champion Sage Kimzey, Utah cowboy Joe Frost made it two for two, winning the round with a spectacular 90 point ride on Powder River Rodeo Co’s Misfire. Bull of the Year Spotted Demon from the Big Stone Rodeo Inc. made short work of Oklahoma cowboy Garrett Tribble. Even with the buckoff, Kimzey continues to lead the world standings by a seemingly insurmountable $132,000.

For daily stock draws, round winners, results and highlights during the ten days of the NFR, go to

Courtesy of CPRA

Challenging Start for Canadian Contestants at WNFR

Night number one of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo wasn’t quite what Canadian competitors had hoped for. 2016 World Champion saddle bronc rider, Zeke Thurston, was the top Canuck as he rode Frontier Rodeo’s Griz for 82 points and a 5/6 split in the go round with season leader, Jacobs Crawley, for a $5500.00 cheque. Cort Scheer grabbed first place in the round with a pretty 86.5 point ride on the Calgary Stampede 7 year-old bay mare Y U R Friskey. Scheer’s win was one of two recorded on Canadian stock on opening night.

Thurston sits in 7th spot in the world standings, a very makeable $55,000 back of Crawley. Nanton’s Clay Elliott who won his second Canadian title a month ago finished just out of the money after his 80.5 point ride on Big Bend Rodeo’s Spotted Blues.

In the bareback riding, the lone Canadian, Orin Larsen, finished 9th in the round with an 82 point score on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Imperial Beach while Wyatt Denny rode Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Night Crawler for 87 points to win the first place cheque of $26,230.77.

It wasn’t the first round either of the Canadian steer wrestlers wanted to have as both Curtis Cassidy, who came to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as the number one ranked bulldogger in the world, and the number three man and recently-crowned Canadian Champion, Scott Guenthner, took no times on Thursday night. The round winner was the 2016 World Champion and recent bridegroom, Tyler Waguespack, who posted a rapid 3.6 to earn the go-round victory lap.

Kaleb Driggers and 2016 All-Around Champion Junior Nogueira put together a 4.2 second run in the team roping to capture round one honours. The Texan and the Brazilian continue to hold a comfortable lead in the world standings.

2015 World Champion, Caleb Smidt, won the tie-down roping with a 7.6 second run. Tuf Cooper and Trevor Brazile, the top two men in the All Around race both had to go to a second loop and finished well out of the money while season tie-down roping leader and recently crowned Canadian champ, Shane Hanchey, broke the barrier. All of this opened the door for several ropers, including Smidt, who were further down in the standings coming to Las Vegas.

In the barrel racing, 2017 Canadian Champion Carman Pozzobon and her tremendous mare, Ripn Lady (Ripp), running on the bottom of the ground, combined for a 14.24 second opening night run. The round was won by season leader, Hailey Kinsel, who was first out on night number one and dominated with a 13.51 to pad her lead in the race for the world title.

Bull Rider, Trey Benton lll was a sensational 88.5 points on Wayne Vold Rodeo’s five year old brindle, VJV Whiskey Hand, to win the round but four-time titleist Sage Kimzey continues to lead the world by almost $150,000 after yet another season of virtually total domination. Kimsey had Big Stone Rodeo Inc’s Mortimer and finished just a half point behind Benton. Chase Dougherty, competing at his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo rode Northcott Macza’s Chaba for 84 points for a sixth place cheque.

The 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo runs from December 6 – 15. For daily stock draws, round winners, results and highlights during the ten day event, go to

Courtesy of CPRA

Down to the Wire

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

September 25, 2018 l Airdrie, Alberta


  • Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

It’s a very special part of every rodeo season – the final few frenzied weeks of drama and tension as cowboys and cowgirls battle for the last qualifying berths to the CFR.

The second last regular season rodeo – the Dallas Sunstrum Memorial – had plenty of that drama September 21-22 in Brooks, Alberta.

Holden, Alberta barrel racer, Rene Leclercq, took a big step in the right direction with a blistering 14.388 second run to take home the first place cheque of $1317.83. Riding her ten year old mare, Flit, Leclercq knew the time was ripe for a big run.

“The girl I’m chasing, Justine Elliott, had gone just before and run a “4” (13.465) and I knew I had to go for broke so Flit and I went for the gusto,” Leclercq commented. “My mare felt really smooth and snappy in the turns; she was really good.”

The win moved Leclercq to 12th place overall, just $147 behind Elliott, and $1900 ahead of Renee Rae Willis who sits in 13th spot. The fly in the ointment, for both Leclercq and Elliott, is that Willis has qualified for the Grass Roots Final while neither of the other two have.

“I’ve been in this position before, where it comes down to the last rodeos,” Leclercq noted. “A couple of years ago, I missed entries for the Grass Roots and ended up missing CFR by just a few dollars. Last year was better as these last few rodeos and the Grass Roots Final sealed the deal for me for the CFR.”

As for the tension of having to wait for the Grass Roots results to know her own fate, Leclercq was philosophical, “There are people there who will be texting me, but to be honest, Renee (Willis) has a really nice horse and I’m okay with whatever happens. I’ve had a really good year, especially the last part of the season, no matter what.”

Another big mover at the Dallas Sunstrum Memorial was twelve time Canadian Champion, Curtis Cassidy, who topped the steer wrestling field with a 3.9 second run for $1210.93. The win was Cassidy’s second in a row (he won Oldstoberfest a week ago) and propelled the number one steer wrestler in the world to 12th place in the Canadian standings.

“I start every year planning not to be in this position in the last weeks of the season. Yet here I am again,” the Donalda cowboy chuckled. Cassidy leads the number thirteen man, Chance Butterfield, by less than $150 and the 14th place man, Brock Butterfield, by less than $600. The good news for Cassidy is that he has qualified for the Grass Roots Final – where neither of the Butterfield cousins have. That doesn’t mean if will be easy for Cassidy or any of the steer wrestlers scrambling for the final qualifying berths. Less than $2600 separates 9th place and 17th place in the standings with only the Grass Roots Final and the Hanna Indoor Pro Rodeo – both next weekend – remaining.

The races are equally dramatic in a number of other events – setting the stage for an action-packed Grass Roots Final September 27-28 at Stampede Park in Calgary and the Hanna Indoor Pro Rodeo September 28-30.

For complete unofficial Brooks results, Grass Roots Final and Hanna Rodeo information, go to

Courtesy of CPRA

PRCA, CPRA Create Maple Leaf Circuit

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is pleased to announce that it will be adding a 13th circuit, starting in the 2019 rodeo season.

The PRCA and Canadian Professional Rodeo Association have partnered to create the Maple Leaf Circuit, which will join the previously sanctioned 12 PRCA circuits.

“The creation of the Maple Leaf Circuit is a significant step toward our goal of unifying the sport of professional rodeo, while increasing the opportunities for our members,” said PRCA CEO George Taylor. “The longstanding relationship between the PRCA and the CPRA is a legacy that has created mutual benefits in the past, and the shared vision for the Maple Leaf Circuit will provide even more opportunities for our combined membership into the future.”

Effective Oct. 1, 2018, rodeo competitors who are members of both the PRCA and CPRA will be able to enter a select amount of CPRA rodeos throughout the 2019 rodeo season and earn Maple Leaf Circuit points.

CPRA General Manager Jeff Robson sees the new agreement as an opportunity to strengthen Canadian rodeo in several key areas.

“Both of our organizations are committed to attracting new members and creating avenues for new and existing members to make more money. This agreement solidifies the role of the CPRA and PRCA as industry leaders in and out of the arena,” Robson noted. “Expanding our partnership fits very well with our combined vision. Working alongside the PRCA to allow CPRA members to qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals south of the 49th parallel is a vital element in growing our sport. It is an exciting time as we continue to collaborate on initiatives that will benefit our members.”

The champions of the Maple Leaf Circuit – two in each rodeo event – will qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, in Kissimmee, Fla., starting in April 2020.

“We are excited to see the addition of the Maple Leaf Circuit to the circuit system,” said Beth Knight, Osceola County (Fla.) Deputy Manager. “We believe that they will draw additional fans, especially given the number of Canadians that call Central Florida their winter home. This agreement will provide unique marketing opportunities and will drive a new fan base to our destination.”

Courtesy of CPRA

Manning and Pozzobon – A Friendly Rivalry

July 30, 2018 l Airdrie, Alberta


Manning and Pozzobon – A Friendly Rivalry

  • Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

It was a nice moment. Friday night at the Medicine Hat Stampede is always one of the special rodeo performances of the entire year, and this one was no exception.

Canadian Champion barrel racer Carman Pozzobon had made her run and taken the lead. She’d been asked to stay close to the arena outgate to complete an interview and was standing with Shelley Manning while 14 year old Taylor Manning (Shelley’s daughter) was making her run.

“I always root for Taylor,” Pozzobon acknowledged. “And she had almost a perfect run. I knew it would be close and I wasn’t surprised when she beat me. And I was okay with it, because it meant she’d have to do the interview,” she grinned.

Taylor’s time of 17.467 seconds (two one-thousandths of a second faster than Pozzobon) held up to win the Finning Tour stop, netting the teenage talent $3125.

“My horse, Matlock, came from Grant and Rayel Little,” said Taylor. “He’s been really good again this year. And it was awesome to beat Carman when it was so close… she’s super nice.”

The ten year old gelding, Good Little Nick (by As Good As Nick Gets out of Fols Dream Of Cash) carried Taylor to her first Canadian Finals Rodeo appearance in 2017. The Medicine Hat win, coupled with a second place finish at Bonnyville ($1335), moved the Edson, AB native (unofficially) to second spot in the 2018 Canadian standings with over $21,000 won.

With a CFR berth all but clinched, for both Taylor and twin brother, Tristen, who sits second in the steer riding standings, it may be the first time that a set of twins has qualified for the CFR in the same year.

Meanwhile for Pozzobon, the season is playing out almost exactly according to plan.

“I was hoping to do well enough at the big rodeos down south – early in the season – to be able to stay in Canada for the most part, from this point on,” the Canadian Champion noted. “I’ll go to about six close ones in the U.S. and spend the rest of my time up here.”

With three goals in mind, another trip to the CFR, a first-time appearance at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and a return to The American, everything seems to be falling into place for the Savona, BC cowgirl and her eight year old buckskin mare, Ripp’n Lady (Ripp).

Pozzobon holds a comfortable $12,000 lead in Canada, and sits solidly in tenth place in the World standings.

“Ripp gives me a chance to win at every rodeo. We’re getting more consistent and I’ve figured out the things I need to help her with… and at the same time, she helps me.”

The 32 year old horse trainer is especially excited about the new home for the CFR. “I love change. And I actually think we can do better (in Red Deer) than we did in Edmonton because I don’t think the run to first barrel will be as long in this building (Westerner Park’s Enmax Centrium). That will be easier for Ripp and me.”

2016 Canadian Champion Saddle Bronc rider, Clay Elliott, has been on a tear of his own in the month of July. The 24 year old Nanton, Alberta cowboy continued that success with a big win at the Hard Grass Bronc Match in Pollockville. Elliott “40 percented” the field – winning the long go with an 89 point ride on The Calgary Stampede’s Umber Bubbles then spurring out a spectacular 92 point effort on Calgary’s Special Delivery to edge last year’s reserve World champion, Brody Cress, of Hillsdale, WY.

The win capped a streak that began July 4 with a win at Red Lodge, Montana – and solid placings at Livingston, MT and Cody, WY the same day. The second generation cowboy went on to enjoy a “Final Four” appearance at the recently concluded Calgary Stampede then posted a big win at Edmonton’s K-Days Rodeo for $13,000 and another win at Helena – all leading to Sunday’s big performance at Pollockville.

Of the second year bronc riding event, Elliott noted enthusiastically, “The Hard Grass Bronc Match is outstanding. It felt like I knew half the people who were there plus it had a really cool atmosphere. With Alpha Bull producing it, it was a pretty hyped up show and really good for the spectators.

“We got to pick our horses for the final,” Elliott explained. “And I got to pick first. We’d been talking on the way there – about the one to have in the short round, and I really wanted to see Special Delivery under saddle. Sometimes bareback horses making the switch don’t handle the halter that well but he was just darn good to ride — really nice.”

The successful four week run has vaulted Elliott (unofficially) to first place in the Canadian standings and eighth in the World.

For complete results for all five recent Alberta events – Medicine Hat, Bonnyville, Pollockville, Bowden and Bruce – go to

Rodeo action remains fast and furious for CPRA competitors. The High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo runs July 31-August 1; Strathmore Stampede is slated for August 3-6 and Grimshaw’s North Peace Stampede takes place August 4-5.

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

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  

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

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”


“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 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

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