*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
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.