Courtesy of CPRA

Heading For the Finish Line

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

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