*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.