Championship Sunday at Innisfail

Photo by Deanna Buschert

“The Innisfail Rodeo and the Daines family are the reason I take out my Canadian card.”

Trevor Brazile made the statement while accepting the High Point award at the 53rd Annual Innisfail Pro Rodeo that wrapped up on Sunday at the Daines Rodeo Ranch. Brazile split 2nd in the tie down roping (7.2 seconds for $5427) and added $2760 as he and partner Patrick Smith earned a 3-4 split in the team roping with their 4.5 second run. The $8100 haul for Brazile was topped only by Oelrichs, SD barrel racer Lisa Lockhart whose first place run on Saturday afternoon was good for a whopping $8507.

While Brazile, the seventeen time World Champion, has been a fixture at Innisfail in recent years, his wife Shada was making her first appearance at the picturesque Daines Ranch Rodeo. And although it was Father’s Day, the Decatur, Texas superstar used the occasion to heap praise on the lady of his life. “She went back barrel racing after we had our two kids and she’s in the top seven in the World standings right now… I’m really proud of her. Rodeoing as a family has been a lot of fun,” Brazile noted.

Brazile’s split of second in the tie down roping was shared with Montana roper, Jason Schaffer who has been lighting it up in Canada in recent weeks. The top gun in the roping was another familiar name—Brazile’s brother-in-lay, Clint Cooper. Cooper’s 7.1 held up for the one-tenth of a second victory and earned the Texas hand $6302. Cooper, Brazile and Schaffer were part of a total U.S. domination of the Tie Down Roping.

Not so in the steer wrestling where reining Canadian Champion, Tanner Milan provided the top drama of Innisfail’s championship Sunday. Milan was the last of the 109 bulldoggers entered at Innisfail and did, in fact, ‘save the best for the last’ with a sensational 4.1 to ease by young Casey Lawes whose 4.4 in the slack on Wednesday had held up until Milan’s last man heroics. “I had a good steer… Lee Graves told me to let him out a bit and I did that and it worked out,” Milan told the large and appreciative Innisfail crowd. “I thought I made a pretty good run.” No argument there as the win resulted in a $7064 payday for the likable Cochrane cowboy. “Oh and Happy Father’s Day Dad,” Milan added, saluting his father and CPRA President, Murry Milan who was on hand to see the winning run. And Championship Sunday lived up to its billing as five of the seven events were won on the last of the five Innisfail performances.

2006 Canadian Bull Riding Champion Tanner Girletz is doing everything he can to ensure that sitting out last year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo (‘I hated being at home listening to it on the radio.’) won’t happen again. The Bowden bull rider turned in an electric 88.5 performance on the back of Calgary Stampede’s Grey Water to claim the first place cheque of $6079 and vault into second place in the Canadian standings with just under $12,000 won only a third of the way into the 2013 season.

Three time Canadian Champion, Lisa Lockhart, made her winning run (15.611 seconds) on her seasoned and sensational gelding Chisum and was just quick enough to edge popular home town cowgirl, Cheryl Daines whose second place run (15.640 seconds) earned the former Miss Rodeo Canada $6805.

Team ropers Levi Simpson (Claresholm) and John Robertson (Polson, Montana) continued their winning ways with a blazing 3.9 second run for $3680 each, the win consolidating the duo’s hold on top spot in the Canadian standings.

NFR bareback rider Steven Dent of Mullen, Nebraska spurred out a spectacular 89 point ride on the Calgary Stampede’s Muffled Cries for $5002 and a half point margin over two time world titleist, Kaycee Feild.

The saddle bronc title was also won on Sunday as 2009 Canadian Champion, Chet Johnson matched up with another world-class Calgary Stampede bucker—Mad Money. Johnson’s 87.5 earned the Douglas, Wyoming competitor $5713 and moved him to the lead in the Canadian standings, ahead of Canadian Rylan Geiger who managed a fourth place finish and $1900 at the Innisfail stop.

Jordan Swanson won the novice saddle bronc event with a 74 score for $752 while Daniel Gratton’s 60 points was good enough to win the novice bareback riding and a cheque for $768. Reigning Canadian Steer Riding Champ, Kagen Schmidt was 73 points to earn the first place payoff of $814.

Complete Innisfail results are available at rodeocanada.com

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