Kylie Whiteside

Dedication pays off for Rana Koopman

Rana Koopman aboard "Doc". Photo Courtesy: Mike Copeman

Rana Koopmans relied on all of the above in a successful quest for her first ever Canadian Barrel Racing Championship. The five-time CFR qualifier and her talented chestnut gelding, Real Easy Doc, placed in every round at this year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo which wrapped up November 14 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta. A go-round win, a second, two 2/3 splits, a third and a fifth earned the popular Lethbridge cowgirl $49,247, raising her season earnings to $74,540 and earning her the title.
”I love the Canadian Finals,” explained Koopmans. “And I was just happy my horse worked well.” The 28 year old barrel racer and trainer (who appeared on rodeo programs as Rana Walters until this past April when she married Logan Koopmans) read her horse well. “I can’t show him the barrels much,” she commented. “He gets too ‘shutty’ if I’m not careful, and can hit barrels.” Her strategy paid off as she also won the aggregate at the Finals. Her championship cash winnings were topped up by a year’s use of a 2011 Dodge One Ton Truck, a Contway Bronze, a CPRA ring and myriad other prizes. As well, Koopmans’ gelding was named ‘Horse With the Most Heart’, a sought-after title voted on by the other barrel racers.

Out of Walter Quarter Horses own program, Real Easy Doc was sired by Real Easy Buy (by Easy Jet) and out of dam Docs Baby Sue (by Docs Chardonnay by
Doc Bar). This mare has produced a number of winning barrel horses, some of which are currently in training at the Walters Ranch south of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Real Easy Buy, or Doc, as he’s more commonly known,  has a long history of successes considering he’s only nine years of age. The race-bred gelding, who stands 16.2 hands, won the $100,000 Pro Tour Futurity as a three year old with Donnie Reese aboard. Rana showed Doc as a Derby horse, winning two Canadian Derbies and the Oklahoma City BFA Reserve Derby title.

Never an easy win, this year’s Canadian Finals Barrel Race was as challenging as ever considering the credentials of the other barrel racing contestants. The 2010 CFR roster included seven Canadians aside from Koopmans (2008 World Champion, Lindsay Sears; 2-time CFR qualifier, Lauren Chad; futurity trainer/competitor, Crystal Shaw; 7-time CFR qualifier and Calgary Stampede $100,000 winner, Joleen Seitz; Canadian Rookie barrel racer, Casey Crandall; 5 time NFR qualifier and 5-time Canadian Champion, Deb Renger and 5-time CFR qualifier, Sierra Stoney). Topping out the 12 woman roster were 4- time NFR qualifier and 2 time Canadian Champion, Lisa Lockhart, second year pro, Britany Fleck, 2010 NFR qualifier, Benette Barrington and 4-time NFR qualfier, Sherrylynn Johnson.

While Koopmans had been a force throughout the CFR, there was still plenty of drama heading into the Sunday final performance. Koopmans had $57,000 in total earnings; Lockhart and her Docs Oak/Judge Cash bred buckskin gelding, Louie (owned by Tim Bagnell), were $9000. behind her but had knocked a barrel back in round 2, taking them out of the aggregate. And Benette Barrington, who trailed Koopmans by $20,000, was only 17/100’s of a second behind the Lethbridge cowgirl in the aggregate. A go-round win for Barrington (on the Jud Little mare, Nicky Brick House -aka, Nicky) and a hit barrel by Koopmans could have opened the door for the Barrington. As Koopmans waited in the alley, Bennington hit a barrel to go out of contention but Lockhart applied the pressure by posting a 14.58, taking the lead in the round just moments before Koopmans headed into the arean. While all she really had to do that final day was keep the barrels standing, the Canadian chose not to play it safe, instead putting an exclamation point on her title with a 14.62 run for a split of second and third.

As sought after as the overall title is, of major importance as well, is the fact that the top five competitors in each major CFR event receive automatic buys into the 2011 Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, The Calgary Stampede Rodeo.

Overall the top five barrel racing finishers at this year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo (and the 2011 Calgary Stampede qualifiers) were Rana Koopmans, $74,539.50; Lisa Lockhart, $58,896.89; Crystal Shaw, $45,790.57; Britany Fleck, $44,794.59 and Sierra Stoney, $38,341.9.

Other event winners included: Bareback Champion, Dusty LaValley; High Point and Steer Wrestling Champion, Curtis Cassidy; Tie-Down Roping Champion, Tuf Cooper, Saddle Bronc Champion, Dustin Flundra, Bull Riding Champion, Jesse Torkelson; All-Around Champion, Steven Turner and Team Roping Champions, Rocky Dallyn & Chase Simpson.

For more detailed results, go to rodeocanada.com

2010 SEMI-PRO LADIES BARREL RACING CHAMPIONS

All semi-pro rodeo associations have wrapped up for the year…  with the most recent event, the Canadian Cowboys Association Finals just last night at Agribition in Regina, SK.  For the second year in a row, Danielle Dinius was named 2010 CCA Ladies Barrel Racing Champion.

Additional 2010 Semi-Pro Ladies Barrel Racing Champions are:

Manitoba Rodeo Association:

Don Goebel

Chinook Rodeo Association:

Tammy Schuurman

Foothills Cowboy Association:

Valerie Gillespie

Lakeland Rodeo Association:

Ruby Braconnier

WildRose Rodeo Association:

Dixie Dyer

British Columbia Rodeo Association:

Melanie Beeton

Ontario Rodeo Association:

Tamaran Gray

~ submitted by Barb Poulsen

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