101st Teepee Creek Stampede

 

Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

The Teepee Creek Stampede ran this year from July 13-16 in Teepee Creek, Alberta. The rodeo is one of the oldest in Alberta, last year celebrating their centennial, with the first ever TeePee Creek Stampede being held in 1916. For many years the Teepee Creek Stampede was the largest amateur rodeo in the north and one of the largest amateur events in Canada. In 2007, the decision was made to sanction the event as a Canadian Pro Rodeo Association professional rodeo. Teepee Creek Stampede brings some of the very best cowboys and cowgirls in the world to compete in front of massive crowds, in 2015 alone they boasted 15,000 spectators to the event. The committee has also done an excellent job of continuing to embrace the history of the stampede by showcasing local events such as the Wild Cow Milking, Wild Horse Race, and The Rawhide Race, as well as including chuckwagon racing and specialty acts to entertain and thrill the crowds.

This year, the official photographer for the event was Nicky Rae Photography who shared some of her fantastic photos with WHR below. Rae says, “I am honoured to have wrapped up my first year as the official photogpraher of the Teepee Creek Stampede Pro Rodeo. It was a busy 4 days in the wild with mounted shooting, barrel racing, cattle penning, a queen contest, pony (chuckwagons) and World Chuckwagon Association wagons, trick riders, wild horse and pony racers, great concerts and of course the standardly awesome pro rodeo action. Great announces that have rodeo in their soul, and speak it for all of us to hear. I choose carefully the events that I partner with because I pour my heart and soul into every one. When I was asked to photograph this event, I didn’t even need to think about the answer. This event holds so much history it is unbelievable. The best part? The folks that put this event on know how important and rare that is and they cherish it, even feature it. After all, you should do it with passion, or not at all. Congrats to the 2017 committee and competitors for a job well done.”

 

The Teepee Creek Stampede Stagecoach. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

The pony chuckwagons are a fan favourite. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

Future pro rodeo stars, the Little Briches Rodeo contestants. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae photography

 

Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

That’s one way to finish a cold one at the rodeo. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

One of the youngest specialty acts at the Teepee Creek Stampede. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Another brave, young, trick rider performs roman riding over fire. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Miss Rodeo Canada, Ali Mullin, was in attendance. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Mutton Busting is a crowd favourite at the event. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Miss Teepee Creek Stampede, Miss Rodeo Canada and the Teepee Creek Stampede Rodeo Committee. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

 

Texan takes top spot in 14 class Team Cattle Penning Championships

Photo: Calgary Stampede Team Cattle Penning


Shared from Calgary Stampede News

When the prize money at the Calgary Stampede enters record-breaking territory, even riders from Texas will make the trek north, despite having 11 horses in tow.

The journey paid off to the tune of $27,737 for Louie Saggione III of New Boston, Texas. Saggione and his teammates, Erin Hill (Temecula, Calif.) and Gary Naughton (Grand Ridge, Ill.) took top spot in the 14 Class Team Cattle Penning Championships Friday at the Saddledome. A whopping 819 teams entered the event’s four classes, up from 650 in 2016, pushing the overall prize money to $400,032.

“When you put this much money up, you are going to get an exemplary group of competitors,” said Saggione, whose team posted an aggregate time of 132.420 over four runs, with 12 head penned. “We had a little luck and the team worked well together. We stayed calm and did what we needed to.”

Reserve Champions Shaylene Hunter, Carther Rice and Chrissy Santangelo were awarded a cheque for $18,491 for their time of 140.070 with 12 head penned. In Team Cattle Penning, teams have one thin minute to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and direct them into a 16-foot-by-24-foot pen at the opposite end of the arena. It’s a fast-paced dance between the riders and their mounts, and the cattle they’re aiming to pen.

Teamwork is paramount, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen. The four classes in Team Cattle Penning are based on relative skill and experience — in ascending order from 7 Class, to 10 Class, to 14 Class, to the trainers and travelling professionals of the Open Class. This year, teams faced off over three days of qualifying in the Silver Slate Arena in Stavely, Alberta, for the 20 available spots in each class.

Saggione, Hill and Naughton have ridden together for years and the Stampede is the kick off to their competition season. Hill qualified for Sunday’s Class 10 final and then the trio will head to California with those 11 horses Saggione drove up from Texas. (Despite the number of mounts, Hill ended up borrowing horses from other competitors for her rides.) First, though, there will be time for some “adult activities” at local watering holes, Saggione said.

A team from closer to home, meanwhile, took the 7 Class Team Cattle Championships, also held on Friday. Father and daughter Leonard and Danielle Gamache from Quesnel, B.C. earned their championship belt buckles and $32,452 payout for their four rides with teammate Christine Gray of Kamloops, B.C. The trio posted an aggregate time of 141.860 with 12 head penned, nailing consistent runs in the 30- to 40-second zone.

That the trio bested a field of 241 teams in the 7 Class is even more impressive when you learn Danielle is 15 years old. It’s not her first rodeo, so to speak, as she competed at Stampede last year (finishing in eighth spot) and won the Nationals in 2014 riding with her parents.

“I like to be competitive,” she said with a shrug when asked what keeps her engaged in the sport. Her father confirmed it, saying his daughter brings that drive for perfection to all that she does, whether it’s her schooling or rounding up cattle in front of thousands of spectators. Danielle will have a shot at another championship buckle on Sunday, as she also qualified in the 10 Class.

“The family that plays together, that pens together, stays together,” added Leonard, and as his son also competes, it really is a family hobby.

Also in 7 Class, an aggregate time of 161.700 with 12 head penned earned Jim Ward and Ty and Lani Cornelius the title of Reserve Champions and a cheque for $21,635.

For full results, please visit calgarystampede.com

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

GMC Rangeland Derby – King Kelly’s Final Lap

The King of the Chuckwagons, Kelly Sutherland is set to take his last laps around the Calgary Stampede track this year. Photo: Leah Hennel/Post Media

 

Re-posted with permission from Calgary Stampede News
By: Scott Cruickshank, Calgary Stampede

The writing on the side of the shiny truck nicely sums up the man’s career. Painted in big letters, white on black, are two lines – 12 world championships, 12 Calgary championships. That snapshot of dominance is digestible even at highway speed. And the licence plate declares who’s in the driver’s seat – KING K. Yes, the King. Kelly Sutherland. The chuckwagon legend, who will soon know if he needs to update that paint job, is taking his last crack at the GMC Rangeland Derby. Because, whether he likes it or not, the pasture awaits. Aging out at 65 years old, does not mean he intends to tiptoe away from the Calgary Stampede. A household name, the winningest reinsman in history, he remains hungry.

“When you talk about racing, I was a hog – I got to the trough,” says Sutherland, relaxing at his son Mark’s spread, south of Calgary. “When I leave, there’s going to be quite a vacuum… because I’m always perceived to be a threat to win. If I can get there, I can usually get the job done.”

Action – with $1.15 million in prize money – opens Friday at 7:45 p.m. It concludes July 17 with the Dash for Cash. One of 36 invitees, Sutherland has appeared 21 times in the championship heat. So he doesn’t see why he can’t pad his portfolio.

“Oh, that would be special,” he says of the prospect of nailing down a 13th title here. “Every win has been extremely emotional, especially the last ones. You know you’re coming to the top of the mountain and you’re putting up more flags. That’s how I look at it – you make your mark higher every time you win. The minute you stop doing that, of course, your career starts going the other way.”

Sutherland admits that, physically, he ain’t what he used to be. Even faithfully following an off-season training regimen hasn’t slowed a case of the creaks. As a relatively small driver, five foot 11 and 175 pounds, he’s taken a beating over the past 50 years. “Shoulders, hips, all moving joints,” says the Grande Prairie, Alta., native. “The last five years have been extremely hard on my body. My body has been telling me for a while that things aren’t so nice.”

“I can walk – everybody knows somebody that can’t – so I think that it’s just time for me.”

The sport won’t see another character like him. Peers and fans love or hate the outspoken star, but no one can dispute his profile, which he took measures to enhance. Accommodating reporters. Signing autographs. Promoting himself. “I was the first chuckwagon driver that actually made posters,” says Sutherland. “It was frowned upon in the ’70s by the old guys. They were very reserved. It was the western way – you didn’t blow your own horn. My whole life has been colourful to say the least.”

Without question. Only 17 years old, and already married to his sweetheart Debbie, he made an erratic debut at the Stampede. At 20, he placed second.

“I thought, ‘Well, there it goes – I’m never going to win this thing.’ ” But in 1974, he became the youngest-ever victor in Calgary – only 22. He claimed four of the next five crowns. “I thought I was invincible, that I could win at will.”

But over the next 19 years, he registered only a single Rangeland victory. Carousing was taking its toll. Desperately reaching out to Alcoholics Anonymous, he’s been sober since 1995. “(Drinking) used to consume about eight hours of my day,” says Sutherland. “(Without booze) you’ve got that eight hours to put to use and I just focused on racing horses and winning. “I got cleaned up and I won (the Stampede) five out of six years.” Along the way to chuckwagon’s pinnacle, he cultivated a couple of trademarks – the eagle feather (tucked into his hat band before his first Stampede triumph and immediately a permanent part of his get-up) and the exuberant post-race thumbs-up.

“That’s emotional,” Sutherland says of the gesture. “When you win something and you beat a bunch of guys … some guys hide emotion, I don’t.” He managed to capture Rangeland Derby titles in his 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s – and one a couple of months shy of his 60th birthday. Imagine that.

“When I was a kid, I always had so much drive to be successful,” he says. “Internally, I felt that I had to conquer some sporting event. Fortunately, I won early and often when I was young. I got the confidence. After that, it was natural.

“At some of the bigger events, like Calgary, (I felt) it’s not mine to win, it’s mine to lose. There was just an air about it. I feel an entitlement that that show is blocked and reserved for me.”

Now Sutherland, a great-grandfather, is done. Nearly. “Kind of surreal,” he says, “because I’ve witnessed the sport come from the real, real rough, tough, old cowboy stance to a lot of commercialization now. I’m sure I’ll miss it, but I think I’m ready to move onto another chapter in my life.”

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

Kootenay Smoke N’ Guns

Submitted by Pamela Sabo

Blue skies and sunshine were the order of the day with green fields and tall mountains creating the backdrop for this exciting competition hosted by the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association of British Columbia. CMSABC is nearing the second anniversary of the creation of this non-profit society and this was the very first CMSA sanctioned event ever held in this province.

Photo by Janice Storch.

Horses of various breeds and their riders, ranging in age from 10 to 65+, participated in this exciting, fast paced and noisy sport on Saturday, May 27th at Creston Flats Stables in the heart of the beautiful Kootenays! Members of our local CMSABC, along with competitors from Alberta, Saskatchewan and the US, were able to indulge in the enjoyment of fast horses, gunpowder, and bursting balloons. Within their various skill levels/classes, participants attempted to achieve the fastest time, with fewest missed balloons, in their efforts to accumulate points, awards and prizes!

The day began with the Cowboy Prayer read by John Solly, our excellent announcer for the day. This was followed by a lovely rendition of O Canada, beautifully sung by some lovely young ladies and the playing of the US anthem while two young gentlemen rode the Canadian and American colours through the arena.

The competition kicked off with Wranglers (youth under 18) ground firing at their targets, while under direct supervision of an appropriately licenced adult. This was followed by the Main Match, consisting of 3 stages, where competitors individually ride a specific pattern while addressing the balloon targets with their revolvers. Youth competitors also ride the pattern for timed scores. They do not shoot from the horses, but they “address” the target with cap guns. One of the highlights of the day is the exciting Shotgun and Rifle matches! In these classes the competitors ride and shoot the first half of the pattern with revolver, then holster the revolver, and with both hands on either the rifle or shotgun, and their horse often running with only the guidance of their legs, shoot the remaining balloons in the “rundown”.

Firearms used are replicas of pre-1890’s 45 calibre six shooters, which requires users to have completed specific firearms training, testing and licencing for restricted firearms. There are, however, NO projectiles permitted in this sport, and balloon targets are burst ONLY by the hot embers from blank ammo.

Horsemanship and safety are of the utmost importance in developing the skills required by both horse and rider. Horses are desensitized and carefully trained to become skilled partners in the sport and are highly valued. Their comfort and safety is of primary importance and both horses and riders wear hearing protection.

Interested in learning more about this exciting equine sport? Canyon Community Association is hosting a demonstration by the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association of BC during their Canada Day celebration. The demo will take place at Canyon Park, Canyon, BC from 9:00 – 9:45 am on Saturday, July 1.

Photo by Janice Storch.

Photo by Janice Storch.

Photo by Janice Storch.

Little Known Facts about the Kentucky Derby

A view from the first turn. I’ll Have Another is seen here in the middle of the pack. He shortly thereafter burst through and went on to win Kentucky Derby 138. CREDIT: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography.

 

*

BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE

It’s Derby Day! And with that, we wanted to share with you 10 interesting facts about this wonderful event and the history behind it:

10 – Unfortunately, not everything in the world of racing is cheerful and exciting. In 1899, Meriwether Lewis Clark, founder of the Kentucky Derby, committed suicide just a few days prior the 25th running of this prestigious event.

*
9 – In 1919, Sir Baron won the Derby, becoming the first winner in history of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (a term that didn’t become official until the 1930’s Derby, when the New York Times used it to describe the combined wins in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes).

*
8 – The first network radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby took place on May 16th, 1925, with about 5 to 6 million thrilled fans tuning in for the anticipated race. Also, Bill Corum coined, for the very first time, the now well-known phrase: “Run For The Roses.”

Count Fleet before the race in 1943.

7 – Not even World War II could cause this beautiful sport to press pause. During 1943, regardless of the war-time restrictions, 65,000 fans gathered at Churchill Downs to see “Count Fleet” take the tittle home.

*
6 – 1968 marked a turning point for the sport, as “Dancer’s Image” became the first winner to be disqualified. After the race, “Dancer’s Image” tested positive for an illegal medication. Thus, the purse was taken away from him and awarded to the second-place finisher.

Diane Crump.

5 – Stick it to the man! In 1970 Diane Crump became the first female jockey in history to ride in the Kentucky Derby race. Even though Crump finished 15th out 0f 18 horses, she sent a strong and clear message to everyone watching, and brought women to the forefront of horse racing.

*
4 – During the 99th running of the Kentucky Derby, famous “Secretariat” won the race establishing the fastest finish time to date. He completed the race in just 1:59:40. Not only that, but “Secretariat” went on to win the Triple Crown, for the first time in 25 years. What an amazing athlete!

*
3 – In 1977, Seattle Slew wins the Kentucky Derby and goes on to win the Triple Crown. He becomes the 10th Triple Crown winner, and only horse in history to achieve that tittle while remaining undefeated.

*
2 – The early 2000s caused an array of emotions to the millions of fans all around the world. 2000 marked the third century in which the Kentucky Derby was run. Six years later, “Barbaro” would become the winner of the Kentucky Derby by six-and-a-half lengths, recording the largest victory since 1946. Unfortunately, Barbaro was injured a few weeks after, and passed away due to complications of that injury. He stole the hearts of millions of fans, and in his memory, a bronze statue was placed above his remains at the entrance of Churchill Downs Racetrack.

The finish line.

*
1 – With the 143th edition of the Kentucky Derby happening today, we can’t help to look back to its very beginning and wonder; what makes the Kentucky Derby so special, so unique? It might be the fact of how little the event has change since its very first “Run For the Roses” back in 1875. As many other sports evolve and progress in many ways, the Thoroughbred Racing world has remained unchanged: same location, (Churchill Downs), same date (first Saturday in May), same breed and age (3 year old Thoroughbreds), and even similar fashion sensibilities. All these factors have shaped and molded the Kentucky Derby into what is today, and will help it withstand the test of time for many years to come.

Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round

 

Oldstoberfest returns for a second round of rodeo, beer and lederhosen.

The unique event that combines rodeo with an Ocktoberfest swing to it is returning to Alberta this September 15-16 at the Olds Regional Exhibition grounds.

In 2015, the event brought over 8,000 visitors into the town with a professional rodeo, an authentic Biergarten and world class concerts. Under new ownership of C5 Rodeo Company, Oldstoberfest will now return as an annual event once again.

“We are so excited to bring this event back to Olds and continue a tradition that brought many together in such a fun, unique celebration.” said Gillian Grant, C5 Rodeo Coordinator. “Our goal is for Oldstoberfest to be the premier fall community event in the town of Olds for years to come!”

Oldstoberfest will continue the tradition of combining the World’s First Bavarian Rodeo and Cow Palace Biergarten, with exceptional outdoor concert entertainment. A volunteer meeting will be held at the Olds Cow Palace on April 13th, 2017 at 6:00 pm and is open to anyone who would like to be involved.

Canvas Auction Numbers Up

In a show of strong community support for the sport of chuckwagon racing, the total auction proceeds this evening are $2,420,500 up $123,000 from 2016. Kelly Sutherland takes home the top bid of the night, $110,000, courtesy of Friends of the King.

“This sport has deep roots in our city and in our country, and tonight’s bidding makes that very clear,” said Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon committee chair Mike Piper, following the auction. “The support pledged to these drivers helps to ensure we will continue to enjoy chuckwagon racing for years to come.”

In total, more than 175 groups and companies registered for the opportunity to advertise with the 36 men who will be competing in the 2017 GMC Rangeland Derby during the Calgary Stampede, July 7-16. The proceeds of tonight’s auction will help those drivers cover the expense of caring for and travelling with their horses, not just during the Calgary Stampede, but throughout the racing season.

In addition to gaining valuable exposure for their brand, successful bidders now have the opportunity to offer clients, employees, friends and family a one-of-a-kind experience in the chuckwagon barn area during the 2017 Calgary Stampede.  For interested parties, a select few of those opportunities may still be possible post-auction by teaming up with successful bidders. More information is available at calgarystampede.com.

 20172016
Total Auction Proceeds $2,420,500$2,297,500
Average Bid$67,236$63,819
Top bid driverKelly SutherlandKurt Bensmiller
Top bid$110,000$120,000

6th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo

 

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Prairieland Park organizers and the Saskatchewan Equine Expo committee would like to thank their partners The Saskatchewan Horse Federation and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, along with all the sponsors, the media and volunteers who helped to make the 6th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo such an amazing success.
The 6th Annual Equine Expo achieved a record attendance with 11,725 people taking in the 4 day show.

The Saskatchewan Equine Expo showcases many elements of the Equine industry through demonstrations, clinics, competitions, awards and an industry trade show.
The Saskatchewan Equine Expo would like to thank their three incredible trainers for the entertaining performances, and congratulate Kade Mills from Sundre, Alberta on being named the winner of the NAERIC Trainer Challenge. Both Glenn Stewart and Dale Clearwater captivated the audience demonstrating their expertise in Natural Horsemanship demonstrations and a Working Cow Horse clinic this year.

Congratulations also to the winner of the Ultimate Cow Horse Competition, Geoff Hoar, Red Deer Country, Alberta. The Battle of the Breeds was a highlight for the audience watching 6 breeds compete in 4 events to determine the overall winner – Team Quarter Horse was awarded 1st place, followed by Team Arabian in 2nd place and Team Andalusian in 3rd place.
“The weather definitely cooperated with us this year and we are so pleased that the 6th Equine Expo again attracted such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd”, commented Lori Cates, Agriculture Manager.

How To Spell Relief… W-I-N

 

CANADIAN PROFESSIONAL RODEO ASSOCIATION

For Barrhead’s Kolton Schmidt and American partner, Shay Carroll, it took nine rounds to get the monkey off their backs and win their first cheque of this WNFR. But when they did it, they did it right, making that cheque a first place payoff ($26,239 per man) while recording the fastest time of the rodeo through nine rounds — a sensational 3.6 seconds.

Schmidt, riding the PRCA/AQHA Heading Horse of the Year, Badger, and Carroll had come to the Finals with a legitimate shot at a world title but encountered a series of frustrations though the first eight days of the rodeo.

“It’s kind of funny,” Schmidt chuckled. “This was the fastest time of the week and the slowest I’ve gone in my mind. I think I’ve just been going too fast up until now. I knew with my horse and my heeler if I did my job, it would work out.”

Carroll agreed. “I picked this guy for a reason at the start of the year,” he said of his heading partner. “I’m not surprised at all. I knew he’d rope like he can and I just wanted to be ready.”

Ponoka’s Levi Simpson and his Arrowwood, Alberta partner Jeremy Buhler bounced back from their first no time of this Finals in the eighth round to post a 4.6 second run to place 4th on this night and move up a notch in the average race to second spot. The Alberta cowboys are 8 of 9 and just 1.6 seconds out of first place in the average and the $67,000 first place aggregate cheques.

Leading the world standings heading into the final round are Luke Brown of Stephenville, Texas and Jake Long of Coffeyville, Kansas.

The phenomenal comeback story of this WNFR, bareback rider, Orin Larsen, placed in the round for the 4th night in a row. He’s had to battle back from re-injuring the rib-tear he suffered back in September. After being blanked through the first five rounds, he made the statement, “I have no choice – I have to win.” Since making that pronouncement, winning is exactly what he’s done, including taking his first-ever victory lap at the Thomas and Mack Arena in go round number eight.

Tonight the Manitoba cowboy was 86.5 on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s former world champion bareback horse, MGM Dirty Jacket, to collect a third place cheque of $15,653 and give him $62,190 over the last four rounds.

Three time Canadian champion Jake Vold continued his outstanding WNFR, placing 4th for an $11,000 payday. The Ponoka product has also climbed to 3rd place overall in the average at a finals that has seen him win three rounds and place in six overall.

Tanner Aus was the top gun in the round with an 88.5 score and Tim O’Connell continues to hold a comfortable lead in the world championship race heading to the final day. Wayne Vold Rodeo’s outstanding grey, True Grit, carried Ty Breuer to 83.5 and a sixth place cheque of $4,230 to kick off the go round.

The saddle bronc riding wasn’t as good to the youthful Canadian trio as it had been in recent rounds that saw all three place on each of the previous three nights. In round nine, Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston was out of the money with a 77.5 score while both Clay Elliott (Nanton, AB) and Jake Watson (Hudson’s Hope, BC)  were bucked off. The silver lining  in this cloud is that despite bucking off for the first time in nine rounds, Watson will go to the last go round in first place in the average, with 663 points on eight rides, just one point ahead of reigning world champion and overall leader, Jacobs Crawley. Thurston is another point back in third spot in the average.

Eighteen year-old Ryder Wright has ridden five horses at the 2016 WNFR. And he’s won all five of those go-rounds. This time around, the youngest of the remarkable Utah family, posted an 88.5 on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Vitalix Alpha Dog for the win.

2012 World Champion (and Ryder’s uncle) Jesse Wright rode Calgary Stampede’s Tokyo Bubbles to an 85.5 for second place in the round.

A couple of races tightened up in this second last round of what cowboys call ‘the Marathon’. In the bull riding, Brennon Eldred posted the third highest score in the history of the WNFR – 94.5 points – to win the round and close to within shooting distance of two time champion Sage Kimzey for this year’s title. The Sulphur, Oklahoma man rode D and H Cattle’s SweetPro’s Bruiser for the $26,230 cheque and forces a showdown with Kimzey and third place man, Shane Proctor, on Saturday night.

In the barrel race, Mary Burger who brought a sizable lead to the Finals has seen that lead eroded by the amazing performance of Amberleigh Moore. Burger, the 68 year-old former champion hit a barrel in round nine while Moore, the Keizer, Oregon cowgirl, won the round with a 13.49 and like the bull riding, the barrel racing championship will come down to the final runs on the final night to determine the 2016 title holder.

The steer wrestling go round winner was Riley Duvall in 3.6 while Tyler Waguespack of Gonzales, Louisiana leads the average and the world standings heading to the final round. And in the tie down roping it was Marty Yates and former world All-Around champion Ryan Jarrett sharing the victory lap with a pair of 7.4 second runs. Brazilian Marcos Costa leads the world with Yates who started in 15th place now sitting second but neither man is in the average. That gives a bit of an edge to the third place man, Oklahoman Hunter Herrin, who is holding down 4th place in the all-important, and very lucrative, average. This race too will be decided in Saturday night’s tenth and final go-round.