This information is courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association:
Baillie Milan will be back in next month’s Canadian Finals Rodeo mix.
The 30-year-old Cochrane bulldogger turned over a black and white steer in 3.4 seconds on the last afternoon of Canadian professional rodeo’s regular season at Hanna to catch the 12th and last qualifying hole for the CFR at Edmonton. Milan went into the rodeo 15th in the Canadian standings, but his run paid $1,160 and shot his earnings for the season to $12,854. It was just enough to knock Todd Woodward, the 2007 Canadian champion from Lethbridge, out of the Edmonton lineup.
Woodward, who picked up fourth money at the McCord, Sask., rode the night before, was shut out at Hanna and finished the season with income of $12,635, a difference of a mere $219.
“I had a pretty good idea I was going to be within a couple of hundred bucks either way,” said Milan, “but I didn’t find out for sure I made it until I got home. It’s a great feeling because I haven’t for two years. I had a chance last year, went into the last weekend and won McCord but didn’t do any good at Hanna and ended up 14th ($835 out of it).”
The last three days of the season turned out to be somewhat historic. In past years, the two closing weekend rodeos will only result in one, rarely two, falling out of the standings’ top 12.
This time, there were a shocking six, one in each event except for the bull riding. Wyoming saddle bronc rider Chet Johnson, the 2009 Canadian champion, won Hanna and placed at McCord, built his seasonal take to $12,094, went from 13th to 11th in the standings and moved Justin Meston from Tees, Alta.
In the bareback riding, veteran Jason Wheeler, from Medicine Hat, placed at both rodeos and nudged out Bonnyville’s Kevin Langevin to qualify for his first CFR.
Another former Canadian champion, tie-down roper Al Bouchard, from Scandia, Alta., put on a big move, winning Hanna and cashing a split of second at McCord, to pick up a weekend leading $2,053. That boosted his earnings to $13,699 and carried him in to ninth in the rankings from 13th. Rimbey auctioneer Dean Edge fell out of the mix.
On occasion, it doesn’t take much to put a new shine on a season.
That was the case for Medicine Hat barrel racer Steffanie Mather, the 2011 Canadian Cowboys Association champion. She wound up eighth at Hanna to earn $166 and wind up the season with $11,106. It was just enough to give her the last CFR qualifying spot. Kirsty White finished with $11,087, just $39 out of it.
The only other late qualifier was Camrose header Brett McCarroll in the team roping. He and brother Cody picked up just over $1,000 at the two rodeos, lifting Brett into 12th place in the header rankings with $8,366. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get Cody to the CFR. That means Brett will have to hook up with an unpartnered heeler. The weekend action also brought about one change at the top end of the standings. Scott Schiffner, the season-long bull riding leader, was overtaken by Merritt, B.C., youngster Ty Pozzobon. Schiffner won McCord; Pozzobon topped Hanna. Pozzobon finished at $33,573, Schiffner at $32,724. And, with the roster set, 2012 Canadian Finals Rodeo action should be exciting!