For the McCarroll’s, it’s all about family. So it came as no surprise when Brett and Justin were greeted by their families behind the calf pens Tuesday night after a 6.4-second championship-winning run in the Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede’s four-team showdown.
“I would say yes,” offered Brett when asked if this was the best of his three Ponoka titles. “Family first, right?”
The 28 year-old heeler is, as far as Ponoka Stampede records show, now the only three-time team roping champion. He also won the championship in 2005 with Troy Fischer and last year with Clint Buhler. For Justin, it’s his first title in his first showdown appearance at Ponoka.
“It’s incredible,” said a jubilant Justin in a post-rodeo interview while listing off his many sponsors. “Some of them are family. I help them advertise. It’s great to have their support. My wife’s grandma is here from Ontario, the whole family’s here.”
The Camrose, AB, brothers are no strangers to roping together. They teamed up to win back-to-back Canadian championships while making five straight CFR appearances between 2006-10 before parting ways.
“Our styles fit together and our game plan is consistent,” says the 31 year-old Justin. “We were at different places in our lives and trying to put family first. We knew we’d rope together again.”
The $7,895 won by each of the brothers was not the biggest team roping payday from the Canada Day weekend. Two-time Ponoka Stampede champ, Levi Simpson and his partner, Ryon Tittel took home $9,566 each for 2nd place finishes in both Ponoka and Williams Lake, BC.
Two-time world champion saddle bronc rider, Taos Muncy of Corona, NM has been concentrating on another world title in 2014. But his priorities may shift now towards a third appearance at the Canadian Finals Rodeo after an $18,475 weekend on this side of the border.
“You don’t get to ride for that much money and get on great bucking horses everyday,” smiled Muncy after his 88.25-point Ponoka Stampede showdown-winning ride on Calgary Stampede’s Timely Delivery. “It’s just a great rodeo.”
Muncy’s earnings will move the 2011 Canadian champion into the top five of the new CPRA standings. Also making a move up the bronc riding standings during the weekend was Tyler Corrington of Hastings, MN ($10,247) and reigning Canadian champ, Rylan Geiger ($12,625).
2012 PRCA bullriding champion, Cody Teel made his first trip to a Canadian rodeo a memorable one. The 22 year-old, Kountze, TX, cowboy was the only bullrider to make the eight second whistle in the July 1 Ponoka Stampede showdown to not only earn $13,600 from the rodeo but another $7,500 in ground money.
“I’ve heard great things about it and after being here and seeing it, it’s definitely one you need to come to every year in my opinion,” beamed Teel after his 88.5-point ride on Vold’s True Blood in the showdown. “At this time of year, a win like this gets the confidence built up. Hopefully it keeps going.”
Other big major event winners from the three Pro Rodeo Canada stops in Ponoka, Airdrie, AB, and Williams Lake were barrel racers, Kaley Bass ($16,454) and Tara Muldoon ($14,066); team ropers, Rhen Richard and Jeremy Buhler ($7,581 each); steer wrestlers, Cody Cassidy ($11,832) and Dru Melvin ($14,394); tie-down ropers, Tuf Cooper ($14,294) and Matt Shiozawa ($11,428); bareback riders, Kaycee Field ($18,470), Jake Vold ($11,192) and Cole Goodine ($9,551); saddle bronc rider, Dustin Flundra ($5,784) and bullriders, Ty Pozzobon ($9,154) and Chad Besplug ($7,979).
In the young guns events, Dantan Bertsch padded his lead atop the novice bareback season standings with a first at Airdrie and a second at Ponoka for over $1700 in winnings. And in the novice saddle bronc riding, Lane Cust had a big weekend winning Ponoka and finishing second at Airdrie, earning over $1850 for his efforts. In the steer riding event, Riley Gagnon topped the field at Airdrie with an 83 for $737; Williams Lake Stampede saw Coy Robbins and Jake Plotts share the honours with 75 point rides and $873 each in winnings. At Ponoka, Dawson Shannon’s 76 point ride netted the talented cowboy a whopping $2002.
Next up on the CPRA schedule are rodeos in Coronation, AB (July 4-5), Taber, AB (July 4-6) and Benalto, AB (July 4-6).