When the Wrangler Canadian Professional Rodeo Tour Finals moved from Calgary to an earlier date in Armstrong, Brenda Peterson wasn’t quite sure how it would affect her hometown rodeo, one of the final stops on the rodeo trail before the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) in November.
“Last year, the Tour (Finals) following our rodeo really helped us,” says Peterson, secretary for the McCord Indoor Rodeo. “I was concerned that maybe it would affect things a little bit, but I don’t think it did. Our entry is good. I’m pleased.”
The rodeo in the hamlet of McCord, Sask. is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Peterson has been on the committee since day one.
“It’s always fun. It’s good to see everybody come to McCord,” she smiles, adding, “This is the major activity of the year for our community.”
And by “community,” she does mean everyone.
“There are people that do the organizing, but then it takes the whole community to produce the weekend. Everybody in the community helps in some way or another: working in the kitchen, helping with the jackpot, helping the tradeshow. Everybody supports everyone.”
Peterson credits that teamwork as integral to why McCord is celebrating 35 years, and why they’re just one of a few professional rodeos left in Saskatchewan.
Plus, when you look at the program, “I would say that many of the contestants that are at McCord are going to be at the CFR.”
A number of contestants are hovering in the Canadian standings between making CFR and not.
Kevin Girletz, a director with the Hanna Indoor Pro Rodeo, is really looking forward to the bull riding event in Hanna, Alta. this year (his son is bull rider Tanner Girletz), but stresses the tie-down roping and bulldogging should be just as exciting because “there are a lot of guys fighting for those last spots.”
“They always try harder when they’re close to making it, when it’s on the line.”
He adds that announcer Dave Poulsen “plays it up pretty good. He knows where they’re all sitting (in the standings) so he can build it up throughout the weekend and let the crowd know who needs to do what.”
And Hanna truly is the final opportunity to make enough dollars to reach CFR. The McCord Indoor Rodeo runs Sept. 24 and 25, while Hanna wraps up on Sunday the 26th.
“(We) are the final shot at make or break,” Girletz nods. “And in the bull riding, there is a car is up for grabs. Whoever has won the most points on two head from the long go back in Oyen (Alta.) and the go-round in Hanna is going to win the use of that car for a year. A Dodge Avenger, I think it is.”
Overall, “It should be a good rodeo. We’ve got top stock from three different outfits.”
And the bull riding match-up he’s most looking forward to?
“Probably Tanner on (Girletz Rodeo’s) Evander,” he grins. “He’s got him three times and he got hurt every time before he could get on him.”
He admits that maybe he’s a little biased, being family and all, but firmly states, “It’ll be a good bull ride.
“There are a lot of good match-ups,” he continues.
“Tyler Pankewitz will be a hell of a ride on (Big Country Rodeo’s) Hell Bent. Tyler Thomson has (Girletz Rodeo’s) First Nation Sensation. That bull’s been injured for the last month or two, so he’s just fresh back on Sunday. And Josh Harden’s got (Big Country Rodeo’s) War Cry in the bronc riding. That should be one good bronc ride.”
Please visit RodeoCanada.com for more information on upcoming CPRA events.
~ courtesy Canadian Professional Rodeo Association