With the exception of 2004, when Matt Lait was the CPRA bareback season leader, he’s never had an August to write home about. But with a pair of wins in Jasper, Alberta and Cranbrook, BC this past weekend, Lait is again about to put pen to paper.
“It was in my head this year to stay healthy at this time of year,” says Lait. “Nobody’s one-hundred percent but I’ve lightened my load a bit and I’m feeling better and riding better.”
The Cayley, Alberta cowboy kicked off the weekend with an 85.5-point ride on Northcott’s AKA last Thursday in Jasper and followed that up Saturday in Cranbrook with an 83.5-point trip on Wayne Vold’s Rob Roy.
“I wasn’t really riding great a couple of weeks ago,” admits Lait. “I was pretty sore. We’d been hitting a lot of rodeos. We had a couple of runs where we were getting on 8 head in 9 days and 7 head in 7 days.”
In between the two winning rides, Lait slipped south of the border to Kalispell, Montana where he was 88-points on Kesler’s Street Dance to win that rodeo.
“I’ve never seen that horse have a bad trip. I’ve been on her 5 or 6 times. She’s just one of the best horses going.”
The weekend wins in Canada were worth $2,098 for the 6-time CFR qualifier who’s now won over 51-hundred dollars this month while placing at 5 of the 8 August rodeos on the CPRA schedule. Rimbey, Alberta’s, Dean Edge managed to make a trip to the pay window at all three weekend stops. His best time came in Pincher Creek, Alberta where his 8.3-second run was 4th best and was good for an $855 cheque. His biggest payday came in Jasper where he tied his calf is 8.7 seconds to pocket $1,128. Another cheque from Cranbrook boosted Edge’s weekend earnings to $2,425.
“He’s been the biggest reason for the turnaround,” says Edge of his 4-time Canadian tie-down roping horse of the year, Sid. “He feels outstanding. It’s like he’s gone back in time.”
Edge and Sid, who’s approaching the age of twenty, have teamed up to win close to $18,000 this season, over $6,000 more than the 33 year-old cowboy won in all of last season while missing the CFR for the 2nd straight year.
“I feel more solid mentally,” explains Edge. “Last year I placed quite a bit but I’d win 5th or 6th at the small rodeos and then split 10th or something at a bigger rodeo for, like, a hundred and fifteen bucks.”
Other big winners from the weekend include bullrider, Todd Chotowetz ($2,599); steer wrestlers, Chance Butterfield ($2,130) and Scott Guenthner ($2,208); team ropers, Clark McCarroll and Jordan Dodds ($1,895 each); saddle bronc rider, Tyrel Larsen ($2,301) and barrel racer, Cranna Roberts ($1,823). In the novice events, bareback rider Dantan Bertsch was the top gun at Pincher Creek with a 69 point ride ($465.60) while Kale McKenzie earned the novice saddle bronc title (70 points) – good for $558.72.
Next up for Pro Rodeo Canada competitors are rodeos in Lethbridge, Alberta (Aug 22-24) and Sundre, Alberta (Aug 23-25).
~Information courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association