The September long weekend was the second to last weekend of rodeo action in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association\’s (CPRA) 2010 rodeo schedule before the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) in November. With three rodeos going on, one of which being the Wrangler Canadian Professional Rodeo Tour Finals in Armstrong, B.C., contestants showed no sign of taking it easy as they attempt to qualify for the CFR in Edmonton, Alta.
Saddle bronc rider Ryan MacKenzie of Jordan Valley, Ore. Won both performances in the qualifying rounds and advanced to the championship round on Sunday where he again claimed for first place on Outlawbuckers\’ bay mare Badger. He also picked up $324 at the Okotoks Pro Rodeo, bringing his weekend earnings to $5,124 and moving him from 10th place to sixth in the standings.
Penhold, Alta. bronc rider Todd Herzog placed second in the championship round at Armstrong. These top two finishes earned the bronc riders a bye into the 2011 Calgary Stampede.
In the bareback riding, it was Matt Lait of Seven Persons, Alta. and Davey Shields Jr. of DeWinton, Alta. who claimed the coveted top two spots at the Tour Finals.
Finishing one quarter of a point behind Shields, with 82.75 points, it was Dusty LaValley of Bezanson, Alta. who won the most in the bareback riding over the weekend, taking in $2,700 at Armstrong, $810 at Okotoks, Alta. and another $956 for his first-place ride on C+ Rodeo\’s sorrel gelding Billy in Merritt, B.C. The $4,466 moved LaValley into first place in the standings.
There has been no shortage of action in the bull riding over the 2010 season. Winfield, Alta. bull rider Jesse Torkelson captured the lead in the standings way back in the spring, and there has been no stopping rookies Ty Pozzobon (Merritt, B.C.) and Beau Brooks (Nanton, Alta.) who currently sit third and fourth respectively in the standings.
Over the long weekend it was the bull riding veterans’ turn to make their move. Strathmore, Alta.\’s Scott Schiffner and Stettler, Alta.\’s Devon Mezei did just that. The two qualified for the championship round in Armstrong and placed first and second; Schiffner with an 88.5-point ride on Franklin Rodeo\’s Good Vibrations, and Mezei with 87.75 on Outlawbuckers\’ Superstitious. The wins moved both cowboys inside the top 12 in the standings.
Not to be left out, Pozzobon cashed in for first place in his hometown at the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo in Merritt with 87 points on C+ Rodeo\’s Wolverine.
At the timed-events end of the arena, the competition was no less fierce. Tie-down roper Brad Goodrich from Stanfield, Ore. placed first in Pool B\’s second performance and qualified for Sunday\’s championship round where a time of 8.40 seconds saw him once again take first place, followed by Magrath, Alta. roper Logan Hofer with a time of 9.90 seconds. Goodrich was also 8.40 seconds at Merritt, for a second place finish. In all, he added $4,667 to his winnings and jumped from 20th place in the standings to 8th, securing himself a trip to the CFR.
Airdrie, Alta. steer wrestler Todd Maughan took advantage of the opportunity provided at the Wrangler Tour Finals to secure a spot at the 2011 Calgary Stampede with a time of 3.70 seconds in the championship round. Joining him next year will be Curtis Cassidy of Donalda, Alta. who was right behind him with a time of 3.90 seconds. Both cowboys had considerable wins at the other two Canadian rodeos on the weekend, with Maughan placing second at Merritt for $1,145 and Cassidy placing first at Okotoks for $1,232.
In the ladies barrel racing at Armstrong, Rana Koopmans (Lethbridge, Alta) and Julie Leggett (Kamloops, B.C.) finished at the top of the class on Sunday. Koopmans was 16.73 seconds in the final round and Leggett was just behind her with a time of 16.78 seconds.
Lubbock, Tex. barrel racer Benette Barrington also made a big move over the weekend with two first-place wins in the qualifying rounds at Armstrong, and a third-place win in the championship round. Barrington added a total of $3,600 to her winnings and moved from 14th to tenth in the standings.
The top two teams in the team roping were Clint Buhler (Okotoks, Alta.) and Spencer Rutherford (Merritt, B.C.) with a time of 5.20 seconds, and Ty Flewelling (Lacombe, Alta.) and Travis Gallais (Olds, Alta.) with a time of six seconds flat.
Buhler and Rutherford also went on to pick up second place cheques at Merritt, Rutherford’s hometown rodeo.
The Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo at Merritt also held the steer riding event. Three Hills, Alta. steer rider Tyrell Ward took home $291 with for first place ride of 84 points. The win moved him into the sixth place with only one more rodeo to go before the top six CFR qualifiers are determined.
Please visit RodeoCanada.com for results and standings.
Hanna, AB – September 24-26
McCord, SK – September 24-25
Edmonton, AB – November 10-14
~ Courtesy the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association