The first rodeo that Saskatchewan bareback rider, Ty Taypotat entered this season was in Grande Prairie, AB, at the end of May. Some would argue, however, that Taypotat’s season didn’t officially begin until July 5th.
Since then, the 22-year-old, Regina cowboy has placed at seven straight rodeos, won a tidy $5,698 and moved back into contention for his third trip to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Taypotat grabbed a first place cheque at the Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo in Kennedy, SK, this past weekend for an 83.5-point ride on Big Stone Rodeo’s Time Machine, placed 2nd at the Morris Stampede in Morris, MB, and split 3-4-5 at the Cowtown Pro Rodeo in Maple Creek, SK. The “East Run” netted the CPRA’s 2011 Rookie of the Year $3,174, enough to likely move him inside the top 15 of the new Canadian Pro Rodeo bareback standings.
Barrel racer, Kerilee Noval has also been a regular at the pay window this month. In fact, she’s won money at every rodeo she’s entered in July.
“Once we got to the big outdoor rodeos, I was a lot more confident,” says the Turner Valley, AB, cowgirl. “My horse thrives outdoors. I wasn’t riding him that great indoors. We were running fast but I kept knocking the first barrel when we came out.”
Noval, who filled her permit last season at the first pro rodeo she entered in Medicine Hat, AB, won $2,500 at the three weekend stops which included a first place cheque from the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour stop in Morris. Teamed up with her 10-year-old horse, Bully, she’s picked up $6,325 from eight rodeos this month to bump her season earnings to over $12,000.
“It’s pretty weird because I’m now at a point where I’m pretty safe to make the CFR,” begins Noval. “So I don’t have to go to everything but I don’t know if I still should, if I want to push it or not. I never really expected to be in this kind of position. It’s a pretty good dilemma to be in. It’s something I’ve dreamed of for so long and it’s actually happening a lot sooner than I expected.”
Rocky Mountain House, AB, steer wrestler, JD Hays was also a triple winner from the weekend. The 29-year-old won the most of any competitor with earnings totaling $4,260. The biggest cheque came from a first-place, 3.6-second run in Morris.
The Canadian All-Around race has a new entrant. Josh Harden of Big Valley, AB, joined Kyle Thomson and Travis Reay in the hunt for the coveted award by winning a cheque in each of the saddle bronc and steer wrestling events in Maple Creek. Steven Turner placed in both the bullriding and bulldogging in Morris, to move one steer wrestling cheque shy of qualifying.
Other big winners from the weekend include roper, Riley Warren ($1,902 TDR, $287 TR); bullriders, Dakota Buttar ($3,522) and Devon Mezei ($2,986); steer wrestler, Dustin Walker ($2,709); saddle bronc rider, Kyle Thomson ($3,385); team ropers, Chase Simpson/Braidy Davies ($1,960 each) and barrel racers, Deb Guelly ($2,857) and Britany Diaz ($2,254).
In the junior events, Dantan Bertsch added a win at Maple Creek and a second place finish at Kennedy – good for $640 – to further secure his lead in the novice bareback standings. Keenan Reinhardt repeated the same placings in the novice saddle bronc to add $644 to move his 2014 earnings over the $4000 mark. Weekend winners in the steer riding included current season leader Nick Tetz who topped the field at Kennedy and Riley Gagnon who won the Maple Creek Cowtown Pro Rodeo.
Next up on the Pro Rodeo Canada schedule is the White Lightening Dodge Professional Cowboy Crunch in Oyen, AB (July 23), Medicine Hat Stampede in Medicine Hat, AB (July 24-26, Bonnyville Pro Rodeo in Bonnyville, AB (July 24-26), Cochrane Classic Bullriding in Cochrane, AB (July 26), Bruce Stampede in Bruce, AB (July 27) and the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo in High Prairie, AB (July 29-30).