The Gain, The Pain and $17.04

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.


Probably no two contestants better personify the drama of the Cinch Pro Series Canada Series Final than Alberta team ropers Steele DePaoli and Kasper Roy.

DePaoli and Roy entered the weekend event as distinct longshots. Both were sitting 18th in the Canadian standings, $2,500 back of the 12th and final CFR qualifying berth with six teams between them and every contestant’s dream—Edmonton in November.

But the duo overcame a sluggish September to come up big when it mattered most. A 5.4 second run won the opening round on Friday night. Then the Mossleigh, AB, heeler, Roy, and Longview, AB’s DePaoli managed a 4/4 split in Saturday night’s second round with a 5.6. The two runs meant a second place finish in the average and a total payoff of $3281.25 per man. The payday vaulted six time CFR qualifier DePaoli all the way to 8th in the final standings with two time CFR contestant, Roy, climbing to 10th spot on the heeling side.

“We definitely had a game plan,” DePaoli admitted. “Kasper and I talked about it and we both thought we should just try to win the average and if we happened to do really good in the rounds, that was just an added bonus. Then when we won that first round, we knew we had a chance to be up there in the average. We figured if we caught our steer on Saturday we’d be going to Edmonton. I stayed off the barrier and took an extra swing in that last round just to be sure. And Kasper took an extra swing too. The runs we made there were pretty well exactly like the runs we’d been making in practice the last few weeks.”

And being a couple of veteran guys helped too. “Yeah, this was probably as relaxed as we’ve been all season,” DePaoli added. “One thing I’ve learned over the years is how not to panic. I guess I never thought I wasn’t going to be at the CFR but there comes a time when you have to do something about it. And it was cool that this was our time.”

DePaoli had high praise for the Pro Series Final. “It’s a great concept for competitors and it’s awesome for the crowd too.”

The Cinch Pro Series Final’s success was part of a special month for the second generation roper. Three weeks earlier, he and Becky Treich became engaged. For now DePaoli plans a little R and R with a sheep hunt in the offing before the serious practicing for the CFR gets started.

“If the weather  stays decent, I’d like to do quite a bit right here at home,” he noted. “And I’ll have to talk to Kasper about our game plan for Edmonton but I think if we made our goal to win the average up there as well, things should turn out okay.”

But the team roping drama didn’t end with the big move from Roy and DePaoli. Defending Canadian Champion (header) Roland McFadden hung on for 11th spot in the final standings and a chance to defend his title. And with families, fans and contestants working calculators and texting furiously back and forth, the battle for the final spot was the most dramatic of all. Clint Buhler who didn’t qualify for the Calgary event, had to watch helplessly as Riley Warren (and others) charged up the standings. In the end it was Warren who (roping with Buhler’s brother Jeremy at the Series Finals) came closest… his quest for 12th place coming up just $17.04 short. Cue the sigh of relief from Clint Buhler.

The nail-biting didn’t end there, however. On the heeling side, Merritt, BC cowboy, Spencer Rutherford, roping with Strathmore, AB, header Denver Johnson, was 13th heading into the weekend. The duo caught last hole (4th) in the average for $625, enough to sneak Rutherford into the top twelve. He finished up 10th on the season. And the moves into the standings by Roy and Rutherford meant that Chase Simpson of Claresholm hung on to the final CFR berth while Saskatchewan roper, Brady Chappel, and McFadden’s heeling partner, Tyrel Flewelling, were bumped from the top twelve. Flewelling, the three time and defending champion heeler from Lacombe, AB, finished just $24.19 back of Simpson. Rutherford too will have to find another partner for Edmonton as Johnson, with fewer rodeos through the season, fell short in his CFR chase.

The Cinch Pro Rodeo Canada Series Final Team Roping Champions were Klay Whyte and Brett Buss with earnings of $4,218 each.

The team roping was not the only high-stakes action taking place at the Agrium Western Event Centre. In the bull riding, 2006 Canadian champion, Tanner Girletz, was another guy with a large mountain to climb heading into the weekend. The third generation talent rolled into Calgary with a broken arm (his free hand) and a $1,200 deficit to make up if he wanted to extend his season. Girletz bucked off Friday night, leaving himself one final chance to add an eighth CFR qualification to his resume. But the 32-year-old was ready. A spectacular 86-point ride on Saturday night on Outlaw Buckers’ Tennessee Whisky was enough to win the round and guarantee Girletz third in the average. The $2,500 haul was more than sufficient to jump the popular Carstairs, AB, cowboy into the top 12 and relegate Meeting Creek’s Garrett Green to spectator status.

In tie down roping, it was the veteran Rimbey hand, Dean Edge, making the decisive move. Edge was his consistent self, placing in both go-rounds and the average to earn just over $2,000, enough to move him into the top 12 and slide Virgil Poffenroth to the sidelines.  Riley Warren, who narrowly missed the cut in the team roping, nevertheless had a profitable weekend. The timed event specialist earned  $4,687 overall and will be heading to Edmonton in the tie-down roping.

The overall Cinch Final Tie-Down Roping Champion was Alwin Bouchard with a total of $3,906.

For the second year in a row, Taber, AB’s Nancy Csabay enjoyed a stellar couple of days in Calgary. A year ago, she and her talented mare, Wicked, used a big Cinch Pro Series Final to capture season leader honours. This time around the stakes were a little higher as the reigning Canadian Champion was sitting in 13th spot and needing a little more magic if she wanted to get back to Edmonton to defend her title. The twosome responded to the challenge by finishing third in both rounds and winning the average to carry Csabay ($3,750) to the Calgary victory and punch her ticket to the CFR.

Csabay’s effort left rookie Colby Gilbert in 12th place and heading to her first CFR. Kerilee Noval, who had been sitting precariously in that 12th spot entering weekend action, had not qualified for Calgary and ended up on the outside looking in.

The remaining events were no less exciting but didn’t see the dramatic position changes noted above. In the bareback riding, late season surges by a youthful trio meant that all three would make their first appearances at the CFR. Eastend, Saskatchewan’s Dantan Bertsch, Sherwood Park, AB, cowboy, Kody Lamb and Okotoks, AB hand, Pascal Isabelle, finished up 10th, 11th and 12th respectively. Michael Solberg earned the Championship with $4,843 won.

Josh Harden, the defending All-Around champion, and the 12th man in the saddle bronc riding standings prior to the Calgary production, protected his CFR berth with a solid showing. But the story in the bronc riding was Sylvan Lake, AB’s Lane Cust. The two-time novice champion won both go-rounds and the average to ride out of Calgary with a cool $5,000 in his Cinch jeans and a Resistol Rookie of the Year title as well. Cust’s performance carried him past first year steer wrestler, Brendan Laye, to capture the top rookie honours.

No significant changes were recorded in the steer wrestling as a couple of central Alberta doggers, Rowdy Hays in 11th place and Brock Butterfield in 12th, neither of whom were in the Calgary Series Finals, were able to weather the storm. The 2012 All-Around Champion, Travis Reay of Mayerthorpe, AB, came up just short in his effort to catch one or both and qualify for a fifth consecutive CFR berth. The 2016 Cinch Pro Final Steer Wrestling Champion was Straws Milan ($4,687.)

For complete unofficial Cinch Pro Rodeo Canada Series Finals results, go to

Equine Events at Farmfair International


Photo courtesy of Northlands.


 Blog by TJ NASH

Starting November 7, 2016, Farmfair International will be hosting several different equine events. Men, women and horses from all across Canada will be competing to showcase tomorrow’s champions! Exciting raw talent will take part in the Canadian National Team Roping and Northlands Barrel Racing futurities, as well as the new Rodeo Future Champions event.

In the futurities, four and five-year-old horses will work with their trainers to compete in the first or second year of their competitive lives.


Photo courtesy of Northlands.

Team Roping is based on the methods ranchers have used for doctoring cattle for thousands of years. Two competitors will race the clock to catch and stop a steer. In everyday life, once the steer is caught a rancher would then be able to safely medicate the animal or treat any of its injuries or ailments.

Barrel Racing is the fastest event in rodeo. It began when horse trainers started showcasing their abilities by having the animals complete a set clover leaf pattern at a fast pace. Like any great challenge this event has grown over the decades to become the event that we now know.

And children take the stage at our Rodeo Future Champions event! Young rodeo athletes will come together November 12 to earn champion titles in seven different events. The 96 talented young athletes will range in age from 5 to 14!


Photo courtesy of Northlands.

For those looking to purchase top-of-the-line equine athletes, Farmfair International will also be hosting their Bloodstock Sale (five-year-olds and under), as well as their Ranch Horse Sale.

Guests to Farmfair International will also have the chance to attend many different seminars at their Horse Wellness Expo throughout the week. Here everyone will enjoy the opportunity to learn and see how to take care of our beloved animals!

We can’t wait to see you at Farmfair International, where you can cheer on tomorrow’s rodeo athletes—equine and human!

For more information, please visit:

Timely Win For Derek Frank

Photo courtesy of....

Photo by Jeremy Wombold. Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.

Blog courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

For steer wrestler, Derek Frank, the timing was perfect. The Stony Plain, AB, cowboy put together one of his quickest runs of the year (3.5 seconds) to win the Okotoks Pro Rodeo and secure an important $1,297 pay cheque. It’s that time of the year when every ride and every run is vital. With just five regular season rodeos and the Cinch Pro Series Finals in Calgary (September 30 – October 1) remaining, the battle for the 12 Canadian Finals Rodeo berths has reached the critical point.

“We (steer wrestlers) talk about it all the time,” Frank admitted,” and we figure there are maybe eight guys who are safe and another eight or nine guys who are fighting it out for the final four spots in Edmonton.”

Frank is one of those in that latter group and for a cowboy who has never been to the CFR the tension is tough but exciting. “I’m just trying to do what I have all season,” the bulldogger stated. “I want to be honest on the barrier but I also don’t want to miss it. Anytime I try to safety up and get a little careful, that’s when the crap happens.”

For Frank, a trip to the CFR would be extra sweet. The 27-year-old blew out his knee at
Ponoka in 2014 and he missed the rest of that season and the first part of 2015.

“One of the problems last year was when I did get back, I hadn’t been able to practice,” Frank recalled. “This year, I was able to practice a bunch all winter and it really helped.”

Another plus for the likable cowboy is his 12-year-old gelding, Tadpole. “I’ve ridden him for the
past few years and he’s rock solid,” he noted. “If it doesn’t work, it’s usually my fault not his.”

The Okotoks result vaulted Frank from 13th place in the Canadian standings to 10th, ironically just $300 ahead of older brother and four-time CFR qualifier, Dallas. And just as important, the Okotoks win solidified the younger Frank’s place on the roster of the Cinch Pro Finals.

“That could be huge,” Frank admitted. “There have been quite a few people who have made it to the CFR because of that Calgary Finals. To be honest, I hope I have Edmonton clinched before that but if I don’t it feels good to know I’ll be in Calgary.” (The top ten competitors from the Pro Rodeo Canada Series throughout the year make the cut for the Calgary event.)


Other cowboys and cowgirls who enhanced their CFR fortunes over the weekend were Eastend,
SK, bareback rider, Dantan Bertsch, who moved from 13th to 11th with his $781 payday at Okotoks; Rimbey, AB, tie-down roper, Dean Edge, whose $1,222 second place cheque at Okotoks vaulted him from 16th to 13th; the Bonnett brothers (Ponoka, AB) and the Saskatchewan-based Chappel cousins in team roping who finished first and second respectively in the team roping at Okotoks with both duos remaining very much part of the CFR conversation; and barrel racer, Colby Gilbert from Maple Creek, SK, who moved into the top 15 in the standings with her third place, $891 Okotoks result.

The rest of the Okotoks winners included Tremonton, UT, bareback rider, Caleb Bennett, who rode Vold’s Shifting Sands for 84 points and a $1,411 haul; Pouce Coupe, BC’s Chelsea Moore who posted a 12.282 time for the win and $1,248; Jake Watson, the Hudson’s Hope, BC, bronc rider who continued to solidify his hold on CFR and WNFR qualifications with his 83-point ($1,439) ride on the Vold bronc, Apache Trail; the seemingly unstoppable tie down roper, Logan Bird from Nanton, AB, who chalked up another win, this one for $1,405 courtesy of a 7.8-second run; and the veteran, Scott Schiffner from Strathmore, AB, who managed a 71-point ride on the Vold bull Jersey Dip, good for a $1,548 boost to the bank account.

For complete unofficial results see
Next up the CPRA calendar are the IPE and Stampede in Armstrong, BC August 31-September 4 (Wrangler Tour Finals on the 4th), and the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo in Merritt, BC September 3 and 4.

South of 49 Update:
Nine Canadian competitors remain in the top 15 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (World) standings as the season winds down. Steer wrestler, Clayton Moore moved from 16th to 11th place courtesy of a win at Bremerton, WA, and a strong placing at San Juan Capistrano, CA. The biggest weekend winner was Orin Larsen who moved to second in the World with an $11,000 win at the rich California stop. See for details.

Two-Time Champ Returns to Action


A trip north for reigning Canadian bareback champion, Jake Vold turned into an early wedding present. The 29-year-old, who will marry Sara Rutley in Ponoka, Alberta, on Saturday, has an extra $3,268 to put towards the cost of the nuptials thanks to a pair of high-marked rides in La Crete, Alberta and Dawson Creek, BC.

“Before I came back, I kind of had a number in mind I wanted to reach during the weekend,” suggests Vold, whose appearance at the Field of Dreams Stampede in La Crete marked the first time back on a bucking horse since July 10th. “I came darn close to it so I can’t complain, definitely very happy.”

Vold began his comeback from a handful of separated, cracked and fractured ribs suffered during the Ponoka Stampede, with an 85-point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Hot Bananas on August 9th to win the La Crete stop.

“Sport Medicine told me to take a month off and it was 31 days, not that I was counting,” offers the two-time Canadian champ. “I got on that horse ten years ago in the practice pen at a jackpot. She’s just a nice, solid horse. She tested them (ribs) a bit but I knew she wasn’t going to come uncorked or anything.”

Four days later, Vold capped off the week with an 83-point marking on Kesler’s Alley Drift in Dawson Creek for a three way split of top spot.

“That’s one to watch out for I think,” proclaims Vold, who also won $5,732 for an 87-point ride that topped the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston, Oregon in between the two Canadian stops. “I just stuck to my game plan of keeping it simple.”

“The injury really put a damper on the season I was hoping to have. I needed to get back going to try to get to the finals near the top of the pack and I needed to get my count in as well. Any time you’re sitting at home, you’re not making money.”

Logan Bird is having an August to remember. His hot streak continued with a $3,071 payday from La Crete and Dawson Creek. The Nanton, Alberta, roper has won $6,353 so far this month.

“I’ve placed at every rodeo since Morris (Manitoba Stampede) except for Bruce (Stampede),” confides the 22-year-old, who is now 2nd in the Canadian standings behind two-time Canadian champ, Shane Hanchey. “After about Strathmore, my goals changed from making the CFR to winning season

The seven-time Alberta High School Rodeo champion placed 5th in La Crete with a 9.2-second run and then split top spot at the Dawson Creek Stampede with a 9-second trip.

“I had probably one of the best calves in the pen,” says Bird of his Dawson Creek draw. “I just tried to make sure I didn’t break the barrier and that I caught him.”

Other top money winners from the final two stops on the so-called “North Run” were barrel racer, Braidy Howes ($3,266); bareback rider, Cole Goodine ($2,132); steer wrestlers, Scott Guenthner ($3,129) and Cody Cassidy ($2,872); saddle bronc riders, Chuck Schmidt ($2,580) and Layton Green
($2,448); bullrider, Scott Schiffner ($2,121); tie-down roper, Virgil Poffenroth ($2,270); team ropers, Klay White/Brett Buss ($1,805 each); novice saddle bronc rider, Dawson Hay ($1,033) and novice bareback rider, Tanner Young ($1,058).

Next on the Pro Rodeo Canada schedule is the Jasper Heritage Rodeo in Jasper, Alberta (Aug. 17-20), the Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo in Pincher Creek, Alberta (Aug. 19-21) and the Cranbrook Pro Rodeo in Cranbrook, BC (Aug.19-21).

Doc West: The Tuf Cooper Debacle



Question: Tuf Cooper invited back to compete at the world’s richest rodeo after last year’s fiasco is a bit of a head-scratcher for me. As, for that matter, is the invitation. These rodeo cowboys need to understand it’s a new world, one where abuse of animals is simply no longer sanctioned. Period. Cooper’s apparent disregard of the intense scrutiny events like the Calgary Stampede are under, should have been, in my opinion, addressed in a longer suspension. If Cooper wants to whip his horses, he can just stay in Texas as far as I’m concerned. Don’t you agree, Doc? 

Answer: Let’s set the record straight – characterizing Tuf Cooper’s ‘over and undering’ his horse with the end of a tie down rope as “abuse” is akin to portraying Justin Trudeau’s now infamous “elbowgate” as the greatest MMA beat-down of all time. Yes, yes, to a West Coast “progressive” it’s a capital offense. Pamela Anderson might write a letter in protest (or try to write a letter. . . or, have someone write a letter for her). But ask any horse trainer worth his salt, any horse trainer worth his salt, and they will all say something like, “you have to get after one every now and then”. Physical correction (within acceptable parameters) is part of horse training and yes, it is part of horsemanship. Forget the warm and fuzzy movies, forget the charlatans, and suave peddlers, forget the money you wasted on nonsense “natural horsemanship” videos – the hard stark truth is horses sometimes require physical correction.

You can’t talk to a horse, you can’t reason with them, they are free from logic as we humans understand it. Horses don’t understand your soft coos, ladies, and they don’t give a hoot about your hollering, fellas. Horses are herd animals that work on pressure and release. Physical pressure and physical release. What Tuf did was not abuse, he applied pressure to his horse in order to obtain a response.  ‎

That being said it wasn’t the place for it. Most “cowboy hat with a whistle” types sitting in the club seats at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, don’t break, train or even own their own horses. Some of them don’t eat meat, others bicycle to work, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say most don’t own a pair of boots – leather or rubber. They see horses as pets – to be cuddled and spoken softly to like their cat, Jerry, on Thursday Greys Anatomy night. So naturally, when people see a big bad cowboy “whip” his horse they spit out their beer and squawk. No one expects to see animals injured, or hit, or even die – because in the minds of the viewing public, those things never happen. That is the reality of the Calgary Stampede, and frankly it’s the reality of modern rodeo; rural culture – all sanitized, distilled, corrupted, packaged and finally displayed in spectacular fashion to all the city folk safe in the fold of a comfortable urban venue. It’s a marriage of opposites – culture, ideas and philosophies – bringing the country to the city, and as with all challenging relationships, both partners need to compromise enough to make it work, but not so much as to lose what made the marriage worth it in the first place.

The Stampede board, committees and directors need to realize that their job is not to simply bend to the whim of Hollywood activists and PETA zealots. They have a responsibility to stand firm, to educate and explain ethical, yet practical realities of animal husbandry. However, in this case even ordinary folks may have cringed a little, because Tuf’s display was cringe-worthy after all, which brings me to my final point. The cowboys also have a responsibility to realize that they are no longer competing in Terrell, East Texas – they are on an international stage with millions of viewers. Certain sensibilities need to prevail. In other words, think a bit. That means you too, Cooper. Just because your mamma named you “Tuf,” doesn’t mean you can’t use your head a bit more, and the end of your rope a little bit less.

Q & A With the Calgary Stampede Queen


The Calgary Stampede kicks off this week! Western Horse Review sat down with Maggie, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

Can you please tell me what has been one of your most memorable experiences of being part of the royalty to date?

My most memorable experience so far has been our time spent at Aggie days. Not only was this our first time doing an even with our horses, it was our first grand entry! All of the kids were so enthusiastic which made the event even more memorable.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

What have you learned about the experience thus far?

I’ve learned that this year is full of surprises. The committee works so hard and does such an amazing job taking care of us that we always seem to be being surprised with something special they’ve done for us or arranged for us to do. We are so lucky!

Can you tell me about your clothes and boots? Do you have a favorite outfit?

All of the clothing we wear is sponsored. Our cowboy hats are provided by Smithbilt, our cowboy boots from Alberta Boot Company and our clothing comes mainly from Janine’s Custom Creations and Lammles. My favourite outfit is our formal outfit that features Flores LaDue. The outfit is comfy but also formal and highlights this amazing cowgirl, giving us the chance to explain her role in the start up of the Calgary Stampede.


How do you ladies always look so beautiful? Any hair, make up or nail tips you can share?

Well thank you! Aria, our skin care and make up sponsor, definitely plays a huge role in keeping us looking our best. Katie Kempthorne keeps our hair looking fabulous and Lushus Nail Concepts keeps our nails fresh! All of these things are definitely difficult when you spend a lot of time with horses, so if you need some help in any of these areas those are the people to talk to!

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Can you please tell me about your Stampede horse?

My Stampede horse for this year is Kansas. Kansas is a bit of a goof in the sense that everything seems to frighten him but that’s what makes him so unique. He’s always the one to walk up to you out in the pasture as if to say, “Yup I’m ready to go mom!” The girls and I decided that his celebrity personality match up was Jimmy Fallon because of his jokester personality.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

Can you tell us about a day in your life, when you are required to appear as part of the Stampede Royalty? When we are required to make an appearance, the getting ready starts a few hours before we’re needed at the event itself. We always go to events in full make up and curling our hair can take a bit of time. I usually leave at least half an hour before attending the event to research what it’s about and the organization that’s hosting it.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

For others who might aspire to try out for the Royalty competition, do you have any tips or advice to offer? Always be yourself! People can always tell when you’re being genuine and I think that really shines through and means a lot to everyone you meet. Also, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Although it may be terrifying, it is always worth it.

Maggie, in her spare time.

Maggie in her spare time.

Guy Weadick Days 2016

Deomostration of Roman Riding during Guy Weadick Days Media day.

Demonstration of Roman Riding during Guy Weadick Days Media event.


HIGH RIVER, AB – Saddle up and get ready to experience Guy Weadick Days like you have never before, taking place June, 24th- 26th, at the High River Agricultural Society Grounds. The High River Ag. Society, together with C5 Rodeo Company, will bring forward a professional rodeo, World Professional Chuckwagon action and a variety of family friendly activities.

“C5 Rodeo Company is excited to bring professional rodeo back to High River” said Gillian Shields, rodeo coordinator at C5 Rodeo. “We intend to provide an authentic and captivating rodeo production to keep spectators on the edge of their seat, while bringing opportunity for the community to prosper and come together in celebrating High River’s roots.”


Gillian Shields, Rodeo Coordinator of C5 Rodeo.

Gillian Shields, Rodeo Coordinator of C5 Rodeo.


The High River Agricultural society is also looking forward to professional rodeo returning with a whole new approach. “This is a new direction for the High River AG Society, I believe that the weekend will be a true family event. The board is excited about the production that C5 Rodeo Company will bring for the weekend” said Darren Hunter, President of the High River Agricultural Society.

About Guy Weadick Days

Guy Weadick days is an annual celebration in High River, Alberta named after the famous rodeo legend Guy Weadick, who was a resident of High River. Guy Weadick was the founder of the Calgary Stampede, and contributed to many traditions in the sport of rodeo we see today. This year the event will take place June 23 – June 26, 2016, with 3 Canadian Professional Rodeo performances and 4 World Professional Chuckwagon heats. Guy Weadick Days is owned and operated by the High River Agricultural Society. The not-for-profit organization was registered March 1st 1907. It has been an active and integral part of the agricultural community ever since.

Guy Weadick Days Concerts

Friday 9 pm – High River’s own Justin Ament.

Saturday 9 pm Emerson Drive

Pro Rodeo and WPCA Chuckwagons Schedule

Thursday: Chucks 7pm to 9 pm Friday: Rodeo 5pm-6:30 pm/Chucks 7pm-9pm Saturday: Rodeo Slack 9am-11am/Rodeo 2pm-4pm/Chucks 7pm-9pm Sunday: Rodeo noon-2pm/Chucks 4pm-6pm

To get tickets go to:


Falkland Pro Rodeo Results

Photo by Mike Copeman

Photo by Mike Copeman

FALKLAND, B.C. – The rain might have been pouring down this May Long Weekend as the Falkland Stampede took place, but Saddle Bronc Rider Sam Kelts found the sunny side of the weekend’s weather forecast.

Heavy rains left the Falkland Stampede wet and muddy but Kelts says the sun peaked through the clouds during his 82.5 point ride aboard Northcott Rodeo’s Black Mamba, earning him  $1, 284.00 unofficially.

“It was muddy as can be, the arena was pretty wet and soppy but it wasn’t too bad the day I was there,” said Kelts who says the competitors up Monday may have actually been blessed with the best weather of the weekend, “I lucked out, by the bronc riding on Monday the sun was shining and it really wasn’t too bad at all. ”

“You’re trying to perform a fairly athletic feat so if your muscles are cold and your hands are cold and you’re trying to hang on to a bronc rein or bareback rigging, it definitely doesn’t help,’ said Kelts of poor weather rodeos.

It’s proving that even the mud and the muck can’t keep this cowboy from the pay window as Kelts starts one of the most consistent rodeo seasons of his career. Kelts has placed with four out of five rides this Canadian Professional Rodeo Association rodeo season, and has had an equally impressive showing south of the border.

“I’ve been placing very consistently down there too, it’s been a good year for me so far. I think I’ve probably been to 20 rodeos now after this weekend and have placed at all but six or seven,” said Kelts.

While Kelts says it’s still early in the rodeo season to start thinking about the standings, the familiar tingle of National Finals Rodeo dreams is there as Kelts perches in spot number I I in the world.

”When a guy is winning he is always thinking about that. I’ve been trying to make it for years now, I’ve been really close a couple of times, I think I could have done it a couple of times without some injuries that made me stop going for a couple years but I definitely feel like this is the year I definitely have a good shot at making it if I can keep my roll going,” said Kelts.

Consistency is on this Bronc Rider’s side so far this year as Kelts plans a full season of rodeos both in Canada and the U.S., “As long as I can keep it up, that’s what really matters. Every cheque counts whether it’s $200 or $5,000.”

While Kelts has consistent wins under his belt, there seems to be a trend of first-time professional rodeo winners early in the rodeo season. Tie Down Roper Clayton Smith posted his first CPRA win in Falkland with a time of 8.5 seconds.

The past Canadian Cowboys Association Finalist and Oklahoma State College student from Eckville, Alberta no doubt plans to make waves now that he’s got the boost he needs to kick his season in to high gear.

“I had a pretty good calf, I saw my start, reached at him off the right. My horse is working pretty good so I just stuck two wraps on him as fast as I could. It’s a pretty good confidence builder going in to the season,” said Smith, “I got in to Ponoka now, that’s a pretty big win.’

The $1622.00 he won may not be the biggest check he’ll hope to earn in his career, but with the Ponoka Stampede’s requirement for previously unranked competitors for win at least $1,000 this season to have a chance to qualify, that money may take a lot of weight off this 19-year-old’s shoulders.

Another young-gun that claimed the “W” for the first time was Bull Rider Cooper Zur, winning $1,479.00 for his 86.5 point ride. Falkland marked only the third professional rodeo the 18-year-old has competed in and Zur says he’s happy to break the ice on the pro scene.

It appears young blood was working together as he rode a bull that has recently been added to the

Northcott Rodeo’s herd. “I road a young bull of Northcott’s called ‘Chicken Out’. I’d never heard of him before and didn’t really know what to expect but we both did what we were supposed to do and it all worked out in the end.”

Other champions of the weekend include Sunnybrook, Alberta’s Michael Solberg who scored 85.5 points in the Bareback Riding on Northcott’s “A.K.A.” for $1,246.00. The Steer Wrestling was split between Rode Vold and Scott Guenthner who both clocked in a time of 4.1 seconds for $1,536.00 each.

Also splitting first place in their event were Team Roper’s Clay Ullery and Ryon Tittel and the Oregon boys Garrett Rogers and Jacob Minor. The two teams stopped the clock in 4.5 seconds to win $1,182.00/man.

Millarville’s Toni Dixon will head back over the mountains S 1,426.00 richer after winning the Ladies Barrel Racing with her time of 16.748. Novice and Junior event winners include Novice Saddle Bronc Rider Kole Ashbacher who scored 80 points for $303.00, Novice Bareback Rider Danny Vandenameele scoring 78 points for $240 and Steer Rider Luke Ferber who earned $330.00 for his 78 point steer ride.

Find complete rodeo results at

Next up on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association schedule is the Grande Prairie Stampede May 26 to May 29. Grande Prairie is the first of eight stops on the Wrangler Canadian Pro Rodeo Tour.

Doubling Down at Coleman and Camrose

Scott Schiffner's Winning Ride in Round 2 of CFR 2015. Photo by: Mike Copeman

Scott Schiffner’s Winning Ride in Round 2 of CFR 2015.
Photo by: Mike Copeman


CAMROSE/COLEMAN, ALTA – If you were going to make a bet this past weekend, it would have been safe to go double or nothing on the two-time Canadian Champion Bull Rider. Thirty-six-year-old Scott Schiffner is showing no signs of slowing down this season after winning the Kananaskis Pro Rodeo with an impressive 90 point ride on Kesler Rodeo’s “Flight Plan”.

The winning ride was actually made on a young bull that was in the re-ride pen, Schiffner says the bull proved to be even better than expected. “Duane said ‘you probably want to get on him Scott, he’s pretty good’,” said Schiffner when making the decision to take his re-ride draw after his first bull of the night stumbled, “He wasn’t pretty good, he was pretty exceptional.”

The Strathmore cowboy also battled it out and split the win at the Camrose Spring Classic with the “Young Gun” Lonnie West who is 16 years Schiffner’s junior. The two tied with a pair of 87.5 point rides, Schiffner’s done on the Outlaw Buckers bull “Brahma Boots Chrome”.

“I was pretty excited to go there because that’s the bull that I turned out in the sixth round last year at CFR, that was the first time in my 15 year history at the CFR that I didn’t get on a bull so it was kind of nice to have him again and know that I could ride him,” said Schiffner.

The Bull Rider has been there, done that, in the Canadian rodeo world and is still proving he has what it takes to be among the top 12 in Canada on a consistent basis, but Schiffner says he’s hoping to enjoy life outside of the bucking pen a little more this rodeo season.

“I want to try to go to a few less rodeos and still make the CFR. I still support Canadian rodeo but I’ve got a lot going on and my girls are getting to the age now where they’re pretty fun and I don’t want to miss out on things that they’re going to do maybe once or twice in their lifetime,” said Schiffner.

Between the two rodeos Schiffner will pocket $3,032.10 unofficially, making him the top bull riding earner of the weekend.

A competitor that was just shy of a double win this weekend was Okotoks Barrel Racer Crystal Christman. The cowgirl placed first at the Kananaskis Pro Rodeo with a speedy time of 12.951 seconds on her horse “Blazin Boy” otherwise known as “Binger”. She was then barely edged out for the lead at Camrose by Canadian Champion Barrel Racer, Deb Guelly.

Christman, who is not currently well known on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association trail, has placed at all three of the first Canadian Professional Rodeos and surpassed her entire life earnings record in just two weekends, but with two kids at home and a busy work schedule, Christman says she’s just out there to have fun.

“I’ll make it to the ones I can get to and try to take it easy on the old boy,” Christman says of the 16-year-old horse she describes as a warrior, “We’re just going to go out and have fun, we’re going to get to where we can go and enjoy the ride.”

Christman was your highest earning barrel racer, and overall rodeo competitor, of the weekend with an unofficial total of $3,833.08 to go on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association season leaderboard. At this rate, a Canadian Finals Rodeo qualification may start to be on her mind and who knows, stranger things have happened to people when they’re having fun.

Whether it’s competing at CPRA rodeos or enjoying life at home, Christman says there are many people to thank for the fun she’s had along the way and wishes to send a special shout out to the Webb and Depaoli families as well as her own family including her two little girls.

Other competitors that collected two paychecks this weekend include: your top Bareback money earner, Caleb Bennett with $1,822.57 in total earnings, Dustin Walker who topped the class in the Steer Wrestling with $3,070.51 between his win at Camrose and third place split in the Kananaskis Country, Team Ropers Braidy Davies and Chase Simpson placed twice this weekend to earn $1,687.76 each, in the Saddle Bronc it was Cole Scott who took home the most cash with a total of $1,988.38, and the top earner in the Tie Down Roping was Cody Brett with $2,282.32 on the board.

Find complete rodeo results at

Next up on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association schedule is Drayton Valley April 29th to May 1st.