Two cowboys. Different motivations. Two rodeos. Same results.
It’s been a very good ten days for Tanner Girletz and Tanner Milan. Both Alberta cowboys posted back to back wins at a pair of important Canadian Professional Rodeo stops. And those results have propelled both men to the top of their respective events.
For Girletz the latest win—173 points on two at the 60th edition of the Wainwright Stampede for $5,127—was part of his game plan for getting back to the CFR after an unwelcome hiatus from Canada’s yearender.
The 2006 Canadian champion has made no secret of the fact that he hated not being in Edmonton in November and was going to do all he could to make sure it didn’t happen again. Girletz’s efforts are paying off as his earnings have now topped $18,000 and have him comfortably atop the Canadian bull riding standings.
It was a re-match with the Vold bull Cool Valley that provided the latest impetus for Girletz’s upward surge. “I had him at a PBR this spring in Prince Albert and he got me there,” the third generation cowboy recalled. “But I made one mistake in PA and I knew what it was. I figured if I fixed that error things would work out.”
And work out they did. The 87 point score in Wainwright’s short go gave the Bowden cowboy a 173 total on two and a five and a half point margin over another former Canadian champion Chad Besplug and the fast rising Jordan Hansen who split second and third with 167.5 on their two rides.
For “the other” Tanner it was, in the words of Yogi Berra, “déjà vu all over again” as for the second week in a row Milan was the last man in the Steer Wrestling and for the second week in a row he was 4.1 seconds to claim the title. The reigning Canadian champ who makes Cochrane, Alberta home added $6569 Wainwright dollars to his sizable $7000 plus earnings at Innisfail and the back to back big paydays have Milan on course for both of his 2013 goals—a run at another Canadian bulldogging title and a trip to the Wrangler National Finals rodeo in Las Vegas.
The back to back wins have given Milan a commanding perch atop the Canadian standings and have vaulted him into the top 15 on the world stage as well.
But maybe the hottest of the hot hands are team ropers Levi Simpson (Claresholm) and John Robertson (Polson, Montana). The blistering recent hot streak of the Can-American pairing continued at Wainwright as their winning run, 5.5 seconds in the short go, 15.4 on three runs earned them over $3800 apiece, and made them the third of the back to back winners at Innisfail and Wainwright and giving the talented pair some breathing room atop the Canadian standings.
Their current streak which dates back to a win at Rocky Mountain House and a last hole placing at Lea Park the same weekend means that in the last sixteen days Simpson and Robertson have netted just a tick under $8800 apiece, a bonanza that has propelled the duo into the top fifteen in the world.Clint Laye rounded out the Canadian successes at Wainwright as his 83.5 on Outlaw Buckers former Canadian champion OLS Tubs Ross River for a total of 167.5 and over $4000 to take home to Cadogan, Alberta.
Two time world champion Taos Muncy of Corona, New Mexico did what was expected of him and made a spectacular spur ride on another Canadian champion bucker, Eclypse of Wayne Vold, for 87 points and a 168 total on two for the win.
Former Canadian Rookie of the year, Timber Moore of Aubrey Texas was a smooth 7.7 in the short round for a winning total of of 26.1 on three and a tidy 4500 plus payday. And in the Barrel Race, Kaley Bass of Kissimmee, Florida put together two runs in 38.841 for the first place honours and a $5190 cheque.
The Wainwright Stampede Battle for the Buckles was the second stop in the Road to the CFR live webcast/telecast. Next week’s Canadian schedule will take cowboys and cowgirls to Williams Lake, Airdrie and the Ponoka Stampede, all part of the much anticipated “Cowboy Christmas run on both sides of the 49th parallel.
The second scheduled CPRA rodeo for the weekend, the Sundre Pro Rodeo, was postponed due to the flood conditions that have prevailed in much of southern Alberta through recent days. Sundre has been re-scheduled to August 23-25.
For full Wainwright results, see rodeocanada.com.