SUBMITTED BY DWAYNE ERICKSON
Rodeos at Marwayne, Rocky Mountain House and Brooks paid out nearly $185,000 in prize money, but nobody turned in a dominant performance. Bull rider Denton Edge was the leading money winner, collecting $3,322 by winning his hometown rodeo at Marwayne with an 87.5 point score on the three-year-old Kelly Armstrong black calf Old School.
Only three other contestants won in excess of $3,000 – Utah tie-down roper Rhen Richard ($3,187), Wyoming bull rider Ty Hamaker ($3,171) and Texas bareback rider Heath Ford ($3,048).
And only five placed at all three rodeos. Hamaker was one of them. So, too, were Erskine tie-down roper Murray Pole ($2,723), New Mexico saddle bronc rider Cody Taton ($2,674), Cessford bareback rider Clayton Bunney ($1,538) and Minnesota bronc rider Tyler Corrington ($942).
No one group of cowboys could top the steer wrestlers for generosity. The three rodeos paid a total of 26 places and 26 bulldoggers picked up a cheque. With things so even across the board, there was little impact at the top end of the Canadian standings.
The only lead change took place in the saddle bronc riding, where Sam Kelts split first at Marwayne with an 82.5 on stock contractor Shane Franklin’s sorrel mare Scottish Sale. That paid $2,577, boosting Kelts’ seasonal income to $9,372 and moving him up first from fourth in the Canadian rankings. The income was also enough to kick him inside the top 25 in the world standings with $11,317.
Manitoba’s Tyrel Larsen is the only other Canadian in that territory with $12,456. Kelts wasn’t really expecting that much out of Scottish Sale.
“I drew her at Sundre last year and she was just nice for most of it before turning back at about six and a half seconds,” he said. “I was only 76 points and just out of the money.”
“She did pretty much the same thing this time and circled around to the left at the end. But, she was a little stronger the whole trip.”
The Millarville cowboy is familiar with his ranking in the upper echelon of the standings. He won the season leader award in 2009, then ended up the year fourth after the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Kelts closed out the weekend at Rocky Mountain House aboard John Duffy’s Home Brew and thought he had a chance to earn some more money. But, he hung a leg in the horse’s neck during the trip, pulled his left hamstring and jumped off to avoid further injury.
“It felt really bad when I did it, but it’s not nearly as sore now,” he said on Monday. “I reckon I should be fine for this coming weekend.”
He better be.
Kelts has drawn the Northcott family’s reigning Canadian Champion outlaw Get Smart in Sunday’s closing performance of the Daines ranch rodeo at Innisfail.
He won Strathmore on that horse in 2009 with a flashy 90-point ride, but the rank bay gelding got even that same year at the CFR when Kelts lost a stirrup.
“When rodeos like Innisfail pay that much money, it’s definitely a motive to win,” he said.
He’ll get to test out the hamstring at the one-day rodeo in Coronation the day before.
The team roping was the only other event where the standings leaders duelled it out on the weekend. The 2009 Canadian Champions, Travis Gallais and Kevin Schreiner, remained at the top of the leaderboard with $6,732 after winning Rocky Mountain House with a 4.4-second run and cashing third at Marwayne with a 5.5 for $2,264 apiece.
But, their closest rivals, Brett Buss and Matt Fawcett, strung together a pair of 5.4-second runs for first at Brooks and second at Marwayne. They earned $2,319 apiece and boosted their season’s take to $6,062.
Please visit rodeocanada.com for rodeo results and standings.