The 67th College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) celebrated its 17th year in Casper, Wyo., in June.
Known as the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo, contestants compete all year in one of the NIRA’s 11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at the CNFR. The top three students in each event and top two men’s and women’s teams from the NIRA’s 11 regions qualified. This year, over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges competed in Casper.
Canada was well represented again, and this year the Saddle Bronc Champion is Clay Elliott of Nanton, Alta., who is attending Panhandle State University. Clay rode every horse, won the third go-round and the go-round ring, and then he had a spectacular ride in the Finals, scoring an 81.5 and beating out the closest rival in the championship round by a full 10 points.
In Team Roping, Canadian Kolton Schmidt of Barrhead, Alta., who attends Southeastern Oklahoma State University (and who also qualified for the 2014 Canadian Finals Rodeo) and his roping partner, Sawyer Barham of Barnsdall, Okla., who attends Coffeyville Community College won the first go-round with 5.1 seconds. From then on consistency won the day with times of 6.7 and 6.2 in the second and third go-round, and 6.2 in the Finals to beat out the competition with a total time of 24.2 seconds in four rounds, taking home the Championship and a go-round ring.
Congratulations to Clay and Kolton! The competition was tough and we’re proud you emerged the Champions.