TR-Spencer Rutherford, No Pressure

TR (heeler) Spencer Rutherford, Merritt, B.C.

Team roper (heeler) Spencer Rutherford of Merritt, B.C., qualified for the premier rodeo in Canada with over $11,000 in earnings and he is facing one of his biggest rodeo challenges with a new horse and a new team roping partner.

Rutherford’s regular season partner is header Denver Johnson of Strathmore but he didn’t qualify, so Rutherford is riding into the arena with new partner, Kyle Smith. The Brant, Alta., header won both Cranbrook and Bonnyville this year and qualified for the CFR with over $12,000 in earnings.

“We’ve never roped together before,” says Rutherford. “I drove out from Merritt a couple of days before so we could practice.”

Both of the cowboys are focused on the goal. “I’m just trying to stay positive and hope everything works,” says Rutherford.

He’s also not riding his regular season horse, but will be on John, a new mount he bought last fall from Peter Bews from Pekisko Creek Ranch. “My other horse got hurt at the end of the year, so I’ve never really ridden this new horse,” he says. “He’s actually my practice horse.”

So–Rutherford’s riding into Northlands Coliseum with a new partner and a new horse–and knowing he is the only B.C. team roper to qualify.

“Yeah, no pressure,” says Rutherford.

Spencer Rutherford heeling at 2016 Cowtown Pro Rodeo, Maple Creek, SK. Photo courtesy Cowtown Pro Rodeo/Mike Copeman