NFR Canadiana: Round Two with Tom Reardon


Dec 4, 2020, Maple Creek, Sask.

At the Tailgate Party before the second perf, there was a bit of Canadiana when Wyoming native and country music entertainer, Ned LeDoux, related how he’d co-written a song with Alberta’s Corb Lund. It’s called “Dance With Your Spurs On” then he picked up his guitar and sang it for us. It’s a dandy.

Now to the rodeo. I imagine the folks around Eckville, Alta., could hear Darcy Hollingsworth whooping and hollering when Tanner Aus of Minnesota matched moves with HiLo Rodeo’s Wilson Sanchez for 87 points and a first-place cheque. Darcy raised the mare, and she never disappoints. At the buckle presentations, the owners said she’s been to the NFR seven times, and MC Flint Rasmussen quipped, “Only a Canadian would name a mare Wilson Sanchez.

Manitoba bareback rider Orin Larsen toured the arena on a horse that just didn’t have his day. Television commentator Butch Knowles wondered if Orin might get a re-ride. I wholeheartedly agreed as there wasn’t a way in the world to place on that horse, but alas, the judges took the easy way out and gave him 75.5 points, pretty much eliminating any dreams of a big cheque in the Average.

Bruce Sundstrom’s bareback horse 313 Mayhem lived up to the name and deposited Texan Jake Brown in the arena dirt right promptly.

In the steer wrestling, Curtis Cassidy using his award-winning horse, Tyson, picked up a 4/5 cheque with a 4.3-second run. Tyson also packed Jesse Brown to a 4.9 and Blake Knowles to a 5.3; they never placed. The round was split between Bridger Anderson and Tyler Waguespack with identical 3.8s.

It doesn’t take long to tell the Team Roping story. It was won by Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves in a second round record of 3.8 seconds. Kolton Schmidt missed his head loop, and Levi Simpson’s heeler missed.

Utah’s Ryder Wright won the round with 90 points on Feather Fluffer from Championship Pro Rodeo. The draw Gods have been treating Zeke Thurston about the same as Orin Larsen; tonight he rode a horse that was more interested in travelling than altitude for 82.5. Texan Sterling Crawley rode Calgary Stampede’s S-65 Shadow Warrior to a fifth-place cheque with 86 points. Taos Muncy got an 82 on Outlaw Buckers 508 Lunatic Party. The folks in Regina could hear Carl Barrett tap dancing on a hardwood floor when Outlaw Buckers B8 OLS Tubs Little Muffin two-jumped South Dakota bronc rider, Cole Elshere. Carl sold this horse to the Outlaw band.

For the second night in a row, Texan Marty Yates won Tie Down roping. Shane Hanchey and T.J. clocked a 8.1 for a 4/5 split.

Home state cowgirl Jimmie Smith won the Barrel Racing, and for the second consecutive night, Stetson Wright was the top bull rider. Outlaw Buckers 269 Fish Camp bucked off Idaho bull rider Brady Portenier.

Watch the highlights from the WNFR Round 2 here!