Hats off to the thousands of ticket holders in the stands for the big re-launch of our Canadian Finals Rodeo after the worldwide shutdown of everything fun.
And if you’re going to come back with a bang and a splash, you couldn’t do better than with the talents, energy and sheer excitement of CFR.
The good folks at Westerner Park also decided to change up the order of the rodeo, and instead of opening with bareback riding, they chose to open the show with barrel racing.
With the top cowgirls and their super-fast horses, it was exciting, but there was quite a drop in the electricity of the crowd as the grounds crew picked up the barrels, then harrowed the arena — time usually spent anticipating the bull riding — but, sometimes a change is as good as a rest, so that’s the way the CFR is running in 2021.
So, the revamped CFR began with one of the first ladies of Barrel Racing, the multi-show-winning Lynette Brodoway, winning Round One with 14.086, Shelby Spielman second at 14.206 and Justine Elliott and her two-time Barrel Horse with the Most Heart, Blondy, coming in third with 14.236.
Bareback (ahhh, order is restored) with some top-notch riding. Clint Laye on Macza’s 001 Lucky Draw took the round with 87 pts, Ky Marshall on Vold’s 838 Mucho Dinero earned second with 86.75 pts and Linden Woods took third — 86 pts with his crowd-electrifying ride on Calgary’s C-15 Cinci Whitney. Linden’s was my favourite ride of the night. And may I add, it was fantastic to watch Jake Vold’s indomitable style again. He took fourth with 84 pts on Outlaw’s L10 Buck Wheat.
In Steer Wrestling, the Cassidy’s never disappoint, and tonight was no different. Cody Cassidy won the round with a smoking 3.5-sec run, Dustin Walker took second with a 3.7-sec run and Curtis Cassidy rounded out the top three with his 4.0-sec run. The Cassidy’s were mounted on multi-award-winning PRCA and CPRA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Tyson.
The Novice events is a glimpse into the future, and the future is certainly looking bright with these talented cowboys. In Junior Steer Riding, Kane Scott led the field with a 74.50-pt ride, Grady Young took second with a 70.5-pt ride and Jestin Jacklin didn’t have his best ride but by gum, he got the steer covered for a disappointing-but-still-in-the-race 62-pts.
In Novice Saddle Bronc, Brody Roessler won and Cruz McNulty led the way in the Novice Bareback.
Saddle Bronc, the classic event, saw two-time World Champion & Defending Canadian Champion, Zeke Thurston, take the big prize with his 87-pt ride on Vold’s 135 Split Decision, PRCA Rookie of the Year K’s Thomson earned second with 86-pts on Vold’s 83 Pedro and Dawson Hay turned a free roll into a score of 84.75-pts on Calgary’s R-62 Redon Acres.
In Tie-Down Roping, Jason Smith made a blazing 7.7-sec run, Darren Dublanko and Wyatt Hayes split 2/3 with their twinned 8.8-sec runs.
Team Roping saw some young guns and crowd favourites as Tee McLeod and Brady Chappel stopped the clock in 4.3-sec’s, Clay Ullery and Tyce McLeod earned second with their 5-sec run and Logan Bonnett and Keely Bonnett took third with their 5.6-sec run.
And finally, Bull Riding was won with a re-ride by Australian-born Callum Miller covering Vold’s 366 All Access for 87-pts. Callum was the only rider to cover his bull. Take a look at his chaps tomorrow night – talk about country pride…
Terri Mason, watching on FloRodeo