Canadian Cowboy Country magazine publisher Rob Tanner and CCCM editor Terri Mason didn’t learn their lesson last year and asked me to blog on the Canadians at the NFR again — so here it is.
I plan on concentrating on our Canadian contestants, Canadian bucking stock, our rookies (Dec 7th) and (I wish they were in the actual rodeo) breakaway ropers (Dec 7 & 8). I’ll also follow Oregon bulldogger Jesse Brown because he’s riding Curtis Cassidy’s 2X World Champion Doggin’ Horse Tyson. We’ll also follow rigging rider Richie Champion because he’s married to Jim and Leeann Lawrence’s daughter, Paige. I’m going to try to include some off-the-wall stats or fun facts, too.
Here’s tonight’s fun fact. Five guys in the Bronc Riding, eh. That’s awesome. The only other time we’ve had five guys in one event was in 1968, but there are complications to that. Saddle Bronc riders Mel Hyland, Tom Bews, Kenny McLean, Ivan Daines and Marty Wood, were all in the top 15. Unfortunately, Marty had a broken leg and was unable to compete. This let the #16 man in, and that was Winston Bruce, who was winding up his career as a bronc rider to begin his career in management with the Calgary Stampede. Winston won enough to finish the year in the top 15, and Marty finished the year 12th. So while we had five Canadian Bronc Riders compete at the NFR, we ended the year with six bronc riders in the top 15. We almost topped that this year as K’s Thomson and Logan Hay finished 16th and 17th.
I checked the back numbers, and it looks like Meeting Creek’s Layton Green will carry our flag for the grand entry. Layton won more than any other Canuck at regular season rodeos.
Round 1 Draw
Manitoba’s Orin Larsen has drawn L75+ Michigan Monster from Championship Pro Rodeo; I can’t find a record on this horse, so here’s hoping it’s a good match up.
Richie Champion will match moves with Pickett’s 9824 Freckled Frog. Orin was 85 points on that horse at the Riggin’ Rally earlier this year but didn’t advance.
Outlaw Buckers has two horses out in the Saddle Bronc Riding. 508 Lunatic Party has drawn Tegan Smith, and XW OLS Tubs Magic Carpet will test Wyatt Casper.
Ben Andersen’s maiden journey will be aboard 6-0 Cancun Moon from Hurst &TNT Rodeo.
Layton Green has Muddy Creek’s 2 Disco Inferno. Layton was 85 on him earlier at Bismarck. K’s was 85.5 on him, and Jesse Wright was marked 90.5 on him, but that would include the ever-present ‘Blue Shirt Bonus’, so he sounds like a mid-80’s horse.
Zeke Thurston has Cervi’s V10 Vitalix Wyatt Earp. Logan Hay was 90 points on him at San Antonio, so here’s hoping he has that kind of a trip.
NFR rookie Kolby Wanchuk will test Big Bend’s 663 Spotted Blues; it should be good. Ben Andersen was 87 at Ellensburg, and Layton Green scored 89 at Tremonton, but you never know, those are big arenas and the NFR is on a basketball court.
Dawson Hay will cinch up on Bar T’s P18 Jitter Bug, and once again, I don’t recall that horse.
Florida bull rider Clayton Sellars has Wayne Vold’s 528 Razor.
Steer Wrestlers Scott Guenthner and Curtis Cassidy, and Heeler Jeremy Buhler will certainly have our undivided attention with every run, and we’ll be reporting on them daily.
Hang on — it’s going to be a hell of a ride.