(FYI: Photos of Canadians & Canadian stock have been requested.-TM)
The Bareback Riding was all bunched up tonight. Two guys were 87.5, and four more riggin’ riders were 86 points. R.C. Landingham was winning until Kaycee Field matched him; I’m not sure why. In fact, the only thing I’m sure of is that Orin Larsen can’t catch a break. The long-legged Manitoban was one point shy of a cheque again tonight. Richie Champion got one of those 3-6 cheques on Calgary’s A-47 Arbitrator Joe. Aggregate leader Jess Pope was 84.5 on Vern MacDonald’s 44- Sesame Street.
First and second in the Steer Wrestling was also shared when Will Lummus and Riley Duvall clocked 3.9 runs. Curtis Cassidy switched horses. No, Tyson isn’t back yet, but he needed a change and posted 4.7 to split sixth. Scott Guenthner and Jesse Brown were both 5 flat.
The name Duvall is famous in the bulldogging world; several members of that family have qualified for the NFR. I was in Oklahoma City as a spectator for Roy Duvall’s first NFR in 1966. Each night they announced that “… Young Duvall had been drafted, and before this rodeo is done, he may have to report to Camp Pendleton in California.” As it turned out, he finished the rodeo, then got the call, went to California, and flunked the medical. Uncle Sam discharged him because his knees weren’t good enough for the Army. He went on to win 3 World Championships and qualify for 23 more NFRs, and has the record of 24 qualifications which I doubt will ever be broken.
Back to the rodeo, both international teams made money tonight. Kaleb Driggers and Brazilian Junior Nogueira topped the field with a smooth 4.1. Rhen Richard and the first Canadian World Champion Heeler Jeremy Buhler, won fourth with 4.7.
It’s been a long road back for Wade Sundell. A couple of years ago, the 2018 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider suffered near-fatal injuries when a horse mashed him in the chute. Tonight, he won the round with 89.5 points. Two-time World Champion Zeke Thurston rode Wayne Vold’s 32 Alberta Moon for 88.5 and third place. Amazingly, the only guy to get a cheque without turning his toes out happened to be wearing a blue shirt. Brody Cress didn’t place on Outlaw Buckers B8 OLS Tubs Little Muffin with an 85.5, and Dawson Hay was 84.5. Kolby Wanchuk, Ben Andersen and Layton Green all missed their horses out. I don’t think the judges are picking on Canadians; the replays verified them all. They were just strong horses leaving in a hurry.
World Champion Tie-down Roper Shad Mayfield showed the crowd why he’s got a gold buckle with 7.6, and he could have been faster; he bobbled the tie. Shane Hanchey remains strong in the aggregate, with 10 flat.
Wenda Johnson only went to 25 rodeos and still earned an NFR back number. Tonight, she blew the competition away with a 13.46.
Duane Kesler’s 481 Switchback bucked off Trey Benton lll. In fact, only two riders got whistles in the Bull Riding. Dustin Bouquet and Parker Breding both marked 84.5 and split all the prize money. They each earned $43,544, and you can move up in the standings in a hurry with that kind of cheque.
Round 5 Draw
Orin Larsen is matched up with 110 Redzilla from Hi Lo Rodeo. Richie Champion drew 045 Faded Night from Pickett Pro Rodeo. Calgary’s World Champion X-9 Xplosive Skies will put the test on Cole Franks. Garrett Shadbolt drew the Bareback of the CFR A-91 Agent Lynx. Season leader Tilden Hooper drew the sweet one; he’ll try Macza’s 118 OLS Tubs Stevie Knicks.
I’m excited for Ben Andersen. The Rocky Mountain House via Eckville, Alberta resident has drawn Macza’s World Champion Saddle Bronc 242 OLS Tubs Get Smart. Layton Green will saddle up 010 Larry Culpepper from Hi Lo Rodeo. [Larry Culpepper was raised in the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley of Saskatchewan by well-known bronc masters, Art & Shawn-Boy Francis.-TM] Two-time World Champion Zeke Thurston, who is currently third in the aggregate, will tangle with Powder River’s -42 Miss Valley. Kolby Wanchuk has Brookman’s 74 Flirtatious. Dawson Hay is matched with 086 Toma Jo from the Hi Lo herd.
Of note; Earlier this year, Tomahawk, Alberta’s good bronc rider Dawson Dahm was 90.5 on this horse to win the rodeo at Springdale, Ark. A different Dawson, but a repeat would be nice.
PBR superstar J. B. Mauney will test 409 Mr Clean from the Big Stone outfit.