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Pro Rodeo

PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN

CANADA

INSIDER

HE’S KING OF THE WORLD F13 Virgil, C5 Rodeo’s bareback superstar, has been voted the 2017 World Champion Bareback Horse. Virgil is shown here just touching down in the third perf of 2016 CFR with Jake Vold onboard winning the round. For more on the amazing grey, see page 46.

RODEOCANADA.COM cowboycountrymagazine.com

CANADIAN COWBOY COUNTRY DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018 41


M AT T S H I O Z AW A

2016 CFR TIE-DOWN ROPING CHAMPION

C I N C H J E A N S . C O M 42

Canadian Cowboy Country December 2017/January 2018


C.P.R.A.

TENTATIVE CPRA 2018 SCHEDULEÂ

*

NOVEMBER 2017 (1ST EVENT OF 2018)

JULY

Regina, SK

Coronation, AB Benalto, AB Taber, AB - Pending Teepee Creek, AB Oyen, AB Morris, MB Edmonton, AB Kennedy, SK Medicine Hat, AB Bonnyville, AB Pollockville, AB Bowden, AB Bruce, AB High Prairie, AB

Nov 22-25, 2017

FEBRUARY Red Deer, AB Claresholm, AB

Feb 16-17 Feb 24

APRIL Medicine Hat, AB Tofield, AB Camrose, AB Coleman, AB

April 6-8 April 14 April 27-29 April 27-29

MAY Drayton Valley, AB Stavely, AB Falkland, BC Grande Prairie, AB Leduc, AB

May 4-6 May 10-12 May 19-21 May 30-June 3 May 31-June 3

JUNE Wildwood, AB Hand Hills, AB Rocky Mountain House, AB Brooks, AB Lea Park, AB Okotoks, AB Innisfail, AB Wainwright, AB High River, AB Sundre, AB Ponoka, AB Airdrie, AB Williams Lake, BC

June 2-3 June 2-3 June 7-10 June 8-9 June 8-10 June 16 June 15-17 June 21-24 June 22-24 June 22-24 June 26-July 2 June 27-July 1 June 28-July 1

July 6-7 July 6-8 July 6-8 July 13-15 July 16 July 19-22 July 20-22 July 21-22 July 26-28 July 27-28 July 28 July 28 July 29 July 31-Aug 1

AUGUST Camrose, AB Strathmore, AB Grimshaw, AB La Crete, AB Jasper, AB - date change Dawson Creek, BC Cranbrook, BC Pincher Creek, AB Okotoks, AB Armstrong, BC

Aug 2-5 Aug 3-6 Aug 4-5 Aug 7-8 Aug 8-11 Aug 10-12 Aug 17-19 Aug 17-19 Aug 24-26 Aug 29-Sept 2

SEPTEMBER Merritt, BC Medicine Lodge, AB Olds, AB Brooks, AB Hanna, AB Grass Roots Finals

Sept 1-2 Sept 8 Sept 14-15 Sept 21-22 Sept 21-23 Sept 28-29

NOVEMBER Canadian Finals Rodeo

Nov 7-11

*All dates are subject to change. Please visit rodeocanada.com for up-to-date information. Denotes Canadian Pro Tour rodeos

cowboycountrymagazine.com

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider

The Short Round

In a sensitive and touching move, the organizers of the 2017 Wrangler Nationals Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER have announced that out of the 121 back numbers worn by the competitors, only one — number 58 — will not be issued.

EMPTY SADDLES

BLAIR COLIN STROH Oct 21, 1971 – Aug 24, 2017 Blair Stroh of Elkwater, Alta., the 1996 CPRA Rookie of the Year who went on to qualify nine times for the Canadian Finals Rodeo in tie-down roping and team roping, passed suddenly in a single-vehicle accident. He leaves behind his wife, Brandi, and their three children, Abbi, Jake and Nate.

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WNFR. To help you cheer them on, here’s a list of the Canadians competing for the World: 7 42 46 48 50 84 85 106 111

Zeke Thurston, Saddle Bronc Jake Vold, Bareback Layton Green, Saddle Bronc Scott Guenthner, Steer Wrestling Orin Larsen, Bareback Clay Elliott, Saddle Bronc Tanner Milan, Steer Wrestling Jordan Hansen, Bull Riding Jeremy Buhler, Team Roping, Heeler

TRAYLIN CHARLIE PEARL REAY Congratulations to Travis and Jacqueline (Stojan) Reay on the birth of their daughter, Traylin Charlie Pearl Reay on July 6, 2017. The couple had struggled to have a child and used in Traylin Charlie Pearl Reay, vitro fertilization, Travis sporting her mom’s 1998 LRA related. “She is our miracle Season Leader buckle baby,” he said. At one week old, Traylin hit the rodeo trail and to date she has already experienced over 30 rodeos with her multi-time CFR contender steer wrestling dad, and mom Jacqueline, herself a CFR qualifier (1998) and multiaward-winning barrel racer. “She is such an amazing baby; super happy all the time,” says Travis. “We are beyond blessed to have this little girl.”

Canadian Cowboy Country December 2017/January 2018

PHOTOS COURTEY PRCA; BY CPRA/ANDREW CZINK; COURTESY REAY FAMILY

VEGAS STRONG

The number will remain absent as a tribute to the 58 men and women killed in the shooting October 1 at an outdoor Las Vegas concert. “In coordination with Las Vegas Events, we have decided not to issue the number 58 as a way to pay our respects to the victims of this tragedy,” said PRCA Chief Operating Officer Aaron Enget. Yet the World Championship will go on. This year, there are nine Canadians competing at the WNFR; most will be accompanied by family and a contingent of Canadian fans. For those that aren’t able to get a seat in the perennially sold-out arena, the PRCA recently announced the launch of ProRodeoTV for the 2017

By TERRI MASON


C.P.R.A.

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

PHOTOS COURTESY CANADIAN PRO RODEO HALL OF FAME

Congratulations to the 2017 inductees to the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. The inductees will each receive a beautiful bronze created by the award-winning artist Shay Keller of Rockglen, Sask.

DENNY HAY

RAYEL LITTLE

Denny Hay of Mayerthorpe, Alta., 1987 Canadian Novice Saddle Bronc Champion, 1989 Rookie of the Year, 1998 Calgary Stampede $50,000 winner, three-time Canadian Champion Saddle Bronc Rider (’95, ’96 and ‘98). He qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) 15 times, plus four times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas. Hay also won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT.

Rayel Little is a four-time Canadian Barrel Racing Champion. For two decades she qualified for the CFR and qualified for the NFR twice. A horse trainer by trade, Rayel trained five horses that qualified for the CFR in a single year. For three consecutive years from 2005 to 2007 she won the Ponoka Stampede.

GLEN KEELEY

BILL PIMM

Glen Keeley was the 1989 Canadian Champion Bull Rider, who passed suddenly in 2000 at the Ty Murray Invitational PBR. Keeley qualified for numerous CFR, NFR and Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals and was inside the top five in the PBR World Standings when he died. To honour his legacy, in 2004 friends and family launched the Glen Keeley Memorial PBR in Stavely, Alta. The proceeds from the non-profit event are donated to the Glen Keeley Benevolent & Scholarship Fund.

Inducted as a Builder of Rodeo, Bill Pimm was born in Lethbridge, Alta., then in 1954 Pimm moved his family north to Grimshaw where he became involved in plans to bring pro rodeo to the North Peace area. In 1977, Bill became President of the North Peace Stampede, a position he would hold for 20 years. Bill was honoured with the CPRA Committee Person of the Year in 1983.

BILLY LAYE

B6 LITTLE SIX — ANIMAL, BULL, VOLD

Billy Laye of Bashaw, Alta., is the 1991 Canadian Bareback Champion, won the $50,000 at the 1991 Calgary Stampede and qualified for the NFR three times. He set the 1995 NFR arena record of 90 points on a Butler and Cervi horse called Brown Bomber.

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Little Six was small, only about 1,400 lbs, but he bucked every time. In 1997 he was declared Bull of the Year in Canadian pro rodeo. A dark brown-and-black bananahorned bull, Little Six was ridden by Joe Dodds to a Calgary Stampede Championship.

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider

By TERRI MASON

BAREBACK HORSE OF THE YEAR

BULL OF THE YEAR

F13 Virgil

105 Johnny Ringo

Owned by Vern McDonald, C5 Rodeo

Owned by Vold Rodeo/Rafter G

Few horses draw as much attention as Virgil. The big grey is a photographer’s dream, with more “hang time” than a basketball star. Now coming nine, Virgil was raised by North Dakotan Dale Kling out of a Verne Franklin mare. Vern McDonald was looking for a superstar, and he knew Virgil fit the bill. “He’s the best investment I’ve made in a long time,” says McDonald. “Virgil and Make Up Face (another C5 superstar) put C5 Rodeo on the map,” said McDonald. In late October, it was announced that Virgil has also been chosen as the PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year.

In a world where “bad” means “good” Johnny Ringo is one bad bull. “He came from Nate and Jackie Gardner at Arrowwood,” said Nansen Vold. “He’s six years old. He’s very tiny for a bull.” It’s not his 1,250-lb size that prompted his award; he is a challenge to the bull riders who make money on his back. “He bucked at 25–30 rodeos this year,” said Vold. In fact, $12,500 was won by Jared Parsonage when he covered Johnny Ringo at 2017 Glen Keeley Memorial Bull Riding, only the second time that the bull had been ridden. Johnny Ringo was also named PBR Canada Bull of the Year.

BARREL HORSE WITH THE MOST HEART

SADDLE BRONC OF THE YEAR

Ripn Lady (Ripp)

242 Get Smart

Owned by Carman Pozzobon

Owned by Ward Macza, Northcott-Macza Rodeo

What a blazing start for the seven-year-old mare, Ripn Lady, known as Ripp by her owner and pilot, Carman Pozzobon. “Last year was her first year running pro,” she explained. “The year before she was just started.” In two short years Ripp went pro, earned a berth at the ’16 CFR, earned season leader of 2017, earned another berth at the ’17 CFR and was voted in for this award. “She gives me 110 per cent every time,” she said. “When it’s time to make the run she’s ready to go like a missile.” “She tries, with all of her heart, every single run.”

He has roared out of the chutes at 10 CFRs, a half dozen times at the NFR and now for the fourth time, Get Smart is once again named Saddle Bronc of the Year. “He’s one of those horses who gets better with age,” says Macza. At 2016 WNFR, Macza made the change to right-hand delivery for the 2002 son of Northcott’s great stud, Wyatt Earp. “This is the way I look at it,” says Macza. “A good bucking horse is like a good woman. They’re very few and far between. And on both accounts if you find one, you’d better look after them.”

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Canadian Cowboy Country December 2017/January 2018

PHOTOS BY MIKE COPEMAN

CPRA STOCK OF THE YEAR AWARDS


C.P.R.A.

STEER WRESTLING HORSE OF THE YEAR

TIE-DOWN ROPING HORSE OF THE YEAR

Smoke

Clyde

Owned by The Milan family

Owned by Erik Dublanko

At 14 hands, Smoke is low to the ground and on his back rides some of Canada’s top steer wrestlers. The Milan family bought the 18-yearold grade gelding in 2015 from Eldon Day in Oklahoma. “Ever since I got him he’s been a blessing,” says Tanner Milan. “He’s quite the little character.” Tanner isn’t the only winner on the horse’s back. “Scott Guenthner rode him all year and we ended up first and second in the standings. Straws (Milan) rode him too; he’s seventh in the standings. Both Scott and I made the National Finals this year on him too. It’s been a very good year for him.”

“It’s not an easy thing to win,” says TDR roper Erik Dublanko. “There are some good horses out there.” At 14.2hh Clyde isn’t the biggest horse in the arena, but for sure he is one of the most consistent, earning him the prestigious honour voted on by the other tie-down ropers. He’s 13 years old, and the grade bay gelding is in his prime. Dublanko bought Clyde from his friend, Randall Carlyle in Texas. “I bought him in January 2016 and brought him home in March.” “He tries all the time, and he’s got quite the personality,” laughs Dublanko. “I’m proud that he won this — he’s a good horse.”

HEADING HORSE OF THE YEAR

HEELING HORSE OF THE YEAR

CM Beckwith Wrangler (Wrangler)

GLH Frostbite Olena (Rick James)

Owned by Roland McFadden

Owned by Jeremy Buhler

“It’s such an honour,” says Roland McFadden. “There are always great horses in rodeo but right now, especially in the team roping, there are so many great ones that to have him voted in is a pretty cool thing.” McFadden has had his eye on the 2004 gelding for a while. “I bought Wrangler off Clint Weston last fall after the CFR,” says McFadden. “He hadn’t been ridden since Bruce (Stampede) and I took him to Regina and ever since it’s been great,” he said. Keep an eye out for the big blue bay roan. “He’s definitely the prettiest one of the two of us,” laughs McFadden.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Jeremy Buhler upon hearing that Rick James, his heeling horse since 2009, has won the coveted award two years running. Perhaps the gelding’s biggest show was at the 2016 WNFR when Buhler rode him to a World Team Roping Heeler Championship. “I rode him in all 10 rounds,” he said. Buhler has also ridden Rick James in every CFR he qualified: five — and counting. The 14.2 hand dun is fit and well looked after. “He’s got really good bone and for a small horse he wears a size-one shoe,” said Buhler. “He’s built to last.”

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider ROAD TO THE NFR

Layton Green on Calgary Stampede’s W-16 Wild Cherry, round 6, 2016 CFR

I

T WILL BE THE LARGEST CONTINGENT OF CANADIANS COMPETING AT THE WRANGLER NATIONAL FINALS RODEO IN 20 YEARS. NINE QUALIFIED FOR THE

YEAR-END FINALE IN LAS VEGAS, THE MOST SINCE 10 FROM THIS SIDE OF THE BORDER MADE THE CUT IN 1997. AT THE TOP OF THE LIST IS DEFENDING WORLD SADDLE BRONC CHAMPION, ZEKE THURSTON.

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By TIM ELLIS

“Until you’ve been there, you don’t know how much pressure is put on you,” says the 23-year-old, Big Valley, Alta., cowboy. “There’s a saying: ‘Expect the best, prepare for the worst and take what comes.’ That’s the best way to describe a game plan for the finals.” Like Thurston, Manitoba bareback rider Orin Larsen also qualified for the third consecutive year.

“This year there was a tough, tough group of bareback riders all the way from first to thirty,” suggests the 26-year-old. “It was a real fight to get inside the top 15 with a lot of young, hungry, up-and-coming kids.” Among those who have qualified for the first time is reigning Canadian Bull Riding Champion, Jordan Hansen. “Last year, my season was cut really short so that was the biggest

Canadian Cowboy Country December 2017/January 2018

PHOTOS BY MIKE COPEMAN

VIVA LAS VEGAS!


C.P.R.A.

difference this year,” concludes Hansen, who broke his ankle in late July 2016 at Cheyenne, Wyo. “I think I made about $10,000–$15,000 during Cowboy Christmas which put me in the top 15 and luckily I stayed there.” Joining Hansen as an NFR rookie is steer wrestler, Scott Guenthner, who rode a small stable of borrowed horses throughout the season because of an injury to his 2014 Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Itzy. “I really hope my own horse would come back,” offers Guenthner, who finished 31st in the world standings last season. “I knew I could ride other horses and I don’t really think about it. If it works, it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” Saddle bronc rider Layton Green is also a first-time qualifier and has himself in immediate contention for a world title after finishing fifth in the World standings. “That lit a fire inside my stomach and I told myself I wasn’t going to miss it again,” confides the 23-yearold, who narrowly missed the NFR cut last season by finishing 19th. “My mental game got stronger, too. I’ve trained my mind to treat every situation the same and don’t let anything get in the way of winning.” Three-time Canadian champion bareback rider, Jake Vold is back in Vegas for a third time after finishing runner-up to the world title last year. Vold vaulted into the top 15 after winning the Ponoka Stampede. “I wasn’t paying much attention to the standings until then,” admits Vold. “That was a huge weekend for me. I needed that big time.” The rest of the group includes steer wrestler, Tanner Milan, back for the second time in three years, defending world team roping heeling champ, Jeremy Buhler, who will be without partner Levi Simpson this time around and reigning Canadian saddle bronc champ, Clay Elliott, back for a second straight year. c

Jordan Hansen on Duffy’s 441 Pirhana, round 2, 2016 CFR

Scott Guenthner, round 6, 2016 CFR

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Canadian Cowboy Country December 2017/January 2018

Profile for Tanner Young Publishing Group

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