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Pro Rodeo

CANADA

INSIDER

PHOTO BY BILLIE-JEAN DUFF

WACEY SHINES ON CHROME

Wacey Finkbeiner making eight on Outlaw Buckers 69 Brahma Boots Chrome with a score of 87.75-pts at the 45th annual Canadian Finals Rodeo. The central Alberta city of Red Deer signed a multi-year deal with the CPRA to host the CFR.

RODEOCANADA.COM cowboycountrymagazine.com

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CINCHJEANS.COM

CADE SWOR

7X NFR QUALIFIER 36

Canadian Cowboy Country December 2018/January 2019


C.P.R.A.

The New Maple Leaf Circuit

President's Message

PHOTO COURTESY CPRA

We just enjoyed a spectacular first edition of the CFR at Westerner Park in Red Deer, which saw $1.65-million paid out to rodeo athletes. The CPRA Board of Directors, management and staff, extend congratulations to all our 2018 Champions — both two-legged and four-legged. And special thanks to everyone who made this CFR so memorable. CFR ’45 was characterized by innovative openings, amazing crowds and excellent production and included the first-ever Junior CFR Rising Stars youth rodeo. Included in the history that was made at the 2018 Finals, fans enjoyed seeing barrel racer Callahan Crossley establish two new earnings records. They also applauded bull rider Scott Schiffner, who extended his record in making his 18th (and final) CFR appearance; Curtis Cassidy, who competed for the 19th time in the steer wrestling — another new record — and the first-ever set of three brothers qualifying for the CFR in three different events (Tyrel in Saddle Bronc, Orin in Bareback and Kane Larsen in Bull Riding). In addition to CPRA and Westerner Park event coverage, we were excited to see significant print, electronic and digital media reporting of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. All of us, as Canadians and CPRA members, wish the six competitors who will be representing our country at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo a successful World Final. Congratulations as well to Canadian stock contractors who, between them, are taking 50 horses and bulls over to the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas. As we look back on a successful 2018, we extend a heartfelt “thank you” to our sponsors, our fans, our rodeo committees and their volunteers. All of you are valued more than you know, and we look forward to having you as part of our 2019 season. Finally, I wish everyone a happy and rewarding year ahead. See all of you on the rodeo trail.

The PRCA and Canadian Professional Rodeo Association have partnered to create the Maple Leaf Circuit, which will join the list of existing sanctioned PRCA circuits. “The creation of the Maple Leaf Circuit is a significant step toward our goal of unifying the sport of professional rodeo, while increasing the opportunities for our members,” said PRCA CEO, George Taylor. CPRA rodeo competitors will be able to enter a select number of CPRA rodeos throughout the 2019 rodeo season and earn Maple Leaf Circuit points. General Manager for the CPRA, Jeff Robson, sees the new agreement as an opportunity to strengthen Canadian rodeo in several key areas. “Both of our organizations are committed to attracting new members and creating avenues for new and existing members to make more money. This agreement solidifies the role of the CPRA and PRCA as industry leaders in and out of the arena,” Robson noted. The event champions and season leaders of the Maple Leaf Circuit will qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., starting in April 2020.

Terry Cooke, President, CPRA

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider

The Short Round

By TERRI MASON

Gary Rempel riding Herbie, one of his many pick up horses at CFR45

ON THE MEND

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Jason and Jeff Resch pulling the flank off a Duffy saddle bronc, 10 Bootilear at CFR45

PHOTOS BY BILLIE-JEAN DUFF

At the CFR in Red Deer, Gary Rempel, the most famous pick up man in the world, was seriously injured when a Calgary Stampede stud kicked out after Rempel escorted the bronc through the out gate. The bronc’s hoof struck at the exact angle needed to cut through the heavy bull hide chaps and the shin pads to cut his skin and break his leg. Sport Medicine got Gary to the hospital where the surgeon operated on him at 4 a.m., inserting a pin into his leg. Tyler Kraft, Calgary Stampede Ranch manager and a pick up man himself, geared up and finished the rest of the perf alongside Jason Resch. Jason’s twin brother and fellow pick up man, Jeff, received the call from the CPRA late that night to come and fill in for Gary in the arena. “I had turned my horses out for the winter and hadn’t ridden them for a few weeks, so they were pretty fresh,” laughs Jeff. “They did really well though.” The twin brothers picked up for the rest of the Finals without incident. Each of the brothers has been voted in by contestants to pick up at the CFR many times before. “I was in the arena and didn’t see what happened,” says Jason. “I went to see Gary the next morning, and we discussed it. It was a bad luck deal.” After the CFR perf, Ken “Goose” Rehill loaded up Gary’s horses and took them to the Calgary Stampede Ranch, where they were looked after for the rest of the week. After the CFR was over, the “Men of the CS” rounded up a newly cast Gary from Red Deer, Gary’s horses and trailer from Hanna, his freshly repaired truck from High River (it had broken down near there on the way up), got everything squared away and delivered Gary and his outfit to his home near Fort Shaw, Montana. “Gary is a legend,” says Jason. “It’s outstanding what he has done for picking up, and it’s quite a deal to pick up with him. I hope he’ll have a speedy recovery and be back in the saddle where he belongs.”

Canadian Cowboy Country December 2018/January 2019


C.P.R.A.

Dawson Hay

Brendan Laye

COPEMAN RETIRES I would like to thank all who reached out to me with thoughts and prayers after the notice of my illness was posted on Facebook. I am sorry that I was not able to reply to all you well-wishers on an individual basis, and I hope you can accept my heartfelt thanks for your kind remarks and prayers in this short note. I can tell you that you all lifted my spirits, and it helped with my recovery after my final surgery. After a tough year with illnesses in 2018, I have decided to retire from rodeo photography. It was a difficult decision to make, as rodeo and rodeo photography have been a huge part of my life for 30 years. I know I will miss being out there in the arena with all of you, but I have to accept that I am not able to continue my work. I have been dealing with two types of skin cancer. The first cancer was

diagnosed in February and treated successfully in March/April of this year. The second cancer was discovered in a routine doctor visit during the time I was being treated for problems with both hands, which kept me out of the arena after the Leduc rodeo. This cancer is being treated on an ongoing basis and is being managed. The prognosis looks promising and hopeful. Thank you all for the many years of great memories and thank you for your support. Wishing you all the best in your rodeo careers and happiness in your lives. Cheers, Mike Mike Copeman Photography

PHOTOS BY MIKE COPEMAN; PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS BOLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

HAY — LAYE EARN PRCA AWARDS The PRCA announced the Rookie of the Year Awards, and two of the winners are homegrown Canadians from well-known rodeo families. Congratulations to Brendan Laye, who is the 2018 Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year with $30,767. Although the 28-year-old cowboy is new to the PRCA scene, this Consort, Alta., steer wrestler competed for several years in the Great White North. “To finally go down there and have some success is a pretty cool experience for me,” Laye said. Congratulations also to Dawson Hay, who is the 2018 Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year. The 20-year-old Wildwood, Alta., cowboy won $39,605. “It means a lot for sure because that was definitely my goal because my dad (Rod Hay) was the Rookie of the Year in 1989,” Hay said.

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider

2019 TENTATIVE SCHEDULE NOVEMBER 2018

REGINA, SK Agribition

JANUARY 2019

RED DEER, AB * (BR)

FEBRUARY 2019

CLARESHOLM, AB * (BR)

APRIL 2019

MEDICINE HAT, AB OLDS, AB * (BR) pending TOFIELD, AB * (BR) CAMROSE, AB COLEMAN, AB

MAY 2019

DRAYTON VALLEY, AB STAVELY, AB INNISFAIL, AB * (BR) FALKLAND, BC GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB LEDUC, AB

JUNE 2019

WILDWOOD, AB * (SB) HAND HILLS, AB LEA PARK, AB ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, AB BROOKS, AB INNISFAIL, AB WAINWRIGHT, AB SUNDRE, AB HIGH RIVER, AB PONOKA, AB WILLIAMS LAKE, BC AIRDRIE, AB

NOVEMBER 21–24 JANUARY 12 FEBRUARY 23 APRIL 5–7 APRIL 12 APRIL 13 APRIL 26–28 APRIL 26–28 MAY 3–5 MAY 9–11 MAY 11 MAY 18–20 MAY 29–JUNE 2 MAY 30–JUNE 2 JUNE 1 JUNE 1–2 JUNE 7–9 JUNE 7–9 JUNE 7–8 JUNE 14–16 JUNE 20–23 JUNE 21–23 JUNE 21–23 JUNE 25–JULY 1 JUNE 28–JULY 1 JUNE 27–JULY 1

JULY 2019

BENALTO, AB CORONATION, AB TABER, AB pending TEEPEE CREEK, AB OYEN, AB * (BR) EDMONTON, AB MORRIS, MB KENNEDY, SK POLLOCKVILLE, AB * (SB) BOWDEN, AB * (BB) MEDICINE HAT, AB BONNYVILLE, AB BRUCE, AB HIGH PRAIRIE, AB

AUGUST 2019

STRATHMORE, AB GRIMSHAW, AB CAMROSE, AB * (BR) pending LA CRETE, AB DAWSON CREEK, BC JASPER, AB PINCHER CREEK, AB CRANBROOK, BC SMITHERS, BC OKOTOKS, AB ARMSTRONG, BC

SEPTEMBER 2019

ARMSTRONG, BC Finals MERRITT, BC MEDICINE LODGE, AB OLDS, AB BROOKS, AB HANNA, AB CALGARY, AB Grass Roots Final

OCTOBER 2019

RED DEER, AB Canadian Finals Rodeo

JULY 5–7 JULY 5–6 JULY 5–6 JULY 12–14 JULY 17 JULY 19–21 JULY 18–21 JULY 20–21 JULY 27 JULY 27 JULY 25–27 JULY 26–27 JULY 28 JULY 30–31 AUGUST 2–5 AUGUST 3–4 AUGUST 1–4 AUGUST 6–7 AUGUST 9–11 AUGUST 7–10 AUGUST 16–18 AUGUST 16–18 AUGUST 22 AUGUST 23–25 AUGUST 28–31 SEPTEMBER 1 AUGUST 31–SEPTEMBER 1 SEPTEMBER 7 SEPTEMBER 13–14 SEPTEMBER 20–21 SEPTEMBER 27–29 SEPTEMBER 26–27 OCTOBER 29–NOVEMBER 3

CANADIAN PRO TOUR RODEOS * REFERS TO SPECIAL EVENTS ALL DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE VISIT RODEOCANADA.COM FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION.

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Canadian Cowboy Country December 2018/January 2019


One small crack does not mean you are broken; it means you were put to the test and you did not fall apart. – Linda Poindexter

The outpouring of care & concern shown to me by so many when I was injured at the CFR was truly humbling. I owe special thanks to the CPRA Board, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team, the doctors & nurses at Red Deer Regional Hospital, my Calgary Stampede “family,” Bob & Maki Baird, Jim & Karry Kelts, and so many more. Jody & I are moved by your kindness, generosity, and all of the calls & messages. We are so very grateful to you. My leg is on the mend, and I look forward to getting back in the saddle soon. Gary Rempel

Congratulations! We extend our sincere congratulations to Westerner Park, Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on the successful and exciting 45th annual Canadian Finals Rodeo!

$1.65 Million in Prize Money Two CFR Records Set First-Ever Junior CFR See you all again Oct 29–Nov 3, 2019! Canadian Cowboy Country

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider

CFR45 DRAMATIC CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY By BARB POULSEN

For Scott Guenthner, it came down to one run. As the steer wrestler backed into the box for his final run of CFR45, he knew what he had to do. The Provost, Alta., cowboy didn’t have to win the round but needed to place to hold his spot in the aggregate and take home his first Canadian Championship. And that’s exactly what he did. The five-time CFR qualifier posted a 3.6-second run to split second and third place in the round for $6,480 and held on to fourth place in the average for another $7,695. His total season earnings of $69,899 left him comfortably ahead of Aggregate Champion, Stephen Culling. “I’m riding Tyson, Curtis Cassidy’s horse; he is the Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year. When things weren’t going well early in the week, I decided to go to the best horse in Canada... and it worked.” 42

While the win is Guenthner’s first, it’s not the first for the family. His dad, Ken, captured the title 37 years earlier in 1981.

Saddle Bronc

ABOVE: Scott Guenthner, 2018 Canadian Steer Wrestling Champion RIGHT: Shane Hanchey on Logan Bird’s great horse, TJ about to ride into the box and win the 2018 Canadian Tie-Down Championship for the third time

One of the tightest races was in the saddle bronc riding, where Nanton, Alta’s Clay Elliott was able to hold off the late charge of 2016 World Champion, Zeke Thurston, for the win. Elliott had to ride two horses, as his first mount resulted in a re-ride. The 2016 Canadian Champion climbed aboard C5 Rodeo’s High Valley, a horse he was familiar with, having ridden the seven-year-old bay

gelding to 87 points to win Edmonton’s K-Days Rodeo back in July. This time, he scored 86.25 points, giving Elliott second place in the round, as well as second in the aggregate for a $9,000 margin of victory over Thurston. This is Elliott’s second

Canadian Cowboy Country December 2018/January 2019

PHOTOS BY BILLIE-JEAN DUFF; PHOTOS BY COVY MOORE

Steer Wrestling


C.P.R.A.

LEFT: Jake Vold winning the opening round of CFR45 on Duffy Rodeo’s 14 Tweety Bird with 85.25 points. RIGHT: Jordan Hansen and Scott Schiffner

Canadian Championship in three years, including his regular-season earnings, netted the 24-year-old $82,294 in 2018.

Barrel Racing The biggest money earner of this Canadian Finals Rodeo was Callahan Crossley of Hermiston, Oregon. Not only did the threetime CFR qualifier cruise to the title with four first-place finishes and two seconds, she also established two all-time monetary records. Riding her 20-year-old gelding, Brownie, Crossley won a record-setting $73,575 at the CFR, and her season total of $99,190 also goes into the record books.

Team Roping The 2016 World Champion Team Ropers, header Levi Simpson and heeler Jeremy Buhler, captured their second Canadian Team Roping title in a row. The amazing pair placed in all six rounds, including splitting one-two in rounds two and five and sealing the deal with a third-place, 5.2 second run in the final round. Simpson, from Ponoka, Alta., and Buhler of Arrowwood, Alta., captured both the Aggregate title and the Canadian Championship.

Bareback The bareback riding was no less dramatic as cowboy Richmond Champion from Dublin, Texas took home his first Canadian title. The 25-year-old, two-time Calgary Stampede Champion earned $77,448 over the season. cowboycountrymagazine.com

Tie-Down Roping Louisiana roper, Shane Hanchey, won his third Canadian Championship. Hanchey won fourth riding Logan Bird’s tremendous almost-white horse, TJ, in the final round and first in the aggregate en route to victory with total season earnings of $65,338.

Bull Riding Bull rider, Wacey Finkbeiner, survived a final round buck-off to win his first Canadian Bull Riding Championship. The Ponoka, Alta., hand had gone an impressive five-for-five prior to Sunday and that run — which included two first-place cheques and the Aggregate title — gave him the winning season total of $73,729 and a $14,000 cushion over runner-up Cody Coverchuk of Meadow Lake, Sask.

High Point & All-Around Rounding out the roster of winners at CFR45 was first-time High Point Champion, Riley Warren, who edged out tie-down roper Kyle Lucas by less than $1,300. The All-Around Champion, Jacob Gardner of Dawson Creek, B.C., had placed in steer wrestling at three rodeos during the regular season, and in the Finals, he placed in two rounds in bull riding to claim the prestigious All-Around Champion title.

Thatcher of Darbalara, New South Wales, now from Wildwood, Alta. The Boys Steer Riding Champion was earned by 14-yearold Tristen Manning from Edson, Alta.

Top Stock CFR Stock Award Winners were C5 Rodeo’s amazing bareback horse, F13 Virgil, who had already claimed back-to-back World and Canadian Championships; NorthcottMacza’s four-time Canadian Champion saddle bronc horse, 242 Get Smart, and Vold Rodeo’s bull, 621 Wicked Dreams.

Retired Rodeo athletes and fans said a big farewell to the winningest bull rider in Canadian rodeo history as Strathmore, Alta., bull rider Scott Schiffner made his final ride. He leaves the sport as a two-time Canadian Champion, two-time Calgary Stampede Champion and 18-time Canadian Finals Rodeo Qualifier — a record among bull riders. CFR45 at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta was a huge success with sold out performances and tremendous community support. Some $1.65 million was paid out to contestants over the course of the six-day event. Mark your calendars as CFR46 goes Oct 29–Nov 3, 2019. c

Novice The Novice Bareback Champion is Mason Helmeczi from Esterhazy, Sask., and the Novice Saddle Bronc Champion is Cooper 43


Pro Rodeo Canada Insider

ROAD TO THE NFR

IT’S VEGAS, BABY! CANADIANS COMPETE FOR THE WORLD By TIM ELLIS

Orin Larsen could feel it slipping away. The 27-year-old bareback rider was losing traction in his attempts to climb up the world standings. “I was dropping down into that bubble area,” says Larsen, who was 13th in the PRCA standings by mid-July and just $6,000 above 16th, the so-called NFR ‘crying hole.’ “I wasn’t really worried, but I was dang sure getting concerned.” Then along came a new month. “There were several things that turned my season around,” contends Larsen, who 44

won nearly $21,000 over a 10-day stretch in early August. “It started in Strathmore. After my ride on C5 Rodeo’s Make Up Face in Edmonton (K-Days Rodeo), I asked my old rodeo coach, (four-time NFR qualifier) Cody DeMers to look at some video. A few days before Strathmore (Stampede), he talked with me about the position of my riggin’. He told me to go back to basics.” Larsen was getting the same advice on the home front. “My wife knew I wasn’t riding to my potential,” begins Larsen, who will bring a career-high regular season total of $103,655 into Las Vegas while competing at his 4th straight NFR. “She told me ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.’” “I was trying to reinvent the wheel when the wheel was perfectly fine. I was adding ‘gimmicks’ to my riding style. It’s easy to get away from the basics.” Curtis Cassidy had a similar problem, but to a much smaller extent. After holding down the number one position in the world steer wrestling standings for much of the fall of the 2018 season, he fell to fourth by early January. “I had won $18,000 before the winter rodeos started,” recalls the 40-year-old Cassidy, who will compete at his 6th NFR. “That was a huge start to the year.”

It took until mid-September for the Donalda, Alta., cowboy to reclaim the top spot. “August is one of my favourite months to rodeo, but this year it wasn’t that good,” reveals Cassidy. “Then something switched, and I won a cheque at Fort Madison, Iowa, and then won $18,000 out of Puyallup (Washington State Fair Rodeo).” It’s the second time in Cassidy’s career that he enters Las Vegas as the number one bulldogger. He also accomplished the feat in 2010, finishing second in both the world steer wrestling and all-around standings when the finals ended. It’s the fourth straight NFR appearance for saddle bronc rider, Zeke Thurston. “Every year I’m going for a world title,” affirms Thurston, who won the Gold Buckle in 2016. “I had a dang good chance last year at the finals but had some bad luck. Things didn’t go my way, but that’s sports, that’s competition and that’s why I love it. I thrive off that, and there’s always next year.” Joining that trio in Las Vegas are two recently crowned Canadian champions — steer wrestler Scott Guenthner and saddle bronc rider Clay Elliott. B.C. barrel racer Carman Pozzobon will also be making her first appearance at the NFR. c

Canadian Cowboy Country December 2018/January 2019

PHOTO BY BILLIE-JEAN DUFF

Orin Larsen on Calgary Stampede’s W-32 Walleye Rocket in the first round of CFR45

Profile for Tanner Young Publishing Group

Pro Rodeo Canada Insider - Dec 18/Jan 19  

Inside every issue of Canadian Cowboy Country, the Pro Rodeo Canada Insider brings you the latest news from the world of professional Canadi...

Pro Rodeo Canada Insider - Dec 18/Jan 19  

Inside every issue of Canadian Cowboy Country, the Pro Rodeo Canada Insider brings you the latest news from the world of professional Canadi...