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Pro Rodeo

CANADA

INSIDER

PHOTO BY GREG WESTFALL

RIDE ON, COWBOY! How busy is Orin Larsen’s accountant? We tallied his winnings from CFR to The American: CFR $44,465, WNFR $82,076.92, San Antonio $29,500 and The American $100,000. That’s over a quarter million dollars since November! As well, Larsen is the first Canadian to win The American, and the new PRCA rule states that $50,000 counts towards the PRCA World Standings. Image: Orin Larsen of Inglis, Man., winning the first round of San Antonio with 90 points on Calgary Stampede’s Zulu Warrior. More on page 50.

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Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2019


C.P.R.A.

2019 CPRA Schedule APRIL

Spring News With April upon us and a few events already complete, we’re about to move into a busy spring rodeo season. 2019 will see the return of over 50 established rodeos and events, and the CPRA is excited to welcome a number of new events.

PHOTO COURTESY CPRA

Several new bull ridings are on tap, including Picture Butte, Calgary and Lacombe in Alberta and Swift Current in Sask. Quesnel, B.C., will also be hosting a new saddle bronc event, and Rodeo Canada rough stock members can now enjoy the Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Event under the CPRA flag. Of note as well, is an expanded Finning Pro Rodeo Tour roster. The Grande Prairie Stompede has joined the Tour ranks once again while the existing Teepee Creek Stampede and a new venue, Regina, Sask., offer two new Tour stops … making the Pro Tour 11 rodeos strong. Thank you to everyone who attended the CPRA Annual General Meeting in Cochrane Feb 23. Members will see a few changes on the Board as we move into 2019. Keith Marrington from the Calgary Stampede is a new stock contractor director; Braidy Howes comes onboard as the ladies barrel racing representative and Jared Parsonage is now the bull riding rep. Other board positions remain unchanged, though the Association voted to return to an eight-and-one board voting configuration. I would also like to pass on a special thank you to Shane Franklin for the countless hours he has contributed to the CPRA Board. Your time and efforts are appreciated. The new Maple Leaf Circuit designation is starting to appear on the 2019 rodeo approvals. Look for more information soon, including a complete list of Maple Leaf Circuit rodeos and a location for the inaugural Maple Leaf Circuit Finals. Thank you, as well, to CPRA sponsors for your continued support of Canadian Professional Rodeo. If you or your organization would like to discuss partnering with Rodeo Canada, we have a number of opportunities available. Please feel free to contact us — we’d love to chat with you.Finally, the 2019 Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame (HOF) inductees were announced a few weeks ago. Congratulations to Rod Hay, Leon Laye and Bob Phipps in the contestant category, the late Dr. Gary Harbin, DVM as a builder and Franklin Rodeo whose bareback horse, Blue Ridge, will join the ranks of HOF animal inductees. In the meantime, enjoy the long-overdue spring weather. See you on the rodeo trail!

Terry Cooke, President, CPRA

cowboycountrymagazine.com

Medicine Hat, AB....................................... Apr 5–7 Picture Butte, AB * (BR)........................... Apr 12 Tofield, AB * (BR)........................................ Apr 13

MAY Drayton Valley, AB.................................... May 3–5 Stavely, AB................................................... May 9–11 Crowsnest Pass (Coleman), AB........... May 10-12 Innisfail, AB * (BR)..................................... May 11 Falkland, BC................................................. May 18–20 Swift Current, SK * (BR)........................... May 25 Grande Prairie, AB–Finning Pro Tour ........ May 30–Jun 2 Leduc, AB...................................................... May 30–Jun 2

JUNE Wildwood, AB * (SB)................................. Jun 1 Hand Hills, AB............................................. Jun 1–2 Brooks, AB................................................... Jun 7–8 Rocky Mountain House, AB.................. Jun 7–9 Lea Park/Marwayne, AB........................ Jun 7-9 Bonnyville, AB............................................. Jun 14–15 Innisfail, AB.................................................. Jun 14–16 Wainwright, AB–Finning Pro Tour ........... Jun 20–23 Sundre, AB................................................... Jun 21–23 High River, AB............................................. Jun 22–23 Ponoka, AB–Finning Pro Tour ................... Jun 25–Jul 1 Williams Lake, BC–Finning Pro Tour ...... Jun 27–30 Airdrie, AB.................................................... Jun 28–Jul 1

JULY Calgary, AB * (BR)...................................... Jul 2–4 Coronation, AB........................................... Jul 5–6 Benalto, AB.................................................. Jul 5–7 Taber, AB pending..................................... Jul 5–6 Teepee Creek, AB-Finning Pro Tour ........ Jul 12–14 Oyen, AB * (BR)........................................... Jul 17 Morris, MB -Finning Pro Tour ................... Jul 18–21 Quesnel, BC (SB)........................................ Jul 19–21 Kennedy, SK................................................ Jul 20–21 Medicine Hat, AB -Finning Pro Tour ....... Jul 25–27 Lacombe, AB * (BR)................................... Jul 27 Pollockville, AB * (SB)............................... Jul 27 Bowden, AB * (BB)..................................... Jul 27 Bruce, AB...................................................... Jul 28 High Prairie, AB.......................................... Jul 30–31

Canadian Pro Tour rodeos * Refers to special events All dates are subject to change Please visit rodeocanada.com for up-to-date information 49


Pro Rodeo Canada Insider

The Short Round

By TERRI MASON, BARB POULSEN

SOUTH OF THE BORDER SAN ANTONIO STOCK SHOW & RODEO, FEB. 7-23 Orin Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba, spurred out a spectacular 92.5-point score on Frontier Rodeo’s Full Baggage in the championship bareback riding final at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo to pocket $29,500. This is the second time Larsen has won the iconic Texas event; the CFRNFR qualifier was also the San Antonio Champion in 2016. Several other Rodeo Canada connections were among the well-paid money winners at the home of the Alamo, including a trio of Albertans — Larsen’s fellow bareback colleague, Connor Hamilton ($12,250); bronc rider, Zeke Thurston ($18,250) and steer wrestler, Tanner Milan ($16,500). Reigning Canadian Champion Bareback Rider Richmond Champion from The Woodlands, Texas, finished a half-point behind Larsen for a second-place haul of over $22,000.

Another Canadian titlist— three-time and reigning Tie-Down Champion, Shane Hanchey, of Sulphur, Louisiana, earned his first San Antonio win and $23,500, while CFR qualifier and World Champion Bronc Rider, Wade Sundell, captured the San Antonio title and earned $26,500 for his Iowa bank account. A number of Canadian bucking horses lit it up at San Antonio, as well. Go-rounds were won on Calgary Stampede buckers Soap Bubbles (2), Zulu Warrior (2),

Youngstown Rocket, Welcome Delivery, Y U R Frisky, Xavier Joan and Xecutive News, along with C5 Rodeo’s Oney and Makeup Face. Richmond Champion’s second-place 92-point ride in the bareback riding finale was aboard C5 Rodeo’s World and Canadian Champion, Virgil. And, it was great to see multi-awardwinning Hall of Fame pickup man, Gary Rempel, back in the arena. For complete San Antonio results, head to prorodeo.com

2019 Miss Rodeo Canada, Jaden Holle, is a force to be reckoned with. With two previously-won impressive crowns on her shelf — 2018 Calgary Stampede Princess and 2018 Claresholm Chad Besplug Invitational Queen — the accomplished rider from High River, Alta., is thrilled to be sharing her Métis and First Nations heritage and passion for rodeo with fans from around the globe. Wherever she is, chances are the future teacher will not need an interpreter. With an ear for languages, Jaden is accomplished in Spanish, French and English, and she is also getting back to her roots by learning Cree, the language of her grandparents. Jaden has also studied Mandarin and Portuguese and 50

encourages you to teach her a word or phrase in your native language! As Miss Rodeo Canada, Jaden’s prayer is that she can inspire people to have the courage to follow their calling and to become the best versions of themselves. For Jaden, this title not only represents being an ambassador for the sport and a role model for the littlest rodeo fans but also carrying on the Western spirit that makes this way of life special. Folks will have the opportunity to meet Jaden at professional rodeos and many other events. To invite Miss Rodeo Canada 2019 Jaden Holle to your event, visit missrodeocanada.ca.

2019 Miss Rodeo Canada, Jaden Holle

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2019

PHOTOS BY GREG WESTFALL; COURTESY MISS RODEO CANADA COMMITTE

2019 MISS RODEO CANADA


C.P.R.A.

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES Congratulations to the 2019 Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees

Rod Hay Contestant 19 CFR qualifications, 8 x Canadian Saddle Bronc Champion, 4 x Aggregate Champion, 6 x Season Leader, 19 NFR qualifications, 2007 NFR Aggregate Champion, and CPRA Career SB Earnings Record Holder (These are just a few of Hay’s accomplishments in the rodeo industry).

Leon Laye Contestant

Bill Boyd on Blue Ridge at the 2003 Bruce Stampede

2000 Canadian Steer Wrestling Champion and Season Leader, 15 CFR qualifications (14 in SW, 1 in TDR), and owner of the 1997 SW Horse of the Year, Tuffy.

BLUE RIDGE

PHOTO BY KEN MARCINKOWSKI

FRANKLIN RODEO COMPANY, BONNYVILLE, ALTA. “It was sure good news to hear Blue Ridge is getting inducted,” says Shane Franklin. “That little guy sure deserves it.” Blue Ridge was chosen as Canadian Bareback Horse of the Year in both 1995 and 1999. He was named Bareback Horse of the CFR in 1996. Blue Ridge was also recognized at the NFR for Bareback Horse of the Finals. “Them kind of horses go as long as they do at that level, and then get inducted into the Hall of Fame; that’s another notch on the wall that you’re doing something right after all that trial and tribulation,” says stock contractor Shane Franklin. “After all the years of riding around in them trucks, booming around at the rodeo grounds — I never think them top quality horses get enough recognition,” says Franklin. “He was down south quite a bit and, yes, he went often to both playoff games. He wasn’t really a buck-off cowboycountrymagazine.com

horse; he was a money horse. He did buck some guys off, but if you were really good — the calibre of Robin Burwash or Bill Boyd and you could ride at that level — if you weren’t first, you were damn sure second.” “There were plenty of record-setting rides on Blue Ridge,” says Franklin. “I remember Scott Lund getting 90 at Falkland, but the best bareback ride I ever seen made on that horse was Davey Shields Jr at Merritt — but he missed him out. Oh my God, other than Bruce Ford on Spade at the NFR — that Davey was going to be a record that was going to be hard to beat. God Almighty, that was good.” Blue Ridge was retired in the early part of the new century and enjoyed nearly a decade of retirement on the wild Franklin Ranch. He is buried alongside Hall of Famers Kingsway and Airwolf.

Bob Phipps Contestant Qualified for the very first CFR in 1974 and won the Canadian Bull Riding title in 1979. Bob went on to judge rodeos and work at the CPRA as Rodeo Administrator, Judging Director and CRES Manager, over a 10-year period.

Dr. Gary Harbin, DVM Builder A director on the Ponoka Stampede committee since 1974, Gary Harbin also sat on the CPRA board from 1985 to 1991. Gary was a founder of the Ponoka Stampede Youth Foundation and has served as president from 2016 – present. Gary is also a respected mentor in the Alberta veterinary community across Canada and into the U.S.

Blue Ridge, Franklin Rodeo Animal 1995, 1999 Canadian Bareback Horse of the Year; Bareback Horse of the 1996 CFR.

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider Winston Bruce behind the chutes at the Salinas Rodeo in 1967

CONGRATULATIONS! KACE FLUNDRA

For over a decade, professional bronc riders have enjoyed vying for the Duane Daines Saddle Bronc Riding Series title. And rodeo committees have benefited from additional entries in the saddle bronc event, courtesy of their participation in the Series. The Series was originally initiated by Jeff Bryde of Kelowna, B.C., (and later administered by Jack Daines and the CPRA) after he witnessed Canadian and Calgary Stampede Champion, Duane Daines, suffer a careerending injury at Armstrong IPE. The award has been a staple at numerous CPRA rodeos ever since. Now the award will celebrate the memory of the late Winston Bruce. Bruce, a PRCA Hall of Fame inductee, was the 1961 World Champion and two-time Canadian Saddle Bronc Riding Champion who wore his buckles on his saddle’s breast collar and parlayed his rodeo prowess and prodigious memory into a lengthy second career as the arena director at the Calgary Stampede. Bruce was also known in rodeo circles for mentoring young bronc riders and for taking the Stampede Ranch’s bucking 52

horse program to a high level of excellence. CPRA saddle bronc riding director and many-time CFR-NFR qualifier, Dustin Flundra — who was instrumental in ensuring the popular series remained active — commented on the change in the Series’ name. “The Duane Daines Series has been a super rodeo series for years, for both cowboys and committees. With Duane stepping away from the award, it’s nice to honour Winston’s memory and contributions to professional rodeo. The two names associated with the Series have both cast large and impressive shadows on our sport.” One cowboy who capitalized on the Daines Series over the years was veteran bronc rider, Jim Berry. The Rocky Mountain House, Alta., cowboy will stand as the all-time winningest competitor in the Series, with six Daines’ titles to his credit, including one in 2018. The Winston Bruce Series, based on a point system, pays 10 places and offers a handcrafted buckle to the winner. For details, visit rodeocanada.com

Deb Copenhaver on Miss Klamath, Ellensburg Rodeo; 1952

EMPTY SADDLES DEB COPENHAVER, CRESTON, WASH. JANUARY 21, 1925–FEBRUARY 7, 2019 Deb Copenhaver, 1955 and 1956 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider and three-time Calgary Stampede Champion, was a WWII vet and inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs. He was also honoured by the American Quarter Horse Assoc., as he also founded three QH racetracks, including Meadow Creek Racetrack in British Columbia.

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2019

PHOTOS COURTESY NATIONAL COWBOY HALL OF FAME/DICKINSON RESEARCH CENTER/DEVERE HELFRICH; BY TRESSIE SMITH

WINSTON BRUCE HONOURED

Congratulations to Dustin and Niki Flundra on the birth of their third son, Kace John Daniel, on January 14, 2019. Dad Dustin is a three-time Canadian Saddle Bronc Riding Champion and Mom Niki is an eight-time CPRA Dress Act of the Year and six-time NFR trick riding and Liberty act entertainer. The young couple ranch around the Pincher Creek area. Kace is the now youngest brother to Ridge and Shade.


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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider COMPETITOR PROFILES

Green’s Big Bang By TERRI MASON / BARB POULSEN

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Logan Biever celebrates his win at the Alpha Bull Chad Besplug Invitational Bullriding event in Claresholm, Alberta Feb 23, 2019. Photograph by Todd Korol

Biever Wins Besplug Invitational By TERRI MASON / BARB POULSEN

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othing beats a hometown hero winning the hometown event in front of a sold-out crowd. Describing it as “A dream come true,” moments after bull rider Logan Biever clinched the win at the 5th annual Chad Besplug Invitational, Biever had just turned in an 88-point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Home Grown to finish in a 2/3 split in the short-go and first overall with 171 points on two rides for a $3,457 payday. It was the biggest win of Biever’s career to date. “You can’t wish for anything better,” the 20-year-old acknowledged. “I knew the crowd was pretty much on my side, and I was thinking this is one place you don’t want to fall off.”

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The southern Alberta talent dominated two excellent bulls — another Outlaw Buckers’ product, Village Idiot, for 83 points and second place in the long round before his roof-raising effort on Home Grown, the black white-face with CFR credentials for the winning ride. Biever is on a hot streak; he has ridden nine of his last ten bulls, and the confidence that comes with that kind of success is clearly building. “It’s never been better than it is right now,” Biever acknowledged. “I just want to keep it going.” For complete (unofficial) Chad Besplug Invitational Bull Riding results, visit rodeocanada.com c

arrett Green of Meeting Creek, Alta., has always enjoyed starting his bull riding season with a bang, and his win at Rebel Energy Services Bull Riding in Red Deer in mid-January added one more star to Green’s galactic career. “I know I’ve had a lot of success early in the year,” the four-time CFR qualifier acknowledged. “Now I just have to keep it going for the whole season.” Green compiled 170 points on two rides, the first, an 84-point effort on Vold Rodeo’s Corona Lite; the second, an 86-pointer on a Sawyer Pro Rodeo bucker called Blue Monkey, good for third in the short-go and enough to edge Jared Parsonage and rookie Riley Gagnon by just one half point for a win that netted Green $3,153. His shortround ride wasn’t without its challenges.

“Dennis [Halstead] had just finished an act, and the building was still pretty much in the dark,” Green explained. “They told me to nod, so I did, but the first couple of jumps were in the pitch black. Then the lights came on, but those first couple of seconds… that was a little different.” Coupled with a secondplace finish at Regina’s CPRA season opener [Agribition Pro Rodeo] in December, the lanky central Alberta athlete moves comfortably to first place in the Canadian standings, with $6,751 in earnings at press time. “I’m really looking forward to 2019,” he added. “Especially with getting off to a good start like this.” For complete Red Deer results, visit rodeocanada.com c

Garrett Green riding for the win Photo by Wildwood Imagery / Chantelle Bowman

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2019


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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider ROAD TO THE CFR

CONNOR HAMILTON CANADA FIRST By TIM ELLIS

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ONNOR HAMILTON IS NO STRANGER TO THE BIG STAGE, AND HE’S HOPING FOR THE CHANCE TO

BE ON CANADIAN PROFESSIONAL RODEO’S BIGGEST STAGE COME LATE OCTOBER.

“It would be awesome,” says Hamilton of qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo. “I got a little taste of it in the Novice, but they did such a good job in Red Deer last year, and I think it will only get better.” Hamilton qualified for the CFR in the Novice Bareback Riding and won the Canadian title in his only appearance in Edmonton in 2017. That championship came after winning back-to-back Novice trophies at his hometown Calgary Stampede in 2016 and 2017. 56

Connor Hamilton scoring 80 pts and winning the Round 1 in Novice Bareback of the 2017 CFR in Edmonton Photo by Mike Copeman

“That first one was a huge shock,” admits the 23-year-old who grew up a few kilometres away from the Stampede grounds in northwest Calgary. “It was the biggest event I’d ever been to.” But the winning has continued for Hamilton, who had competed at only a handful of rodeos prior to his first Calgary Stampede appearance, after making the switch to rodeo from junior hockey. “It’s been a lucky experience for me to switch over and be accepted in the rodeo world,” says the former member of the Calgary Mustangs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. “I’ve still got really close friends that I grew up playing hockey with, and I’ve made so many new, lifelong friends in rodeo.” Two of those new friends, Clint Laye and Ty Taypotat, are now Hamilton’s travelling partners for 2019. All three have their sights set on Red Deer in the fall. “They take care of me pretty good,” laughs Hamilton. “They’re two of the guys I’ve always looked up to. They say, ‘take care of Canada first and then take care of the U.S.’”

Last season, the approach was different, precipitated by Hamilton’s early success in his first season south of the border. “I started out the season with a few goals — make the CFR, the Circuit Finals and win the PRCA Rookie of the Year Award,” begins Hamilton. “Around the July 4th weekend, I started to win a bunch of money down south. Then I won close to $8,000 at the Caldwell Night Rodeo (in mid-August) and was second in the rookie standings, so I thought I better make a run at it. It didn’t look like I was going to make the Canadian Finals at that time, so I had a decision to make.” That decision was to continue entering in the U.S. in hopes of winning the Rookie of the Year Award. He ended up second and finished 36th in World Bareback standings. “My hope is to have the Canadian Finals Rodeo made early this season, so I don’t have to worry about it,” suggests Hamilton, who won the CPRA’s first event of the 2019 season in Regina, Sask. “To have $4,500 won already is a huge advantage for me. That’s almost as much as I won in Canada in all of last year.” C

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2019


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Canadian Cowboy Country December 2018/January 2019

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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider - Apr/May 2019  

Pro Rodeo Canada Insider - Apr/May 2019