WILD RIDE IN CALIFORNIA Beginning in 2000, the Wild Ride at the Red Bluff Round-Up in California has delighted fans. A member of the Round-Up committee, Haley Didio, scours thrift shops to make costumes for all the competitors that are topical, and the results are spectacular. The winner earns $1,500 and a new Cactus saddle valued over $4,000. Congratulations to Kole Ashbacher of Arrowwood, Alta., who spurred his way to a victory dressed as Mary Poppins, complete with umbrella â€” which he never dropped by the way. At press time, Kole was sitting in eighth place in the CPRA standings. Photo by Billie-Jean Duff.
JULY 31 - AUGUST 4, 2019 • EVRAZ PLACE • REGINA, SK
2019 CPRA Schedule MAY
Tours & Circuit News It’s been a busy spring at the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, and we’re still in the early days when it comes to the 2019 Canadian rodeo season. Our first Finning Pro Tour rodeo — the Grande Prairie Stompede — just finished up with a great entry and outstanding rodeo action. Next stop on the Pro Tour will be Wainwright, Alta. Our Finning Pro Tour has expanded to 11 rodeos with the finals to be held, once again, as part of the IPE and Stampede in Armstrong, B.C., on the Labour Day weekend. All Pro Tour rodeos will be live-streamed by our partner, FloRodeo, so if you can’t make it out to the rodeos in person, sign up with FloRodeo.com to watch the action live. And we’re particularly excited to note that the Pro Tour Finals will offer up DOUBLE the payout of last year! Great news for members and fans alike. Also on the news front is more detail on our inaugural Maple Leaf Circuit — and the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals. With virtually all CPRA rodeos, aside from the Pro Tour venues, part of the Maple Leaf Circuit, we’re expecting strong entries right through the end of the season, which translates into great rodeo for fans and committees. An added feature of the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals, which is set for Nov 27–30 at Canadian Western Agribition… contestant money earned at this rodeo will count toward the 2020 CFR! And 2019 marks 75 years of Canadian Professional Rodeo. Look for historical moments and stories on the CPRA website and social media channels, as well as special giveaways to celebrate this milestone. If you have a great story to share, contact the CPRA. We’re excited to see CPRA members from all corners of the globe joining us at events across Western Canada. With three out of eight 2018 Canadian Champions from south of the 49th parallel, we’ve truly become a global rodeo community. In addition to cheering on terrific Canadian talent at upcoming rodeos, look for top names from the U.S., Australia, Brazil and beyond. See you on the rodeo trail!
Falkland, BC..................................................May 18–20 Swift Current, SK * (BR) — NEW............May 25 Grande Prairie, AB — FINNING..............May 30–Jun 2 Leduc, AB.......................................................May 30–Jun 2
JUNE Wildwood, AB * (SB)..................................Jun 1 Hand Hills, AB..............................................Jun 1–2 Rocky Mountain House, AB...................Jun 7–9 Brooks, AB....................................................Jun 7–8 Lea Park/Marwayne, AB.........................Jun 7–9 Bonnyville, AB..............................................Jun 14–15 Innisfail, AB Jun...........................................14–16 Wainwright, AB — FINNING....................Jun 20–23 High River, AB..............................................Jun 22–23 Sundre, AB....................................................Jun 21–23 Ponoka, AB — FINNING............................Jun 25–Jul 1 Airdrie, AB.....................................................Jun 28–Jul 1 Williams Lake, BC — FINNING...............Jun 27–30
JULY Calgary, AB * (BR) — NEW........................Jul 2–4 Coronation, AB............................................Jul 5–6 Benalto, AB...................................................Jul 5–7 Taber, AB — pending.................................Jul 5–6 Teepee Creek, AB........................................Jul 12–14 Oyen, AB * (BR)............................................Jul 17 Morris, MB — FINNING............................Jul 18–21 Quesnel, BC * (SB) — NEW.......................Jul 19–21 Kennedy, SK.................................................Jul 20–21 Medicine Hat, AB — FINNING.................Jul 25–27 Lacombe, AB * (BR) – NEW......................Jul 27 Pollockville, AB * (SB)................................Jul 27 Bowden, AB * (BB)......................................Jul 27 Bruce, AB.......................................................Jul 28 High Prairie, AB...........................................Jul 30–31
AUGUST Regina, SK — FINNING..............................Aug 2–4 Strathmore, AB — FINNING....................Aug 2–5 Grimshaw, AB..............................................Aug 3–4 Camrose, AB * (BR) — pending..............Aug 1–4 La Crete, AB..................................................Aug 6–7 Jasper, AB......................................................Aug 7–10 Dawson Creek, BC — FINNING..............Aug 9–11
Terry Cooke, President, CPRA * equals Special Event Finning Pro Tour All dates are subject to change. Please visit RodeoCanada.com for up-to-date information cowboycountrymagazine.com
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider
The Short Round
By TERRI MASON, BARB POULSEN
JANET VOLD MEMORIAL AWARD & FUND 2019 will mark the fifth year the Janet Vold Memorial Award has been presented to an outstanding Canadian pro rodeo timer or secretary. Created by CPRA rodeo clown, Dennis Halstead, to commemorate the life and contributions of the late Janet Vold, the award — a custom-made silver cross with Janet’s initials subtly displayed on the jewellery — recognizes women in the sport of rodeo who go above and beyond. Recipients to date include Brenda Vold, Maxine Baird and Judy Kesler. The award is voted on by CPRA contract personnel and athletes. The namesake of the award, Janet Vold, enjoyed a rodeo secretary career that spanned three decades. Vold, a Ponoka, Alta. native, connected with rodeo contestants at all levels and ages; it didn’t matter if they were NFR champions or boys steer riders just starting out. She greeted each one personally when they came into the office at a rodeo (and always shared her bowl of jelly beans). An anecdote that helps explain the kind of person Janet was includes the time a young bareback rider came into the rodeo office to pay his fees. The young man proceeded to write a cheque but had no idea how to manage his bank book. Janet kindly invited him to sit down beside her, where she proceeded to give him a short lesson in banking protocol. A person who took the time to visit with each cowboy or cowgirl, Janet was respected greatly in the rodeo world for her larger than life love and knowledge of the sport. In addition to the presentation of the Janet Vold Memorial Award, Dennis Halstead and Brenda Vold have been 44
Judy Kesler (right) receiving the 2018 Janet Vold Memorial Award. Photo by Covy Moore/covymoore.com
responsible — with help from other CPRA contract acts personnel — for maintaining a financial trust fund that is used to send greetings, gift cards and flowers to CPRA contract members struggling with ill health or other challenges. Donations to this fund would be gratefully accepted. Anyone wishing to contribute can send cheques to the CPRA office, care of either Brenda Vold or Dennis Halstead. – B.P.
Janet Vold Memorial Award, crafted by Sweetiron
Canadian Cowboy Country June/July 2019
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider
AGRIBITION WELCOMES THE MAPLE LEAF CIRCUIT FINALS The CPRA and Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) are excited to announce that Agribition is the home of the inaugural Maple Leaf Circuit Pro Rodeo Finals. The four-day rodeo, featuring the top 10 contestants in each event from the 2019 Maple Leaf Circuit standings, runs Nov 27–30, 2019, at Regina’s Evraz Place. The Rodeo Finals is a key part of Agribition, a long-standing livestock show and agribusiness marketplace that attracts more than 1,200 international guests from over 86 countries. “Western culture has been a key piece of the foundation of Agribition for almost 50 years,” says CWA President Bruce Holmquist. “Rodeo has been a very important part of that, and through the years we have worked hard at growing the profile of the sport for both its fans and competitors. We are confident that the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals will take that profile to the next level.” With over $12,000 up for grabs in each Agribition rodeo event, contestants are excited to compete for a qualifying spot. An added bonus for rodeo athletes is the opportunity for the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals Champion and the Circuit Season Leader in each event to qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee, Florida, starting in April 2020. “The Maple Leaf Finals are a good fit for Agribition,” says CWA CEO Chris Lane. “We have the facilities, the committee, the expertise and 20,000 rodeo fans that want to see the most exciting rodeo possible. We’re excited about putting that all together in November.”
Riley Warren competing at 2018 Agribition Pro Rodeo. Photo by Lewis Images/Randy Lewis.
The November Finals will cap the first complete year of the Maple Leaf Circuit — a partnership between the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) and the CPRA — which includes the majority of CPRA rodeos outside of the Finning Pro Tour. The Circuit will shine a spotlight on non-Tour rodeos and help maintain solid entries throughout the season. “It’s excellent that Agribition will be the home of the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals,” notes CPRA President Terry Cooke. “With Agribition’s long-standing history of rodeo success, the Finals should be a great experience for fans and athletes alike. And the opportunity for contestants to qualify for the Ram Circuit Finals is an added incentive.” Get more details at RodeoCanada.com – B.P.
CANADIAN PRO RODEO CELEBRATES 75 YEARS The year was 1944. That’s when a group of cowboys banded together to form the Cowboys’ Insurance Association. Each member put in $1 per rodeo, and that amount was matched by rodeo management to form a small insurance fund for the participants. The following year, the group was renamed the Cowboys Protective Association (CPA) and became a society under The Societies Act. They went from an organization focused almost solely on 46
providing insurance and medical assistance when needed to a body designed to serve its members in a much broader way. Ken Thomson of Black Diamond was the first President, and the organization boasted 160 members initially. Before the organization’s formation, many rodeos were paying less than $10 for first-place money, and entry fees were not added to the prize money (Thomson recalls attending a rodeo where he spent $14 in entry fees, won four firsts and two seconds and got $34 back!). In 1965, the group incorporated under the name Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association, an identity that lasted until 1980 when the Canadian Professional
Rodeo Association became the official name of the organization. Under the auspices of CPRA, Canadian pro rodeo has become a well-organized and well-regulated sport, with a global membership of over 1000 and a comprehensive insurance and medical program. Fast-forward to 2019 — 75 years after the early visionaries joined forces. Today, the CPRA holds 55-plus events annually, with $5.57 million in total prize money, and $1.65 million is paid out at the Canadian Finals Rodeo alone. Happy 75th Anniversary, Canadian Professional Rodeo Association! – B.P.
Canadian Cowboy Country June/July 2019
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HISTORIC RODEOS OF THE CANADIAN WEST This summer enjoy some of the oldest rodeos in Canada, now running under the professional rodeo banner of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association. From the vast plains of Saskatchewan to the high peaks of northern B.C., each rodeo boasts a unique experience and is steeped in the best each community has to offer. 51st Leduc Black Gold Pro Rodeo May 30–Jun 2 Leduc, Alta. blackgoldrodeo.com 103rd Hand Hills Stampede Jun 1–2 Hand Hills, Alta. handhills.ab.ca 65th Lea Park Pro Rodeo Jun 7–9 Lea Park/Marwayne, Alta. leaparkprorodeo.com 59th Innisfail Pro Rodeo Jun 14–16 Daines Rodeo Ranch, Innisfail, Alta. innisfailprorodeo.com 65th Wainwright Stampede Jun 20–23 Wainwright, Alta. — Finning Pro Tour wainwrightstampede.ca 40th Sundre Pro Rodeo Jun 21–23 Sundre, Alta. sundrerodeo.com 73rd Ponoka Stampede Jun 25–Jul 1 Ponoka, Alta. — Finning Pro Tour ponokastampede.com 93rd Williams Lake Stampede Jun 27–Jul 1 Williams Lake, B.C. — Finning Pro Tour williamslakestampede.com 102nd Benalto Pro Rodeo Jul 5–7 Benalto, Alta. benaltoagsociety.ca
103rd TeePee Creek Stampede Jul 12–14 TeePee Creek, Alta. tpstampede.ca 56th Morris Stampede Jul 18–21 Morris, Man. — Finning Pro Tour manitobastampede.ca
REFERENCE SIRES ARE: SKIPSACE OF DIAMONDS NORTHWIND SKIPSKANE SKIP ON BADLANDS SIX SCOTTISH MIGHTY LARK COUNSELS REWARD
For Further Information & Catalogues, Contact
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87th Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo Jul 20–21 Kennedy, Sask. See us on Facebook 111th Medicine Hat Stampede Jul 25–27 Medicine Hat, Alta. — Finning Pro Tour mhstampede.com 106th Bruce Stampede Jul 28 Bruce, Alta. brucestampede.ca 54th Strathmore Stampede Aug 2–5 Strathmore, Alta. — Finning Pro Tour strathmorestampede.com 93rd Jasper Pro Rodeo Aug 7–10 Jasper National Park, Jasper, Alta. www.facebook.com/ jasperheritagerodeo 97th Dawson Creek Stampede Aug 9–11 Dawson Creek, B.C. — Finning Pro Tour dawsoncreekfair.com 120th Interior Provincial Exhibition & Stampede (IPE) Aug 28–Sep 1 Armstrong, B.C. — Finning Pro Tour armstrongipe.com
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider
2018 Finning Pro Tour Team Roping Champions Tristin Woolsey and Denver Johnson competing at the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo. Photo by Billie-Jean Duff.
BIG BUCKS ON FINNING PRO RODEO TOUR Rodeo Canada’s Finning Pro Tour is back for 2019, bigger and better than ever. The lucrative program has expanded to feature 11 rodeos for 2019, with an expected payout of over $1.5M available to CPRA contestants, including the Tour Finals, which will see double the payout of last year. The Tour kicks off at the Grande Prairie Stompede May 30–June 2, with stops across Western Canada over the season. The final Tour rodeo takes place on the Labour Day weekend at the IPE & Stampede at Armstrong, B.C., with the Tour Finals set for September 1 (also in Armstrong), where athletes will compete for $12,000 per event. New rodeos on the 2019 Tour include Grande Prairie, Alta., the Teepee Creek Stampede (Teepee 48
Creek, Alta.,) July 12–14 and Regina, Sask., Pile O’ Bones Rodeo August 2–4. The Finning Pro Tour rodeos are also PRCA and WPRA approved, which means the tour is expected to once again attract top contestants from across North America. And, for the second year, for those fans who cannot attend in person, FloRodeo will be live-streaming all Finning Pro Tour events. CPRA President, Terry Cooke, is excited about the year ahead. “We’re really happy to see Finning back on board as our title sponsor… and to have FloRodeo making the action available to a wider audience,” Said Cooke. “We’ve got a terrific lineup of CPRA events overall and a Pro Tour that’s one of the biggest to date
in terms of added money and number of rodeos. And, with twice the payout at the Finals, we should see some great competition for rodeo fans to enjoy.” Finning Pro Tour standings are based on points awarded to 10 places in each go-round and aggregate at one-go rodeos and multi-go rodeos. All contestants will receive 25 points for competing. Tour finalists will earn double points for each placing, and the Finals is included in the rodeo count for CFR. A competitor who is excited about the 2019 edition of the tour is three-time Canadian bareback riding champion, Jake Vold. “The Finning Pro Tour is huge for us and a big step forward for contestants on both sides of the border,” Vold noted. “It’s great news that the Tour is getting bigger again this year and that more rodeos are stepping up to be part it. It’s a real incentive for all of us wanting to get to the Tour Finals as well as to both the CFR and the WNFR. This just makes rodeo up here in Canada an even bigger deal.” – B.P.
Canadian Cowboy Country June/July 2019
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Pro Rodeo Canada Insider
WHAT DOES IT TAKE? RODEO SECRETARY By DIANNE FINSTAD
HERE’S A LOT MORE TO RODEO THAN WHAT YOU SEE FROM THE GRANDSTAND. PRO RODEO CANADA INSIDER WANTS TO TAKE YOU BEHIND THE SCENES TO MEET SOME OF THE PEOPLE SO INTEGRAL TO THE SPORT’S SUCCESS. IT TAKES A SKILLED AND DEDICATED
TEAM TO BRING THE EXCITEMENT OF RODEO TO ITS APPRECIATIVE FANS. THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A RODEO SECRETARY.
There is a business angle to any sport, and rodeo is no exception. Not only do the contestants want to get paid for their achievements so they can pursue their quest to the Canadian Finals Rodeo, the communities also need to have a sustainable event in order to keep hosting rodeos. At the intersection for all these aims is a key position — the rodeo secretary. This person serves as the link between contestants, the CPRA, the stock contractors, judges and the local committees. The job requires organizational skills, financial know-how, trustworthiness and attention to detail. Judy Kesler and Catherine Laycraft are two of a handful of experienced secretaries who work the majority of Canadian rodeos, and they’ve outlined some of the duties involved with the position. A secretary’s job begins well in advance of each rodeo when they receive the CPRA “package,” which includes the contestant entry list, judging cards and entry-fee receipts to be distributed. When it comes to rodeo time, the secretary is technically required to have the rodeo office open two hours ahead of a performance or slack, but Laycraft and Kesler both say they’re generally at work more like three hours in advance and spend part of that time getting the cattle numbers for the timed events and posting the draws for all the events on the office walls. CRES (Central Rodeo Entry System) at the CPRA office provides daily updates to check on turnouts 50
or doctor releases, which keep contestants from participating and can impact the payout calculations. The secretary gathers that information and adjusts the numbers, judge’s cards and stock requirements so that animals aren’t loaded in the chutes if they’re not needed. “The contestants start coming in, paying their fees and getting ready,” explains Laycraft, about the hub of activity the rodeo office becomes just before an event. “Then 90 minutes out, the judges come by and we do the timed event cattle draw, and then things get pretty busy from there.” Another important duty is tabulating the judges’ scorecards. Although judges tally up their own marks in the arena, it’s the secretary who adds them together for a final score. What fans hear has generally been informally collected by announcers, but the number that counts is the one the secretary tabulates. Timed event sheets are compared as well, to ensure that barrier or barrel penalties all match up. The judges’ cards are collected throughout a performance so that scores can be posted as quickly as possible. Bad weather also makes for the extra challenge of trying to decipher muddy or rain-soaked cards from the arena (hair dryers can prove handy in the office!). Though a few rodeos use electronic handheld devices to speed up the process, written cards are still a requirement and need to be filled out and signed. The secretary also compiles a leader’s list for every event, after each performance.
“That helps the announcer, the committee and contestants to see what’s leading,” says Laycraft. It’s also provided to local media and sent in so that the CPRA website can be updated. Because many contestants still pay their fees by cash or cheque, it’s the secretary’s responsibility to keep track of the money, which is paid to the committee and then remitted to the CPRA office. The books must balance! When the rodeo wraps up, the secretary does the final calculations and immediately provides the results electronically to the CPRA office. As for the actual judging cards and paperwork, they must be physically delivered to the office in Airdrie. Canadian Cowboy Country June/July 2019
Pro Rodeo secretary, Brenda Vold, working in the rodeo office of the 2019 Drayton Valley Pro Rodeo. Photo by Wildwood Imagery/Chantelle Bowman.
While the duties are the same at every rodeo, each secretary develops his or her own system to help get the job done most efficiently. “When you’ve done it for as many years as I have, you figure out what you need to do. I try to make it better for everybody,” says Kesler, who’s famous for her ever-present candy bowl for all to enjoy. “Some secretaries still do everything manually, some do it digitally and some do half and half. At this point, because of the receipt process, there’s still a lot of manual paperwork that comes from the office,” adds Laycraft. Kesler works rodeos on both sides of the border and has seen the PRCA move cowboycountrymagazine.com
to a more computerized system. Both say that would make their jobs easier, but it would likely require significant investment at the CPRA office and for more contestants to pay online. For both ladies, accuracy is key. “It’s so important to be perfect; I don’t care if it takes me a little longer. We have to make sure it’s right because once it leaves our office, it goes everywhere,” says Kesler. Rodeo secretaries do need a CPRA card. While there’s no formal training program in Canada, candidates require a stock contractor’s recommendation, plus they have to shadow a secretary at several rodeos to get a card. Though they have seen a small increase in pay over
the last few years, it’s not a highly lucrative endeavor, and they cover most of their own expenses (some committees provide accommodation). Judy Kesler and Catherine Laycraft have decades of experience in the sport, and they take great pride in their roles. “Rodeo is about the people, whether it’s contestants coming in and out, contractors, or committee people we work with,” adds Laycraft. Connecting with those people and helping all the players be successful is all in the line of duty for a rodeo secretary. c
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider Dawson Hay scoring 86.5 pts and second place money in Round 1 on 508 Lunatic Party, 2018 CFR. Photo: Billie-Jean Duff
ROAD TO THE CFR
DAWSON HAY FAMILY TRADITION By TIM ELLIS
IVEN THE EARLY SIMILARITIES AND POTENTIAL TRAJECTORY OF HIS RODEO CAREER, IT’S LIKELY ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE DAWSON HAY WILL BE SEARCHING FOR A SPACE ON THE FAMILY MANTEL TO DISPLAY A CANADIAN SADDLE BRONC
CHAMPIONSHIP BUCKLE OF HIS OWN. GRANTED, THERE’S NOT MUCH ROOM GIVEN HIS FATHER’S HAUL OF BUCKLES, TROPHIES AND CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTATION PICTURES THAT HAVE ACCUMULATED OVER A CAREER SPANNING MORE THAN TWO DECADES.
“Every rodeo I show up at, there’s someone there who Roddy interacted with,” says Hay of his dad, Rod, who won a record eight Canadian titles and qualified for the CFR 19 times and for the NFR on 20 occasions. “And he introduces me to a lot of people who helped him down the road. It’s pretty dang nice.” Rod’s first Canadian Finals Rodeo appearance came when he was 20, same for Dawson. Rod won the Canadian Novice Championship of the Year prior to qualifying in the open bronc riding, ditto for the younger Hay. Both won the PRCA Saddle Bronc Rookie of the Year Award. 52
“My goal this year is to get to both finals,” reveals Hay, who was 14th in the world standings by the end of March. “It’s always been a goal of mine to see my name in the top 15. Now staying there is the next step.” He also had an early leg up on the competition in the race for a CFR berth after winning the 2019 Pro Rodeo Canada opening event in Regina, Sask., last November. “It was a big amount of money to have so early in the season,” suggests Hay, who made use of the financial cushion while missing a good portion of the spring recovering from knee surgery. “It was cool to still be in a good position when I came back.”
“I tore my meniscus last fall around early September. I knew I was going to need to get it fixed, but I postponed the surgery so I could get to the big winter rodeos down south. They went in and reattached it in late March.” The similarities with his soon-to-be Hallof-Fame dad don’t stop on the stats page, either. The younger Hay also possesses an all-or-nothing riding style resembling that of his father in the late 80s. “It’s still been hit-or-miss, to be honest with you,” laughs Hay, when asked if that style has changed with experience. “I don’t have any idea why. I seem to place at most of the ones where I stay on, but once my feet quit moving, I hit the ground… simple as that.” Also, like Rod, Dawson has an older brother (Logan) to travel with on the trail, as Logan embarks on his rookie season in the pro ranks. But, unlike his dad, he may soon have a younger brother on the road, too. “I never did think he would have been a bronc rider,” contends Hay of his 15-year-old brother, Devon. “But he’s definitely showing some initiative. We’ll see after he gets on a couple.” c Canadian Cowboy Country June/July 2019
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