by Jim Bainbridge | Jun 21, 2014
RENO, Nev. – Canadian all-around cowboy Curtis Cassidy of Donalda, Alberta, is putting everything in place for a return to the pinnacle of American rodeo – the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Cassidy, 35, wrestled his first steer in 3.5 seconds and his second in 4.2 seconds during the first day of action at the 95th Reno Rodeo June 20 to take a commanding early lead. He and other contestants compete in two preliminary rounds with the top 12 in each event coming back for the June 28 short round.
The $2.1 million, 10-day Reno Rodeo boasts nearly 700 contestants and roughly 140,000 fans, and is a Gold stop on the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour. That makes it a must-attend event for cowboys hoping to earn enough this season to secure a top-15 ranking and qualification to the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas.
Cassidy has earned two Canadian Professional Rodeo Association championships in steer wrestling and more than $1.3 million dollars in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
He has four NFR appearances under his belt and one of his horses has carried four other cowboys to world championships. But Cassidy hasn’t made it back to Las Vegas since 2010. An overall victory at Reno would pay roughly $11,000 and send him from his current ranking of 22nd into the top five in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.
Also on Friday night, defending Reno Rodeo bareback and saddle bronc riding champions Wes Stevenson and Chad Ferley were both bucked off, which effectively ended their chances to repeat in Reno.
Courtesy of PRCA