EDMONTON, AB – Jake Vold and Virgil. It’s magic.
The two time and reigning Canadian bareback riding champ got together with an old friend—the C5 Rodeo superstar, Virgil, an eight year-old grey gelding that was honoured as the best bareback horse of the 2015 Canadian Finals Rodeo. The result was a spectacular 89 score that topped the field by a comfortable four point margin. The last time the two met was in Las Vegas a year ago and the result was a 94 score and the Boyd Shoot Out title, a complimentary event to the NFR.
“When Vern McDonald bought that horse a few years ago, he was all the talk,” Vold recalled. “They’ve won Houston on him and Calgary and go rounds here—he’s the eliminator that gives you a chance to be 90. There aren’t many of those horses out there.”
The Airdrie cowboy is on target for the three-peat after two nights of CFR 43.The back to back go round wins—Vold collected the $12 thousand plus first place cheque last night as well—takes the twenty-nine year-old to first overall with a ten thousand cushion over Utah cowboy Caleb Bennett who came to Edmonton with the season lead.
“Caleb and I like to ride against each other,” Vold grinned. “We feed off each other. That makes this an interesting week for both of us.
“My mind is set on winning a third title,” the seven time CFR qualifier admitted. “I feel like I’m just coming into my prime and I’m working at it harder than I ever had. And if I don’t my wife Sarah will remind me I need to get back at it.”
The CFR won’t be Vold’s last hurrah for 2016 as he heads for Las Vegas in December as one of eight Canadians who have qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “I’m excited to be going back there and going up against the best guys in the world. It’s great to belong in that company—but I want to do more than belong, I want to ride like I know I can.”
In the steer wrestling, it was veteran savvy that worked for the twelve time title-holder, Curtis Cassidy.
“I wasn’t disappointed with my draw,” the Donalda superstar commented, “but I saw that steer a few times at the Todd Boggust Memorial event and he was a short five most of the time there. I was just hoping to be somewhere in the 4’s so that 4.1 felt pretty good.” The time was good for the go round win and helped make up for the disappointment of an opening round barrier penalty for the sixteen-time CFR bulldogging qualifier.
Referencing the importance of the confidence that comes with experience, Cassidy noted that, “If I do things right I have the belief in myself that I can place on steers that other guys can’t. Tonight I just had to have faith in my horse and my hazer and it worked out.”
The go round win slid Cassidy up the leaderboard to second place, nine thousand back of brother and defending champion Cody who was fourth in the round with a 4.7 second run and leads the championship race with $41,134.
Cassidy was candid about a goal to eventually have more championships than anyone in the history of rodeo. His twelve titles have him just two back of the all-time winningest cowboy, the now retired Rod Warren who put together nine all-around, three high point and a pair of saddle bronc championships.
“Championships mean everything,” Cassidy said, “and yeah, I’d like to be that guy.” Truth is the family Cassidy is proud to be part of have kept him from already having that mark. “I lost one to my dad and two to my brother,” the Donalda dogger laughed.
He’d like to make sure that doesn’t happen in 2016.
In the team roping, it was hands across the border as the 2013 Canadian champion header, Kolton Schmidt from Barrhead, Alberta and Hico, Texas, heeling partner, Shay Carroll, put together a 4.9 second run that captured top money in the round and enabled the duo to move to second place overall just behind season leaders, Klay White and Brett Buss.
Season leader Dustin Flundra reclaimed his lead in the saddle bronc riding race with his 85.25 point ride on the Calgary Stampede bronc, Weekend Departure. The three time champion from Pincher Creek, who missed the CFR last year for the first time in his sixteen year pro career has made no secret of the fact that he’s been wanting to make amends in 2016.
Rookie barrel racer, Lynette Brodoway made her first trip to the winners circle as she posted a 14.694 on her gelding SR Root Sixty Six (Freeway). The win enabled the Brooks, Alberta cowgirl to move to third place, seven thousand dollars back of overall leader—Hermiston, Oregon’s Callahan Crossley who finished out of the money.
In the tie down roping the night belonged to Matt Shiozawa, the 2014 Canadian Champion from Chubbock, Idaho who blazed his way to a 7.7 second run and the $12,324 pay cheque. The go round win pushed Shiozawa’s season earnings to $33,834 overall, less than $2000 behind Scandia, Alberta roper, Al Bouchard, who followed up an opening go round win with what might prove to be an unfortunate no time.
And it was two cowboys who shared the limelight in the bull riding. Reigning and two time champion, Dakota Buttar of Kindersley Saskatchewan’s, on Outlaw Buckers Too Dark 2 C and Ponoka bull rider, Tyler Pankewitz on the Calgary Stampede outlaw, Uptown Funk posted identical 86.75 scores to earn $10,744 each. On a night that saw eight riders best their bulls, Buttar maintained a comfortable margin at the top of the leaderboard with $62,782, $14,000 up on second place man Brock Radford of Dewinton who rode but did not place in the second round.
In the novice events, Kolby Wanchuk of neighbouring Sherwood Park made it back to back go round wins with a 75 point effort on Outlaw Buckers Bright Lights while novice bareback rider Danny Vandenameele of Langenberg, Saskatchewan spurred out a 76.5 score on a Calgary Stampede horse, Youngstown Rocket. In the steer riding, Weston Davidson, the Strongfield, Saskatchewan youngster was a solid 79 on his steer to win a round that saw only two successful rides.
And in the all-around and high point races, season leaders, Ponoka’s Luke Butterfield and Didsbury’s Morgan Grant, both padded their leads with second go-round pay cheques. Butterfield extended his all-around lead to $13,000 over defending champion, Josh Harden while Grant, the 2013 High Point champion sits $15,000 up on second place man, Dustin Bird in the 2016 high point battle.
About the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alta. is the sanctioning body for professional rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves over 50 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.1 million. Join us for our premiere event – the 43rd edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) November 9-13, 2016 in Edmonton, Alberta at Northlands Coliseum. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @prorodeocanada, like Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook, or online at RodeoCanada.com.
Courtesy of CPRA