Could This be the Year a Canadian Wins both the Canadian Championship and the World Championship in the Same Year?
Courtesy of Tim Ellis of 790 CFCW Radio in Camrose, AB. Listen to 790 CFCW and all of their sister stations that are part of the Canadian Finals Rodeo Network for live broadcasts of the CFR Starting Wednesday night at 7:00 pm. You can also listen online at www.CFCW.com!
For the first time since 2005, a Canadian champion could be in line to win the world championship in the same year. New Mexico’s Taos Muncy leads both the Canadian and world saddle bronc standings heading into the CFR and the WNFR. Lee Graves was the last to win both buckles in the same year. Fellow steer wrestlers, Mark Roy (1992) and Blaine Pederson (1994) were also double winners.
The CPRA allows a maximum of five non-Canadians per event to compete at the Canadian Finals. Only one event filled that quota. Three of the five American cowboys in the tie-down roping are atop the standings heading into Edmonton. Texan Timber Moore is number one with a $6,500 lead on Washington’s Tyson Durfey and Utah’s Jake Hannum. The barrel racing has the next highest number of non-Canadians with four while the bull riding is the only event with an all-Canadian line-up.
Deb Renger continues to make history. She will compete in the barrel racing at this year’s CFR for a record 20th straight time. Only Cliff Williamson (tie-down roping & team roping) and Bill Boyd (bareback) have more consecutive qualifications. A $20,000 week in Edmonton would move Renger to 3rd on the all-time CFR money winning list. The Okotoks cowgirl already holds the record for most money won in the barrel racing in one season and her five Canadian championships ties her with Ruth McDougall for second most behind Jerri Duce-Phillips’ record 9 titles.
There will be a new barrel racing champion crowned in Edmonton. The door was left open when defending champ, Rana Koopmans missed the cut. In fact, only three barrel racers in the field have won a Canadian title. Besides Renger, Lisa Lockhart has two buckles while Gaylene Buff won the championship in 2009.
The bull riding will likely be the most hotly contested event. Less than $13,000 separates 1st from 12th while the gap between first and third is only $1,200. That’s a big difference from last year when eventual champion, Jesse Torkelson went into the CFR as the season leader with a $13,000 lead on the number two competitor. The divide between 1st and 12th was almost $22,000.
Curtis Cassidy is poised to become the all-time leader in money won at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. The Donalda cowboy enters the 2011 CFR just a touch over $12,000 behind Rod Hay, who won’t compete at this year’s finals. Hay is currently the only competitor with over $300,000 in CFR earnings. Both Lee Graves and Kyle Bowers could enter the $200,000 club this year.
It appears Team Roping is becoming a young man’s game, at least on the heading side. Eight of the twelve headers at this year’s CFR are 25 or younger. Kolton Schmidt is the youngest at 17. However, the heelers are a more veteran group. Eleven of the twelve are 25 or older. Only Jeremy Buhler is younger at 23.
Courtesy Tim Ellis