Steer wrestler faces long odds

Cassidy still hopes to earn berth in NFR

By Dwayne Erickson, For The Calgary Herald September 13, 2011

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Curtis Cassidy was in Oregon on Monday waiting for the storied Pendleton RoundUp to start.

It’s the richest of the seven rodeos the reigning Canadian champion steer wrestler has remaining on his regularseason schedule and it will be a key in his drive to qualify for the world championships at Las Vegas.

Cassidy is 23rd in the world standings with just over $39,000 in prize money and has to make up at least another $12,000 in the next two weeks to have any chance of cracking the 15-man roster for the December Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“My chances are not real good, but I guess it’s still a chance,” he said.

After Pendleton his itinerary takes him to Albuquerque, N.M., Pasadena, El Paso and Amarillo in Texas and Poway and San Bernardino in California.

After each rodeo goes by, he’ll continue to assess his chances.

“If I’m still close enough, I’ll damn sure go to all of them,” Cassidy said.

He’s the only Canadian with an outside chance of joining Nanton’s 2008 world champion barrel racer Lindsay Sears at Las Vegas.

The past week didn’t do much for him; he finished seventh in the two-run aggregate at a rodeo in Fort Madison, Ia., for a paltry $356 and was shut out at Lewiston Ida.

Sears, on the other hand, had a strong weeek, winning the barrel racing in the first leg of the Wrangler Tour playoffs at Puyallup, Wash., for a $6,500 return and cashing third at Lewiston for another $1,691.

The $8,200 sent her season’s income to $102,535, the fifth time in as many years she’s reached six figures in earnings

She’s second in the world rankings, a mere $9,300 behind her Texas rival Brittany Pozzi.

Sears also leads the 12-contestant pack going in the Wrangler Tour championship at Omaha, Neb., which she has won the last four years.

Kelts released

Sam Kelts was released from hospital in Iowa City, Ia., and flew home on Monday night after undergoing treatment for a serious concussion.

The Millarville saddle bronc rider won’t know when he’ll return to action until after doctors in Calgary receive the medical reports from Iowa.

“I got a bit of a headache and I can’t do much right now,” he said before boarding his flight.

Kelts, 16th in the world standings, just $1,000 out of the last qualifying spot for the WNFR, definitely won’t compete at Pendleton, Albuquerque or Amarillo, the last three rodeos on his schedule.

“It happened at an inoportune time and I’m very disappointed (at not having a chance to go to Las Vegas),” he said.

It’s now a case of getting cleared to work the Canadian Finals Rodeo at Edmonton in November, “if I’m lucky by the sounds of it.”

Kelts was slammed to the ground and knocked unconscious at a rodeo in Fort Madison, Ia.

“They told me I was coherent when they took me to the first hospital (Thursday night) at Fort Madison, but I don’t remember anything,” he said. “They had me sedated for the flight to the hospital at Iowa City and I think I came to on Saturday morning.”

Creasy on rise

Luke Creasy’s bid to improve his status in the bareback riding were on the rise through the early rounds at Puyallup, but a sixth-best 77-point score in the semi-final prevented him from moving on to the the final.

He earned $5,300 and another $2,519 at Fort Madison to hike his seasonal take to $43,315.

Creasy is just outside the top 20 in the world rankings, a distant $18,000 behind the 15-man cut.

Family advice

Cody Taton and Taos Muncy are brothers-in-law.

Tatton talked Muncy, the 2007 world champion, into coming to Canada to try to qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Muncy took it serious and will go into the CFR leading the saddle bronc riding standings.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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