RED DEER, Alberta — The first three rounds of CFR ‘45 were not kind to Scott Guenthner. The 2018 season leader had seen his spot at the top of the Canadian standings slip away. It was time for a change.
“I was having the worst luck,” the Provost, AB cowboy admitted, “so I thought I’d switch everything up. I rode a different horse, had a different hazer and it went a lot better.
“I switched horses to Tyson, Curtis Cassidy’s horse. Curtis was really good about it even though there’s five guys riding him. (I’m going to be riding him at the NFR in Vegas too.) And Baillee Milan hazed for me. It felt awesome.”
The five time Canadian Finals Rodeo qualifier posted a 3.7 to win the round and jump back into contention for the Canadian title – which will be awarded Sunday afternoon. While Guenthner re-claimed the overall lead, he sits sixth in the aggregate and still has work to do. Among those who have a legitimate shot at the steer wrestling title at this point are Stephen Culling (who sits second overall and second in the aggregate), Tanner Milan (3rd overall and 3rd in the aggregate) and Dallas Frank who is 5th overall but leads the aggregate.
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Saddle bronc rider, Jake Watson, has been flying under the radar for much of the 2018 season… and the early rounds of this CFR. But tonight that changed.
“I had Lunatic Party of Outlaw Buckers and it couldn’t have gone any better,” the Hudson Hope, BC native stated. “Just a great horse… she goes out and does her job every time. I’ve been waiting quite a while to get on that horse.”
Watson posted his second 87 point score of the Finals to win round four and take home the first place cheque of $10,530. He moved to third overall ($12,000 back of leader, Clay Elliott). Watson, however, leads the lucrative aggregate while Elliott sits fourth and second place man, Zeke Thurston, fell to eight after a Friday night buck-off.
A number of other races also became more interesting as a result of Friday night’s performance. In the tie-down roping, Carstairs, AB roper, Kyle Lucas, took over the overall lead as well as moving to top spot in the aggregate with two rounds remaining.
Oregon barrel racer, Callahan Crossley, lengthened her lead by posting the fastest time of the rodeo to date (13.454 seconds) to win her third consecutive go-round. The three time CFR qualifier remains first overall and leads the aggregate.
In the team roping event, Kasper Roy and Brady Tryan won the round for the second night in a row while Riley and Brady Minor cling to the overall lead just ahead of 2016 World Champions Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler who lead the aggregate.
Three time Canadian bareback champion, Jake Vold, holds a $9000 lead over second place man Richmond Champion of Dublin, TX but Champion sits second in the aggregate. Vold is seventh and out of the aggregate standings for the moment.
And in the bull riding, Ponoka hand, Wacey Finkbeiner, continued his dominating performance at CFR ‘45 as he posted an 85 point score to win third – and more importantly – remain first in the aggregate. He is one of only two men to ride four bulls in four performances, the other being Cody Coverchuk of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.
While the 2018 novice champions were declared after performance three – Mason Helmeczi in the novice bareback and Cooper Thatcher in novice saddle bronc riding – the steer riding event wrapped up Friday. Tristen Manning of Yellowhead County, AB, went four for four and won two rounds en route to the Canadian Steer Riding Championship.
Bull rider, Jacob Gardner, who grabbed a spot on the CFR bull riding roster when Brock Radford withdrew, claimed the 2018 All Around title by placing in rounds three and four.
And the Miss Rodeo Canada competition concluded Friday with the crowning of Jaden Holle as the 2019 queen.
Canadian Champion Steer Riding: Tristen Manning
Canadian Champion Novice Bareback Riding: Mason Helmeczi
Canadian Champion Novice Saddle Bronc Riding: Cooper Thatcher
Look for complete results at rodeocanada.com