Shane Hanchey. CPRA photo by Billie-Jean Duff. Courtesy: RodeoCanada.com
RED DEER, Alberta — Shane Hanchey has had a busy – and very successful year.
The two time Canadian Champion managed another Canadian Finals Rodeo qualification (with a minimum 15-rodeo count) while also qualifying for his ninth NFR at the top of the world standings. And he’s making the most of his fourth appearance at the 2018 CFR with a split of round one ($9180) and an outright win in round two (7.4 seconds, $10,530) to go to the lead in the tie-down standings.
“Getting started on the right foot in these formats is really important,” Hanchey emphasized. “I don’t want to start from behind and have to play catch-up, because pretty soon you look up and it’s Sunday. It’s good to have a little bit of money in the bank right now.”
Hanchey added, “The calves are good, and I’m riding a great horse – TJ (2016 Canadian Tie-Down Horse of the Year – owned by Logan Bird). Just go at it one day at a time. It sounds cliche, but it’s the best way for me to approach it.”
Hanchey has been a regular fixture at Canadian rodeos for some years, and despite a demanding U.S. schedule that saw the 2013 World Champion win such events as Cheyenne, Denver and Fort Worth, he made it a priority to get to CFR ‘45 as well.
“For whatever reason, I’ve always had good luck up here in Canada. And the rodeos here seem like they get better and better each year. I’ve been coming up here for so long my friends have turned into family and it’s almost like my second home.”
Another stand-out performance in round two was that of three time bareback champion, Jake Vold, who also earned a second consecutive round win with a 90.25 point score aboard C5 Rodeo’s legendary horse Virgil. The 10 year old gray was just named the top bareback horse in both Canada and the U.S. for the second year running.
“That’s the seventh time I’ve had him,” Vold commented. “I’ve had huge success on that horse. He’s been phenomenal for my career. You’re excited and nervous everytime you see your name beside his, that’s for sure.”
Vold’s score established a new CFR record in the bareback riding, eclipsing Kyle Bowers’ record of 90 points, which has stood since 2003.
The bull riding race tightened up on Wednesday night as Ponoka, AB’s Wacey Finkbeiner moved to within $1500 of the season lead with an 87.25 point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Panda Haus. While Finkbeiner is two for two, he’s chasing fellow Ponoka hand, Zane Lambert while Garrett Green of Meeting Creek, AB and regular season leader, Jared Parsonage of Maple Creek, SK are right behind in 3rd and 4th respectively.
2013 Canadian Steer Wrestling Champion, Clayton Moore, flashed the form that earned him the title with a 3.6 second run to claim the $10,530 first place cheque. Scott Guenthner continues to hang on to the overall lead despite being out of the money in the first two rounds.
In the saddle bronc riding, 2016 World Champion, Zeke Thurston (Big Valley, AB) turned in a brilliant 87.75 point effort on Calgary Stampede’s Zealous Departure to remain second overall behind Clay Elliott who bucked off Franklin Rodeo’s Evening Mist.
The team roping was split between 2016 World Champions Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler and the Ellensburg, Washington team of Riley and Brady Minor. Both teams clocked rapid 4.3 second runs. The back to back wins by the American duo took them to the overall lead as they slipped past regular season leaders Denver Johnson and Tristin Woolsey.
The Pacific northwest was front and centre in the barrel race as well as Hermiston, Oregon cowgirl, Callahan Crossley, blazed her way to a 13.823 second run and the go-round win. But it was the second place run, by the 14 year old talent Taylor Manning, that had the crowd buzzing as the teenager took over the lead in the overall Canadian standings – dropping defending champion and 2018 season leader, Carman Pozzobon, to second place.
In the novice events, High River’s Lucas Macza won the round in the novice saddle bronc riding with a 74 score while Sundre cowboy, Mason Helmeczi bested the novice bareback riders with a 74.5 point ride. And in the steer riding, hometown cowboy, Carter Sahli, posted an impressive 81.5 winning score.
The third performance of the Canadian Finals Rodeo runs Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 pm.
Complete results are posted at rodeocanada.com