Carman Pozzobon accepts her saddle for winning the 2018 Wrangler NFR aggregate championship in the ladies barrel racing. WPRA photo.
CALGARY, Alberta — To ring in 2019, we look back at the year that was with the Top 10 moments of 2018.
No. 10 – Pair of Events Raise Nearly $40,000 for CPRSMT
In the second year of the Canadian Cowboy Classic Golf Tournament held at Woodside Golf Course in Airdrie, Alberta on June 14th, over $29,000 was raised for the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team (CPRSMT).
Year six of the Back on Track Canadian Cowboy Ski Race at Mount Norquay in Banff on March 25th raised over $10,000 for the Sports Medicine Team. The seventh Back on Track Canadian Cowboy Ski Race takes place on April 20th, 2019 at Norquay in Banff.
Combined, almost $40,000 was raised in a single-year for the team of volunteer medical professionals that oversee the care of western sports athletes exclusively in Canada. For more on the CPRSMT visit prorodeosportsmed.com
This very well could be an all-time high but I haven’t been able to verify the information yet. I need to look back at old NFR programs to see. If anyone already knows this though and can save me the time, please do tell! I only had the numbers back for six years so all I could safely say was that these 55 bucking horses and bulls were a six-year high for Canada. Regardless, I’m thrilled for the breeding programs of our Canadian contractors for being recognized at this level.
Furthermore, I have to add in the stand-out athletes, like C5 Rodeo’s Virgil winning his second consecutive World Bareback Horse of the Year buckle. Northcott Macza’s Get Smart was also selected as the Saddle Bronc Horse of the WNFR. That’s not to mention the quartet of Canadian bucking bulls to accomplish the triple crown, but I’ll get further into that in No. 8.
Not only were there at least an eight-year high of 11 Canadian bucking bulls to make the trip to the PBR World Finals, but four more born and raised in Canada were also selected from their new American homes. Of the 11 making the trip from North of the 49th, four made the trip of the triple crown with selections to the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR), PBR World Finals and Wrangler NFR.
Congratulations to Whiskey Hand from Vold Rodeo along with Nickel Package, Brahma Boots Chrome and Red Pheasant from the Outlaw Buckers for joining the exclusive list.
No. 7 – PBR Canada Inks Historic TV Agreement
This announcement didn’t gather the publicity I thought it should have for what it was. We’re talking about 32-straight weeks of TV programming on a national network.
The Calgary Stampede is broadcast for 10 days, live on CBC each summer and the last performance of the Canadian Finals Rodeo was broadcast on Sportsnet One from Edmonton on Sunday night in primetime in 2013. This year though we had 32 consecutive weeks of PBR action on TSN with multiple re-runs. Having the PBR on TV every week could easily be higher up the countdown. This is ground-breaking and part of the reason why the PBR has the opportunity to continue to soar to new heights for western sports.
No. 6 – Buttar Finishes No. 17 in PBR World Standings
As the top finishing Canadian in the PBR World Standings, Dakota Buttar finds himself in the No. 6 spot on our countdown. Earlier this week, he topped the PBR Canada countdown of the biggest moments of 2018.
RELATED: PBR Canada’s Top 15 of 2018
Buttar had a career-year registering three 90-point rides and contending for a spot in the Top 10 in the World. Here’s to achieving that goal in 2019.
No. 5 – Byrne Wins St. Louis
After a horrendous 2017 season filled with the loss of best friend Ty Pozzobon, Tanner Byrne made an incredible return in 2018. Byrne even won his third elite series event in the PBR, the most ever by a Canadian now, by two full events. Riding at the elite level is one thing, but winning is another. Look for Byrne to contend with Buttar in the coming season which begins this weekend in New York City.
Another thing that must be commended in this countdown is Byrne’s work for the Ty Pozzobon Foundation, which has now raised over $250,000 to support the health and well-being of western sports participants inside and outside of the arena. For more, visit TyPozzobon.com
No. 4 – CFR Moves to Red Deer
How can we not include the first edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer’s Enmax Centrium? This year marked the first time in the CFR’s 45 year history it would be held in a different venue and Red Deer did not disappoint. Things can only get better in the next nine years at the CFR in Central Alberta.
This year is already one of the most successful National Finals for Canada ever. We may not have earned a gold buckle but together, the six Canadians competing earned $580,807 USD. Converting that over to CAD, it’s over $788,000. Even taking the taxes off that’s damn good.
No. 2 – Schiffner Retires
I have to begin this entry with an apology to Scott Schiffner. I told him before the NFR that he was going to be No. 1 on the countdown. That was before Carman Pozzobon won the aggregate at the finals. So Scott, I’m sorry but I am still working on that video of all the best videos I’ve found throughout your career.
For Schiffner, this isn’t goodbye forever, it’s just goodbye for now. There’s no telling, maybe in a few more years you’ll make No. 1 doing something new. We’re going to see lots more of this guy I promise you.
No. 1 – Pozzobon wins Wrangler NFR Aggregate Title
What could top this? She won $117,885 to finish in the No. 4 spot in the WPRA World Standings. There’s only ever been one other lady from Canada to win the WNFR Aggregate title and she’s a World Champion. That was Lindsay Sears in 2011.
Congratulations on the title once again Carman. Here’s something else to add to the trophy case, except there isn’t any trophy. Even better, she got engaged to longtime boyfriend Jace Lambert on December 29th. Congratulations again!
Carman Pozzobon gave rodeo fans a lot more than they bargained for this week, moving from 15th to 4th in the world standings in Vegas.
— Wrangler Network (@WranglerNetwork) December 16, 2018