It’s no secret that consistency is important for rodeo competitors who have their sights set on success. But when that consistency is combined with excellence, the results are often outstanding.
Ben Anderson was both consistent and excellent during weekend stops in Lethbridge and Okotoks. The Canadian saddle bronc leader took his A-game to both places with back-to-back 87.5 scores and back-to-back wins.
The Eckville, Alberta cowboy combined with Duane Kesler Championship Rodeo’s 522 Daisy Duke for the Lethbridge Pro Rodeo (Whoop Up Days), the critical second-last stop in the SMS Equipment Pro Rodeo Tour, for 87.5 points and a $3053 first-place cheque.
“She’s a little bay mare,” said the fifth ranked bronc rider in the world standings of Daisy Duke. “I hadn’t been on her before but I’d seen her at Dawson Creek and she looked pretty good there. We were in Kennewick [Washington] the night before, then headed up to Lethbridge and back down to Bremerton [WA]; It was a bit out of our way, but it was definitely worth it.”
The second generation 23-year-old talent wasn’t done yet. He then raced back up to Canada and dialed up a second 87.5 pointer at the Okotoks Pro Rodeo, this time on Vold Rodeo’s 11 Shorty for $1663. The dual wins extended his season lead in the bronc riding to over $4000 on defending Canadian and World Champion, Zeke Thurston.
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Anderson wasn’t the only double winner as 2021 Bareback Riding Champion Clint Laye equaled the feat, first taking top honours at Lethbridge with an 84.5-point effort of Duane Kesler Championship Rodeo’s 660 Crown Jewel for $2500, then capturing another title at Okotoks with an eye-popping 87.5 point ride on Vold Rodeo’s terrific T1 Dancing Queen for an additional $1513.
Glentworth, Saskatchewan two-event cowboy Jesse Popescul brought the heat at Okotoks as the five-time CFR qualifier turned in a brilliant 6.7 second run – the fastest tie down roping time of the CPRA season – to top the Okotoks field in the tie-down roping. The $2518 victory enabled Popescul to close ground on All Around race leader, Logan Spady, as the two of them, and Morgan Grant duel for the All Around title.
Dalton Massey was at it again. The Oregon steer wrestler who leads both the World and Canadian standings bulldogged his steer at Okotoks in 3.0, one-tenth of a second off the Canadian record for a $1918 win. Massey now has met his rodeo count requirement and will be at the Canadian Finals when it kicks off November 1 at the Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer, AB.
And Celeste Montpellier in the barrel racing at Lethbridge for her first pro win… the Stettler, AB cowgirl turned in an outstanding 15.13 second run on Saturday night in front of a packed grandstand for a $3360 payday.
Meanwhile the Canadian assault on the world standings and the coveted berths at the National Finals Rodeo continues. Five Canuck bronc riders in the top fifteen lead the charge to the Thomas and Mack—Zeke Thurston, Ben Anderson, Dawson Hay, Layton Green and Q Taylor (Kolby Wanchuk is 16th less than $600 out of fifteenth); three team ropers, Jeremy Buhler (with partner Rhen Richard) and Dawson and Dillon Graham; steer wrestler Stephen Culling, tie-down roper Beau Cooper, bareback rider Orin Larsen and bullriders Jordan Hansen and Jared Parsonage would all qualify if the season ended today. That’s thirteen Canadians (the record number of Canadians at the NFR is eleven). With Shelby Boisjoli in second spot in the breakaway roping and two-time Canadian Champion, Shelby Pierson just out of it at 17th, those Maple Leaf flag waving Canadian NFR fans could be pretty busy come December.
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Check for complete unofficial weekend results at rodeocanada.com
An equally exciting week is ahead on the Pro Rodeo Canada schedule with an array of British Columbia events. The final rodeo of the SMS Equipment Pro Tour is set for Aug 30-Sept 1, with the Pro Tour Finals Sept 2 – all at the IPE and Stampede in Armstrong, BC. The Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo runs Sept 2-3 in Merritt while the Valley West Stampede is slated for Sept 2-4 in Langley.
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alta. is the official sanctioning body for Professional Rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves 55 + events annually with a total payout exceeding $6 million. The organization oversees the SMS Equipment Pro Tour Finale each fall in Armstrong, BC, holds their premiere event–the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR)–at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alta. in early November and endorses the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals as part of Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Sask.
For details, please see RodeoCanada.com
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