Well it was a sensational Wildrose Challenge Finals 2011 in Barrhead. There were very few events we knew champions after Super Saturday, which made it even more exciting when the final performance started at the Agrena.
The Bareback riding was probably the one event we could have crowned our champion after Saturday’s performance. It was 6X WRA Champion Rob Johnson who prevailed and took 5 straight victory laps on route to his 7th WRA Bareback title.
The Calf Roping was one of the most exciting it has been in awhile. It came down to who would get those championship points on sunday and how the average would work out before we could get too excited and announce the champion. When the dust settled it was Riley Warren, who tied a phenominal 7.4 on Saturday, who claimed his first WRA Calf Roping Championship.
The Junior Bull riding was dominated by a young cowboy who will no doubt add many more championships to his resume. Billy West won 4 out of 5 rounds to claim the championship in Barrhead in what was a great Jr. Bull riding event.
In the breakaway roping, it also came down to Championship sunday. And it was a member of a great roping family, Quentin Branden who came out on top as this years champion Breakaway roper.
The West family of Cadogan had to make room for a second championship this weekend, as it was the youngest of the brothers Bryce West who prevailed on this day as the WRA Steer Riding Champion.
When the big boys of the Steer Wrestling entered the arena, they were all chasing Jesse Lawes of Provost. He flew in from Texas on Wednesday night to make the finals, and it payed off as he prevailed for a second straight year as the Wildrose Champion.
In the Novice Horse Riding, it was the Bareback riders who stood out on championship Sunday. It came down to Tanner Young and Kody Lamb, but in the end it was Lamb who made the most points and earned himself the Championship.
The Ladies Barrel Racing was exciting to watch, with 3 women in contention on sunday. When it was all said and done, Gaileen Babcock of Ft St. John, BC who claimed her 3rd WRA Championship after Rebecca Paradis knocked over a barrel and her chance at the title. The Jr. Barrels was an outright domination by one cowgirl. Val Frey won all 5 rounds, and posted some of the fastest times in all the barrels to claim the trophy buckle and saddle on championship Sunday. Pee Wee Barrels was young and fun. It too came down to the final day to delcare a winner, and it was Reese Pollitt of Bentley, AB who took home the hardware.
The saddlebronc riding was full of great rides and some injuries to the likes of Mark O’ Dempsey and Beau Waters opened it up for the finalists. When it was all done, 17 year old Layton Green captured his first ever WRA Championship by winning the go round and picking up a very well earned title.
The team roping was awesome all weekend long. Another of our timed events that came down to the final day. In the end it was Grady Branden on the heading side capturing his first Championship along with Tyler Batchelor on the heeling end who added his 2nd Saddle to the collection.
The bulls were tough on championship sunday. It was the rank pen and we seen why. Bull’s like Rio from John Duffy and Off the Cuff from Jim Thompson did what they do best and that’s leave the cowboys with a goose egg and no qualified rides. However, the man in the driver’s seat was Todd Chotowetz held on with the most points and earned the 2011 WRA Bullriding Championship.
It was a great finals in Barrhead and was great to see all the competitors that earned the right to call themselves finalists. Congratulations to all the champions.