Photo by Covy Moore/CovyMoore.com
AIRDRIE, Alberta (June 14, 2022) – There’s nothing like a home town win to put a smile on the face of a rodeo contestant. That smile was evident as Rocky Mountain House bronc rider, Ben Anderson spurred out an outstanding 88.5-point ride on Vold Rodeo’s The Ritz for a $1398 payday at the Rocky Pro Rodeo. Andersen went a half point higher at Marwayne, AB where he was 89 points at Lea Park Pro Rodeo on Calgary Stampede’s Sergeant Whitney for another $2289.
“I’m not sure nice is the word I’d use to describe The Ritz,” Andersen chuckled. “He was a lot of work. I hadn’t seen him before and I knew the horse had been in the bareback riding, but it was good. And it’s my first time to win my hometown rodeo so that was pretty cool.”
As for the Lea Park win, Andersen got some words of wisdom from two-time World and Canadian Champion, Zeke Thurston, before the ride. “Zeke told me that Sergeant Whitney was one of his favourite horses and that I’d have a lot of fun on him. And he was totally right.”
The Lea Park win also saw Andersen the recipient of the Chuck Berg Memorial buckle which goes to the Lea Park Rodeo bronc riding champion in memory of the long time committee member.
Anderson entered the weekend in 8thplace in the Canadian standings. The twin wins will double the 22-year-old’s earnings in the early 2022 CPRA season and move him up the standings and closer to that coveted return trip to the CFR in November.
In an interesting family side note, Andersen’s cousins, Dawson, Logan and Devon Hay all competed and placed in the same rodeo performance (alongside Ben) for the first time in their careers. Dawson spilt 2-3 while Logan cashed a 6-7 place cheque, both in the open bronc riding and Devon split the win in the novice bronc riding.
Texas tie-down roper, Ty Harris, kicked off the Canadian leg of his 2022 season in style collecting wins at both Rocky Mountain House (8.4 seconds, $1643) and Newell Pro Rodeo in Brooks, AB (7.7 seconds, $2017). The 2019 CFR qualifier and three-time WNFR competitor added a win at Sisters, Oregon to his weekend successes as he looks to book return tips to both Red Deer and Las Vegas for the fall.
Reigning Canadian Barrel Racing Champion, Justine Elliott, topped the field at Lea Park for the third consecutive time. The 2021 title holder posted a 16.38 second time for the biggest single-event cheque of the weekend, $3,177.
Next on the CPRA schedule, athletes and fans head to Gleichen, AB for the inaugural Gunner’s Bronc Battle (June 15) while weekend action includes Stavely and Innisfail Pro Rodeos June 17-19 and the Wildwood Bronc Bustin’ June 18.
For complete CPRA results, check out rodeocanada.com
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association(CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alberta is the official sanctioning body for Professional Rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves 55 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.7 million. The organization oversees the SMS Equipment Pro Tour Finals each fall in Armstrong, BC, holds their premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) – at Westerner Park in Red Deer, AB in early November and endorses the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals as part of Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, SK. Follow the CPRA on Twitter and Instagram @prorodeocanada, ‘Like’ Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook or online at RodeoCanada.com.