Photo courtesy of DDD Photography
Connor Hamilton’s dream start to the 2019 rodeo season continued when the Calgary cowboy rode Duffy Rodeo’s Tweety Bird to 87 points and the bareback riding win at this weekend’s Drayton Valley Pro Rodeo. Hamilton collected $1207 as he edged Utah talent, Caleb Bennett by a point for the victory.
Hamilton kicked off the season with a win at Regina, SK (Agribition) in November. With the Drayton Valley payday, he sits on top of the Canadian standings with just shy of $6000 and a commanding lead.
It was a good winter for the former Novice Champion of Canada. Even while deliberately limiting his US schedule to just eight rodeos, the one-time hockey prospect sits twenty-first in the world standings and makes no bones about the fact that the goal is to be at both the CFR and the WNFR come season’s end. Drawing horses like Tweety Bird will certainly help the pursuit of that goal.
“I knew that horse and always wanted to get on him,” Hamilton admitted. “He’s snappy and really quick but he still gives you enough time to do your job. I was happy to draw him.”
The second year pro is quick to credit traveling partner Clint Laye with pointing Hamilton in the right direction as his pro career takes flight.
“Clint was the guy who said we should concentrate on the bigger rodeos down south, get on the really good horses and, at the same time save our rodeo count.” That strategy paid off as both Canadians are healthy, rested and ready to rock as the season heats up from now on.
Additional weekend winners:
- 2017 Canadian Tie Down Roping Champion Logan Bird (who celebrated his birthday May 5) – highest money winner at Drayton Valley with an 8.0 second run and $1729.
- 2016 World Champion, Zeke Thurston – spectacular 90 point ride on Duffy Rodeo’s Gene Allen (named for the iconic BC stock contractor and guide/outfitter) – good for $1322
- Two-time CFR barrel racing qualifier, 15 year-old Taylor Manning, enjoyed a blazing 13.172 run and $1500.
- Steer Wrestler, Layne Delemont, after missing 2018 CFR by $22, was a smokin’ 3.7 for $1513
- New pairing of former Canadian Champion Team Ropers, Kolton Schmidt and Jeremy Buhler, split the win with the Graham brothers, Dawson and Dillon with a couple of 4.0 second runs and $1121 cheques for each of the four.
- Provost, AB bull rider, Klayton Lakevold, ground out an 88.5 on Duffy Rodeo’s Pig, for a $1379 win.
- Novice bareback rider and 2018 CFR qualifier, Jake Plotts, won his hometown rodeo with a 70 point effort for $240.
For complete unofficial Drayton Valley results, go to rodeocanada.com
Next CPRA rodeo action includes Stavely Indoor Pro Rodeo May 9-11, Kananaskis Pro Rodeo May 10-12 and Innisfail’s Night at the Ranch bull riding May 11.
Courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association