They’ve reshuffled the deck in the steer wrestling at the Canadian Finals Rodeo after the second performance at Rexall Place. And it was the Cassidy brothers who did some of the major moving.
Older brother Curtis was fast man of the round with a 4.4 second run, giving him the $12,160 paycheque that accompanies the feat. He got the job done with the help of the Cassidy family horse Casper. But for most of the season he rode steer wrestling horse of the year Tank, owned by Dustin Walker.
“I voted for him for horse of the year, but Casper’s really good on these little buildings and quick set-ups,” explained Cassidy.
“Plus Casper’s got a pretty good record up here in Edmonton too, so I went with him.”
The second night featured a pen of steers that ran a little harder, and were a little stronger.
“I knew that I had to be aggressive. That’s the whole deal with strong steers, and getting a good start. That steer surprised me. I got a good start and caught him so fast. Then I reached in there for his nose and it was way out to the side behind my leg, and I was like ‘oh-oh – this may not be good’! But I’m going to try it anyways and see how it goes.”
“Luckily I got him rolled over, and it worked out good,” he smiled.
“It feels good. I probably practiced more this year than I ever have for the CFR. Cody and I practiced just about every day for the last week, running four, five or six steers a day, and it felt really good.”
The win moves Cassidy from 11th place all the way up to fifth in Canada. Meanwhile, brother Cody was only a tenth behind with a 4.5 second run, for a share of second place in the round with Tanner Milan. Their paydays of $7483 each bumped them up the ladder and Milan, the defending champion, now is in the number one spot, with Cody less than $3000 behind him.
More money came Central Alberta way in the team roping. But this time it was Tyrel Flewelling of Lacombe scooping up the cash with his partner Roland McFadden of Vulcan, for a time of five seconds flat, worth $6080 each. But for the second straight night, Justin and Brett McCarroll of Camrose placed third, so they hang on to the overall lead. Ponoka’s Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler finished second Thursday night, bumping their CFR earnings now to $10,601 each.
For the second night in a row, Caleb Bennett of Utah took the victory lap in the bareback riding. This time it was after a spectacular 88 point ride on the Bar C5 horse Virgil. Bennett figured it was ‘his turn’ since the same horse cost him dearly at the Ponoka Stampede short round this summer.
“He bucked me off right at eight seconds, right at the whistle, to probably be 90 (points),” recalled Bennett.
“I’ve always said I wanted a rematch with him. I finally got it tonight, and what a better place to have it than for a go-round win here at the CFR.”
Bennett has already earned $24,319 at the CFR, and is lurking behind leader Jake Vold. But Vold has placed in both rounds as well, so is keeping out in front.
Magrath cowboy Logan Hofer was fastest in the tie down roping with his 7.5 second run. But Rimbey’s Dean Edge wasn’t far behind, with a 7.7 second run, good enough to tie for second with Louisiana’s Shane Hanchey. Ryan Jarrett has now taken over first for the Canadian standings.
Sam Kelts of Millarville tangled with the Northcott outlaw Get Smart in the saddle bronc riding and it was like a boxing match for eight seconds. Kelts emerged the victor, with an 87.75 points to show for it, along with $12,159 and a go-round buckle to show for it. Cody DeMoss was also at the paywindow to continue padding his lead.
Veteran Scott Schiffner may be at his record setting 15th CFR, but he rode like a kid, taming a bull called Attitude Dude for 86.50 points to collect the win and his first CFR dollars, $12,160 of them. Saskatchewan’s Dakota Buttar was bucked off, but still is out in front for the championship race. Ponoka’s Zane Lambert finished second for the night and is third overall now.
The barrel racing honors went to Oklahoma’s Cayla Melby for a 14.713 second run. The 17-year-old was excited to get the $12,160 payday on her mom Jane’s birthday! Nancy Csabay is still the frontrunner for the title.
Owen Berreth of Airdrie took the steer riding victory with an 80. Keenan Reinhardt of Calgary won novice saddle bronc on the night with a 79.50, while Tanner Young, now of Ponoka, won the novice bareback with a 63.50. Leader Wyatt Gleason of Sundre was expected to get x-rays on his leg, after being hung up, and circling the arena several times with his hand caught in the rigging.
Pro rodeo’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 were introduced during the performance, including Greg Cassidy and Dee Butterfield. The prestigious Cowboy of the Year award was presented to popular rodeo announcer and author Dave Poulsen.
There’s more Canadian Finals Rodeo action tonight at 7:30 pm at Rexall Place.