Four central Alberta men and women shone at rodeo’s Maple Leaf Circuit Finals in Regina last week.
Ponoka brothers Logan and Keely Bonnett were one of three teams to rope all four of their stock to capture the aggregate award in the team roping event while Wainwright brothers Dawson and Dillon Graham maintained their spot on top of the leaderboard to earn the season championship with $12,848 each.
Ladies Barrel Racing saw Texas native, Shelby Spielman, who now lives in Ponoka, turn in four consistent runs, a first, a second and two thirds, to pick up the Finals win. Lacombe’s Justine Elliott, the 2021 Canadian Champion, added to her outstanding season holding on to top spot with $13,191 in total winnings.
The Maple Leaf Circuit Finals is an integral part of Regina’s Canadian Western Agribition which celebrated 50 years Nov. 23-27. It brought the 2021 rodeo calendar year to a close and kicked off the 2022 Canadian Professional Rodeo season.
For Clarehsholm bull rider Griffin Smeltzer, the four-day event was a welcome finale to an up and down season. The 21-year-old rode three of his four bulls garnering a go-round win on day three and a 1/2-split on Saturday’s final round en route to a circuit season total of $13,115 and the Maple Leaf Circuit Championship.
Smeltzer will be heading south to compete at both PRCA events and PBRs in the U.S. right away.
Newly crowned Canadian Bull Riding Champion, Jared Parsonage, of Maple Creek, Sask., continued to have the hot hand — following up the Canadian title he won three weeks ago at CFR in Red Deer — with a four-for-four performance in Regina to add the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals crown to his growing resume.
The Maple Leaf Circuit Champion and Circuit Season Leader in each event qualify for the NFR Open (formerly RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo) slated for July 13-16 at Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Two contestants in each event from each of the 12 U.S. circuits, plus Canada are eligible for the five-round event.
For complete unofficial results, go to rodeocanada.com. Look for updated official results and Canadian standings later this week.