Edgar Durazo is riding an absolute heater.
The Canadian season leader won his third-straight go-round in bull riding Thursday at the Canadian Finals Rodeo 46, bringing the crowd to their feet and ending the night with an exclamation mark.
Durazo, 28, from Moctezuma, Mexico in his first CFR might want to consider becoming an adopted Canadian after the showing he’s put up this week in Red Deer.
After posting an 87.25 and 87.75 in the first to rounds, he one-upped himself with an 89-point ride on Vold Rodeo’s Whiskey Hand to win the round.
“I got the opportunity to do what I love and I’m using the talent that God gave me and I’m giving it 100 per cent and he’s with me. Just riding and have fun,” he said after the win.
The 28-year-old had some experience on that bull, riding him four times before, including a 90-point stunner to win at Ponoka earlier this summer.
With that confidence, he knew a win might be in order Thursday.
“Win the round. I knew it. This is my fourth time. I won Ponoka with 90 points on him this year… tonight I was pretty sure 89, 89.5. He’s always there. He’s a bull that went to the NFR and world finals — amazing bull,” said Durazo.
Durazo has spent most of his bull-riding career on the Professional Bull Riders tour, only switching to the Canadian circuit this season. It’s paid off, literally as the Mexican Magic Man leads the season standings with $79,506 in earnings, after picking up $31,590 for his three-round wins in Red Deer.
If he wins another round Friday, he will set a new CFR record for most bull riding round wins in a single CFR.
It’s been nine years since the now 32-year-old Ty Miller was last at the CFR and Thursday, at CFR 46, he made the most of his 2019 trip.
The Wainwright native bested all the rest in the third round of steer wrestling, with a 3.5-second takedown of a steer he’s seen before.
“I had a steer that I knew, so I just wanted to make sure I didn’t break the barrier and give myself a chance to win. He went down and here we are,” he said.
While 32-year-old still sits seventh in the aggregate, with his four kids in tow this time around he said it’s made the experience a special one no matter how it goes.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been back. Things get better with age and I appreciate things a lot more. I have my family here now and it means a lot to me, it’s been a lot of fun,” Miller said.
That fatherly perspective helped in more ways than one this season.
He captured the Hoover Hayes Memorial Steer Wrestling buckle in May. Hayes son was a good friend of Miller and passed away just a few years ago. That win got his season started off on the right track.
“I had an awesome year, I picked away all year. I was having lots of fun. I won my best friend’s Dad’s memorial and just started the year off,” Miller added.
By the end of the year, it was back-to-back wins in Brooks and then at the Hanna Indoor Pro Rodeo that earned Miller a spot in the CFR in Red Deer.
“It was pretty dramatic and I had lots of people in my favour, calling and watching. The steer wrestling is always that way. Always dramatic and there’s always one or two spots that come down to the wire,” he said.
Donalda cowboy Cody Cassidy leads the aggregate through three rounds.
Thursday marked the end of the two novice events.
In the novice bareback riding, it was Chett Dietz who took home the buckle.
Dietz, 21, posted a 74 to win the aggregate easily and collect a $3,200 for three days of work.
“I knew what I needed to do and I had a bit of a lead coming in. I just wanted to ride my horse as best I could,” said Deitz, who took a week off of school in Idaho to attend the CFR.
“This is where I wanted to be. I just missed it last year. Missing it last year, it made me hungrier and this is where I wanted to be so I rodeoed hard all summer. Just kept going, was able to stay healthy and get here in a good spot.”
From a family of rodeo, originally, they resisted the idea of letting him get into the sport. Safe to save he’s been bitten by the rodeo bug.
His experience in Red Deer this week has been one he won’t soon forget.
“It’s a big show and lots of nerves. On my first night, I had a bit of nerves and rode real tight. Wasn’t able to do exactly what I wanted to,” he said.
“Went into the next to rounds, knew what I needed to do. Just tried to free up and have some fun.”
In the novice saddle bronc, K’s Thompson won the round and with a 75 and took home the aggregate. Tristen Manning won the round in junior steer riding with a 70-point ride.
The 2018 CFR champion Richie Champion took the third-round win in bareback to start the day with an 88.25 on Northcott Macza Stevie Knicks. He pushed into first overall in the aggregate with the win. His season earnings went up to $46,680, just $208 ahead of Caleb Bennett, who was second in the round.
Zeke Thurston didn’t win the round in the saddle bronc, but the Big Valley cowboy still leads the aggregate by just over $30,000. Wildwood’s Logan Hay won the round with an 86-point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Lunatic Party.
Matt Sherwood and Hunter Hoch grabbed their second straight round win with a time of 3.7-seconds in the team roping and sit second in the aggregate.
In the ladies barrels, 60-year-old Mary Walker moved into first place overall after finishing fifth in the round. Stacey Ruzicka won the round with a time of 14.847. Lacombe’s Justin Elliot was ninth Thursday and sits fourth overall.
Friday’s performance gets underway at 7 p.m.