Lacombe barrel racer Justine Elliott’s dream came true at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
The 20-year-old was the aggregate champion for the Ladies Barrel Racing event following Championship Sunday at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
“I’ve been dreaming about this since I was probably five years old. I truly never thought it was going to happen, but here we are,” said Elliott, who wrapped up the CFR with a 14.262 ride on her horse Blondy.
“This pretty well being my hometown rodeo makes it extremely special, because I have a whole bunch of friends and family here. It really does make it a bigger deal.”
Elliott’s aggregate time was 85.429, narrowly beating Quesnel, B.C., barrel racer Mariah Mannering’s 85.972.
Ponoka’s Shelby Spielman finished with the best time Sunday: 14.050. She finished sixth in the aggregate rankings with an overall time of 95.105. Shayna Weir, also of Ponoka, finished ninth in the aggregate rankings and Eckville’s Tana Millard finished 12th.
Zeke Thurston, of Big Valley, won his second consecutive CFR title in the Saddle Bronc event.
“You come in here and you’ve only got control of the horse in front of you. You take care of business and you do your job,” said Thurston.
The two time World Champion earned 41,760 points at the CFR for a season total of $74,383.
“Kicking it off with a round win, that kind of gets the ball rolling and then you can ride that wave into the rest of the week. A big part of it is drawing good – I drew really good, some great horses.”
Thurston finished third in the sixth round with an 85.50 ride – his aggregate score was 518.50. Kole Ashbacher, of Arrowwood, had the top score on Sunday with 86.75.
In the Bull Riding competition, Jared Parsonage, of Maple Creek Sask., won the aggregate title with an overall score of 422.25. Lonnie West, of Cadogan, put the pressure on Parsonage after finishing with a top-ranked 89-point ride in the final performance. But the Maple Creek cowboy was able to hang onto his bull and secure the title with an 87.75-point ride. Parsonage was also named the All-Around Champion.
Ty Taypotat, of Nanton, took home the Bareback title, after grabbing an aggregate score of 511.00 over six rounds. Bowden’s Ky Marshall fell just shy of Taypotat, finishing second place with an aggregate score of 509.50. Jake Vold, of Carstairs, finished seventh with a 408.25 score and Red Deer County’s Dylan Bilton was 11th with a 234.
Justin Miller, of Virden, Man., was the aggregate champion for steer wrestling, with a score of 28.9. Harley Cole and Cody Cassidy both finished with a top score of 3.5 on Championship Sunday. Matt Richardson, of Olds, was seventh with a 41.9 score and Innisfail’s Ryan Shuckburgh was 10th with a 33.7.
In the Ladies Breakaway Roping event, which was making its CFR debut, Wardlow’s Kendal Pierson took home the title after ranking first in all three rounds of the event.
Clay Ullery and Tyce McLeod took home the Team Roping championship, with an aggregate score of 25.6.
Riley Warren was the aggregate champion for the Tie Down Roping competition, with a 54.8 score over six rounds.