Luke Butterfield grabs top award headed into the CFR

Canadian Finals Rodeo out of the chutes in Edmonton

It’s GO time for pro rodeo competitors. All year long they look forward to when their sport takes centre stage in Edmonton for the season end “playoffs,” with gold buckles on the end of the line, and a lot of cash earning opportunities along the way.

The 43rd annual Canadian Finals Rodeo week kicked off for many with the Monday night Alberta Circuit Awards, held in Red Deer.

Those who have topped the charts at the rodeos held in our province are honored with trophy bronzes.

Luke Butterfield collected the one this year in the All-Around category, winning over $17,000 at Alberta rodeos in saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling. The Ponoka cowboy managed to win the award in 2012 as well, but the difference that year was that he didn’t have the required three cheques in both his timed and riding events, so he wasn’t eligible for the Canadian title. This year, he got that done, and heads to Northlands Coliseum with a $1,043 lead over fellow qualifier, and defending Canadian All-Around champion, Josh Harden of Big Valley, for the national honour.

Butterfield is also in the hunt for a second Canadian saddle bronc champion’s buckle, to go with the one he claimed in 2012. So you’d think he’d have a lot on his mind as he heads north.

“Honestly, I try not to think about either,” contended the 32-year-old. “I just want to show up, ride my horses, have some fun and let the chips fall on Sunday.”

“It will be a fun little race with Josh, since we’re both in the same event,” added Butterfield, who will be at his eighth CFR.

After missing the cut for Edmonton in 2015 by one spot, Butterfield finds himself approaching rodeo, and this year’s Finals, with a different mindset.

“I want to enjoy everything associated with it. I’m happy to be rodeoing. I know I can’t do it for the rest of my life, and you’re not going to win everything. I still want to win, but realize now that you cycle out of the lows, so you can’t get too low and stay there. It’s changed my outlook, and I feel better.”

Over his decade in the pro ranks, Butterfield would put plenty of pressure on himself to excel, and he did. But the maturity of experience has rounded out his approach to rodeo, and it showed in steady, consistent success all 2016, netting him nearly $20,000 in Canada.

A family bonus this year is that he and Brock will be competing at Edmonton together.

“We’ve never been there at the same time. It’s really cool to have him there with me.”

The Butterfields are among a large contingent of Ponoka area CFR contestants, and the Ponoka Stampede had a special send-off party for them all last week.

“Those bronzes are coveted, and a lot of thanks goes to Jack Daines for keeping them going. There’s a lot of history in the Alberta circuit, so it means a lot to me to win one.”

Luke Butterfield hopes the bronze will remind him that having fun while rodeoing can translate into winning, and that’s something he wants to practice this week.

“For me, I try not to look at the draw, and the money. If you worry about that, you get beat. I know it’s not ‘just another rodeo’, but you have to treat that ride like you would anywhere. Stick to the basics and don’t over think it.”

Other Alberta circuit award winners include Kyle Lucas of Carstairs in tie-down roping; Cody Cassidy of Donalda in steer wrestling; Dakota Buttar of Kindersley, SK in bull riding; and Kirsty White of Big Valley in barrel racing. Cassidy, Buttar, and White are all season leaders in their respective events. South Dakota’s Chuck Schmidt won the Alberta bronze for saddle bronc riding, while the bareback one went to Utah’s Caleb Bennett, who is also season leader in his event. The team roping honours were claimed by the top gunners for 2016, Kolton Schmidt of Barrhead and his Texas heeler, Shay Carroll. Tanner Young of Sylvan Lake won the novice bareback for the province, with the novice saddle bronc going to Kolby Wanchuk of Sherwood Park, and steer riding to Luke Ferber of Irricana.

The season’s top 12 competitors in each of the events head to Edmonton knowing the city will continue to be the home for the CFR for at least the next two years, after the CPRA and Northlands extended their contract.

The $1.5 million purse for the 2016 CFR will be paid out over six performances, beginning at 7:30 Wednesday evening at Northlands Coliseum.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Jayden Grubbe is one of three Rebels on the NHL Central Scouting players to watch list for the 2021 NHL Draft. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels seek consistency ahead of matchup with Hitmen

The Red Deer Rebels had to deal with a pang of regret… Continue reading

Quinn Mason died from an opioid overdose at the age of 23 in June 2020. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta mother whose son died from overdose advocates for ‘change’

It’s been about nine months since her son died from an overdose,… Continue reading

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province was ready to move forward with Phase 2A and B in the coming weeks. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Majority of Albertans to receive first shot before June 30: Shandro

Shandro says all Albertans should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Alberta’s Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer spoke on Thursday by webinar to Red Deer Chamber of Commerce members. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
Alberta’s economic diversification is already underway, says Jobs Minister

From the geothermal to the TV industry, new jobs will be created, said Doug Schweitzer

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Quebec Premier François Legault chairs a virtual news conference Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. The premiers from the left are: John Horgan, B.C.; Jason Kenney, Alberta; Scott Moe, Saskatchewan; Legault, Quebec; Brian Pallister, Manitoba; Doug Ford, Ontario; and Blaine Higgs, New Brunswick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

The Edmonton Law Courts building is shown on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. An Alberta pastor accused of holding Sunday services that violated COVID-19 rules is appealing his bail conditions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jailed Alberta pastor should be able to lead services until his trial: lawyer

Jailed Alberta pastor should be able to lead services until his trial: lawyer

Seniors arrive for their COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Olympic Stadium in Montreal on March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Premiers blame Ottawa for delayed COVID-19 shots; Ontario pharmacies to offer jabs

Premiers blame Ottawa for delayed COVID-19 shots; Ontario pharmacies to offer jabs

Actors, clockwise from left, Luke Bilyk, Aislinn Paul, Alex Steeler, Melinda Shankar, Annie Clark, Jordan Todosey, Jahmil French and Munro Chambers from "Degrassi: The Next Generation," are shown at a screening event, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, N.J. Friends of French say he was a gifted 'true artist' who 'wanted to be great'THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo/StarPix, Dave Allocca
Friends of Jahmil French say he was a gifted ‘true artist’ who ‘wanted to be great’

Friends of Jahmil French say he was a gifted ‘true artist’ who ‘wanted to be great’

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. At least 10 Ohioans have been charged in connection with the deadly insurrection at the U.S Capitol after being identified through social media and surveillance footage to the FBI. The group includes people linked to the Oath Keepers militia group who have been indicted on charges that they planned and coordinated with one another in the attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Capitol Police chief appeals for National Guard to stay

Capitol Police chief appeals for National Guard to stay

People gather on high ground and check for any sign of a tsunami near Whangarei, New Zealand, Friday, March 5, 2021. A powerful magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck in the ocean off the coast of New Zealand prompting thousands of people to evacuate and triggering tsunami warnings across the South Pacific. (Karena Cooper/New Zealand Herald via AP)
Powerful quake hits off New Zealand, prompting evacuations

Powerful quake hits off New Zealand, prompting evacuations

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 file photo, students discard food at the end of their lunch period as part of a lunch waste composting program at an elementary school in Connecticut. A United Nations report released on Thursday, March 4, 2021 estimates 17% of the food produced globally each year is wasted. That amounts to 931 million tons of food, or about double what researchers believed was being wasted a decade ago. And most of the waste — or 61% — happens in households, while food service accounts for 26% and retailers account for 13%. (Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP)
7% of food production globally wasted, UN report estimates

7% of food production globally wasted, UN report estimates

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wedneday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Efficacy figures of COVID-19 vaccines don’t tell the whole story: experts

Efficacy figures of COVID-19 vaccines don’t tell the whole story: experts

Most Read