Team ropers work their way into contention

A veteran team roper from Olds has moved out in front for the header standings at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton.

Cimmaron Gerke

A veteran team roper from Olds has moved out in front for the header standings at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton.

Gallais is roping at his 10th CFR, and he and partner Rocky Dallyn have placed in all three rounds at the season finale.

Friday night, they picked up first place money with a smooth 4.6 second run, and the win was enough to move Gallais out in front, with a season total of nearly $18,000.

Gallais says experience definitely is an asset when it comes to roping at Rexall.

“Rocky and I are the only two team ropers here who have been at every CFR team roping’s been included,” Gallais pointed out.

Dallyn admitted it was a challenging season for the duo, and they didn’t come in with quite as much won as they’d like, or often have.

“I didn’t think I had a chance,” commented Dallyn, who ropes out of Nanton. “But Travis here has been pumping me up all week, saying we can do it.”

For his part, Gallais made a strategic switch in horse power for the week.

“I went for the best, and borrowed a horse from a good friend of mine, Dale Skocdopole (of Big Valley). I bought a new horse myself this year, but sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and go with the one that’s going to be the best in this arena.”

Gallais is a two-time Canadian champion, while Dallyn has three buckles to his name. They’re well on their way to adding another title, if they can keep up their current pace. They’ve already picked up $4,478, and the CFR is only half over. They’re also one of only two teams to have three qualified runs, so are out in front for the average as well.

The races are tightening up in several events.

First time CFR qualifier Justin Berg of Marwayne topped the bronc riding with an 85 on Calgary’s Knife Money, his first cheque despite riding well all week.

He was thrilled about the win.

“It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain,” said Berg. “It’s something I’ve been working at for the last three years, since I’ve had my card. It’s probably the best feeling I’ve ever had.”

The $10,847 victory bumps Berg up to within $76 of leader Sam Kelts.

“The first two nights I didn’t feel like I was doing my part like I should be, and tonight kind of reminded of what I was doing. Everybody in the dressing room was kind of coaching me along that everybody goes through this, and that it would happen here before too long.”

Bull rider Tyler Thomson of Black Diamond topped the round with an 87 on Big Country’s Hell Bent. He’s got three bulls covered and is in front for the championship race.

Steer wrestling went to Texan Hunter Cure for a four second flat run, but Donalda’s Cody Cassidy placed fourth, to keep up his overall lead.

Idaho’s Matt Shiozawa was the fastest tie-down roper, with a record-tying 7.2 seconds. But Steve Lloyd of Alix and Marty Becker of Cardston split second and third with 7.9 second runs. Lloyd still has the event overall lead.

Reid Rowan of Seven Persons won the big cheque in bareback riding with an 83.5 on Kesler’s Alley Trail, but defending champion Kyle Bowers of Brooks placed for the third straight round to stay safely out in front. B.C.’s Gaylene Buff rounded the pattern in 14.66 seconds for the barrel racing bucks, but Rayel Robinson of Alix is still the overall leader.

There are two performances of the CFR today, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The final round goes Sunday at 1 p.m.

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