Races tighten as cowboys compete for spots at CFR

It’s that time of year when contestants make that last desperate bid for a berth at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Several cowboys and cowgirls made significant moves at Olds Oldstoberfest, the third last rodeo of the CPRA regular season.

Among those who might be breathing a little easier after Olds is bareback rider Kody Lamb, who rode C5 Rodeo’s Oney to an 85.5 point win for $1319. The Sherwood Park hand moves to tenth place in the standings as he vies for his second trip to the CFR.

Linden Woods, the Swift Current bareback rider now making his home in High River, slipped past the injured Connor Hamilton into 12th place in the Canadian standings with a critical second place $1091 Olds result.

Manitoba’s Colin Adams and Bashaw cowboy Jacob Stemo both cashed cheques but have more ground to make up in their bids for return trips to the CFR.

One of the more interesting developments at Olds was the pairing of father and son Travis and Trey Gallais for the team roping win and $1648 each, vaulting Trey from 15th place to 13th on the heading side. While Travis was an admirable replacement for Trey’s regular partner, Tee McLeod, who was away in the U.S. at school this week, the McLeod/Gallais tandem will be reunited for the final two dates on the regular season calendar.

“We were pretty far back heading into Armstrong,” Trey explained, “and Tee was heading off to school so he didn’t enter Olds. Then when we won $2500 at Armstrong we realized we still had a chance so Tee entered the last two. This weekend I roped with my dad who’s been heeling all year and it was pretty cool. This was a critical one for me. These races are so tight. I like that.”

Meanwhile, heeler Devin Wigemyr cashed a $358 cheque to grab 12th place as several teams scramble for the last couple of CFR berths. Wigemyr’s partner, former Canadian champion, Roland McFadden moved to 13th place.

Steer wrestler Stephen Culling split the win at Oldstoberfest with a 4.2 second run and a $1616 payday to move up a couple of spots from his precarious 11th place standing heading into the weekend. Twelfth place man, Brock Butterfield and 13th through 15th-Evan Spady, Ty Miller and Tanner Milan-all came up empty on the weekend but Denver Roy kept his CFR hopes alive with a 5th place cheque for $827 to move up a couple of rungs from 17th place on the CFR ladder.

Reigning Canadian High Point Champion Riley Warren is another guy facing late season pressure. The Stettler roper cashed a small cheque at Olds but Michigan’s Cody McCartney moved past Warren into 11th place, dropping the Canadian to 12th spot. And Texan Blane Cox made a significant move as he split second at Olds for $1565 to edge closer to a CFR spot in the tightly bunched tie-down roping race. Blair Smith’s 8.3 second winning run for $1945 all but clinched the Wimborne talent’s first trip to the Finals.

Bull rider Zane Lambert continues to cling to the 12th and final qualifying berth for Red Deer as 13th place man, Shay Marks, was blanked at Olds and remains $900 back of Lambert.

In the barrel racing, Brooks cowgirl Lynette Brodoway will head for her hometown rodeo next week with a little less stress after her second place $1472 consolidated her hold on 11th place while BC cowgirl Rylee Trenholm eased past Texan Shelby Spielman into 12th place. Trenholm and closest pursuers, Spielman, Kim Gerwatoski and Diane Skocdolpole will all want to get to the pay window at Brooks and/or Hanna.

This week, all eyes will be on Brooks for the Dallas Sunstrum Memorial Rodeo September 20-21.

(Barb Poulsen, CPRA)