With the advent of a shortened, but robust roster of CPRA events, fans and contestants alike are hitting the rodeo trail. July has seen the completion of five rodeos with four more scheduled for the upcoming long weekend.
Look for the return of the Medicine Hat Stampede, the Hard Grass Bronc Match (Pollockville, Alta.), Bruce Stampede and the Strathmore Stampede between July 29 and Aug 2.
For CFR team ropers, Logan and Keely Bonnett, who won their event at both stops last weekend – Lea Park Rodeo and Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo for $2,305 each – the return to their favourite sport couldn’t come soon enough.
“It’s definitely nice to be back on the road and have somewhere to compete,” Logan commented. “We’re hoping to earn season leader status and even a Canadian title. We won the (Maple Leaf) Circuit Finals at Agribition in 2019. We’d like a return trip to that event as well.”
The Bonnett team calls Ponoka, Alta. home where Logan works as a cattle buyer and his brother, Keely is also involved in the family feedlot and ranching operation.
When they’re not working, the Bonnets can be found in the practice pen. Look for their brother Kash this season as well; the younger Bonnett currently leads the CPRA rookie standings.
Saddle bronc rider, Sam Kelts, has also been missing rodeo.
The 12 time CFR qualifier – who spent the winter pipelining – climbed on a couple of practice horses earlier this spring then headed south of the border to further sharpen his skills.
“It had been over eight months since I rode a bucking horse,” the Stavely, Alta. cowboy explained. “I really missed it – the atmosphere, friends and the thrill of winning. You don’t get that pipelining,” he grinned.
Kelts is well on his way to a 13th CFR qualification with two wins to date (Teepee Creek and Kennedy) and placings at Bonnyville, Bowden and Lea Park.
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alta. is the official sanctioning body for Professional Rodeo in Canada.
The CPRA approves 55 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.7 million. The organization oversees the Pro Tour Finals each fall in Armstrong, BC, holds their premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) – at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alta. (late October/early November) and endorses the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals in late November, as part of Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Sask.
by Barb Poulson