Canadian Professional Rodeo Association doles out awards

Left: Maxine Baird timing at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. From the left: Brenda Vold, Maxine Baird, announcer Wayne Brooks and Les McIntyer. Photo courtesy of Maxine Baird Right: Curtis Cassidy of Donalda, Alta. with three-time winner Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Dashin Haze (Tyson). Photo courtesy of CFR, Billie-Jean Duff
Written by Terri Huxley

Maxine Baird timing at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Left is Baird beside announcer Wayne Brooks. Photo courtesy of Maxine Baird

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) had a plethora of worthy recipients for its 2021 awards.

From the east central region, three names rose to the top – decided by votes cast by the top 20 contestants in all major events, novice contestants and CPRA contract members.

For the 32nd time, Maxine Baird of Halkirk, Alta. has been voted by ballot amongst current rodeo contestants to be one of two Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) timers.

“I’m overwhelmed but very blessed to have the guys and gals vote for me. I’m grateful to be chosen,” said Baird. “I love my job whether it is a big or small rodeo.”

“I’m very lucky; you don’t assume that you are going to get in anyways as every year there are different cowboys and cowgirls voting so I never take it for granted that I will be there but I’m always pleased when I get to be one of the timers,” she added.

Brenda Vold of Ponoka who will be heading to her 16th CFR will be joining Baird.

Award-winning rodeo stock includes Curtis Cassidy’s Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Dashin Haze (Tyson) who is being recognized for the third consecutive year.

Curtis Cassidy of Donalda, Alta. with three-time winner Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Dashin Haze (Tyson). Photo courtesy of CFR, Billie-Jean Duff

Other repeat winners include Dress Act of the Year – Full Throttle Trick Riders Shelby Pierson of Wardlow and Piper Yule.

Top Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year is Calgary Stampede’s W-16 Wild Cherry.

The 12-year-old CFR and NFR selected gelding is sired by the legendary Grated Coconut, out of Flavoured Cherry and is a three-time CFR Champion as well. And Vold Rodeo’s 545 Timber Jam is the top Bull of the Year.

The muley Hereford cross – home raised on the ranch in Ponoka – was selected for the 2018 PBR Canada Finals.

Brett Gardiner is being recognized as Canada’s Announcer of the Year for a record tenth consecutive time.

Commentator, teacher, public speaker and family man, Brett brings his special talent to every rodeo performance. His engaging delivery, thorough preparation and knowledge of the sport have made the Albertan very popular with fans, rodeo athletes, committees and colleagues across Canada.

Another standout award recipient is Dennis Halstead who has been selected as the Comedy Act of the Year – also for the tenth time. Dennis spends much of the year on the road travelling to rodeos across North America where his zany humour is enjoyed by fans of all ages. 

Vern McDonald of Bar C5 Rodeo has been named Stock Contractor of the Year.

McDonald (along with his C5 Rodeo team) continues to make his mark producing outstanding rodeos on both sides of the 49th parallel.

Timer and rodeo secretary Karry Krystal is being honoured with the Janet Vold Memorial award.

Among the top stock of 2021 is Macza Pro Rodeo’s superstar CFR-NFR mare 118 OLS Tubs Stevie Knicks who earned the accolade for the second straight year.

Logan Bird’s Peso, is the Tie Down Roping Horse of the Year while Grady Branden’s Junior has earned Heading Horse of the Year.

CFR bullfighters are Brett Monea, enjoying an impressive tenth CFR, Ty Prescott (fourth appearance) and CFR first-timer, Kris Buffalo.

Pickup men are Tyler Kraft (second CFR) and Tyler Thomson who makes his first trip to the Peavey Mart Centrium at Westerner Park Nov 3-7. The alternate (on-call) pick man is Jason Resch.

All CPRA Award Winners will be recognized on Nov. 2 at the CPRA Night of Champions, Cambridge Red Deer Hotel and Conference Centre.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.