The final round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) was one to see as many Canadians fought their way to the top through grit and style.
Canada’s Curtis Cassidy saved the best for the last as the Donalda, Alta. cowboy split the win with Dirk Tavenner with both cowboys registering 4.0 second runs.
Cassidy’s WNFR earnings were $38,521 with $114,825.61 for the year.
Fellow Albertan Scott Guenthner made his final WNFR run a winner.
The Provost, Alta. cowboy, who announced that 2021 is his last WNFR, was 5.1 on the final day for a sixth place cheque making his finals total $23,280 and his season total, $98,234.19.
Two time World and Canadian Champion Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, who enjoyed several trips to the pay window during the 10 days, was 89 on Andrews’ All or Nothin for fifth.
Thurston, who placed third in the aggregate, pocketed $129,526 in WNFR earnings (the highest Canadian money earner) and $229,329 for the year.
Meeting Creek, Alberta’s Layton Green enjoyed three go-round placings and added a sixth place aggregate cheque for $63,775 in WNFR earnings and $166,022 overall.
Inglis, Manitoba’s Orin Larsen missed his horse out on night 10 but ended up with overall WNFR earnings of $59,639.63 and a total on the year of $157,483.32.
The Alberta-Utah combination of former World Champion heeler Jeremy Buhler and CFR heading qualifier Rhen Richard had a somewhat disappointing finish to an otherwise strong week as they didn’t place in round 10.
But the duo finished fourth in the aggregate with WNFR earnings of $104,053 and overall earnings of $207,223.28 for Buhler and $208,256 for Richard.
In a spectacular down-to-the-wire finish in the saddle bronc riding, it was Stetson Wright – who had already clinched the All Around Championship – who made an outstanding 93 point ride on Cervi’s Vitalix Ricky Bobby to win the round.
The win gave Stetson eighth place in the aggregate and enough money to hold off brother, Ryder Wright and aggregate champion, Brody Cress for the Bronc Riding crown.
Stetson finished the year with $343,523 in bronc riding earnings, just $1200 more than brother, Ryder. Cress earned $325,745 – only $18,000 behind the winner.
Second generation Canadian bronc rider, Dawson Hay made his first trip to the WNFR pay window a good one as he matched up with Macza Pro Rodeo’s Ols Tubs Get Smart to the tune of 90 points and the second place cheque ($21,336).
Hay’s 2021 total earnings are $151,685.
Sherwood Park’s Kolby Wanchuk finished up his finals with $31,336 in WNFR money and $118,194 for the year while Rocky Mountain House bronc rider, Ben Andersen, took home $26,111 – $108,345 for the season.
See the complete results at https://prorodeo.com/nfr/results.
by Barb Poulsen, Canadian Pro Rodeo Association