East central Alberta firmly rooted in CFR47 history

Clint Laye of Cadogan, Alta. cheers and waves his hat to the Red Deer Centrium crowd after making an 87 point ride on C5 Black Feathers during the final performance of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Sun. Nov. 7. The six time CFR qualifier came out on top to win his first Canadian title following this ride. He came into the final performance with the highest overall season earnings and sitting second in the lucrative aggregate. ECA Review/T.Huxley
Written by ECA Review

It was a fitting finale for the return of Professional Rodeo in Canada.

After a 24 month absence, the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) returned to Red Deer’s Centrium to bring down the curtain on the abbreviated 2021 season.

History was made at Westerner Park as the first ever ladies breakaway roping champion was determined after three rounds of action.

It was the second generation cowgirl and National High School Champion, Kendal Pierson of Wardlow, Alta. who won all three rounds to secure the title in front of a large and appreciative crowd.

While there were a number of races that went down to the last ride or run, one event was decided before the afternoon action began.

For Big Valley, Alberta superstar saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston, Sunday afternoon’s final performance was a coronation.

The king of Canadian saddle bronc riders posted an 85.5 score on C5 Rodeo’s Trump card for third in the round to go with two earlier round wins, two second place finishes and a previous third.

“Kicking it off with a go-round win at the start of the week got the ball rolling and you can ride that wave the rest of the week. Having that big a cushion (going into the final round) is darn nice but even if I didn’t, I’d go out there and do what I always do,” Thurston explained.

The two time World Champion and defending Canadian Champion earned 41,760 points at the CFR for a season total of 74,383. Thurston also claimed the aggregate title.

One of the most dramatic finishes came in the steer wrestling where five time Canadian Champion Cody Cassidy of Donalda, Alta. virtually had to win the round and move up a couple of places in the aggregate to claim a sixth win.

“Overall, I had good steers and got off to a good start,” Cassidy commented. “Saturday afternoon I had a steer I knew would be tricky to catch. Unfortunately I let him slip through my grasp but that’s part of it. I came back with two good steers after that. 

“You can come here (to the Finals) five or six times and just because you’re here doesn’t mean you’ll have the opportunity to win it. You still have to draw good.”

Cassidy did what he had to and the stars aligned to give the bull dogger an 8,000 point margin of victory.

The six titles equal the Canadian record total established by Hall of Famer Bud Butterfield a half century ago.

Though Sundre (formerly Stettler) roper Riley Warren managed only a 10.6 in the final round of tie-down roping, adversity plagued a couple of the overall leaders heading into Sunday. And Warren emerged as the aggregate Champion and parlayed that to a 3000 point advantage over second place man Logan Bird to claim his first tie-down roping title.

That result, coupled with a second place finish in the team roping, earned Warren his third High Point buckle as well.

It came down to the wire in the bareback event on the final day of CFR.

But it was six time CFR qualifier Clint Laye of Cadogan, Alta. who came out on top to win his first Canadian title.

He came into the final performance with the highest overall season earnings and sitting second in the lucrative aggregate.

The veteran cowboy rode C5 Rodeo’s Black Feathers to 87 points and second spot in the round for a total of 44,751 points.

Laye was able to hold off the hard-charging Ty Taypotat who was coming off back-to-back wins on Saturday but managed only an 83.75 to tie for sixth in the final round.

The margin of victory was less than 300 points between good friends Laye and Taypotat.

Miss Rodeo Canada Alicia Erickson of Trochu will be closing out her reign after two years come the National Finals Rodeo to be held in the United States later this year.

Newcomer Jayden Clavert of Drayton Valley was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 2022.


by Barb Poulsen, CPRA

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