Events Horse Happenings Western

Champions crowned at Canadian Finals Rodeo

Courtesy of Barb Poulsen
EDMONTON, Alberta – It’s a story that will be told and retold for a long time. Bull rider Jordan Hansen thought his season was over in July when he shattered his ankle, which required three plates and 10 screws to repair. Hansen had other ideas. He came back for the 43rd edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo and left as the Canadian Bull Riding Champion.

“I kind of like to prove those doctors wrong,” said Hansen, 23. “This is what we ride for all year, and once the cast was off and the surgeon said I could start training a little bit, I knew I’d be here. I only got on a couple of practice bulls, and it wasn’t feeling that great coming here, but the (medical personnel) taped me up really well and I didn’t feel it during any of my rides this week.”

Hansen bucked off his first bull in the Nov. 9 first performance, and noticeably hobbled as he ran back to the chutes. Then came Nov. 10, and his first successful bull ride in four months – an 85.5-point ride to finish third in the round.
It was the first of five rides in row, and when he rode his final bull of the week Nov. 13 – Vold’s Black Rose for 85.50 points and another third-place check – Hansen won the average and made the long climb to an improbable season victory, earning $78,185. He beat two-time champion Dakota Buttar by $7,000 for the win.
Bareback rider Jake Vold won his third CPRA bareback riding championship, which he capped with an 87.5-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Reckless Margie.
The final go-round win, coupled with securing the average, took the Airdrie, Alberta, cowboy to a season earnings total of $91,467, and an $18,000 cushion over second-place Caleb Bennett of Tremonton, Utah.
Vold also claimed the Top Gun award that goes to the competitor who earns the most money over the five days and six performances of the CFR.
In steer wrestling, Cody Cassidy won the Canadian championship for the second year in a row, and fifth overall.
Cassidy, who won the average title, finished with earnings of $79,371, providing him with a $23,000 margin of victory over his older brother, Curtis Cassidy.
Clay Elliott, a 22-year-old rookie qualifier, snared the Canadian saddle bronc riding championship.
“I don’t think about the stats – or anything really – just the horses,” he said. “I knew if I rode like I can, I’d have a chance.”
Elliott finished with $70,685 to defeat eight-time CFR qualifier Jim Berry by $19,000.
One of the closest races was in tie-down roping. American Matt Shiozawa edged out Canadian Al Bouchard for the title. Bouchard was the last Canadian to win the Canadian tie-down roping title, in 2009.
Shiozawa now has two Canadian titles on his résumé in 2014 and 2016.
Team ropers – header Dustin Bird and heeler Russell Cardoza – won their event. Luke Butterfield, the Ponoka, Alberta, saddle bronc rider and steer wrestler, claimed his first all-around title, holding off defending champion, Josh Harden.