RED DEER — Logan Hay got the monkey off his back on night one of the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
The third generation bronc rider marked an impressive 85.75 points on Vold Rodeo’s 52 Elvira to top the field in a performance that saw the competitors take on the eliminator pen.
“I’ve never got a score in the first round at CFR in the three years I’ve been here,” said Hay, of Wildwood, Alta. “The first time was first year jitters, then some bad luck honestly the next two. This year I knew I had one of the harder horses in there; she’s not easy. You have to go all or nothing as she bucks off a lot of people. All the guys had their hands full. There wasn’t an easy one in there. A lot of guys stubbed their toes who don’t normally do that. I got by a tough one and I’m glad it worked out.”
Wednesday’s performance was a re-match for the young athlete as he earned top honours on the same horse at the Strathmore Stampede earlier in the season.
“It’s always good to get the first one under your belt. It’s good for your confidence.” Hay added. Among the casualties on the night was three time and reigning world and Canadian champion Zeke Thurston who bucked off Calgary Stampede’s Cloudy Skies.
In the ladies barrel racing event it was 17 year old rookie, Blake Molle from Chauvin, Alta., who turned in the winning time — a 13.78 second run on her gelding Mercy. The tough roster of barrel racers enjoyed a strong first out with half the runs under 14 seconds.
The first performance steer wrestling lead was shared by three men: North Dakota cowboy Riley Reiss and Albertans Ryan Shuckburgh and Ty Miller, all in at a solid 3.9 seconds.
In the bareback riding, 2019 Canadian champion Orin Larsen teamed with Duane Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Knockout for 86 points and the $9,335 cheque. The round win moved the Inglis, Manitoba cowboy into the early lead overall.
On a night when the team ropers as a group struggled, the combination of Tee Mcleod and Brady Chappel – both Saskatchewan athletes – took the round win with a 4.3 second run. The victory was doubly productive for Mcleod who moved to the lead in the All Around race.
Tie down roping saw cowboy Jason Smith, of Wimborne, Alta., earn top money with an 8.3-second run on Moon, Canadian tie-down horse of the year.
And 2019 Canadian champion bull rider Edgar Durazo was flawless in covering last year’s Bull of the Year, Duane Kesler’s Alberta Prime Devils Advocate. Durazo marked 89 points to move closer to season leader Coy Robbins who bucked off in the round.
In the novice bareback, season leader Chase Siemens won first with a 77.5 effort while defending novice saddle bronc champion Colten Powell was 72.5 to win his event in the first performance.
Brodi Beasley was awarded 82.5 points to claim the junior steer riding win in performance one.
And 2006 Canadian bull riding champion and youth rodeo coach Tanner Girletz was presented with the prestigious cowboy-of-the-year award sponsored by Legend Rodeo.
Go to rodeocanada.com for Canadian Finals Rodeo results. Check out www.cfrreddeer.ca/ for additional event details.
CFR ’49 performance two kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium, Westerner Park in Red Deer. Follow the action on The Cowboy Channel.
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