JONES: The CFR is now a global affair

For the fourth consecutive year Shane Hanchey of Sulpher, La., the 2013 World Champion and three-time Calgary Stampede champion won the CFR tie-down roping event. FILE/Postmedia

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RED DEER — A Mexican won the bull riding. An American took tie tie-down roping. And in all, foreigners left here with almost $300,000 of the $1,652,000 available.

For most of the 44-year history of the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton it was a Canadians only closed competition. But it’s a new world now. The CFR has gone south to Red Deer and 19 competitors from south of the border earned their permits and went down the road, from small rodeo to small rodeo in the Canadian West to try cover expenses to qualify for the chance to make as much in one week as they did all year.

You’d think there would be significant resentment from the Canadians, but not from the Dean of the Canadian rodeo cowboys, Curtis Cassidy.

“I think it’s a good thing. The better the competition, the better it makes the show overall. I think this is as good a CFR as we’ve ever had in terms of talent. There’s lots of talent here.”

Cassidy, of Donalda, Alta., competed in his 23rd consecutive CFR, a record 19 in a row in steer wrestling, as he chases down roper Cliff Williamson’s overall record of 29 and he said between the boards and in front of the chutes it was as good as it gets.

“It’s exciting when it’s best on best.”

With go-round money of $10,530 for first and down to $7,830, $5,130, $2,430, and $1,080 through fifth for each of the six performances and aggregate CFR final position payouts of $15,795, $11,745, $7,695, $3,645 and $1,620.


For the fourth consecutive year Shane Hanchey of Sulpher, La., the 2013 World Champion and three-time Calgary Stampede champion won the CFR tie-down roping event.

Hanchey won the last three performances after a shaky start to the week to end up with $24,570 for the CFR and $52,089.67 for the season. Americans Haven Meged of Miles City, Mont. and Ty Harris of St. Angelo, Texas finished second and third.


Edgar Durazo fails from Moctezuma, Seonora, Mexico.

Durazo put his name on CFR46 winning the first three go rounds, finishing second, third and fourth in the others and left Red Deer with the Canadian title and $46,980 for 48 seconds of work and 106,641 for the season.

The 28-year-old decided Canada was the perfect place to develop into the bull rider he wants to be. So after filling his permit he qualified for his first CFR by winning the bull riding in Ponoka, Jasper, Swift Current and Dawson Creek.


Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alta. didn’t need to make nightly withdrawals at the pay window to win the overall saddle bronc title. He came in wearing No. 1 as the highest regular season earner and went out and captured the captured the first go-round Tuesday.

The 2006 World Champion and three-time Calgary Stampede champion already had a great collection of buckles but the CFR was one he’d never won before.

“It feels awesome. I’ve been gunning for it for a while. I had a good week. I drew some good horses, made some good rides and felt like I rode solid all week,” said the cowboy who had two firsts, a second and a third and won a cheque every night. By the end of the week he won $37,980 at CFR to up his total for the season to $110,785.68 for the year.”


Richmond Champion of Dublin, Texas the two-time Calgary Stampede champion, was in position to become Canadian champion.

But Orin Larsen of Inglis, Man. in his fourth CFR put on a late charge with go-round wins Friday and Saturday, including a 90-point ride on Special Delivery of the Stampede string to put himself in position to put away his first Canadian champion and then won it Sunday with CS-branded Zulu Warrior with an 89.5.

Larsen won each of the final three go-rounds to end up with $44,000 in CFR money and $80,578.34 for the year. Champion ended up with $60,855.52 in second and Caleb Bennett of Tremont, Utah was third with $46,472.

“It’s unbelievable. Horse-power really helped.” He said. “You don’t draw a horse like Special Delivery every day.”


For the longest time, there was doubt about whether Provost, Alta. steer wrestler Scott Guenthner was going to successfully defend his Canadian title.
Guenthner, the leading money winner on the circuit, only managed to win one go-round and went into the final day clinging to a $5,300 lead, managed to finish fourth in the final performance to win it all. Made $21,768.78 for the week and $56,013.78.


The closest competition of the week was in barrel racing where Justine Elliott of Lacombe came in wearing No. 3 for her success during the season, won the first go-round and then hit a barrel every night, didn’t cash a cheque and ended up fifth.

Brooke Wills of Kamloops won on the final go-round to capture both the aggregate with $34,020 of season earning and $60,657 for the season.