November 4, 2018 | Red Deer, AB – For the first time in history, the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo champions were declared in Red Deer, Alberta. The opening ceremonies, sponsored by the City of Red Deer & Red Deer County, began with a loud bang as the top competitors who were neck-and-neck for the CFR championship title were introduced to the crowd. Fifteen-year-old Emma Bisio, from Lacombe Alberta, led us into Championship Sunday with her rendition of O’Canada. During the anthem, Miss Rodeo Canada 2019 rode in style, baring our country’s flag along side the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The last Pancake Breakfast of the week, sponsored by Westerner Park and Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce, from 8:00-10:00am in the Parkland Pavilion. Volunteers from Riding Through Barriers, a local non-for-profit society dedicated to making riding lessons more affordable in the community, were there helping out and greeting fans, contestants and their families before the final performance of #CFR45.
From there, guests headed over to the two-hour Cowboy Church service, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, in the Marquis Room of the Harvest Centre. The service wrapped up just in time for the doors to open at 12:00pm in the ENMAX Centrium for the seventh and final rodeo performance.
Bull Riding contestants were busy signing autographs taking photos with fans one hour before Performance #7. Legendary bull rider Scott Schifner, 2x Canadian Champion and 17x CFR qualifier, was met with many well-wishes and respects as he prepared to ride his last bull before heading into retirement after Sunday’s performance.
Following the finale rodeo events, the following champions rounded up on the dirt for the closing ceremonies. Richmond Champion was the 2018 CFR Bareback winner, with a total earnings of $77,448.98. Steer Wrestler, Scott Guenthner took home the 2018 title with $69,899.44 in tow. Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler were crowned the 2018 Team Roping Champions for the second year in a row, walking away with $68,131.45 and $66,141.27 in their pockets, respectively. Saddle Bronc Champion, Clay Elliot, won the 2018 title, earning a total of $82,294.67. Shane Hanchey, number one in the world, took home $66,338.34 as this year’s Tie Down Roping Champion. Ladies Barrel Racing Champion, Callahan Crossley, took home the biggest purse of the 2018 CFR at $99,190.21. Finally, Wacey Finkbeiner was declared the 2018 Bull Riding Champion of CFR, earning a total of $73,729.02. In the Novice Bareback, the 2018 Champion is Mason Helmeczi, the Novice Saddle Bronc Champion is Cooper Thatcher, and Steer Riding Champion is Tristen Manning. All Around Cowboy was awarded to Jacob Gardner, with High Point Champion being Riley Warre
The stock awards for CFR 2018 went to C5 Rodeo’s Virgil, in Bareback. Saddle Bronc Horse was given to Northcott/Macza’s Get Smart, and Bull of CFR 2018 was Vold Rodeo’s Wicked Dreams. Along side the 2018 title, each stock contractor was gifted a $15,000 RAM truck voucher and custom trophy halter, donated by RAM Rodeo.
The official 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo Championship buckle maker is Becker Buckles Inc. based in Airdrie, Alberta.
The 46th Canadian Finals Rodeo will be held from October 29-November 3, 2019 at Westerner Park.
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