October 5, 2023 | Airdrie, AB
CPRA End of Season Wrap-Up
With the completion of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association regular season, the rosters are almost set for Canadian Finals Rodeo ’49 at the Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer, Alta. November 1-5. But there were a few surprises as the season wrapped up at the Edmonton Pro Rodeo, an SMS Equipment Pro Tour (2024} event.
As was to be expected, there was drama, disappointment and jubilation as athletes either secured spots for the upcoming Canadian Finals Rodeo (November 1-5 in Red Deer) or saw their dreams of a post-season run fade into the northern Alberta night.
Among those in celebration mode were tie-down roper, Cooper Resch, and barrel racer, Stacy Ruzicka. For Ruzicka it all came down to her final run of the season. The former barrel racing rookie of the year posted a 13.91 second run, good for fourth place and $1818, enough to propel the three-time CFR contender into the final qualifying spot for Red Deer.
“I woke up that morning and all I could think about was ‘I’m going to be at CFR, I’m going to be at CFR’,” the Bluffton, Alta. cowgirl acknowledged. “I never look at results before I go and I avoided social media because I knew I was close. I had been fighting with my head and had made some mistakes over the summer; I had to do a huge turnaround on my mindset.”
Riding her 20 year old mare Bay Kaye was special as well as Ruzicka had considered retiring her mount last year but was convinced otherwise when Scott Guenthner told her the mare looked great. That was right before the duo went out and won the final round of CFR ’48. “It’s an honour to be at CFR again. It’s every competitor’s dream. It’s why we go.”
Cooper Resch, the Stettler, Alta. hand, put together a critical 9.2 second run for a 4/5 split (with Dawson Johnson). And the $1640 payday was enough to hold off Clay Elliott and Stran Dunham. Dunham finished 13th just $284 behind Resch. When reigning tie-down champion Ty Harris did not compete in Edmonton, thus failing to make the obligatory 15 rodeo count, the 21-year-old Resch could start making plans for a week at Westerner Park, an amazing story when you consider the young cowboy did not earn a single cent on the rodeo trail last year.
Logan Hay was pretty emphatic about punching his ticket to the 2023 CFR. The Wildwood, Alta bronc riding sensation put up an 89 score on C5 Rodeo’s S-81 Lacey Mae to win Edmonton and earn himself a fourth trip to the year-end classic. The big-time win moved the third-generation talent to 11th place, dropping K’s Thomson to the 12th and final qualifying spot.
In the team roping, former Canadian Champion Clay Ullery and his New York partner, Jake Edwards took home a sixth-place cheque of $1212 (each) to get (heeler) Edwards into the top 12 (Ullery was already there). Meanwhile, Chase Simpson and Travis Speer caught fifth place for $1497 which got Speer to the season finale on his side (header) but left Simpson on the outside looking in. Speer will likely team with Devon Ross as the young cowboy’s partner, Brett Buss, also fell short of qualifying this year.
And Eckville, Alta. breakaway roper, Macy Auclair, parlayed a 3/4/5 spilt and $1205 into the 12th and final CFR spot in her event, the first time for the second generation cowgirl who mounted a late-season charge to pave the way to Red Deer.
Go to rodeocanada.com for complete Edmonton Pro Rodeo results and updated Canadian standings. Look for an official CFR roster over the next few days.
ABOUT CANADIAN PROFESSIONAL RODEO ASSOCIATION (CPRA)
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association with headquarters in Airdrie, AB is the official sanctioning body for Professional Rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves 55 + events annually with a total payout exceeding $6 million. The organization oversees the SMS Equipment Pro Tour Finale each fall in Armstrong, BC, holds their premiere event–the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR)–at Westerner Park in Red Deer, AB in early November and endorses the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals as part of Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, SK. For details, please see RodeoCanada.com For Facebook and Instagram: @prorodeocanadaofficial l Twitter: @prorodeocanada
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