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The weather held off and the stock was punishing. Add great crowds and the 28th Cranbrook Professional Rodeo was once again a smashing success. - Gerry Frederick Photo
The weather held off and the stock was punishing. Add great crowds and the 28th Cranbrook Professional Rodeo was once again a smashing success.
— image credit: Gerry Frederick Photo

Taylor Rocca

The Cranbrook Professional Rodeo is in the books once again and the 28th edition of the annual dust up was a success.

Despite less than promising forecasts, the weather didn’t keep fans away as the stands were packed for each night with rodeo aficionados streaming into the Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds. Those in attendance weren’t disappointed as they witnessed some great rides from some of the world’s most talent cowboys and cowgirls.

“We had very good crowds. We had great weather,” said Dallas Mackie, chair of the Cranbrook Professional Rodeo committee. “[We were] very lucky. Because of the rain we never had to use the water truck, which is always a plus.

“All of [the rodeos] have been pretty successful. We had an awesome gate Saturday night…I would call it very much a success.”

Chad Besplug of Claresholm, Alta. led the way with an impressive ride atop “Pirate Style” in bull riding competition. Besplug landed himself a score of 83 points to take the bull-riding title as one of only three registered rides out of 15 entries.

The brawny, battering bulls along with the rest of the rodeo stock were provided by the Vold Rodeo Company.

“You have to have quality rodeo stock,” Mackie said Sunday afternoon. “Wayne Vold has been our contractor from the very beginning. He has taught us lots about rodeo.

“He’s very knowledgeable.”

Colin Adams of Deloraine, Man. edged Calgary’s Kyle Bowers by a half point en route to claiming the bareback riding championship. Adams rode “Tweety Bird” to a weekend-best score of 83.

Jake Brown took home a decisive victory in the saddle bronc competition. The native of Ponoka, Alta. registered a score of 83.5 atop “Fools Turn” while second-place Jim Berry came in with a score of 81.5.

While Brown claimed clear victory in saddle bronc, the steer wrestling portion of the weekend ended with a tie atop the leaderboard. Baillie Milan (Cochrane, Alta.) and Tyson Willick (Blaine Lake, Sask.) each tackled their steers in 3.5 seconds to split the top prize of the weekend, while Layne Delemont just missed out on making it a three-way knot as he finished the job in 3.6 seconds.

In ladies barrel racing, Julie Leggett of Kamloops, B.C. raced around the arena in a flash, crossing the line in 17.102 seconds to bring home the $1,150.52 prize.

Randall Christlie laid claim to top spot in tie-down roping with a time of 7.9 seconds.

The top earners for the weekend were the steer wrestlers as Milan and Willick each took home $1,584.98 for their efforts.

An easily overlooked detail is the work of the volunteers at the Cranbrook Professional Rodeo. Not only do cowboys and cowgirls travel from across North America to compete, volunteers come to Cranbrook to pitch in as well.

“You couldn’t do it without sponsors and volunteers,” Mackie said.

“The volunteers we have, most of them come out of our families…It’s a heritage sport and most people that are in rodeo that know about rodeo, grew up with rodeo and have passed it on.”

Tom Myhre has lost count of how many years he has volunteered, but the number is closing in on 20. What makes Myhre’s contributions different from other volunteers, is that he travels from Spokane, Wa. every year just to open gates at the Cranbrook Professional Rodeo.

“There’s quite a few people that come from a country background, I guess you could call it,” Myhre said.

“A lot of the kids grew up with it and just keep going. It’s a cowboy heritage.”

2014 Cranbrook Professional Rodeo Unofficial Results

Tie-down Roping: 1) Randall Christie, 7.9s, $1,293.98; 2) Chad Johnson, 8.3s, $1,125.20; 3) Morgan Grant, 8.5s, $956.42; T4) Alwin Bouchard and Kyle Lucas, 8.6s, $703.25; 6) Kirk Robinson, 8.9s, $450.08; 7) Logan Bird, 9.4s, $281.30; 8) Riley Warren, 9.5s, $112.52

Steer Wrestling: T1) Baillie Milan and Tyson Willick, 3.5s, $1,584.98; 3) Layne Delemont, 3.6s, $1,253.24; 4) Jesse Lawes, 3.7s, $1,032.08; T5) Cooper Trotz, Josh Harden, Tanner Milan, Brock Butterfield, 4.0s, $479.18

Bareback Riding: 1) Colin Adams, 83, $1,007.05; 2) Kyle Bowers, 82.5, $833.42; 3) Dustan McPhee, 81.5, $659.79; 4) Luke Creasy, 81, $486.16; 5) Ky Marshall, 80, $312.53; 6) Justin Randle, 79, $173.63

Saddle Bronc: 1) Jake Brown, 83.5, $1,091.44; 2) Jim Berry, 81.5, $903.26; 3) Dustin Flundra, 81, $715.08; 4) Dusty Hausauer, 77, $526.90; 5) Layton Green, 76.5, $338.72; 6) Mark O’Dempsey, 75, $188.18

Ladies Barrel Racing: 1) Julie Leggett, 17.102s, $1,150.52; 2) Sydney Daines, 17.211s, $986.49; 3) Lisa Zachoda, 17.234s, $822.08; 4) Nancy Csabay, 17.262s, $712.47; 5) Sarah Gerard, 17.272s, $548.05; 6) Aimee Kay, 17.328s, $438.44; 7) Mellisa Hollingswort, 17.349s, $328.83; 8) Toni Dixon, 17.361s, $219.22; 9) Braidy Howes, 17.460s, $164.42; 10) Crystal Shaw, 17.486s, $109.61

Bull Riding: 1) Chad Besplug, 82, $956.42; 2) Scott Schiffner, 78.5, $791.52; 3) Tyler Pankewitz, 73, $626.62

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