Monday, 10 February 2014 18:20
There's a Cowboy from Ontario, Canada that has tore up the rodeo trail and won a number of championships. And though he was was the reigning Two-Time Ontario Rodeo Association All Around Champion, Ontario Finals Rodeo and Year-end Champion Saddle Bronc Rider and much, much more... he was celebrated at the 2012 ORA Awards Banquet with what I think is one of the coolest stories of the past few years of rodeo competition.
Qualifying for the Ontario Finals Rodeo third, the Year-end Title would be a grind. However, back-to-back OFR Titles were well within reach.
At the previous OFR, he set the arena record twice at 70-points. The first was in the opening round of the 2012 OFR with 70 points vs. Rawhide Rodeo's #168 I'll Crush You. The second was the third round vs. Rawhide Rodeo's #23 Air Jordan. These stats come into play as we jump into the 2013 OFR.
In the Opening Round at the 2013 OFR, the champ drew #23 Air Jordan. They paired for 70-points, tying the arena record for a 3rd time; also being a 2nd time the champ and Air Jordan were at the top.
In the Second Round, it seemed Karma was riding in the truck with him as the champ again drew #168 I'll Crush You (the 70-point arena record match with the champ in the 1st round of the 2012 OFR). However, the ride wasn't as solid as the previous, and the champ was awarded a re-ride horse: Rawhide Rodeo's #57 Poison Ivy. Before the 8-seconds were complete on the re-ride, the champ was on the ground, and it seemed as if the gold buckle dreams would be dashed.
Into the third and final round, the champ drew none other than #57 Poison Ivy for a re-match... or a ride for redemption. And like a true champion, and a true cowboy, he not only went for 70 points... the pair were scored at 71-points for a new arena record.
As the dust settled, the 141 on 2 would be enough to win back-to-back OFR Championships.
That Champ is Rod Weese. And that was a cool story to watch unfold, to share as it unfolded, and to re-tell again. Grit. Determination. Cowboy.
Sunday, 19 January 2014 18:10
Lazy afternoon. @MarshallScully found and opened a dust-covered Garth Brooks box set and put on a disc. Booming through the stereo was stuff that I haven't heard (on radio or at events) in decades... but still remember almost every word for. It's amazing how "The Change" still gives me shivers.
I was a big GB fan; still am, but honestly forgot how big-big he was and what he did for Country.
The music is definitely taking me back to a different time, and ripping emotion through heavy-lyrics.
And my boy has definitely acquired a great appreciation for REAL Country.
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 01:35
Wild Steer Race at the REACH Ranch Rodeo December 31, 2014
The tradition for almost a decade has been ringing in the new year in a rodeo arena, though the location has changed from time to time. 2014 was brought in with a stomp at the REACH Huron Centre in Clinton with a Ranch Rodeo and NYE Bash that gave 2013 the send-off it deserved.
A storm had kicked into high gear outside, though inside, the building heated up as the action commenced.
The Performance kicked off with some Junior Bull Riding, and it had its share of wrecks and rides. Hendon, Saskatchewan's Dana Balaski rode her junior bull "Freddy" for 8-seconds and then was hung-up for another 8 or more… luckily coming away unscathed and winning with a 68-point Ride.
Into the Steer Wrestling, Jacob Dewetering of Stratford, ON, a former IPRA Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year and 2-time Ontario High School Association Finals Champ wrestled his big steer to the ground in 4.7 seconds to win the event by over .6 seconds over 2nd place.
A 3.6-second run was what it took to win the Breakaway Roping with London, Ontario's Meagan DeWetering being the Reach Ranch Rodeo NYE Edition Champion.
Tiedown Roping was won by Rockwood, Ontario's Jason Thomson with an 11.1, a great start back from his road to recovery. Thomson's run was in slack earlier that morning, making the performance champion Tyson Schieckoff of Stratford, ON, who roped and tied in 15.4 to place 3rd at the event.
Team Roping was also won in the slack, Brad Heffernan (Havelock, ON) and Tim Wettlaufer (Shakespeare, ON) were 9.2 to win, while "Team Cowgirl" Morgan and Courtney Bos of Clinton, ON were performance Champions with a 13.1-second run, rounding them 4th overall for the event.
Barrel Racing was won with a 15.743-second run by Sue Collier of Glencoe, ON, the 2007 Ontario Rodeo Association Year-end Champion, who now celebrates back-to-back Reach Ranch Rodeo wins. The performance champion was Anna Wallace of Ingersoll, ON who ran a 16.007 for 3rd overall, and spun her 2nd barrel in a complete 360 revolution without knocking it.
Stratford, Ontario's Emily DeWetering won the Junior Barrel Racing with a 16.269, a mere 2-tenths of a second ahead of 2nd place.
In a "Ranch Event" Jesse Kinsmen and Jon Merner won the Calf Mugging.
Markus Skovsgard and his team of Rowdies became the first-ever Wild Steer Race Champions.
And Phil Henning of Dresden, ON posted the sole scored ride in the Bull Riding… 68-points vs. Stink Eye.
It was a fun performance of Ranch Rodeo that had its thrills and spills, that's for certain!
The transition then went from ranch rodeo arena to barn dance, and a whole new crowd rawked the night away to ring in 2014. Plus right after midnight, the Coyote Ugly Contest thrilled the attendees as well.
It was definitely one of the rowdiest, ranchiest NYE's celebrated. You never know what you'll see happen at a REACH Ranch Rodeo.
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 23:00
Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Tailwhip - Tom Bitz
The year 2014 was kicked off inside the ThunderDome at RC Acres with the "Race into the New Year" 2014 Blast-Off featuring 1/8 Scale eBuggy. An exciting race was staged, with a limit of 30-entries due to the number of pits currently available, while 11 Alternates were accepted, taking the Roster to 41 pre-registrations, the biggest race yet at the ThunderDome!
As the doors opened at 7am, Racers were already waiting to scoop an optimal pit area, and the day commenced early.
At the close of registration, 35 Racers were entered! In the early future, construction will be completed on more heated pit areas, meanwhile, the 35 racers in attendance were set to tear-it-up, regardless.
An exciting addition to the 2014 Blast-Off was Skycraft Hobbies' last minute sponsorship of the event, sponsoring the cash-payout and providing lots of T-Shirts for give-aways throughout the day of racing.
In the field of racers, there were some regulars and some new-to-the ThunderDome racers. Highlights, of course, Justin Silva (Mississauga, ON) the reigning 3-event champion of eBuggy in the ThunderDome (The Inaugural, Skycraft Invitational, Christmas Classic); Derek Sousa (Everett, ON) a TQ into the A-Main several times in the ThunderDome including TQ Record Holder for eBuggy, yet to take the top of the Podium; Mark Sousa (Toronto, ON) the reigning Provincial eBuggy Champion and winner of the eBuggy Race at the Outdoor Track at RC Acres; Alex Nelles (Brantford, ON) a top-5 Finisher over all-3 previous eBuggy Races in the ThunderDome; plus Mr. Otterville John Blakley (Otterville, ON) a 1/10 SCT convert into 1/8 eBuggy over the past two events; Sergio Vargas (Brampton, ON) - a competitor of all-scales at RC Acres Indoor and Out…, and many, many more.
Into controlled practice, Justin Silva posted the fastest lap in the first heat at 21.784, while Mark Sousa posted the TQ time of 13 Laps, 5:06
In the second practice heat, Mark Sousa posted a 21.516 fastest lap, while Justin Silva posted a 21.698 in that session, and posted a better TQ time of 13 laps in 5:03.
Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - TailWhip Entry
Prior to Qualifying, a Tail-Whip Competition was staged for the first time ever, with a purse of $40 and a winner-take-all competition. Entered were: John "Chewy" Bakker (Toronto, ON), Derek Sousa (Everett, ON), Mark Sousa (Toronto, ON), Tom Bitz (London, ON), Brian Gump Belanger (Markham, ON), Aaron Inwood (Bowmanville, ON), Justin Silva and Alex Nelles. Each competitor would receive 3 hits on the camelback feature and judged by crowd applause. Throughout the competition, the racers bounced off of the "Vert", though weren't judged on it. One competitor was perpendicular to the ground as a warm up off of the vert, but staggered their way across the Camelback. The fans selected Aaron Inwood as the first ever winner (98.2 dB), while Derek Sousa and Tom Bitz were a close 2nd and 3rd (97.4 and 95.2 dB respectively).
Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - TailWhip Winner - Aaron Inwood
Into the first round of qualifying, Mark Sousa would post the fastest lap time of the day of 21.165, and post the TQ time of 14 Laps in 5:12.485 which would be the TQ into the A-Main. Seeding for the qualifiers came from the controlled practice, and a re-sort took place after the first two rounds of qualifiers… Darryl Zylstra (Burford, ON) moved up into the fastest section after the re-sort. Through the three rounds of qualifying, 13 Laps in 5:19.391 would be required to qualify for the A-Main, and all of the 7 seeds from practice heats, and the re-sort after two in qualifying remained as the guaranteed 7 to run in the A-Main. That left lots of intense racing to see which of the remaining 28 would join them in the Final Race.
With 35 racers and a format for "lots of competitive racing", 6 mains were set with 2 "Bump-Up" opportunities in all of the lower-mains, and 1 bump up from the B-Main to the A-Main.
Into the first set of Mains, David McLean (Schomberg, ON) had the pole position, and held it all almost all the way through the 10-minute race, until with about 40 seconds left, he wrecked in the rhythm section, right before the start/finish line. His lead was so commanding, at least a 1 lap lead, that only one racer was able to squeeze by him, Ken Jaggard (Hamilton, ON), and McLean and Jaggard would both advance to the next main.
In the next main, John Blakley had the pole position, and wanted to earn the bump into the next main to race against one of his forum cohorts… but the field was intense. Douglas Shewfelt (Stoney Creek, ON) would slide by Blakley in the first lap and hold the lead right until the finish. Blakley spent the first half of the race playing catch-up, from dropping into 5th and working his way into 3rd at the halfway point, and into 2nd for the last 3 minutes, though both Ian McFly McDaniel (Brantford), and David McLean gave him a run in the final handful of laps. Shewfelt and Blakely advanced.
Into the 3rd Main (D-Main) Aaron Inwood would grab the lead early for the first couple of laps, then Sean Cuthbertson (Oshawa, ON) grabbed it and led for 11 laps, until Tom Bitz jumped in front and lead for 8 laps, until the "bump" Douglas Shewfelt was able to jump to the front and lead the final three laps, though it was intense wheel-to-wheel racing between Bitz and Shewfelt for the final 6 laps. Shewfelt and Bitz advanced.
Into the C-Main, Evan Lovato (Welland, ON) had earned the pole position, and and held it for 15 laps, until one of the bumps, Tom Bitz was able to slide by him with about 4 minutes left on the clock, and held the lead for the balance of the race, though Evan Lovato stayed within seconds for the balance of the race, finishing just 1.2 seconds behind. Bitz and Lovato advanced to the B-Main, while Douglas Shewfelt earned a Skycraft Hobbies T-Shirt Bundle for racing 3-consecutive races in the mains (E, D and C Mains).
The B-Main would feature 7 Racers, with 1 advancing to the A-Main. Steve Bulmann (Brampton, ON) qualified on the pole and led the first 2 laps, and switched the lead back and forth for a few laps with Ron Lupel (Orono, ON), until taking on too much damage and being side-lined on the 10th lap. Lupel carried the lead for another 15 laps to win the B-Main and the Bump by an entire lap over 2nd. Tom Bitz also received a Skycraft Hobbies T-Shirt Bundle for running 3-Consecutive Mains (D, C and B-Main).
Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Darry Zylstra Crashes
The A-Main Field was set with: Mark Sousa at the Pole, Justin Silva in 2nd, Derek Sousa in 3rd, Eric Lajoie (Burlington, ON) in 4th, Darryl Zylstra in 5th, Brian Gump Belanger in 6th, Alex Nelles in 7th and Ron Lupel in 8th. On the tone, they took off… with Mark Sousa holding the lead through the first lap, and then being side-lined in the 2nd… Justin Silva then jumped to the Front in lap 2, while Derek Sousa sat right behind him. The two traded places a handful of times, and even crossed the start-finish line side-by side on the 19th lap…. but in the final lap, Justin Silva was again able to pull first across the checkered … winning by .773 over Derek Sousa with a TQ Time of 27/10:16.321 (1.7 seconds off of his record from November), meanwhile the Bump Ron Lupel earned cash payoff for a top-5 finish in the A-Main. This win marks the 4th consecutive win for Justin Silva in eBuggy in the ThunderDome at RC Acres!!!
Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Top-5 Podium
1. Justin Silva - 27/10:16.321
2. Derek Sousa - 27/10:17.094
3. Alex Nelles - 25/10:10.042
4. Eric Lajoie - 25/10:14.445
5. Ron Lupel - 25/10:19.313
Practice - Click Here
Qualifiers - Click Here
Mains - Click Here
Friday, 03 January 2014 20:20
2013 Thanks for a Great 2013 by Joe Scully, ProRodeo MC
As I briefly reflect back on the past year of events, it turned out more awesome than I imagined.
45 events, 68 performances, 5 States and Provinces … stellar memories.
My thanks to all of the producers, contractors, committees, organizations and individuals that put their faith in me to rawk their events. And my sincere thanks as well to all of the travelling partners from the past season (Bobbi, Marshall, Will, Security Chris), timers, secretaries, officials, production personnel, competitors, sponsors, drivers, demonstrators, volunteers, assistants, media partners, operators, public relations people, event managers, speaker repairmen, building managers, sound and lighting techs, bartenders, maids, video dudes, corporate partners, computer repair people, security guards, EMS responders, tow truck drivers, transport divers, Tim Hortons waitstaff, Fuel attendants, mechanics, toll booth operators, daycare providers, blackjack dealers, healthcare providers, McDonald's waitstaff, the guy that designed the iPhone, sound/audio rental places, truckstop waitstaff, hotel front-desk people, and anyone else I've missed… plus of course, Thank You to the Fans!
Bring on 2014!