Team Canada at IFR 40
Saturday, 16 January 2010 11:46
At the 2010 International Professional Rodeo Association Finals, International Finals Rodeo 40, Team Canada is in Full-Effect.  A record number of Canadians Qualified, and Canada even has representation on the personnel front with Dominic Roy of Ste. Lin du Laurentides, QC as one of the two Bullfighters running Defence for World Champion Bull Riders.
Team Canada Consists of:
Bareback Bronc Riding
Roger Lacasse, Mirabel, Quebec (3rd)
Christian Bilodeau, St-Lin, Quebec (7th)
Pat Legault, Ste. Barbe, Quebec (11th)
Steer Wrestling
Matt Mousseau, Dashwood, Ontario (1st)
Tim Kemp, Kitchener, Ontario (7th)
Rod Weese, Alvinston, Ontario (9th)
Tyler Foster, Watford, Ontario (15th)
Saddle Bronc Riding
Luc Cloutier, Ste. Tite, Quebec (5th)
Benoit Bouchard, Ste. Sophie, Quebec (9th)
Dustin Thompson, Okotoks, Alberta (12th)
Pedro Giguere, Thetford Mines, Quebec (13th)
Tyler Foster, Watford, Ontario (15th)
Team Roping: Heading
Ross Scully, Rockwood, Ontario (12th)
Jeremy McCulligh, Rockwood, Ontario (13th)
Team Roping: Heeling
Stewart Cahill, Strathroy, Ontario, (4th)
Tiedown Roping
Ross Scully, Rockwood, Ontario (6th)
Cowgirl Barrel Racing
Sindy Laliberte, Valcartier, Quebec (1st)
Edesse Descoteau, Lorrainville, QU
Bull Riding
Luke McCoag, Port Rowan, Ontario (6th)
Ian Charman, Pontypool, Ontario (15th)
Canada has faired well at the IFR over the past decade.
The first to really break international barriers was Roger Lacasse, Mirabel, QC, who has won 3 IFR's in Bareback Bronc Riding, those being IFR 34 in 2004, IFR 35 in 2005 and IFR 38 in 2008.  The Maple Leaf was at the top of the podium courtesy of a Cowgirl for the first time in 2006 as Cathy Grant of Granton, Ontario won IFR 36 in Cowgirl Barrel Racing, becoming the first Canadian Cowgirl to pull silver and gold from Oklahoma City.  IPRA fans from Canada had had a taste, and felt how close a World Championship could be.  Then, in January 2009, Matt Mousseau of Dashwood, Ontario made the dream a reality as he won the first World Championship for Canada.  That came following his IFR 39 win in Steer Wrestling, enough to give him the IPRA World Championship.
Going into Round #1, the stage was set for Canada to do some big things again.  Team Captains, rather IFR Veterans had qualified again, ie. Mousseau and Lacasse.  A glance of the standings is pretty exciting.  Mousseau lead the World in Steer Wrestling going into the IFR.  Last year he played catch-up.  Oklahoma is a buzz over Sindy Laliberte of Valcartier, Quebec however.  Though in 2009 Canada lead the world in Barrel Racing going into the IFR with Acton, Ontario's Robin Williamson, 2010 is a little deeper with World Leader Laliberte not only with an over $5,000 lead...but she also leads Rookie of the Year.  Oh, and Laliberte doesn't speak the greatest of English, so, the Okies are pretty fascinated.  
Joining Laliberte in the Rookie of the Year chances for Canada is Dustin Thompson of Oktotoks, Alberta in the Saddle Bronc Riding.  And with double the chance to win a ROY is Rod Weese of Alvinston, Ontario.  He leads the Rookie of the Year race in the Steer Wrestling, but even more exciting is that he is only a few points back for the All-Around Rookie of the Year Buckle. 
The Mad Props go to Ross Scully of Rockwood, Ontario qualifying in Two Events, Tiedown and Team Roping, and Tyler Foster of Watford, Ontario, qualifying in Steer Wrestling and Saddle Bronc.  The first-time jitters are definitely not something to worrry about for these multi-event contenders; Scully qualified for his first IFR in 2009 and Foster for his first in 2008.
Go-Round #1, Friday January 15th, 2010.
Bareback Bronc Riding:
The entire field came to ride broncs in Okie-city with 14 of 15 making it to the "Tooter" (8-second buzzer for a qualified ride).  The three Canadians placed deep in the rounds with Pat Legault posting a 76 to tie for 6/7 and Christian Bilodeau posting a 75.5 for 8th and Lacasse with a 73.5 for 10/11.  With 4 rounds total, a decent ride to start things off is a bonus, and they're only a few points back in the Aggregate on 1.  Round 1 was won by a Show Me State Cowboy, Tim Wilkinson.  The Steelville, MO Riggin' Rider went for 80.5 vs. Iron Mountain of Oubre Rodeo Company. 
Steer Wrestling:
A little shaky for a few of the Canucks.  Rod Weese and Tyler Foster both received no-times for their efforts.  Competing at his first IFR is Kitchener Cowboy Tim Kemp who made a run on his maiden run; a 5.3 for 8th.  Reigning World Champion and Season Leader, Matt Mousseau ran a 4.7 for 7th.  The Round was won by Jordan Wiseman of McAlester, OK.  Wiseman jumped from around 8th to 3rd in the World after his 4.1-second run.  Wiseman is another IFR Veteran, he won IFR 38 to help solidify his 2007 IPRA World Championship (the same year).
Team Roping:
Canada's Team in Team Roping, Ross Scully and Stewart Cahill, Rockwood and Strathroy, Ontario had a pretty quick run of 6.4 to place 4th in the round.  Scully is competing for the first time in Team Roping at the IFR, and it's Cahill's second trip.  Also in the Team Roping from Canada is Jeremy McCulligh of Rockwood, Ontario.  McCulligh missed both loops and pulled a No-Time in the First Round.  He wasn't alone, three other headers were with him.  Champs of the Round were Jesse Leon and Casey Stipes of Salina, Oklahoma with a 5.4.  Canada is a mere 1.0 back in the Aggregate with three rounds to go.
Saddle Bronc Riding:
The Saddle Broncs were a little more victorious than the Bareback Broncs.  4 no-scores were recorded.  Unfortunately, two of them were awarded to Canada.  Pedreo Giguere of Thetford Mines, Quebec and Luc Cloutier of Ste. Tite, Quebec are back a head rolling into Round 2.  Canada is strong in the Broncs numbers wise with 5 qualifying (I believe the most was 7 in 2006).  Benoit Bouchard of Ste. Sophie, Quebec posted a 74 for 7th, Dustin Thompson of Okotoks, Alberta was 72 points for 10th, and Tyler Foster was just outside of the Top-10 with a 66.  Canadian Horses made money with Rawhide Rodeo's (Dual Citizen Broncs) Renegade and former IFR Saddle Bronc Horse of the Finals and Reigning World Champion Bucking Horse Mardi Gras boty being scored 76.5 with their riders.  The Champ of Round #1 was TV-Cowboy Superstar Erik Wolford of Walton, KY with an 83.  Aside from being one of the best on "Toughest Cowboy", Wolford was the 2005 IPRA All-Around World Champion and Saddle Bronc World Champion that same year.
Tiedown Roping:
His second IFR and his second Run of the night, Ross Scully of Rockwood, Ontario posted a 9.7 for his second 4th of the night.  Smooth roping netted him over $1,000 between the two events.  It went 9.7, 9.5, then all the way up to 8.3 with the World Leader and IFR 34 Champion Justin Thigpen, Waycross, GA in 2nd.  Tiedown is tough.  Walt White of Ochelata, Oklahoma took the round with an 8.1  White's a decent roper with a couple of buckles.  Except their World Championship buckles with the count being 7 from 92 through 2000, plus an IFR Championship.  Look for 7's in Round 2.  It will be a smoke show.
Barrel Racing:
Sindy Laliberte, Valcartier, Canada has been the talk of OKC.  The papers have been reporting how her English isn't the bestest (sic).  Fortunately for her, she has a good guide helping her in Edesse Descoteau of Lorrainville, Quebec.  Edesse is the reigning IPRA Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year.  And certainly Laliberte has great confidence with a $4,000 lead over 2nd in the World Championship points race and $12,000 in the Rookie Race.  The first question that came to mind for me though was...what about 14 year-old Mesa Levitt.  She was able to overcome the Canadian in the Driver Seat rolling into the 2009 Finals.  Young Levitt is a 3-time IPRA World Champion Barrel Racer.  She won the Rookie of the Year her first year along with her World Championship.  At the following IFR in 2008, she won ALL 4 Go-Rounds.  And she won the IFR in 2009.  3 World Championships.  Two IFR's.  And even with a field of the IPRA's Best 15, she was able to post 3rd.  Sindy Laliberte placed Second with a 15.052.  Myle Ratchford of Kingston, Arkansas won the Round with a 14.882.  Laliberte jumped to an over $5,500 lead in the World Standings.  Descoteau placed 7th and is only about .5 seconds back.
Bull Riding:
Two Canadian Bull Riders in the field, Pontypool, Ontario's Ian Charman and Port Rowan, Ontario's Luke McCoag.  Charman Bucked off as did two-thirds of the field of 15.  McCoag covered a bull named Gusto from the Southern Rodeo Company for a combined score of 72, good enough for 4th.  The 2008 IPRA Bull Riding Rookie of the Year, Shane Barratier won the first Round after an 83-point ride on Uno of Broken Horn Rodeo Company.
So, after 1, Canada is doing real well.  Potentially 2 World Championships, 3 Rookie of the Year Honors and maybe 6 IFR Buckles could be heading north of the 49th Parallel.  Go C-Eh-N-eh-D-eh!
Official results are posted at: www.iprarodeo.com/IFR40Results.html .  This was comprised by my review of the results...I'm in Canada in the snow, eh!
IFR 40 Performance Times
Friday, January 15 7:30 p.m. CST
Saturday, January 16 1:30 p.m. CST
Saturday, January 16 7:30 p.m. CST
Sunday, January 17 1:30 p.m. CST 
(an hour behind us here in Ontario)