Round 2 Recap of the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo
Saturday, 13 March 2010 04:14
Under the Friday Night Lights, the qualifying contestants of the 2010 International Professional Rodeo Association Canadian Finals Rodeo waged battle inside of Go-Round #2 or the Championship Round of the inaugural event.
Completing the field of 60 contestants in 78 qualifying positions were the best from over 800 contestants at all 27 IPRA Canadian Rodeos.
Though the competition was solid in most events in the first round, the entire field of contenders was trying to make it count in the final round inside the "Pride Seeds Arena" / Agriplex at the London Western Fairgrounds in London, Ontario, Canada.
In efforts to accomodate contestants that had qualified for both the IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo and the IPRA National All-Region Finals in Montgomery, Alabama, a small handful of competitors didn't compete in the spotlight in front of the Western Fair Farm Show crowds...but before departing London Thursday Night racing for a 5:30am flight in Dayton, Ohio, some of the contestants vying for titles at both events had left numbers to contend with.
Such a contestant was Shawn Minor of Camden, Ohio. The 6-time IPRA World Champion Bareback Bronc Rider and 5-time IPRA All-Around World Champion had won the first-go with a 76, and scored a 75 on Rawhide Rodeo's #47 Big Buford to lead the Aggregate with 151 on 2.  It would take some big numbers to unseat him, and the closest that they could get was an identical 151 on 2-head.  Ste. Barbe, Quebec's Pat Legault, a former Rawhide Rodeo Extreme Tour Finals Champion in the same arena (London Western Fair Agriplex) posted the highest score of the IPRA Canadian Finals in the Championship Round, following a 77-point ride aboard Rawhide Rodeo's #198 Corona.  Legault and Minor would both win the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo.  The 2010 Canadian Series Champion was Mirabel, Quebec's Roger Lacasse, who was absent from the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo.  Had it not been for the tie, Minor would have won the Series as well.  The elite 8 qualifiers in Bareback Bronc riding showed why they were the best in Eastern Canada...7 of the 8 posted atleast one qualified ride over the two rounds, while 5 of the 8 covered both broncs.
The 2006 IPRA All-around Rookie of the Year, Eric Maisonneuve of Val Des Monts, Quebec won the first round with a 13.4 in Tiedown Roping, and led the Aggregate by one-tenth of a second over Cody Mousseau of Aylmer, ontario.  In the second Round, Mousseau roped first, posting a 14.0.  The math would be simple for Maisoneuve...tie with a 14.0 to win the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals. However, after a body catch, he would throw his hands up (to signal completion of the run) at 17.1.  The winner of the Championship Round was Jason Thomson of Rockwood, Ontario, a 10-time Ontario Rodeo Association Tiedown Roping Champion, with a 12.6.  That made Mousseau rise as the first ever IPRA Canadian Finals Champion with 27.6 on 2...winning the aggregate by 3.0 seconds.  Holding a commanding lead going into the IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo was former 2-time International Finals Rodeo Qualifier Ross Scully of Rockwood, Ontario.  Though we wasn't able to make any points at the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo, he still ended the year as the Canadian Series Champion.
Into Junior Bull Riding, 2 of the 3 finalists covered in the first-go, however, only one would last 8-seconds in the championship round.  Chris-Tuff Daoust covered Rawhide Rodeo's #742 Mike Johnson Express for 73-points, the highest score of the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo in Junior Bull Riding, and to end with 143 on 2-head.  The Les-Cedres, Quebec junior bull rider walked away with the buckle and all of the championship round money.  Season Leader, Shelby Pattison of Acton, Ontario retired the Canadian Series Champion after being "blanked" at the IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Team Roping was all about "Redemption" on Friday night.  One night and one round previous, only one of the eight qualifying teams posted a time...9.2 plus 5, plus 10...a few more would catch in the Championship Round.  However, as the winning team from the first round, Jason Thomson and John Scully of Rockwood, Ontario missed their heading loop on their run, it was wide open for the field to with the IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo on a "Best-on-one" scenario.  Recieving his 2nd buckle of the night...Cody Mousseau of Aymler, Ontario along with veteran partner and multi-Ontario Rodeo Association Champion Mark Coulson of Sterling, Ontario roped their steer the quickest with a 7.0 to win the Round and the Aggregate and the first ever IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo Championship.  The Season Leaders were still able to walk away with the Series Championships, though.  Jeremy McCulligh of Fergus, Ontario and Stewart Cahill of Strathroy, Ontario are the first Canadian Series Team Roping Champions.
In the "Fastest Event of Rodeo" Breakaway Roping, 2.9 was the fastest time from Thursday Night.  As they went through the Order, Paige VanWesterop of Lakeside, Ontario posted a 3.7 to set the bar.  There were quite a few empty loops and Gold Buckle Dreams dashed.  From the 3 Cowgirls with an opportunity to 2 for 2, only one would be able to rope to perfection.  Briana Ewart, the "Kenilworth Kid" from Kenilworth placed second in the Championship Round with a 4.1, but combined with her 2.7 plus 10 (second Barrier Penalty) in the first round, she would win the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo being the sole to get both calves caught.  For the Series Championship...Ewart was ranked third going into the Finals, jumped to 2nd after the first-go round, and following the 2nd in the 2nd go and 1st in the Aggregate, also won the Canadian Series Championship.
The Rawhide Rodeo Company is known for its elite championship bucking stock, including 8 IPRA World Titles for Broncs and Bulls and 6-International Finals Rodeo Titles for Broncs.  At the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo, the Broncs in the Saddle Bronc Riding showed the crowd on-hand what Rawhide Broncs were capable of.  Though all 8 qualifers were able to cover one bronc, only one would be able to cover both.  First off, in the Championship Round, Luc Cloutier, the Season Leader by a long shot won the Round with an IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo highest score of 75 versus Rawhide Rodeo's #663 Smooth Sailing.  The Go-Round win was just a ton more points to give him the Canadian Series Championship.  Returning to perfection, the only rider to cover both was Shawn Minor of Camden, Ohio.  Minor had won the first round with a 74.  During his 2nd Round ride, he was scored 69-points versus Rawhide Rodeo's #111 Painted Desert.  On top of this, Minor was awarded a re-ride opportunity...but declined.  Though the conversation between Minor and the judges wasn't overheard, it could be guessed that riding 5 broncs in one day (as he was a combo-finals contestant in Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding) would pay a huge toll ontop of the Road Trip, Flight and four more broncs waiting in Alabama.  The gamble paid off...being the only one to cover 2, he won the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo Championship in Saddle Bronc Riding as well.
Shelby Pattison of Acton, Ontario was the top Barrel Racer at the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo.  After just recieving her buckle for winning the 2009 ORA Year-end Championship in Barrel Racing two weeks earlier, she cleaned up in Barrel Racing in London.  She won both go-rounds.  The first round with a 15.413, almost 5-hundredths of a second over second place, and won the second round with a 14.826, by over 0.11 seconds over second place.  But for the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo Championship, her 30.239 on 2 gave her the win by 0.393 over second in the Aggregate.  The newly crowned IPRA Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year, Sindy Laliberte of Valcartier, Quebec won the Canadian Series.  Her biggest payday at Ste. Tite, Quebec totalling $10,760.35 was enough to give her the overal series win by over $11,200.  Laliberte was absent from the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo competing in Montgomery, Alabama.
Also sweeping the go-rounds and aggregate in Barrel Racing was Junior Barrel Racer Mickaela Cronin of Mitchell, Ontario.  The 2009 Ontario Finals Rodeo Champion Junior Barrel Racer is now the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo Champion Barrel Racer.  Her first-round time was the fastest time of all of the barrel racers in the first round, senior and junior combined at 15.397.  Her second round time as a low 16 to win the Championship Round by 1.2 seconds.  She won the Aggregate by 5.304 over second place on her fast barrel horse.  Placing second in the Aggregate was Tamara Weese of Alvinston, Ontario.  Weese lead the standings going into the IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo, and placed 2nd in the 1st round, 3rd in the 2nd round.  Adding in her aggregate money as well, Weese becomes the Canadian Series Champion junior barrel racer.
4.6 was the fastest time from the first round in Steer Wrestling at the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo.  Deep in the order, Lucknow, Ontario's Luke Drennan would put together a 4.0 which would ultimately win the championship round for the cowboy, though the field would chase him.  Stephan Daoust, Les Cedres, Quebec posted a 4.5, 2-time IPRA World Champion Matt Mousseau had a 4.6 and almost everyone else were in the low 5's (seconds).  Having a stellar finals was Kitchener, Ontario's Tim Kemp.  The 2-time ORA Year-end Champion Steer Wrestler was 4.6 to win the First Round and 5.2 to place deep in the second round.  His total of 9.8 on 2 gave him the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo win by 2.3 seconds.  Adding more accolades to the Tri-City cowboy was that his finals showing was just enough to surpass the season leader to emerge as the Canadian Series Champion as well.
Rounding out the event finally was Bull Riding.  It was an uber-exciting round of Bull Riding in the Championship Round.  Lucknow, Ontario's Luke Drennan was leading the Aggregate with 79-points on one from the First Round.  The 2009 ORA Year-end and Finals Champion Bull Rider had one thing standing in his way...Rawhide Rodeo's #36P Wingman.  Though Wingman had only an 8-2 record for a 75% Buck-off percentage in 2009....one of those buck-offs was Drennan in Leamington, Ontario in August of '09.  The rematch was the flavour of the Bull Riding.  Almost as fast as it started, Drennan was bucked off a second time from #36P.  Drennan claimed he was fouled, and the suspense climaxed as he was awarded a re-ride versus Rawhide Rodeo's #TN Top Notch.  That would wait until the end of the section.
Not to be outdone, one of the top Bull Riders of the past few years, Luke McCoag of Port Rowan, Ontario  "threw down" a 78-point ride versus Rawhide Rodeo's #4017 Banana Split.  He then sat with 151-on 2.  St. Lin, Quebec's Eric Isabelle then nodded for Rawhide Rodeo's #9P Spyder Monkey, and they too were scored at 78 to tie for the lead of the Championship Round.
Then, back to Drennan's Re-ride.  There would be no "what-if's" or speculation.  Last to ride and needing to be 73-points to win the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo.  A crack of a latch, three big jumps followed by an airborne 180 (degree turn and #TN Top Notch dashed Drennan's Gold Buckle Dreams by throwing the rider before the buzzer.  That left Luke McCoag standing as the only Bull Rider to ride both bulls, the tied win of the Championship Round, the 2010 IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo Championship and the Canadian Series Championship as well.
On paper, the event was to be the most electric finals in Eastern Canada's history.  In reality, it lived up to the expectation with rank-rank stock and high-calibre contestants.  Whether sitting in the grandstand or behind the bucking chutes in the Agriplex, the feeling was surreal.  The first-ever IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo was intense and the battle for supremacy and the gold buckles was a fantastic ride for spectator, crew and contestants alike.
Round 1 Recap Available here
Official results available at www.RawhideRodeo.com or www.IPRArodeo.com (in the next couple of days...the offices are closed for the IPRA Canadian Finals Rodeo and IPRA National All-Region Finals respectively)