8's, 80's and rank-rank stock...great start to 2010 in Lindsay, ON
Sunday, 30 May 2010 23:37

For the 23rd consecutive year, Rodeo stampeded into the Kawartha's as Rawhide Rodeo kicked off the 2010 International Professional Rodeo Association Canadian Tour and Ontario Rodeo Association Season in Lindsay, Ontario.  The setting was the Lindsay Agricultural Society Fairgrounds, making this the 3rd year for Rawhide Rodeo in front of the "still new" grandstands.

Over the two performances, rodeo fans were treated to some of the best Professional Rodeo in Eastern Canada...with 8-second runs in the Tiedown Roping, 80-point Bull Riding scores and other huge runs and rides in all of the disciplines of the Sport.

Off the top, the animal athletes of Rawhide Rodeo were the superstars of the event.  The broncs were evenly split between veteran Bucking Horses and recently acquired colts.  The Bull pen had a few new faces, but mostly featured all of the finals selection herds...staples like #3 Superstar and #MK6 Wired.  After Saturday night's performance, there were only 2 qualified rides in the bronc riding events (Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding combined for 8 "outs").  And the Junior Bull Riding string were far from the "slightly rank 'jump kicker's'", they all fired out of the chute and turned back in the latch...there were no qualified rides in the Junior Bull Riding.  Out of over 18 gates in the Bull Riding, there was one qualified ride.  Junior Bulls-Broncs and Bulls BUCKED!

The IPRA and ORA talent pool was as strong as their bovine and equine combatants.  World Champions, IFR Qualifiers, National Inter-collegiate Rodeo Finals Qualifiers, High School Rodeo Champions all took their turn calling for a gate as the entry numbers were massive, and everyone wanted to get a jump on the chase for the buckle in Professional Rodeo in Eastern Canada.

5-Time All-Around Champion of International Professional Rodeo, Shawn Minor of Camden, Ohio made a solid ride versus Rawhide Rodeo's #119 Ninja Turtle, the first time the horse had been bucked on Canadian Soil.  They were scored at 74 points in the Bareback Bronc riding for a brand new arena Record.  That rounded out Bareback Riding Saturday night.  A rematch ensued during the Sunday performance between St. Lin-Laurentide, Quebec's Christian Bilodeau and Rawhide Rodeo's #H26 Hitman.  One year to the day, these two rodeo stars set the arena record at 73-points.  Like deja vu, after another successful 8-seconds together, they were scored at 73-points again in 2010.  Finishing second, it still made for an exciting finish to rigging riding.

A long "strap" (barrier) played difficult in a majority of the timed events.  Though the Arena Record for Steer Wrestling was 4.6 in 2008, the closest they could get in 2010 was 6.3.  The 2009 IPRA Canadian Tour Champion and Finals Champion, Tim Kemp was the fastest bull dogger, to continue where he left off at the end of the 2009 season.

As mentioned earlier, the junior bulls went 8-0 against the Junior Bull Riders.  Of note is Rawhide Rodeo's #911...two direction changes and a huge belly-roll in less than 4 seconds...Junior Bull Riding will be tough in 2010!

Team Roping on the whole wasn't the strongest it has been.  42 teams entered, and a lot of No-Times.  Drew Carnes and Tim Buckenmeyer were 7.5 to win, though the flavour of the event was set Saturday Night when an IFR Bull Riding Qualifier and IFR Bullfighter placed second in the performance.  It showed that "it doesn't matter what kind of rowls are on your spurs..."  Raymond Postlethwait and Ryan Smith of Michigan and New York ended up in 6th overall with their 16.  With Erin, Ontario next on the Tour, at $1,000 added and over 50-teams, it would be safe to say team roping will heat up as the summer begins to sizzle.

The Fastest Event of Rodeo, Breakaway Roping was where the best roping was done, at least on Saturday.  Meagan DeWetering of Crediton, Ontario posted a 2.9 second run to win the Lindsay Rodeo and set a brand new arena record.  Beyond the 2.9...the rest were fast as well....2.9, 3.0, 3.5, 3.5 and 3.6 were the times paying off in the event.

The Saddle Bronc Riders were blanked on Saturday Night...even the 2-time IPRA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider was dusted.  Only one qualified ride was made in the Bronc riding...Alvinston, Ontario's Rod Weese, the reigning IPRA Rookie of the Year was 66 points versus Rawhide Rodeo's #829 Western Star.

The pen was huge in Lindsay, which made for a large barrel racing course.  Hillsburgh, Ontario's Lisa Gray had the fastest run of the weekend Saturday Night with a 16.036 second run.  Joanne Fisher, the reigning Ontario Finals Rodeo Barrel Racing Champion placed just behind her with a 16.245.

The reigning IPRA Canadian Finals Champion, Mickaela Cronin of Mitchell, Ontario was 16.805 in the Junior Barrel Racing, winning the event by almost a half a second over second place.

Tiedown Roping provided a smoke show in the sunshine on Sunday afternoon.  IFR Qualifiers, a former Reserve World Champion, a 10-time Ontario Champion and other talent waited for their moment to rope.  Jarod Nooren of St. Thomas, Ontario, the first cowboy from Ontario, Canada to qualify for the National Inter-Collegiate Finals Rodeo (also the second...qualified the same year as Morgan Grant of Granton, Ontario...two legendary Ontario High School Rodeo Champions from the 2007 and 2008 Classes) waited to Lindsay to make his boldest move in Ontario Rodeo.  A picture perfect, textbook like run that looked quick but didn't seem fast ensued.  Numbers on the watch...8.1 seconds...one of the fastest tiedown roping runs in Eastern Canada, happening at the first rodeo of the season...beauty.  But, as expected, the overall event was steep.  The top-three times were 10.0 or faster, and last "spot" for payout was an 11.5.

Bull Riding.  Wow.  18 Bulls were bucked out Saturday night...almost an entire performance worth alone.  Though many tried, only one was able to ride under the spotlights, as a two-time Rawhide Rodeo Extreme Tour Champion, Clinton Smith of London, Ontario posted a 73 versus Rawhide Rodeo's #504 Blue Duck.  15 more Bulls were bucked Sunday afternoon, and a few more qualified rides were posted.  One of the last to ride, Clayton, Michigan's Raymond Postlethwait (the Bull Rider who did well in the Team Roping earlier in the weekend) matched up against Rawhide Rodeo's #M4 Twitch.  The pair burst out of the chute and Twitch bucked and dived for about 20 feet into the arena and cranked into a spin as Postlethwait matched the bull move-for-move and spurred frantically as the 8-seconds neared an end with a spin into the cowboy's hand.  Judged, "just right", the crowd exploded as the score of "8-Zero, Eighty Points" boomed over the PA.

The 2010 Lindsay Rodeo was one of the best "opening rodeos" prolly ever for Eastern Canadian Rodeo...wrecks...wrecks...wrecks...smokin' runs and "wicked rides".  No matter what the fan's level of rodeo experience was, they were treated to some truly memorable moments of Professional Rodeo.

The big winners of the event, however, were the great people behind Camp Maple Leaf, an organization that offers those that wouldn't normally have the opportunity to go to summer camp, the chance to enjoy what many kids take for granted.  Their charity was the charity of choice for the Lindsay Benefit Rodeo presented by Rawhide Rodeo.

Next for the "Raw Crew" is Erin, Ontario, June 5th and 6th.  High School Rodeo @ 10am Saturday, Professional Rodeo 4pm Saturday and 3pm Sunday.  This will be a massive rodeo...try to take it all in (steak dinner and all!)