Team Canada at IFR 41 - Sunday Finale Recap
Monday, 17 January 2011 00:00


At International Finals Rodeo 41 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, Championship Sunday was filled with emotion as the Road to the Championship came to a hub and a select few Gold Buckle Dreams were realized, and many were dashed. International Professional Rodeo Association World Champions were crowned and IFR 41 Champions were crowned as well.

Rolling into the Fourth and Final Go-Round on January 16th, 2011, Canada was well represented. Seventeen Contenders filled Twenty Qualifying Positions within the Top-15 in the World Standings of International Professional Rodeo across all of the event disciplines. Sylvain Champagne of Ste-Julienne, Quebec led the Aggregate in the Bull Riding by being the only contestant to have three qualified rides. Sindy LaLiberte of Valcartier, Quebec, the 2009 IPRA Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year, was leading the Aggregate in the Barrel Racing while traveling partner Edesse Descoteaux of Lorrainville, Quebec, the 2008 IPRA Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year was ranked second in the Aggregate in Barrel Racing as well. Gaetan Bernard of Erkshine, Alberta, formerly of Granby, Quebec, the IFR 33 Bareback Bronc Riding Champion and 3-time IPRA North-East Region Year-end Champion Bareback Bronc Rider, was sitting Second in the Aggregate in Bareback Bronc Riding. The online video stream chat was a buzz for Clint Smith of London, Ontario to do big things in the Bull Riding after his First Go-Round Win and 5th place ranking in the Event, along with Luke McCoag of Port Rowan, Ontario, whom had tied for the win in the Third Go-Round and held a 6th place ranking in the Event. And a lot of hope for go-round wins with the remaining Contenders.

In Bareback Bronc Riding, Gaetan Bernard posted a 77.5 in the Fourth Go to round out IFR 41 tied for Fourth in the Aggregate. Pat Legault of Ste. Barbe, Quebec scored a 77.5 as well to found out the IFR 7th overall. Danian Nutt of Parkhill, Ontario covered his second bronc of the Finals, with a 73, totaling 144 on 2, ranked 13th. Josh Shackleford of McGee, Missouri, the 2000 IPRA Bareback Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year won the Go-Round with an 84.5. Joshua Michael Crager of Columbia, Tennessee, the 2004 IPRA Bareback Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year won his second International Finals Rodeo (IFR 37 and IFR 41) and the 2010 IPRA World Championship in the Bareback Bronc Riding.

Next in Steer Wrestling, Rod Weese of Alvinston, Ontario, the 2009 IPRA Steer Wrestling and Overall Rookie of the Year was experiencing a rough finals. He had wrestled two steers near the end of the arena, and was sitting deep in the aggregate with 15.0 on 2. He jumped his steer in the final round right across the barrier line, however, the steer stuttered a bit, Weese touched the ground with his hand, and lost all momentum. Eventually, he released the steer. It was a tough IFR 41 for the cowboy. Walt Sherry of Atwood, Oklahoma won his second consecutive round following a 3.7-second run, fast enough to give him his second consecutive IFR Championship (IFR's 40-41) and the 2010 IPRA World Championship in the Steer Wrestling.

Team Roping followed. Ross Scully of Rockwood, Ontario turned his fastest steer of IFR 41, however his partner Adam Schlecthy from Ansonia, Ohio missed on the heels, for a No-Time. They finished 14th in the Aggregate. St. Thomas, Ontario's Jarod Nooren partnered with Wendell Stanley, Wagoner, Oklahoma for a 6.8-second run with 5-Second Penalty. They Finished 4th overall in the Aggregate. Cory Kidd, the 2006 IPRA Heading Rookie of the Year of Union Grove, North Carolina, and Adam Plyer of Pageland, South Carolina won the final round with a 5.2-second run, which was good enough to seat them 3rd overall in the Aggregate. The payoff was enough to earn them the titles of World Champion Team Ropers in the IPRA. Jason Tucker, an IFR 37 Team Roping Champion of Mt. Ulla, North Carolina and Kyle Horton of Stigler, Oklahoma finished the event with 29.2 seconds on 4-head to become the IFR 41 Champion Team Ropers.

In Saddle Bronc Riding, Rod Weese's second event, he scored a 74-point ride, finishing IFR 41 6th in the Aggregate. Peter Hallman of New Hamburg, Ontario scored a 61 with an option for a Re-Ride. He came back on his second horse, Rawhide Rodeo Company's Hightime Gal, a former World Champion Saddle Bronc in the IPRA, and unfortunately was bucked off, rounding out IFR 41 12th overall. Mathieu Tourigny of Actonvale, Quebec was bucked off and retired from IFR 41 outside of the Top-10 in the Aggregate. Ste. Tite, Quebec's Luc Cloutier scored a 77 for 4th in the Go, and ended the finals 8th overall in the Aggregate. Shawn Minor of Camden, Ohio, the 6-time IPRA Bareback Bronc Riding World Champion (2003-06, 08-09), 2-time IPRA Saddle Bronc Riding World Champion (2007, 09) and 5-Time IPRA All Around Champion of the World (2004, 06-09), had the 2010 World Championship solidified before IFR 41 commenced. However for the IFR 41 Saddle Bronc Championship, it was an intense final round of competition. Will Abshure of Ward, Arkansas was leading the go-round with an 83-point ride. Then Doug Aldridge of Carthage, Missouri, whom was leading the Aggregate by 1.5 points going into the final round, posted a 78-point ride. One of the last to ride was Stacy Belt of Harrisonville, Missouri, the 2000 IPRA Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year. Belt needed to be 79.5-points to win IFR 41, and if successful, the final rider wouldn't be able to take the buckle away. He nodded for Black Widow of Hampton Rodeo Company. The pair went for 8-seconds and 83-Points, more than enough for Belt to win the IFR Championship.

The fourth go-round of Tiedown Roping started off with a bang. Shawn Coleman of Colfax, Indiana, the 2005 IPRA World Champion Tiedown Roper was one of the first to rope and completed his run in 7.8-seconds to take the lead and set the pace of the round. Ross Scully, who had suffered a calf kicking free and a no-time so far in the IFR roped in 8.3, which rounded him out 3rd in the Go and 9th in the Aggregate. Jarod Nooren missed his calf and rounded out IFR 41 ranked 7th in the Finals and 4th in the IPRA World Standings. Trent Johnson of Mound City, Kansas had an 8.4 to total 38.2 on 4-head. Last to rope was Justin Thigpen of Waycross, Georgia, the reigning 2-time IFR Champion (IFR's 34 and 40) and reigning 2009 IPRA Tiedown Roping World Champion. Thigpen had already won the 2010 IPRA Tiedown Roping World Championship, however, to win IFR 41 as well, he would need to be 7.8 Seconds or faster. He finished with an 8.0 to be ranked 2nd at IFR 41.

The online video feed fans were stoked to watch Barrel Racing, and with Canada's Laliberte and Descoteaux sitting 1st and 2nd in the Aggregate, chances seemed good for one of the pair to win the IFR 41 Title. Earlier in the round, the footing looked to be deep and loose, and though a 14.912 was the fastest time of the Finals, it was looking to be a "longer" round. However, after about 5 runs, Jill Hayes of Milton, Florida jumped to the lead with a 14.995. Edesse Descoteaux ran soon thereafter and posted a 15.157 to sit 2nd in the Go and leading IFR 41. One of the last to run was Sindy Laliberte. Going into this run, there was a large weight on her shoulders. At IFR 40, she went into the finals ranked 1st in the IPRA World Standings, and though she placed in the 1st go, she failed to place in the remaining, while Mesa Leavitt of Bluegrass Georgia won an abundance across the go's, to win her 4th Consecutive IPRA Barrel Racing World Title (2006-09) and 3rd Consecutive IFR win (IFR's 38, 39, 40).  Laliberte in 2011 had won the first round, and posted good times rolling into the final go. She lead the Aggregate by about two-tenths of a second. She posted a 15.194 to rank 3rd in the Go-Round, but by most calculations, first in the IFR. Tiffany McClure of Cheltenham, Maryland was announced as IFR 41 some confusion. After the official tally, McClure ended up 3rd overall in the IFR, just enough points to give her the title of IPRA World Champion, and Sindy LaLiberte received the buckle for winning IFR 41. McClure also was crowned 2010 IPRA Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year.

Quebec's Sylvain Champagne was one of the first to compete in the Final Round of IFR 41. His task plainly was: make it to the "whistle" to win IFR 41. Before the go commenced, the setup was that simple, he was the only one who could go 4 for 4. He had a huge 83.5-point Ride, thus winning the IFR 41 Championship before most of the entire field had pulled their ropes, though he was never "officially" announced until the end of the Go as the IFR Champion, the twittersphere was already congratulating him. Clint Smith had a 76.5-point ride and ended up 5th overall in the Aggregate, also holding the title of highest score of IFR 41 of 85.5 in Round #1. Luke McCoag of Port Rowan, Ontario bucked off, retiring 6th in the IFR and 4th in the IPRA World Standings. Ian Charman of Pontypool, Ontario had been "Blanked" all week, unable to post a score. He finally scored in the final go, a score of 69.5 with an option of a re-ride. His reride was after the show, and he scored a 76.5, just out of the money in the go-round. Michael Bodick of Womelsdorf, PA qualified for IFR 41 in the #2 spot in the World Standings. He placed 2nd in the First Go and took over the lead of the World Standings. He won the 2nd Go and distanced himself a little further into the lead. In the third go-round he bucked off, and sat with 164-points on 2-head, going into the 4th Go-Round 2nd in the Aggregate. He would buck-off again, and this time, land on his head. He reeled back up and reached for his neck. He was rushed to the Hospital before the re-rides. As he was awaiting treatment, the final scores were posted, and Bodick finished 4th in the Aggregate. The points were enough to earn him the title of 2010 IPRA World Champion Bull Rider.

At the Awards Presentation and Banquet, they prayed for Bodick as part of the invocation and grace. Following dinner, they proceeded to hand out the 4-th Go-round Buckles, the IFR 41 Championship Buckles, Stock of the Finals and Year Awards, and then World Champion Buckles. When they reached the Bull Riding World Championship, they told the story of Bodick enroute to a World Championship and then enroute to the Hospital ER. He had worked so hard for the World Championship; and when he arrived at the Hospital and they informed him that they wouldn't be able to x-ray his potential broken neck in time for him to return to the Buckle Ceremony...he said, "I'll be back, I have to go get my World Title!"....and the crowd erupted as Bodick walked up to get his 2010 IPRA World Champion Bull Rider Buckle.

Unofficial Listing of IFR 41 Champions, 2010 IPRA Rookies of the Year and 2010 IPRA World Champions

Bareback Bronc
Joshua Micheal Cragar, Columbia, TN - 2010 IPRA World Champion
Joshua Micheal Cragar, Columbia, TN - IFR 41 Champion
Yance Day, Fort Scott, KS - 2010 IPRA Bareback Rookie of the Year

Steer Wrestling
Walt Sherry, Atwood, OK - 2010 IPRA World Champion
Walt Sherry, Atwood, OK - IFR 41 Champion
Sean Thomas, Benton, AR - 2010 IPRA Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year

Team Roping
Cory Kidd, Union Grove, NC - 2010 IPRA World Champion Header
Adam Plyler, Pageland, SC - 2010 IPRA World Champion Heeler
Jason Tucker, Mt. Ulla, NC - IFR 41 Champion Header
Kyle Horton, Stigler, OK - IFR 41 Champion Heeler
Casey Hicks, Claremore, OK - 2010 IPRA Heading Rookie of the Year
Buddy Hawkins, Columbus, KS - 2010 IPRA Heeling Rookie of the Year

Saddle Bronc Riding
Shawn Minor, Camden, OH - 2010 IPRA World Champion
Stacy Belt, Harrisonville, MO - IFR 41 Champion
Doug Aldridge, Cathage, MO - 2010 IPRA Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year

Tiedown Roping
Justin Thigpen, Waycross, GA - 2010 IPRA World Champion
Trenton Johnson, Mound City, KS - IFR 41 Champion
Trenton Johnson, Mound City, KS - 2010 IPRA Tiedown Roping Rookie of the Year

Barrel Racing
Tiffany McClure, Cheltenham, MD - 2010 IPRA World Champion
Sindy Laliberte, Valcarier, Quebec - IFR 41 Champion
Tiffany McClure, Cheltenham, MD - 2010 IPRA Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year

Bull Riding
Michael Bodick, Womelsdorf, PA - 2010 IPRA World Champion
Sylvain Champagne, St. Julienne, Quebec - IFR 41 Champion
Lee Hassel, Bernville, PA - 2010 IPRA Bull Riding Rookie of the Year

All Around Champion
Shawn Minor, Camden, OH - 2010 IPRA All Around World Champion
Justin Thigpen, Waycross, GA - IFR 41 All Around Champion
Trenton Johnson, Mound City, KS - 2010 IPRA Overall Rookie of the Year

Final Rankings and IFR 41 Earnings of Canadian Contestants

Bareback Bronc
Danian Nutt, Parkhill, Ontario, 4th in IPRA, 13th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings
Pat Legault, Ste. Barbe, Quebec, 5th in IPRA, 7th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings
Christian Bilodeau, St. Lin-Laurentides, Quebec, 7th in IPRA, 14th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings
Sylvain Meunier, St. Polycarpe, Quebec, 9th in IPRA, 15th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings
Gaetan Bernard, Erkshine, Alberta, 12th in IPRA, 4/5th in IFR, $1250 in IFR41 Earnings

Steer Wrestling
Rod Weese, Alvinston, Ontario, 15th in IPRA, 14th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings

Team Roping
Ross Scully, Rockwood, Ontario w/ Adam Schlechty, Ansonia, OH, 8th in IPRA, 14th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings
Jarod Nooren, St. Thomas, Ontario w/ Wendall Stanley, Wagoner, OK, 9th in IPRA, 4th in IFR, $1250 in IFR41 Earnings

Saddle Bronc Riding
Rod Weese, Alvinson, Ontario, 10th in IPRA, 6th in IFR, $312.5 in IFR41 Earnings
Luc Cloutier, Ste. Tite, Quebec, 9th in IPRA, 8th in IFR, $468.75 in IFR41 Earnings
Mathieu Tourigny, Actonvale, Quebec, 12th in IPRA, 13/14th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings
Peter Hallman, New Hamburg, Ontario, 15th in IPRA, 12th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings

Tiedown Roping
Jarod Nooren, St. Thomas, Ontario, 4th in IPRA, 7th in IFR, $104.17 in IFR41 Earnings
Ross Scully, Rockwood, Ontario, 8th in IPRA, 9th in IFR, $625 in IFR41 Earnings

Barrel Racing
Sindy Laliberte, Valcartier, Quebec, 2th in IPRA, 1th in IFR, $4375 in IFR41 Earnings
Edesse Descoteaux, Lorrainville, Quebec, 5th in IPRA, 2th in IFR, $3125 in IFR41 Earnings

Bull Riding
Luke McCoag, Queensville, Ontario, 4th in IPRA, 6th in IFR, $1250 in IFR41 Earnings
Ian Charman, Pontypool, Ontario, 7th in IPRA, 10th in IFR, $0 in IFR41 Earnings
Clint Smith, London, Ontario, 15th in IPRA, 5th in IFR, $1250 in IFR41 Earnings
Sylvain Champagne, Ste-Julienne, Quebec, 5th in IPRA, 1th in IFR, $4375 in IFR41 Earnings

IFR Earnings By Canadians After Round #4 and Aggregate Payoff
Sindy Laliberte, Valcartier, Quebec: $4375
Sylvain Champagne, Ste-Julienne, Quebec: $4375
Edesse Descoteaux, Lorrainville, Quebec: $3125
Jarod Nooren, St. Thomas, Ontario: $1354.17
Clint Smith, London, Ontario: $1250
Gaetan Bernard, Erkshine, Alberta: $1250
Luke McCoag, Queensville, Ontario: $1250
Ross Scully, Rockwood, Ontario: $625
Luc Cloutier, Ste. Tite, Quebec: $468.75
Rod Weese, Alvinson, Ontario: $312.5
Christian Bilodeau, St. Lin-Laurentides, Quebec: $0
Danian Nutt, Parkhill, Ontario: $0
Ian Charman, Pontypool, Ontario: $0
Mathieu Tourigny, Actonvale, Quebec: $0
Pat Legault, Ste. Barbe, Quebec: $0
Peter Hallman, New Hamburg, Ontario: $0
Sylvain Meunier, St. Polycarpe, Quebec: $0

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