The Wainwright Stampede puts up the largest purse the CPRA has seen so far this rodeo season, and a larger payout—coupled with its long round and short round format—tends to draw some tough competitors to the event. Looking down the draw, you can see returning Wainwright champions, Canadian champions, as well as several world champions.
Watch the Finning Pro Tour: Wainwright Stampede LIVE on FloRodeo June 21-24.
Here's who's on fire, well accomplished, and should never be counted out when they head to Wainwright, Alberta.
Finning Pro Tour Stop: No. 1
Committee Purse: $89,500
Format: One go and a top-10 short round for saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, and barrel racing, two goes and a top-10 short round for tie-down, team roping, and steer wrestling.
Bareback Riding: Three-Way Tie Means Three Returning Champions
Key Athletes: JR Vezain, Ky Marshall, Richmond Champion, Cole Goodine, Caleb Bennett and Jake Vold.
Analysis: Last year the bareback riding championship at Wainwright was split three ways between JR Vezain, Ky Marshall, and Richmond Champion, who each had a score of 159.5 on two head. Three champions in 2017 means three returning champions in 2018.
Carbon, Alberta’s Cole Goodine is fresh off an 87.5-point win at the Innisfail Pro Rodeo just last weekend. The four-time CFR qualifier has a wild style that he shows off every time; sometimes he ends up in a wreck, but it also sees Goodine at the top of the leaderboard at many Canadian rodeos throughout a rodeo season.
Another scan through the draw shows other dominant competitors like the three-time Canadian bareback riding champion and three-time WNFR qualifier Jake Vold. Vold has out all winter long after undergoing knee surgery after the 2017 WNFR but has already picked up multiple small checks since his return to competition, and it would be a safe prediction to say that if all continues to stay healthy, he won’t just be winning “small” checks for long.
It’s also hard to ignore the world’s No. 1 bareback rider, Caleb Bennett. We caught up with Bennett to talk about why he makes sure to hit the Finning Pro Tour every season — see his comments HERE.
Steer Wrestling: Cole Sets Himself Up For Round Two, Big Names In The Mix
Key Athletes: Harley Cole, Hunter Cure, Blake Knowles, Jacob Talley
Analysis: Wainwright has two rounds of competitions for all timed events except barrel racing, and Harley Cole has captured the round-one win with a time of 4.4 seconds. This, of course, sets Cole up for a good shot to make it into the short round on if he can keep his roll going when he takes his second steer in the rodeo’s “second slack” Thursday.
See full results for the timed event round one HERE.
Other top competitors who are on the draw but haven’t shown up on the results yet include Hunter Cure, Blake Knowles, Jacob Talley, and Jason Thomas.
Cure, Knowles, and Talley all currently have their names on the results at the Reno Rodeo. Talley—a 2016 WNFR qualifier—is the only of the three the place in round one with a time of 4.5 seconds for second place, but it’s also hard to count out Cure (the 2013 and 2015 world champion steer wrestler) and Knowles (three-time WNFR qualifier) who leads the average at Reno with a time of 8.6 on two.
Saddle Bronc: A Reigning Champion, Competitors On A Roll From Reno, And 22-Point Horses
Key Athletes: Layton Green, Zeke Thurston, Cort Scheer
Analysis: Reigning Wainwright Stampede champion, reigning Canadian champion, and current CPRA season leader—how could we ignore Layton Green any time he enters a rodeo? Green has drawn Calgary Stampede’s X-12 Xhile Hills for the opening performance of Wainwright.
The horse has scored anywhere from 20 to 22 points in each of its three trips in the PRCA this year, which could easily be enough horse to get Green to the short round if the results follow the same pattern as the 2017 Wainwright Stampede.
Fellow Canadian and 2016 world champion bronc rider Zeke Thurston will be up Friday night. Thurston is on a roll with a win at the Innisfail Pro Rodeo just last weekend, as well as some strong performances at Reno Rodeo that see Thurston in the second place spot in round two and second in the average as of Thursday morning results.
Cort Scheer—who has been on a roll all year that included winning $433,333 at RFD-TV’s The American—continued that roll at Reno before he’ll head north for the weekend. Scheer is winning the first round at Reno and, after a lower score in round two, is splitting fourth in the average. Scheer has drawn another 20-22 point horse by the name of 734 Second Thoughts (Big Stone Rodeo).
Many other top Canadian and American names are also on the list at Wainwright, ensuring it will be an exciting event to watch this weekend.
Team Roping: Johnson/Woosley Win Round One, Wolves Follow Behind
Key Athletes: Denver Johnson/Tristin Woolsey, Garrett Rogers/Russell Cardoza, Levi Simpson/Jeremy Buhler
Analysis: Alberta’s Denver Johnson and Tristin Woolsey won the first round yesterday with their time of 5.5 seconds, which is slightly slower than the leading times from last year (4.7 in round one and 4.6 in round two in 2017), but it does give them a half-second cushion on the second place winners of round one as Johnson and Woolsey head in to round two. The pair will rope again on Friday night.
Two-time WNFR qualifier Garrett Rogers and six-time qualifier Russell Cardoza have also kept themselves in contention for the short round on Sunday with their 6.3-second run, which took fourth place in round one. These “wolves” can be both extremely rapid as well as consistent—a needed trait on a three-head average rodeo—so it wouldn’t be surprising to see these two in the short round come Sunday.
The 2016 world champions Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler are finally on the draw together again here in Canada. While the two are not on the leaderboard yet, it’s never a surprise when these two jump out and take your money. We’ll see them rope Saturday evening.
Tie-Down Roping: Solomon Takes Commanding Lead With 7.6-Second Run
Key Athletes: Cory Solomon, Randall Carlisle, Trevor Brazile
Analysis: Cory Solomon, one of the fastest tie-down ropers going today, made a 7.6-second run look pretty easy in the round one slack of Wainwright. Over a second faster than his closest competition, he can breathe a little bit easier when he ropes again in the second slack today, but knowing Solomon, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him make another fast run and set himself apart from the competition heading into Sunday.
We’ll know when the results come in this evening.
Fellow American Randall Carlisle sits in second place with his 8.7-second run and is the only other competitor to be under the nine-second mark. Carlisle has also seen success in Reno—which has a similar format in the timed events—he’s currently sitting fourth in the average with a time of 17.9 on two.
Oh, and did we mention Trevor Brazile is on the draw? The 23-time world champion is both tie-down roping and team roping with Patrick Smith.
He hasn’t made it on to the leaderboard yet, but he competes in the second slack in both events this morning so we’ll have to wait to see if he and Smith can do enough on their second runs to make the short round on Sunday.
Barrel Racing: Reigning Canadian Champion, The Young Phenom And An “Amazing Racer”
Key Athletes: Carman Pozzobon, Taylor Manning, Nancy Csabay
Analysis: Carman Pozzobon has been one to watch both north and south of the border the last two years. She’s the reigning Canadian champion, leads the way in the current CPRA standings with over $11,000 already won this season, and is the only Canadian within the top 20 in the WPRA world standings.
Pozzobon runs in the second slack this morning so look out for results later.
One of the most exciting stories at the 2017 Canadian Finals Rodeo was young superstar Taylor Manning. Not only did she qualify for her first Canadian Finals Rodeo and win two rounds, but she did it all at the age of 13.
Manning is off to a good start with over $3,000 won already this season and runs in slack this morning.
The Canadian rodeo community has never known two-time Canadian champion Nancy Csabay to tell tall tales, but when she told friends she was headed to a five-week yoga retreat, that lie was for a good reason. Csabay is back from taking part in the reality television series The Amazing Race: Canada and had to keep the competition a secret until the season was announced.
Csabay runs in the opening performance of the Wainwright Stampede tonight so we will see how she does after taking on a totally different “race.”
Bull Riding: An American Legend vs A Canadian Icon
Key Athletes: Sage Kimzey, Scott Schiffer, Zane Lambert, Cody Coverchuk, Ty Ellis
Analysis: Sage Kimzey. Do I need to expand?
The bull rider who has taken all of the last four world titles for himself will be up in the final long-round performance on Saturday evening. He’s drawn Wayne Vold Rodeo’s 506 Moves Like Pozzy, who was last recorded in the PRCA’s stock stats at Pendleton last year where he bucked off Parker Breding and earned 21 and 21.5 points from each judge—plenty of bull if the world champ does his usual thing.
From an American legend to a Canadian icon.
Two-time Canadian champion Scott Schiffner will compete alongside Kimzey in the Saturday evening performance aboard Wayne Vold Rodeo’s Papas Rock Star.
Zane Lambert took a big paycheck out of Wainwright last year after he split second in round one, won the short go, and the average. Lambert is always a regular on the leaderboard at both CPRA and PBR Canada events and it would be no surprise to see him back there again at Wainwright.
Fellow Canadians and Innisfail Pro Rodeo co-champions Cody Coverchuk and Ty Ellis are also on the draw for Wainwright. Lambert and Coverchuk ride Saturday afternoon, while Ellis competes in the opening performance tonight.
Watch the live stream of the Wainwright Stampede June 21 at 8:30 PM CST, June 22 at 8:30 PM CST, June 23 at 2 PM CST and 10 PM CST, June 24 (short round) at 7:30 PM CST.