#CFR43 Roundup - Day Two

Dakota Buttar, the two-time CFR bullriding champ from Saskatchewan, goes for a three-peat

More from Scott Fisher

Published on: November 10, 2016 | Last Updated: November 11, 2016 10:33 AM MST

Dakota Buttar at the Canadian Finals Rodeo on Nov. 9, 2014, held at Rexall Place in Edmonton. Buttar won the bull riding event. LARRY WONG / POSTMEDIA, FILE

As an aspiring accountant, Dakota Buttar knows $33 isn’t a lot.

Except when it is.

“It can be,” Buttar said after topping the Canadian bull riding standings by a measly 33 bucks over second-place Radford Brock, from the southern Alberta hamlet of De Winton.

Buttar, the two-time defending national champ, didn’t go to a rodeo on the final weekend, electing to compete at a Professional Bull Riders event instead.

“I probably only went to two rodeos the last month-and-a-half of the season,” said Buttar, who was trying to track down Ty Pozzobon atop the Canadian PBR standings. “I think (Brock) won one rodeo and got second or third at the other one.”

Nervous times?

“Yeah, a little bit,” Buttar said of watching his lead almost completely evaporate.”

Buttar, who celebrated his 24th birthday three days before the CFR kicked off, became the fifth bull rider since the CFR began in 1974 to win back-to-back crowns last November at Rexall Place.

Only two men have ever won three straight championships — Wilf Girletz (1950-52) and Gid Garstad (1964-66).

“It was a long time ago,” Buttar said when asked if he knew about the record-holders. “I think Wilf Girletz might have been one of the guys to do it.

“It would be special to me.

“After last year, a few people mentioned to me that it’s been a long time since anyone has done it and only a couple of people have.”

Dakota Buttar rides Bomb Shell in the bull riding event at the Canadian Finals Rodeo at Rexall Place in Edmonton on November 11, 2015. RYAN JACKSON /  POSTMEDIA, FILE

The three-peat wasn’t exactly at the forefront of Buttar’s mind earlier this season when he was struggling to pick up cheques.

“I didn’t think a whole lot about it because I had a pretty crappy spring,” Buttar said. “I didn’t make any money until June and then things started picking up a bit.

“I was doing good at the (PBRs) but I was doing horrible at the rodeos. I was bucking off everything.

“It was right around Cowboy Christmas when it started to turn around.”

But he received a scare right before the busiest run of the season.

“I had a couple of bad concussions and I had to sit out,” he said. “I had to miss a few weeks to let my head rest up.

“I landed on my head after getting off one.

“I was getting dizzy and stuff when I was riding and puking.”

Once he got back on, he started to win.

The Kindersley, Sask., bull rider cashed in at Wainwright, Airdrie and Strathmore and picked up another big chunk of change for a second-place finish at Ponoka.

And when the dust settled, Buttar topped the standings for the third straight season with $32,873.

Calgary’s Jordan Hansen is only $4,500 back of the front-runners. And veterans like Scott Schiffner and Zane Lambert are never out of it.

So Buttar knows he’ll be in a dogfight for that third title.

At least he should be able to keep track of all his winnings.

By the time his rodeo career is over, Buttar hopes to be a full-fledged accountant.


“I always liked math in school even though not many people did,” the 5-foot-8, 140-pounder said. “I just take one or two classes at a time because my rodeo schedule is so busy.

“I’ve been pecking away at it for a couple of years. I probably have a couple years to go.”

Winning streaks

Back-to-back bull riding titles since the CFR started in 1974

• Dakota Buttar2014, 2015

• Rob Bell 1999, 2000

• Wayde Joyal 1993, 1994

• Dale Johansen     1983, 1984

• Brian Claypool    1975, 1976



Happy thoughts: Clay Elliott has his head in the game for CFR saddle bronc

More from Scott Fisher

Published on: November 10, 2016 | Last Updated: November 11, 2016 10:32 AM MST

Clay Elliott preps a saddle bronc saddle at the Calgary Stampede Grounds on Dec. 19, 2014. They were promoting that year's Ultimate Cowboy Rodeo. LYLE ASPINALL / POSTMEDIA, FILE


Clay Elliott has an active imagination.

He hopes it gives him a bit of an advantage when he arrives at Rexall Place for his first CFR appearance.

“I’ve run through it so many times in my head, as soon as I get there, I’ll know what the heck is going on,” Elliott said. “I’ll carry on with the way I’ve played it in my head.

“It’s my first time being there physically, but I’ve been there lots of times mentally.”

Sounds great. If you don’t have experience, just create it.

Actually, one of the top saddle bronc riders in the country has competed at the CFR before, in the steer riding and novice saddle bronc riding.

But this will be his first time tangling with the big boys.

Elliott hasn’t been riding many bucking horses lately but he did get on one in Billings, Mont., at the first official rodeo of the 2017 season.

He won second with an 85.5.

“That just confirmed that what I was doing was right,” he said. “And I’ve been on a pretty strict workout program. I’m in really good shape. I’ve looked after it.

“If I’m not getting on bucking horses, I had better be taking care of my body.

“With this month-and-a-half off, I’ll be in good riding shape.”

He’s in good shape in the standings, too.

He won $27,708 this season, third among Canadian saddle bronc riders behind only season leader Dustin Flundra ($30,330) and Layton Green ($28,491).

“It’s like the National Finals, it’ll come right down to the final day,” he said. “ It does every year.

“The guys coming in at the bottom still have a really good chance.”

He’s already had a solid sophomore season.

But factor in that he pocketed $80,848 across North America, good for eighth spot on the world charts, and it’s spectacular.

“That’s always been the plan,” the 22-year-old said.

“It sure worked out this year, though. I finished 17th in the world last year, so I was a couple away from making the National Finals.

“It was a good year. I did a lot of travelling and drew a lot of good bucking horses.”

Elliott’s biggest paydays were at Ponoka and Armstrong but said he was more focused on consistency.

“I pecked away at a lot of rodeos,” Elliott said. “I had a goal set to make $1,000 a rodeo.

“I went to 84 rodeos and I won about $80,000 so I was just below my goal.”

It could have been even better if not for a bad groin pull at the worst possible time.

“I pulled my groin and I was out for a month,” Elliott said. “I had to pull out of Calgary.”


It would have been Elliott’s first time competing at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

“I didn’t have an option,” he said. “My groin was dang-sure pulled and I’m glad I did what I did. I just couldn’t ride.”

When he isn’t on the back of a buckin’ horse, Elliott stays close to his western roots.

“My dad has a hat shop here in Nanton, so I like to work in there with him,” he said.

“And I have a bunch of horses and a few cows.”



No pressure for Csabay to defend barrel racing title

More from Derek Van Diest

Published on: November 10, 2016 | Last Updated: November 11, 2016 10:24 AM MST

Nancy Csabay takes part in the first go-round of Ladies Barrel Racing at the Canadian Finals Rodeo at Northlands Coliseum, in Edmonton on Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016. DAVID BLOOM / POSTMEDIA / POSTMEDIA


Nancy Csabay went into the 2016 Canadian Finals Rodeo looking to have a good time.

Never mind the native of Taber was the defending Canadian barrel racing champion, she and her horse Wicked felt little pressure heading into this year’s event taking place at the Northlands Coliseum. 

“It’s really not about winning, don’t get me wrong, my ego loves to win and I enjoy that too, but it’s really more about spending some time with some close friends and family and being with my horse,” Csabay said. “I enjoy riding her and she enjoys her job so that’s kind of why we go.

“Last year was an incredible year, it was nothing that I had expected, that’s for sure, but I was grateful that it happened.”

Csabay and Wicked had the year of a lifetime in 2015. She went into the CFR as the season’s money leader and went on to claim her first Canadian title on her sixth trip to the finals.

Csabay also won the Top Gun award as the contestant who earned the most overall money at the event, which came with $5,000 towards a new Dodge vehicle.

Meanwhile, Wicked was named Horse of the Year and Horse with the most heart.

“Honestly, that year couldn’t have gone any better,” Csabay said. “Plus, I had only gone to 25 rodeos, so I didn’t even go to all the rodeos. I only go to the rodeos that I like and are close by so I can go there and still spend time with my family and not be so far from my family all the time.”

This year Csabay is looking for an encore. She went into the CFR seventh on the money list and finished third in Wednesday’s opening night performance behind Crossley Callahan of Hermiston, Oregon and Katie Garthwaite of Merritt, B.C.

Csabay credits her success to the relationship with Wicked, who she bred and raised and has been competing with for the past seven years.

“She loves running, she really enjoys getting out there and when she’s running to each barrel she’s pinning her ears back and she’s gritty, she’s a gritty mare,” Csabay said. “And maybe because I don’t go to a whole lot of rodeos, she’s been sound, and not hurt and that’s really helped her. She loves to run barrels for sure.

“For me, she’s really, honestly, changed my life. I’ve started teaching retreats on how to be present with your horse and how to be present in the moment and added a little bit of barrel racing to the mix. And because of her, these wouldn’t have happened. So honestly, she’s changed my life and I’m so grateful to have her and she’s definitely part of the family and I’ll care for her for the rest of my life.”

Csabay hails from a rodeo family. Her father was a former CFR all-around champion and mother was a former Miss Rodeo Canada. Now Csabay travels the rodeo circuit with her own family.

“Definitely as kids, we’d go with mom and dad and go to all the rodeos with them and really I’ve grown up on the rodeo trail,” she said. “I’m grateful that I can bring my daughter along and enjoy all the friends you make along the way.”

Much like most attending the CFR, Csabay is happy the event will be held in Edmonton beyond this year. The Finals appeared headed to Saskatoon before a new two-year extension was renegotiated.

“I am really happy,” she said. “Our purse has gone down a tiny bit in the last two years, but not in a bad way. The reason why it is, is because the team ropers are now going to get paid equal and before they were never paid equal, they were paid half of what we get paid. So to be honest, with you, barrel racing was kind of in that same boat and now we get equal pay and so I think it’s kind of a milestone for those team ropers, they get paid equal. They’re bringing their family to this event and they’re spending money going up and down the road, so why shouldn’t they get paid equal?”

Csabay is hoping the CFR stays in Edmonton beyond the two-year extension.

“Whoever is doing the negotiating, I’m grateful that they want to try and get as much money for us as possible, because it’s a very expensive sport that we have,” she said. “But I also believe this rodeo needs to stay here. It generates a lot of money for this city and there is a lot of six-pack holders that are elderly and they come here because the know the city. They know to get on the LRT that it’s going to drop them right off here and it’s easy for them. So if it moves to another city, I guarantee those older six-pack holders will not be coming. It’s comfortable for them, so I would sure hate to lose their support as well after all those years they’ve been coming.”



CFR Day 2 Results 




Bull Rider Tanner Girletz is bucked off Mr Sunshine during the first go-round at the Canadian Finals Rodeo at Northlands Coliseum, in Edmonton on Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016. 

CFR Results for Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016

Bareback Riding

1 Jake Vold, Airdrie AB, 89.00, $12,324.47; 2 Ky Marshall, Bowden AB, 85.25, $9,164.35; 3 JR Vezain, Cowley WY, 85.00, $6,004.23; 4 Pascall Isabelle, Okotoks AB, 83.00, $2,844.11; 5/5 Kody Lamb, Sherwood Park AB, 81.50, $632.02; 5/5 Dantan Bertsch, Eastend SK, 81.50, $632.02;

Total Season Earnings 1 Jake Vold, $53,230.33 ; 2 Caleb Bennett, $43,181.71 ; 3 Cole Goodine, $35,184.39 ; 4 Ky Marshall, $29,995.70 ; 5 JR Vezain, $23,035.83

Steer Wrestling

1 Curtis Cassidy, Donalda AB, 4.1, $12,324.47; 2 Brock Butterfield, Ponoka AB, 4.3, $9,164.35; 3 Derek Frank, Stony Plain AB, 4.6, $6,004.23; 4 Cody Cassidy, Donalda AB, 4.7, $2,844.11; 5 Morgan Grant, Didsbury AB, 5.7, $1,264.05;

Total Season Earnings 1 Cody Cassidy, $41,134.05 ; 2 Curtis Cassidy, $32,940.07 ; 3 Brock Butterfield, $31,706.69 ; 4 Tanner Milan, $31,158.68 ; 5 Derek Frank, $26,711.04

Novice Bareback

1 Danny Vandenameele, Langenberg SK, 76.50, $1,200.00; 2 Lane Link, Maple Creek SK, 75.00, $800.00;

Total Season Earnings 1 Lane Link, $8,874.89 ; 2 Tanner Young, $8,808.42 ; 3 Danny Vandenameele, $6,107.33

Novice Saddle Bronc

1 Kolby Wanchuk, Sherwood Park AB, 75.00, $1,200.00; 2 Chance Barrass, Yellowhead County AB, 73.00, $800.00;

Total Season Earnings 1 Kolby Wanchuk, $8,565.71 ; 2 Chance Barrass, $5,905.50 ; 3 Dawson Hay, $5,747.00

Boys Steer Riding

1 Weston Davidson, Strongfield SK, 79.00, $1,000.00; 2 Dixon Tattrie, Youngstown AB, 72.00, $600.00;

Total Season Earnings 1 Luke Ferber, $5,778.18 ; 2 Dixon Tattrie, $4,974.94 ; 3 Weston Davidson, $4,771.60 ; 4 Quinten Taylor, $4,489.88 ; 5 JW Hart, $3,974.32

Team Roping

1 Shay Carroll, Hico TX, $6,356.49 & Kolton Schmidt, Barrhead AB, $6,356.49;, 4.9; 2/3 Jacob Minor, Ellersburg WA, $3,911.69 & Garrett Rogers, Baker City OR, $3,911.69;, 5.5; 2/3 Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne OR, $3,911.69 & Dustin Bird, Cut Bank AB, $3,911.69;, 5.5; 4/5 Chase Simpson, Claresholm AB, $1,059.41 & Roland McFadden, Vulcan AB, $1,059.41;, 5.9; 4/5 Klay Whyte, Airdrie AB, $1,059.41 & Brett Buss, Ponoka AB, $1,059.41;, 5.9;

Total Season Earnings 1 Klay Whyte, $26,501.09 & Brett Buss, $28,005.46 ; 2 Shay Carroll, $26,462.90 & Kolton Schmidt, $26,925.44 ; 3 Russell Cardoza, $21,337.07 & Dustin Bird, $23,162.07 ; 4 Jeremy Buhler, $20,786.35 & Levi Simpson, $20,519.78 ; 5 Jacob Minor, $19,444.09 & Garrett Rogers, $19,444.07

Saddle Bronc Riding

1 Dustin Flundra, Pincher Creek AB, 85.25, $12,324.47; 2 Clay Elliott, Nanton AB, 84.50, $9,164.35; 3 Luke Butterfield, Ponoka AB, 83.25, $6,004.23; 4 Chuck Schmidt, Keldron SD, 82.50, $2,844.11; 5 Layton Green, Meeting Creek AB, 82.00, $1,264.05;

Total Season Earnings 1 Dustin Flundra, $45,499.07 ; 2 Jim Berry, $39,582.31 ; 3 Clay Elliott, $36,872.35 ; 4 Luke Butterfield, $31,268.68 ; 5 Layton Green, $31,019.80

Tie Down Roping

1 Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck ID, 7.7, $12,324.47; 2 Riley Warren, Stettler AB, 8.0, $9,164.35; 3 Morgan Grant, Didsbury AB, 8.1, $6,004.23; 4 Stetson Vest, Childress TX, 8.2, $2,844.11; 5 Dean Edge, Rimbey AB, 9.1, $1,264.05;

Total Season Earnings 1 Alwin Bouchard, $35,642.03 ; 2 Matt Shiozawa, $33,834.01 ; 3 Logan Bird, $28,258.50 ; 4 Riley Warren, $27,354.45 ; 5 Rhen Richard, $25,107.57

Ladies Barrel Racing

1 Lynette Brodoway, Brooks AB, 14.694, $12,324.47; 2 Carman Pozzobon, Aldergrove BC, 14.758, $9,164.35; 3 Nancy Csabay, Taber AB, 14.805, $6,004.23; 4 Katie Garthwaite, Merritt BC, 14.875, $2,844.11; 5 Sydney Daines, Red Deer County AB, 14.890, $1,264.05;

Total Season Earnings 1 Callahan Crossley, $40,511.92 ; 2 Kirsty White, $33,039.42 ; 3 Lynette Brodoway, $32,137.74 ; 4 Nancy Csabay, $29,349.04 ; 5 Carman Pozzobon, $28,569.86

Bull Riding

1/2 Tyler Pankewitz, Ponoka AB, 85.75, $10,744.41; 1/2 Dakota Buttar, Kindersley SK, 85.75, $10,744.41; 3 Jordan Hansen, Calgary AB, 85.25, $6,004.23; 4/5 Jared Parsonage, Maple Creek SK, 84.50, $2,054.08; 4/5 Wacey Finkbeiner, Ponoka AB, 84.50, $2,054.08;

Total Season Earnings 1 Dakota Buttar, $52,782.47 ; 2 Brock Radford, $38,844.36 ; 3 Jordan Hansen, $32,364.11 ; 4 Tyler Pankewitz, $30,787.97 ; 5 Lonnie West, $30,105.70

All Around

1 Luke Butterfield; $33,663.61 2 Josh Harden; $20,611.64

High Point

1 Morgan Grant; $48,685.99 2 Curtis Cassidy; $40,199.92