Pro Rodeo & Chuckwagon News Roundup: Aug 9th-13th


Kelts Hits Winner's Circle at Dawson Creek

Airdrie, ALTA – August 14, 2017

“Lord, it sounds so easy, this shouldn't take long. Be back in the money in no time at all”

These lines are from the Alan Jackson hit, “Gone Country” and it darn sure applies when you talk about the amazing Kesler Rodeo bronc of the same name and the guys who climb aboard.

Take Sam Kelts, for example, who got on the 12 year-old bay mare at the Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede and rode to first place with an 86 score and a tidy $2414 cheque. It’s the third time Kelts has had her over the years but Kelts was especially excited about this trip. 

“She’d been above average this year, that’s for sure,” Kelts noted. “I was really happy to draw her.” 

Travelling partner, Layton Green, had Gone Country at Ponoka to win the long go, then was a spectacular 90 points at Medicine Hat before the mare decided it was time for a little payback and tossed the #1 man in the Canadian standings at High Prairie at about the six second mark. 

So Kelts’ excitement was warranted. “Sometimes she has a couple of moves in there but with me, she was straight as a string, real nice jump and kick—just what every bronc rider wants.”

Factor in a 1/2 split at Omak, Washington (alongside reigning Canadian Champ, Clay Elliott) with another 86 pointer for $3081 and a 5th place cheque at Jerome, Idaho and it adds up to a $6000 week for the talented second generation cowboy. It’s been a solid year, especially in Canada for the ten time CFR qualifier but it took a while to get going in the US. 

“I had a really slow start down there,” Kelts acknowledged. “In fact I didn’t do s—t until about July 4 but it’s probably too late for me to think about the NFR for this year. Which means Kelts’ attention is very much on a Canadian championship that has eluded the 33 year-old thus far in what has been an otherwise tremendous career. 

“Yeah that’s my focus from the first horse of the year to the last one,” Kelts admitted. And with eighteen thousand in the bank already on this side of the 49th parallel, Kelts is poised to take a serious run at that title. 

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A couple of veterans got together in the tie down roping at Dawson Creek and the result was predictable. The ever-consistent Dean Edge of Rimbey, Alberta combined with an old friend, the record-setting Sid, (seven time Tie Down Roping Horse of the Year) for a 9.1 second run and a $2567 first place pay cheque. 

“He feels the same way he always has,” stated Edge, “Murray Pole rode him there as well and said it was like ten years ago. I competed on him at Ponoka and won $3300 and should have placed at Strathmore on him. Sid’s still one of the hardest-running and hardest-stopping horses out there.” 

Edge has been saving the 22 year old super star for some of the bigger events and it appears that he still loves his job. “When the announcer calls my name, Sid starts going into the box,” Edge chuckled. The 10 time CFR qualifier has been relying on his 17 year old gelding, Taco, for most of this season’s work. “He’s been really good too,” Edge added. “But I’ll use Sid at Armstrong for sure because it’s so loud there and nothing bothers him.”

Cochrane, Alberta’s Baillie Milan continued his blazing streak of runs with a pair of quick times up north as he split the win at Dawson Creek (3.5 seconds to tie Brendan Laye) and added a second place finish at La Crete’s Field of Dreams Stampede (4.4 seconds). The two results deposited another $4200 in the veteran bulldogger’s bank account and he continued a climb up the standings that started with him in 50th at the end of July and now sees him a legitimate contender for a CFR berth and the realization of a longtime dream—competing alongside both brothers Tanner and Straws in Edmonton in November. 

Reigning Canadian champion bull rider, Jordan Hansen continued his push for an NFR berth as he notched the win at La Crete—he was 86.5 on Outlaw Buckers’ Bombshell for a $1567 stipend and collected another $2263 with a 2/3 splitting 82.5 score. The dual results put Hansen in 14th spot in the world standings and very much a part of an NFR conversation that hasn’t seen a Canadian in the bull riding in Las Vegas since 2001 when Rob Bell and Kagan Sirett (who replaced injured fellow Canadian, Greg Whitlow) carried the Canadian colours.

Manitoba bareback rider Orin Larsen was also among the Canadians to enjoy success ‘South of 49’ this week. The two time WNFR qualifier earned the win at Lovington, New Mexico ($5,351) and picked up a second place cheque at Omak, Washington for an additional $4,243 - which moves him to 15th place in the world standings.

For complete La Crete and Dawson Creek results, go to To view PRCA rodeo results, check out

This week will see cowboys and cowgirls make their way to three Grass Roots Rodeo Series venues: Jasper Heritage Rodeo, August 16 to 19 and Cranbrook Pro Rodeo and Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo which both run from August 18 to 20.

John Walters Captures The 2017 Battle of the North

2017 Battle Of the North Champions
Arrow Insurance Agency Ltd. Outfit

(L-R): Outriders Dayton Sutherland, Ryan MacNeill, Driver John Walters
Photo By Billy Melville

The 2017 edition of the Battle of the North Championship in Dawson Creek, British Columbia is in the books, and John Walters, driving the Arrow Insurance Agency Ltd. outfit, and along with outriders Ryan MacNeill and Dayton Sutherland, captured the championship and a $10,000.00 bonus cheque. It’s the second title of the year for John Walters this year as captured the Bonnyville Chuckwagon Championship just 2 weeks ago.

John Walters won the championship with penalty free run of 1:14.15 from barrel position number 4. Aggregate winner Chanse Vigen placed second from barrel number 3, 79 one-hundredths of a second behind the champion Walters. Rick Fraser grabbed third from barrel position number 2, Mitch Sutherland knocked over a barrel and placed fourth from barrel position number 1.

As far as the day results go, John Walters was the fast time of the night with his championship run of 1:14.15, Kelly Sutherland, who is running in his final Battle of the North Championship, placed second, just 8 one-hundredths of a second behind John Walters. Two-time show winner in 2017 Gary Gorst placed third, Obrey Motowylo in fourth and Chanse Vigen, driving Mike Vigen’s outfit, rounding out the five best times on the night. Chad Fike was presented with the Kenn Borek Memorial Most Sportsmanlike Driver award.

The 2017 WPCA Pro Tour will conclude next week in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta with the final stop of the season with the Battle of the Rockies starting on Thursday, August 17, 2017 and running through to Sunday, August 20, 2017. Live radio coverage of the Battle of the Rockies from Rocky Mountain House can be heard Thursday through Saturday on Rural Radio on SiriusXM Channel 147, or on Country 99 at 99.7 FM out of Bonnyville, and 96.5 CKFM out of Olds, Alberta, starting at 9:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Central and 7:00pm Mountain Time, with Sundays final starting at 4:00pm Eastern, 3:00pm Central and 2:00pm Mountain Time.

Billy Melville