June 19, 2017 - It was the perfect Father’s Day present.
Spur Lacasse, son of former Canadian and Calgary Stampede bareback riding champion, Roger Lacasse, climbed aboard the Calgary Stampede’s 2012 Canadian Champion bareback horse, Special Delivery, and “spurred” out an 85 score to capture the bareback riding title and $900 at the weekend’s Innisfail Pro Rodeo at the Daines Ranch.
Riding before one of the huge crowds the sunshine-soaked weekend brought to the central Alberta community (sunshine being very much a rarity for this event), the 24 year-old Calgary cowboy edged Regina’s Ty Taypotat by a half point for the win.
“I’d never been on him before,” Lacasse acknowledged, “but I’d seen him lots and knew what he was about so I was really excited about the draw, that’s for sure. I knew it was a big opportunity for me and I really wanted to give my all.”
The 11 year-old son of six-time World Champion Grated Coconut and the tremendous mare, Zippy Delivery, Special Delivery has been selected for five CFR’s and five NFR’s as well.
Lacasse, a Hill College (Hillsboro, Texas) graduate, hoped the first place finish on the spectacular stallion might provide a turnaround for his season which didn’t begin until the Stavely weekend as he was recovering from a torn biceps suffered in November of last year.
“It’s been pretty hit and miss since I got back so this feels really good,” the 2014 Calgary Stampede Novice Champion and CFR qualifier admitted. “I just tried to keep everything the same as I would for any horse, other than maybe the excitement level.”
As excited as Lacasse, the younger, was, you know that his dad, the two time Canadian champ (1998 and 2004) was just as thrilled when word reached his home in Mirabelle, Quebec—just a half hour out of Montreal—that his son had won one of Canada’s iconic and most prestigious rodeos… on Father’s Day!
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You couldn’t blame Harley Cole if he decided to pack up and move to Innisfail. Not after the Cochrane steer wrestler pretty much owned his event at the 57th annual Innisfail Rodeo at the Daines Ranch. Cole won $2600 before the rodeo even started, courtesy of his solid performance at the steer wrestling jackpot that was staged at the Daines Ranch on the Wednesday prior to the rodeo itself. In that event, Cole was second in both the long and short go’s and first in the average for a lucrative afternoon of bulldogging. Then the 30 year-old dogged one in 3.7 seconds on Friday night, just moments after Joe Guze laid one down in 3.9 for a short-lived lead. Cole’s time held up for the weekend and netted the 2013 CFR qualifier a tidy $1902 first place cheque.
Other Innisfail winners included World Champion Zeke Thurston who posted an 82.5 score on the Calgary Stampede’s Shoshone Mountain for $1035 (and the beautiful Ross Contway bronze) as well as Diane Skocdopole in the barrel race (15.910, $2246). There was a three-way split of top spot in the bull riding - Tyler Pankewitz, 85.5 points on Calgary Stampede Rodeo’s B 480; Travis Warburton, 85.5 on Kesler Rodeo’s 05 Strange Tale and Garrett Smith, 85.5 on Calgary Stampede Rodeo’s 202 Sweet Like Sugar, all three tucking $902.40 into their Cinch Jeans.
There was another split in the tie down roping as Blair Smith and Erik Dublanko both posted 8.4 second times, with each man earning $1697 for the effort. And in the team roping Kyle Lucas and Luke Skocdopole combined for a 5.1 to capture the honours in that event, with each cowboy taking home $1837.
In the young guns events, Danny Vandenemeele won the novice bareback riding with a 73 point ($693) score but broke a bone in his wrist while making the winning ride. The Saskatchewan talent was sporting a cast on his riding arm as he accepted his championship buckle and offered a simple, “I’ll be back” when asked about the injury.
Kole Ashbacher continued his 2017 domination of the novice saddle bronc riding with a 77 point winning ride, good for $783 while Carter Sahli captured the steer riding title with a 78 point effort, and a $727 reward for his performance.
On the subject of team roping, a new event on the CPRA calendar provided plenty of action and some eye-popping winners’ cheques as the Big E Roundup was staged in Okotoks, Alberta. It was a pair of former world champions who dominated the event. Walt Woodward, 2007 heeling champion and 2008 world champion header Matt Sherwood placed in both go-rounds and won the average (16.6 seconds on three runs), pulling down a whopping $11,133 in the process.
Brady and Riley Minor were quickest in the first go—5.0 seconds for $2000, while Canadian season leaders, Brett and Justin McCarroll, smoked a 4.6 second run in the second go for a similar $2000 return. World champions, Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler posted a 4.9 to top the short round for $1500.
For a look at all the weekend’s results, go to RodeoCanada.com
Next stops on our CPRA calendar include the Wainwright Stampede for the first Canadian Pro Tour event of the year from June 22-25, along with Sundre Pro Rodeo June 23-25 and Guy Weadick Days in High River, also June 23-25.