CPRA News: The Numbers Game and A Canadian Record

Courtesy CPRA 

Courtesy CPRA 

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association


The Numbers Game and A Canadian Record

* courtesy of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Airdrie, ALTA – July 24, 2017 - There were two numbers that were significant for steer wrestler Straws Milan as he bulldogged his way into the Canadian Pro Rodeo record book during the Saturday night performance at the newly-minted K-Days Rodeo in Edmonton.

One was the 2.9 second run that not only earned the five time Canadian Finals Rodeo qualifier the first place $9982.80 cheque but also equaled the fastest time ever recorded in Canadian steer wrestling since the inception of the barrier—2.9 seconds. The time matched that of three men: Ralph Nelson, Darby Roy and David Gibson. Gibson posted his time at the Stavely Pro Rodeo in 1996—twenty-three years ago.

But the other number that was particularly significant to Milan was the number 22. 

“That was the number of that steer,” Milan explained. “I’d seen him when Travis Reay had him on Friday; Travis was 3.6 and broke the barrier. I really wanted that steer. I knew he was good but that wasn’t all of it. 22 is my favourite number. That was my number when I played hockey. My room number at the hotel in Edmonton was 422. The thermometer in my truck read 22 degrees when I got to Edmonton and the date I’d be competing was July 22. Then I watched a movie Friday night and in one of the scenes there was the big sign with the number 22 on it. I started to think I just might get that steer… and sure enough.”

It’s one thing to draw the steer you want—even with all that karma on your side—but you still have to make the run. 

"I rode Smoke there; that was the first time I’d ridden him since the CFR last November and he gets the credit for what happened. Cody Cassidy was hazing for me and just before I rode in he said you’ll need to see just a little (in reference to the barrier and the start). I got a really good start and I heard the guys yelling that I was out. My feet hit and it just happened really fast. Chance Butterfield had gone a few guys before me and he was 3.3. I was pretty sure I was faster than that, but I wasn’t thinking 2.9 until I heard it announced. That was pretty cool.”

The win has also dramatically altered Milan’s plans for the year. “It was a terrible year up until now,” the 2013 NFR qualifier acknowledged. “I’ve been staying up here and just trying to work on getting to the CFR but now I’m planning to catch up with Tanner and the guys and get down south.” 

The elder Milan was among the first to congratulate his little brother. “This is one they can never take away from you,” Tanner reminded Straws. And the two time Canadian champion who enjoyed a pretty good weekend himself with a big win at Nampa, Idaho ($11,108), was right. If history repeats itself, it could be another twenty-three years until Canadian rodeo sees another 2.9 or faster.

Other big winners on the weekend included Layton Green who captured the bronc riding at the 54th edition of the Manitoba Stampede in Morris with an 82.5 point ride on PrimeTime Rodeo’s Laramie for $2887.68. Coupled with his second place finish at Edmonton (85.25 points, $10,537), the weekend netted the Meeting Creek cowboy $13,425 on this side of the 49th parallel. Factor in his win at Nampa ($8894) and Green is no longer simply vying for that first trip to Las Vegas—he now joins Zeke Thurston as a legitimate contender for a world title before all is said and done. Both are solidly in the top five in the PRCA standings. Thurston won the Edmonton event with his third ride in three weeks on Northcott-Macza’s superstar, Get Smart—Ponoka Showdown, Calgary Stampede’s $100,000 Sunday and Edmonton. All three rides were winners and Thurston has pocketed a cool $128,310 on the back of the three time Canadian Champion saddle bronc over that time frame.

Team ropers Roland McFadden and Devin Wigemyr were among a select group of competitors who placed at all three Canadian stops—pulling down second place cheques at Edmonton (4.4, $9150); Morris (5.9 seconds, $1227) and adding a fourth place finish (5.3, $447) at Kennedy’s Moose Mountain Pro Rodeo... an event celebrating its 85th anniversary. The former Canadian heading champion and his talented partner entered the weekend in fourth and fifth places respectively in the Canadian standings and have vaulted to the top of the season leaderboard with their $10,826 haul. Many time champion Curtis Cassidy, who was 32nd in Canadian steer wrestling going into the weekend, turned his season around by placing at all three rodeos and gathering $9163 to grab his customary spot in the top twelve and move into contention to add to the dozen Canadian titles he already owns.

Bull rider Tim Lipsett made a big move as well as he rode to second place in Edmonton and cashed a 3rd place long go cheque and 4th place average cheque at Wednesday night’s White Lightning Professional Cowboy Crunch Bull Riding event in Oyen for a total of $11,802.

Three time Canadian champion Jake Vold was on his game as well—posting a second place 86.75 point ride at the K-Days Rodeo for $10,483, then topping the field at the Manitoba Stampede with an 85.5 point performance on Primetime Rodeo's 83 Wild Cat and an additional $2481.60 for a sizable $12,964 profit.

For complete weekend rodeo results, stop by rodeocanada.com.

This week sees a flurry of CPRA activity starting with a Pro Tour stop at the Medicine Hat Stampede July 27-29, the Bonnyville Pro Rodeo (a Grass Roots Series event) July 28-29 and three one-day events: the Bowden Bareback Challenge, the Maple Creek Bull Riding and the Hardgrass Bronc Match at Pollockville—all on July 29. The weekend finale will be the historic 104th Bruce Stampede Sunday, July 30th.