Chance Butterfield stands at the ready in the Northlands Coliseum arena during the Canadian Finals Rodeo. After a life-threatening injury in August, Butterfield was able to heal up and be ready for the big rodeo. Photo by Covy Moore.

Steer wrestler Chance Butterfield battles injury to make the CFR

A life-threatening injury almost ended Butterfield’s chance for a CFR run

To quote the Ponoka Stampede Association, “It’s not the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) without a Butterfield!”

That was the dream for steer wrestler Chance Butterfield this season. He had enough in winnings and was working to build up his points for the CFR, however, a life-threatening injury almost took that dream away.

Butterfield was at a rodeo in High Prairie Aug. 2 when some fireworks went off and scared another horse. The chain of events that occurred after ended up with Butterfield getting kicked in the chest.

It was a bad hit. “I just hit the ground and I couldn’t breath,” said Butterfield.

Chances of survival fell on a few factors: first was determining the severity of the injury with a CT Scan at the High Prairie Hospital and second was getting him to the Grande Prairie Queen Elizabeth II hospital for surgery.

“Until they started getting blood into me I was pretty close to dying,” said Butterfield when he was in High Prairie.

It was determined he had a ruptured spleen and it was bleeding out. About 12 units of blood were pumped into Butterfield’s system to keep him alive.

Because of the urgency of the situation, STARS Air Ambulance was dispatched to pick him up but there was a heavy fog in the area that delayed the chopper’s landing for two hours, before it was eventually called off.

Buttefield recalls that a plane was called in and its landing almost didn’t happen for the same reason. Eventually crews were able to land and take Butterfield to Grande Prairie, but it was a close call, he said.

In Grande Prairie Butterfield was in the intensive care unit for about three and a half days and then in the regular hospital ward for another three and a half after receiving a splenectomy and a laparotomy.

At this point in the season, Butterfield had captured enough money to guarantee a spot at the CFR.

The healing and recovery started on day 1. Butterfield’s wife, Kenda, owns Vantage Physiotherapy Clinic in Ponoka, and she was a big factor in his healing. While they knew the injuries were serious, they kept at the recovery one day at a time. “Every opportunity we had to to gain ground, we took.”

“I was back practicing about a month ago, Oct. 10,” said Butterfield.

Their goal from the start was to heal up and start training for the CFR if it was possible; and it was. Most of the injuries are healed except for some scar tissue on Butterfield’s right side.

But one of the biggest excitements for Butterfield was being able to make it back and compete in Edmonton. For him it all came to taking care of business.

Butterfield’s focus during the CFR was about the daily steer draws and preparing mentally. While the CFR is over and Butterfield wasn’t able to walk away with a champion buckle, he’s excited for the future. “I’ve got years left in this event.”

He’s already got plans to take in two big rodeos coming up with a big rodeo in Regina and then to the American qualifier in Montana. After that, Butterfield says he wants to get home and build up on the training he lost after the incident in High Prairie.

For this Butterfield it’s all about moving forward and gaining the necessary momentum to be ready for next season.

He’s grateful to the many folks in Ponoka for their show of support to him and Kenda.

Just Posted

Fundraiser a test of endurance and fitness

Ponoka gym setting up to participate in worldwide fitness event

Alberta Justice Minister advocates UCP rural crime plan

Expanded property rights, more power to peace officers, demonetizing scrap mental part of UCP plan

Wolf Creek Public Schools appoints new facilities manager

Kevin Henderson to take over after Len Landry’s retirement

Ponoka UFA celebrates grand opening

New farm and ranch supply store is larger, has new features

Four Maskwacis residents charged with 38 crimes Nov. 9

Maskwacis RCMP: four arrested following armed robbery, pursuit and home invasion

Premier vows to fight for oilpatch as drillers forecast almost no growth in 2020

The CAODC said it expects the Canadian drilling rig fleet to continue to shrink

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh meets Trudeau to discuss throne speech

Top ask was the immediate creation of a national universal Pharmacare program

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

PHOTOS: Ponoka Legion’s Remembrance Day ceremony

Guest speaker Ron Labrie recounts moving story of fallen Ponoka airman

Small group of Cherry fans protest his firing at Rogers HQ

One sign at the Toronto rally: ‘Rogers cancels Don, we cancel Rogers’

Ideas for Alberta independence would increase costs, Nenshi says

Province has formed panel to examine how to get what a ‘fairer deal’ from Confederation

UPDATED: Alexandra Lewis has been located

UPDATED: Alexandra Lewis has been located, safe and well. ORIGINAL STORY: Ponoka… Continue reading

Alberta harvest a ‘growing crisis’: MP Blaine Calkins

Alberta Conservative MP’s resolve to assist farmers struggling with harvest

Most Read