Cannon shoots out and holds on to win bareback title

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Bareback champion Clint Cannon from Waller

Bareback champion Clint Cannon from Waller

ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News

It was a wild eight second ride, but that’s exactly what it took for Texan Clint Cannon to take home top prize in the bareback competition.

After strong rides from Jason Havens, Dusty Lavally and Kaycee Field, Cannon managed to bring it home and score an 87-point ride at the finals on Sunday night.

When his ride started, it didn’t seem like it was going to be what Cannon wanted. After the chute was opened, the horse stalled and Cannon was forced to give the horse a kick with his spurs to get him to go.

“(Giving him a kick) got me flat on my back and when he broke he came firing and a buckin’,” said Cannon. “When I heard that whistle blow, I knew I was going to be victorious today.”

This victory marks his first ever at the Ponoka Stampede.

“I try to come to this rodeo every year and since 2003 I’ve been coming pretty often,” said Cannon.

“I’ve never won it — I’ve won second places twice and go-rounds — but I’ve never won it so it’s a big victory.”

Aside from being successful at the rodeo in Canada, the native of Waller, Texas also has a special connection to the country — he’s marrying a Canadian girl.

After meeting a woman from Moncton, N.B. at the Calgary Stampede last year, Cannon has been spending a lot of time exploring a country that he didn’t know much about.

“I went to New Brunswick for the first time over Christmas and it’s a whole different world than my world,” laughed Cannon. “There was like 10 feet of snow and not much English spoke.”

Cannon enjoys performing in front of Canadian fans.

“I really like competing here because the fans really understand and live rodeo,” said Cannon. “When you talk to somebody here, they know what you’re talking about.”

It has also been a busy week for the American, competing in two major rodeos — The Greeley Stampede in Colorado and the Ponoka Stampede.

“In the last two weeks, we’ve probably crossed the border at least seven  times,” said Cannon.