Curtis Cassidy, seen here during the first day of the CFR on Oct. 30 in Red Deer, didn’t have the showing he wanted at the NFR earlier this month though was still pretty pleased with how it all turned out finishing fourth overall. Black Press file photo

Curtis Cassidy has tough NFR, but still hits world top four

Donalda steer wrestler made some good money in Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo

In spite of a few lost steers, Donalda’s Curtis Cassidy really did make the most of his latest showing on the world stage.

Cassidy, the 40 year-old cowboy and older brother of fellow cowboy Cody, made his sixth appearance at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas Dec. 6 to 15 and wound up fourth in the world of steer wrestling.

“It went really well considering. I can’t hang my head at all,” said Cassidy over the phone from Arizona as he continues on the winter rodeo circuit down south.

“I could have had a better NFR. A couple of steers didn’t quite cooperate, so I didn’t have enough to make the average. However, I still won some good money, so I’m happy with how it all turned out.”

Cassidy went into the NFR ranked number one in the world, but three runs without posting a time along with three runs out of the money left him in fourth with overall 2018 earnings of just over $188,000.

He captured top spot in two rounds, slamming down a 3.6 each time, while earning some more cash with a third and sixth place finish during the 10-day event.

“I won a few rodeos in the U.S. during the last winter to start the 2018 season and then had an up and down summer in Canada,” Cassidy noted.

Those rodeo victories during the year included Canadian rodeo stops in Olds, Grande Prairie, Brooks, Teepee Creek and Falkland (B.C.) as well as U.S. circuit stops in Washington, Utah, Montana and Idaho.

“Finishing fourth is great with how the NFR went. I had an excellent run during the season and you always head in hoping to win, but I’m glad to pick up a pair of victories in the go-rounds,” he added.

He’s already begun his run at the 2019 NFR, having earned nearly $3,000 on the winter rodeo circuit before things really get moving in January.

Canadian content

Cassidy was one of six Canadians at the 2018 NFR — joining Orin Larsen, Scott Guenthner, Clay Elliott, Carman Pozzobon and Zeke Thurston.

Thurston, who is from Big Valley, had the best finish out of the lot — winding up third in the saddle bronc. Nanton’s Elliott wound up in tenth in that same event.

Meanwhile, Guenthner from Provost was just behind Cassidy in the steer wrestling, finishing fifth just $1,500 back of his fellow Albertan.

As for the other two Canadians, Pozzobon from near Kamloops, B.C. won the average in the barrel racing, and managed to place fourth in the world standings while Larsen — who grew up in Strathmore though now lives in Utah — wound up eighth in the bareback.

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