Local cowboys and one cowgirl warming up for CFR

Another year past, and another Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) — held in Edmonton Nov. 6 to 10 — looming just ahead for the cowboys and girls

Zane Lambert will compete to be top bull rider at the CFR this week.

Another year past, and another Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) — held in Edmonton Nov. 6 to 10 — looming just ahead for the cowboys and girls who’ve earned enough to place in the pinnacle rodeo.

This year Ponoka and area has seven cowboys and a cowgirl who has rode, roped and wrangled their way into the event with the best of the best; which is one of the highest participant numbers for any constituency.

The competitors are: Zane Lambert (bull riding), Luke Butterfield (saddlebronc), Jake Vold (bareback), Tyrel Flewelling (team roping heeler), Levi Simpson (team roping header), Brett Buss (team roping header), Cranna Roberts (barrel racing), Dean Edge (tie-down roping) and Jake Stemo (novice bareback).

Last year’s champion Luke Butterfield is returning to the CFR and hoping to once again win the title, but for him winning isn’t everything. “ (I) always want to win but I try to take each horse one day at a time.”

“I try my hardest at everything,” he added.”

This is Butterfield’s sixth year competing at the CFR and with each return trip, he’s able to better mentally prepare for the honour. “When you’re first there, you’re awestruck.”

Butterfield remembers his first time at the rodeo he was so nervous, he almost blacked out during his ride.

After rodeoing for more than a decade, Butterfield says his mental preparation has simply built up over time. “I just try to stay positive and try not to look too far ahead into the results.”

He competed most of the fall and also feels he’s physically prepared. On his day off, Butterfield makes sure to spend time in the gym as well as ride horses.

This year he struggled a little more than normal and rode his way through an unusually difficult season. “I’d just say it was a good season. I’d say I had a terrible June.”

Butterfield says he usually has his ticket to the finals wrapped up by the Ponoka Stampede at the end of June. “Shoot, I didn’t have them pretty much made until the middle of August.

Vold also struggled with a tough season after he ripped the UCL ligament in his elbow during the Calgary Stampede. However, he didn’t doubt for a minute that he wouldn’t be riding at the CFR for his fifth year. “I always knew I’d be back and ready.”

He was picking his way through the spring, telling himself he would eventually get a good horse under him. Vold says when it happened, it couldn’t have come at a better time and he was able to pick up his season before injuring himself.

After competing there for four years already, Vold says the experience doesn’t get any less exhilarating. “It’s not much different, it’s just as exciting.”

“I guess a guy kind of learns to get more mentally prepared,” he added.

Vold also agrees it’s important to remain positive. “Rodeo is definitely a roller coaster ride. A lot of things can happen that are out of your control.”

Bull rider Zane Lambert also sustained a few injuries this season but thanks to sports medicine and chiropractors, he was able to keep riding.

This is Lambert’s first time making it to the CFR. Last year, he earned the same amount of money but wasn’t able to secure his spot in Edmonton.

A few weeks ago, he also competed at the PBR and says he uses his daily routine to prepare. “I’ve just been riding bulls, I’ve been keeping it sharp . . . I’m not really rusty at all.”

With his latest accomplishment under his belt, Lambert is calling this year his best season ever. “Making it to the CFR, I’m pretty excited about that.”

“I’m just really hoping for a good finals. If I could ride all my bulls, that would be great,” he added.

Lambert says his biggest challenge this year was staying healthy.

One of the biggest challenges for ropers and wranglers can be the livestock, especially if they draw a stopper or one that drives hard to one side.

Those who bring their own horses to compete with also have the added task of making sure their animals are fit for competition, not just themselves.

This year is also the CFR 40th anniversary and an amped up celebration is planned, including the all-new tailgate party held two hours before every CFR performance.


Just Posted

Ponoka’s production of Suds promises a rocking time

The Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society presents a rocking musical for its winter production

Ponoka looking for ways to fix splash park issues

Council hears report on challenges last summer, will have to wait on costs

Ponoka’s Caleb Shimwell arrested after pursuit

Police allege that Shimwell rammed a police cruiser

Survey of Ponoka residents state recreation as top budget priority

A total of 122 survey responses also note need for increased bylaw enforcement

Ponoka will save $430,000 with change to new waste contractor

Transition to take place with CanPak for Jan. 1, contract includes two bins

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for speeding

Clocked going 215 km/hr

Reflections: The Johnston family and one of Ponoka’s largest early homes

A look at an early home in Ponoka, which at the time was one of Ponoka’s largest

Remember When: Looking back at Ponoka’s Johnston family

A look at the family who moved into a ‘palatial’ Ponoka home

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Most Read