Ponoka cowgirls shine at college rodeo finals

Ponoka native Casey Crandall was named the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (CIRA) Cowgirl of the Year, her horse Pistol was named girl’s horse of the year and she won pole bending and barrels at the college finals.

Ponoka cowgirls Casey Crandall

Ponoka cowgirls Casey Crandall

Ponoka native Casey Crandall was named the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (CIRA) Cowgirl of the Year, her horse Pistol was named girl’s horse of the year and she won pole bending and barrels at the college finals. Also from Ponoka, Kendra Carothers won the goat tying even and placed second in breakaway.

Crandall was also the student elected president of the association and will sit on the board next year as the past president. “It was a great experience, for all aspects learning about handling of business.

I had to be really organized and beside being organized I really learned how to be a better leader,” said Crandall of being president. Both girls were very pleased with the outcome of the rodeo and the support from the fans.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend I have no complaints on behalf of being the president the association put on an amazing finals,” said Crandall. “We had lots of compliments from spectators and we are already starting to think about next year to put on the same caliber of show and get even better.”

Carothers agreed that the rodeo went well.

“I thought the rodeo was really good. It went really smoothly. The last day it was packed with more than 1,200 in Northlands and every day we had a good crowd.”

Cowgirl of the year is based on sportsmanship, helpfulness, contribution to association and individual members.

“It felt really good to know that the hard work of being president paid off and it was recognized by my peers,” said Crandall.

Carothers thought she was the best person for the honour.

“She deserved everything. She worked so hard this year and made so many good changes for the association with the sponsors and the format, it was great.”

For Crandall she had times of 14.7, 14.7 and 15.0. In pole bending she had times of 21.9, 21.9 and 22.0.

She could not have done it with out her horse Pistol.

“He is solid and consistent, he always goes out and does his job and most important is how much heart he has, Pistol always tries as hard as he can,” said Crandall.

Crandall is looking forward to competing in the summer in the Foothills and Lakeland Rodeo Associations. After that she will head back to the University of Calgary to finish off her studies in kinselogy. She thinks locally she has always had a lot of support especially from Roy Sturgeon and Training Centre.

“Ponoka has greatly affected me. The opportunities I have had coming from a town like Ponoka with the facilities it has, the community involvement in rodeo influenced me to stay in rodeo and grow in it,” said Crandall. “My Dad was a professional cowboy so between my Mom and Dad I learned this lifestyle and they have helped me in every way possible and have supported me greatly.”

Carothers was also very pleased with her weekend times in goat tying with a 8.5, 9.1 and 12.0. I. She was the season leader in team roping but in the finals her first go round she had a time of 8.4 seconds and missed the next two calves. She placed second in breakaway with times of 5.0, 4.9 and 3.5 plus 10 seconds for breaking out in her final go round.

“In goat tying it made me feel really good because I am partially deaf in one ear and it took me six years to perfect my balance, so it was a big accomplishment for me,” said Carothers. “I was really happy with my breakaway times and it didn’t really bother me that I broke out I was just really happy with the fact that I got all three of my calves down.” Carothers is at Red Deer College studying disability and community studies. She hopes to be a recreation therapist or go into equine therapy.