Eleven of the dozen competitors heading to the CFR this week flank the Ponoka Stampede Queen as they pose for a photo during the annual sendoff celebration event held on Nov. 2.

Ponoka sends huge contingent to CFR

It’s quite likely no other place in the world has sent a larger group to a rodeo.

It’s quite likely no other place in the world has sent a larger group to a rodeo.

A total of 12 competitors from the Ponoka area, or connected to it, will be competing at the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) that begins this week in Edmonton.

Eleven of them, along with 2016 Ponoka Stampede Queen Jadey van der Vlis, were at the Calnash Ag Events Centre on Nov. 2 for the CFR Sendoff event put on by the Ponoka Stampede.

Those competing include: Brett Buss, Klay Whyte, Levi Simpson, Travis Gallais in team roping, Tanner Young in novice bareback, Luke Butterfield in saddle bronc, Brock Butterfield in steer wrestling, Dean Edge in tie down roping, Jake Vold in bareback and Zane Lambert, Tyler Pankewitz and Wacey Finkbeiner in bull riding.

Ponoka Stampede president Blair Vold was certainly impressed with the group, stating, “I’ve never seen in our history so many from here off to the finals. It’s certainly a testament to the community and to our rodeo. It’s really tremendous.”

Each one of the competitors and van der Vlis received a denim jacket from the Ponoka Stampede in recognition of their accomplishment so far with Edge stepping up to the microphone afterwards to thank the Stampede and the entire community for all of its support shown to all of the rodeo competitors from the area.

For van der Vlis, the week will be just like much of her 2016 schedule very busy. She will be taking part in several appearances across Edmonton as part of the Miss Rodeo Canada competition, that includes five components like public speaking and a written test.

“I’m so thankful to everyone for all of the support and help they have provided to me so far,” she said.

“I’m pretty excited and the whole week is going to be busy and is pretty surreal even still. I couldn’t have asked for more and it’s a big honour to represent the Ponoka Stampede.”

For Brock Butterfield, heading to the CFR again is the culmination of a great season that included winning the buckle in his hometown rodeo.

“Got off to a good start this season and winning here in Ponoka was pretty special, especially with a lot of family and friends watching,” he stated.

“Making the CFR is always tough, but I had lots of good luck along the way.”

There is one first-timer in the group, bull rider Wacey Finkbeiner, who is making the trip after his best season ever as a pro.

“It’s great to see all of the hard work I put in pay off and by the end of July, I was fairly confident that I would have a spot in the finals,” he said.

Finkbeiner also has the support of two other competitors in Lambert and Pankewitz, who have all travelled together to rodeo much of the season.

“Yeah, we kind of had a team deal going on since we are all from the area and have travelled together,” he stated.

“That has made it a bit easier having just been a pro for two years. I was a good amateur, but the transition to pro has been tough and they both helped my learn to stay focused.”

The CFR kicks off today, Nov. 9, with performances through till Nov. 13. The crowning of Miss Rodeo Canada will take place on Nov. 12.

 

Just Posted

OPINION: Jason Kenney won by portraying himself as the Guardian of Alberta

How did Kenney do it? He never considered himself an opposition leader and didn’t pretend to be one.

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Calgary’s public school board responds to Syrian child’s suicide after bullying

Amal Alshteiwi, a newcomer to Canada from Syria, took her own life several weeks ago

Child, 11, accidentally shot in the chest at Alberta religious colony

Child taken from Hutterite colony to nearby hospital

Woman in critical condition after motorcycle crash on Edmonton highway

Police say both women were thrown from the bike, and the van continued forward, hitting a Nissan Altima

Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

Many of those who helped that day — first responders and Good Samaritans alike — still affected

New study suggests oilsands greenhouse gas emissions underestimated

New study is the first to use actual field measurements taken from aerial overflights, or top-down measurements

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

As in Ontario, the Alberta platform touts ‘expert advice and counsel from trusted health-care professionals’

Most Read