Big bulls, big spills, and big money were all taken in at the CFR this year, and with a home at Northlands for at least two more years the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association’s operations manager Kyle Rock tells us, once the dust settles, they’ll start making plans for the 44th CFR next year.
“We’re just hoping to get bigger and better, you know, we’ve already got the best cowboys and cowgirls in the world and the best stock, so we just hope our production and everything can keep up with it.”
The 43rd annual Canadian Finals Rodeo wrapped up Sunday, with almost a quarter million dollars in prize money awarded this year. Three of the winners of the main events were from Alberta, four if you count the team roping event which was won by Dustin Bird from Cut Bank and his partner from Oregon.
Sydney Daines from Red Deer County placed second in the Ladies Barrel Racing, just one tenth of a second slower than winner Jackie Ganter from Texas.
Rock says the atmosphere was more comfortable knowing that the CFR has a home here in Edmonton, at least for the next couple of years.
“I’m not sure if it made it better, it sure made it more enjoyable. There was a lot of positivist in the building. Everybody is excited about the next two years, so it definitely didn’t hurt.”
Not as much positivist outside the building where up to 20 protesters were seen picketing the rodeo with signs that emblazoned with slogans like, ‘buck the rodeo,’ and ‘stop supporting violence.’
Rock says they value everyone’s opinion, but that their first priority is animal welfare.
“We’ve developed a really strong relationship with the Edmonton Humane Society and the veterinary community here, and we have both veterinarians and representatives from the Humane Society on staff here for every performance.”
The CFR brings in thousands of guests to Edmonton every year, and Rock says discussions with Northlands are in their infancy about how to possibly leverage the incoming Alberta Capital Investment Tax Credit for tourism.