Keep your eye on K’s Thomson! Heading into Round 3 of Canadian Finals Rodeo tonight, the local saddle bronc rider holds third place.
K’s Thomson – saddle bronc
Lundbreck cowboy K’s Thomson tied for third Thursday, with an 84.75-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Special Delivery.
Zeke Thurston’s 87.50 proved to be the best mark among the 12 riders in Round 2, while 85.5 put Leon Fountain in second. Thomson shared third spot with Logan Hay, Lucas Macza and Layton Green.
Fourth with 84.25 points on Big Stone’s Second Thoughts – $2,154.45
11th in total season earnings with $19,020.45
Three-way tie for third with 84.75 points on Calgary Stampede’s Special Delivery – $1,915.17
Third in the aggregate with 169 points
11th in total season earnings with $20,935.62
The 24-year-old from Lundbreck turned pro in 2021 and is participating in his third CFR – novice saddle bronc in 2019 and saddle bronc in 2021 and 2023.
He qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $16,966.11 and 11th place in the standings. K’s has recovered from a hip injury and tied for second at his hometown rodeo in Pincher Creek this year.
Outside of pro rodeo, he is a rancher and horse trainer with a special interest in training dogs. His parents, Kirk and Shandel, are former CFR competitors in saddle bronc and barrel racing. Uncles Kyle and Cody Thomson are also former bronc riders.
K’s Thomson of Lundbreck scored 84.75 for this ride on Special Delivery at Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer on Thursday.
Logan Bird – tie-down roping
While a time of 9,5 seconds was good enough for a paycheque on Wednesday, an additional second meant no cash on Thursday for Nanton’s Logan Bird and eighth place in Round 2.
Behind Bo Pickett, Erik Dublanko, Jason Smith and Kyle Lucas, Bird is tied with Haven Meged for fifth in the average.
Fourth with 9.5 seconds – $2,154.45
Second in total season earnings with $36,775.45
Eighth with 10.5 seconds
Fifth in the aggregate with 20 seconds for two calves
Second in total season earnings with $36,775.45
The 29-year-old from Nanton turned pro in 2013 and is participating in his eighth CFR – 2013, 2016 to 2019 and 2021 to 2023.
He qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $34,621 and second place in the standings. Logan won the Falkland, High River and Cranbrook rodeos this year.
Outside of pro rodeo, he is a horse trainer and a big sports fan. His sister, Lakota Bird, is a CFR contestant in breakaway roping.
Ty Taypotat – bareback
With a score of 83.50 on Duane Kesler Rodeo’s Payday, Ty Taypotat landed third at Thursday’s CFR.
Fifth with 83 points on Calgary Stampede’s Zulu Warrior– $957.53
Fourth in total season earnings with $29,510.53
Third with 83.5 points on Duane Kesler Rodeo’s Payday – $4,548.28
Fourth in the aggregate with 166.5 points
Fourth in total season earnings with $34,059.04
The 31-year-old from Nanton turned pro in 2011 and is participating in his 11th CFR – 2011, 2012, 2014 to 2019 and 2021 to 2023.
Ty qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $28,553.23 and fourth place in the standings. The highlight of his year was getting married.
Outside of pro rodeo, you can find Ty flipping houses with his wife and fixing up the old Cummins.
Pascal Isabelle – bareback
Coming into CFR ranked ninth, Pascal Isabelle has yet to see a payday in Red Deer.
Isabelle’s 78.25-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Shadow Ride was a ninth-place ride on Thursday, an improvement from 77.75 achieved Wednesday on Vold’s Mucho Dinero.
11th with 77.75 on Vold’s Mucho Dinero
Ninth in total season earnings with $20,250.94
Ninth with 78.25 points on Calgary Stampede’s Shadow Ride
10th in total season earnings with $20,250.94
Pascal hails from Montreal but calls Nanton home. The 31-year-old turned pro in 2015 and is participating in his fourth CFR – 2016 and 2021 to 2023.
He qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $20,250.94 and 11th place in the standings. Pascal was champion of Medicine Hat’s indoor and outdoor rodeos, won the long round at Salinas Rodeo, and qualified for the NFR Open and Cloverdale short round.
Outside of pro rodeo, Pascal is an entrepreneur who loves connecting with nature and sports like skiing, swimming, hiking, biking and climbing.
His girlfriend Rachelle Riggers and his brother Eric Isabelle are also rodeo athletes.
Bradi Whiteside – ladies barrels and breakaway roping
Bradi Whiteside of Longview has had two solid rounds so far in barrel racing at CFR ’49. A time of 13.98 seconds landed her in third place for the day and second in the average heading into Round 3.
CFR earnings so far of $6,702.73 (the most among southwestern Alberta competitors) bring her barrel-racing total for the year to $25,944.98.
Bradi also has $14,116 behind her in breakaway earnings for the season and three opportunities to grow this over the weekend. The first round of breakaway roping is Saturday afternoon.
Round 1 – Barrels
Fourth with 13.88 seconds – $2,154.45
Seventh in total season earnings with $21,396.45
Round 2 – Barrels
Third with 13.98 seconds – $4,548.28
Second in the aggregate with 27.86 seconds in two runs
Seventh in total season earnings with $25,944.98
The 21-year-old Longview cowgirl turned pro in 2017 and is participating in her fifth CFR. This includes qualifying for breakaway roping in 2022 and 2023, and in ladies barrel racing from 2021 to 2023.
Bradi qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $14,116 and sixth place in the breakaway roping standings, and $19,242 for seventh in barrels. A highlight of her year was qualifying for the Calgary Stampede in both of her events.
Outside of pro rodeo, Bradi keeps busy as a horse trainer.
Her sister, Kylie Whiteside, is a CFR ’49 competitor in breakaway roping and, like Bradi, is a barrel racer. Their dad, Travis Whiteside was the 1997 Canadian bareback champion.
Hayden MacKay – junior steer riding
After being bucked off Wednesday, Hayden MacKay of Nanton scored 66 points in his second-round ride the next night.
He earned his CFR spot with winnings of $4,511.69 for the year. Junior steer riding wraps up Saturday afternoon.
Fifteen-year-old Hayden turned pro in 2022 and this year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo is his first.
The Nanton teen qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $4,511.69 and sixth place in junior steer riding. Hayden won the Pincher Creek and Raymond rodeos along with the Koye Larsen Memorial. A highlight was two go-round wins at the Calgary Stampede, with a score of 80 in the second round.
This young cowboy enjoys riding and running, and can be found getting ready for the next event.
Hayden’s dad, Ian MacKay, and grandpa Stuart Derochie were bull riders, while his mom, Layne Derochie, and sister Luxxin MacKay are barrel racers.
Bounce back night at CFR ’49
Canadian Finals Rodeo Round 2 Summary
Canadian Professional Rodeo Association
Team ropers Dawson and Dillon Graham proved once again why they are champions. The Wainwright brothers settled atop the leaderboard on a solid night of roping with a 3.9-second run — just two-tenths off the arena record. This after a disappointing first round where the brothers finished out of the money.
“You know you’re not out of it if you have some bad luck,” Dawson noted philosophically. “It’s six rounds and you can make a lot happen in the last five. This is our fourth year here so we feel pretty at home.”
The pair were happy with their second-round cattle draw too. “The steer we had tonight was the one Logan and Keely [Bonnett] won fourth on in round one.”
Add the fact that they are competing on the Heading and Heeling Horses of the Year, Dawson on Outlaw and Dillon on Cruz, and it’s no surprise to see the athletes enjoy a victory lap.
Of their season in general, which saw Dawson end the year 19th header in the world, and Dillon, 16th heeler, with over $87,000 in earnings each, Dillon commented, “We had a great year. We roped well and had a lot of confidence coming into Red Deer. We came in with a game plan and we’re going to stick to it.”
Tonight’s success has Dawson in second place in the heading standings just $1,300 behind second-place roper Tee McLeod with Dillon holding down first in the heeling ranks.
Dillon and Dawson Graham
Zeke Thurston’s opening-round saddle bronc ride silenced the Peavy Mart Centrium. That’s because the three-time and reigning World and Canadian Champion did something this or any crowd seldom sees. The champ bucked off.
But on Bounce Back Thursday, Zeke was riding and the sell-out crowd was cheering as the champ posted a sensational 87.5 points on a young Calgary Stampede bronc F-53 Flying Carma.
“Yeah, I was after a little redemption after last night,” Thurston acknowledged.
“I honestly don’t know what I’d do differently. I thought I did everything right last night and she still got me. But to draw that little horse tonight, Flying Carma, she was really getting it on and I just tried to help her as best I could and I guess it looked pretty good. She’s gonna be around a long time and have a great career and guys are going to win a lot of money on that horse.”
The win put Thurston back into the driver’s seat in the race for the Canadian title. In fact, even having dropped out of the average race for the time being, the second-generation bronc rider has the overall lead with second-place man, Ben Andersen $6,500 back and fifth in the average.
It was pay back night for barrel racer Taylor Manning as well. After a rough start that saw the reigning champion hit two barrels, the Yellowhead County cowgirl clocked a speedy 13.86 to win the round. Lynette Brodoway maintained her hold on first place overall.
Another cowboy who evened the score on night two was Sundre bull rider, Wyatt Gleeson. The two-time Finals qualifier put his opening night buck-off in the rearview mirror and was 86.75 on Outlaw Buckers’ Afraid to Nod to collect the first-place cheque of $9,335. The win bumped Gleeson up to sixth in the standings, $25,000 back of season leader Coy Robbins who bucked off his first two bulls at this CFR.
3.9 seconds continued to be the magic number in the steer wrestling event. Three-time and defending champ Scott Guenthner shared the honours with Ponoka bulldogger Chance Butterfield. Season leader Dalton Massey continues to struggle, dropping to second spot, about $10,000 behind Guenthner overall.
Bareback rider Clint Laye demonstrated the consistency that earned the Cadogan cowboy the 2021 Canadian title and two NFR qualifications. Laye climbed aboard Big Stone Rodeo’s 313 Mayhem for 85.5 and the Round 2 win.
The Smith brothers and their Tie-Down Horse of the Year, Moon, kept it all in the family on night two. While Jason earned the Round 1 win, tonight it was Shane who enjoyed the victory lap after an 8.8-second run.
In the novice bareback, Turin cowboy Austin Broderson was 74.75 for first while Dylan Young marked 79.75 to earn the top cheque in the novice saddle bronc event. Brooks steer rider Hayden Mulvey picked up first in the junior steer riding with a 78.25-point ride.
Go to rodeocanada.com for Canadian Finals Rodeo results. Check out www.cfrreddeer.ca/ for additional event details.
CFR ’49 performance three starts at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3 at the Peavey Mart Centrium, Westerner Park in Red Deer. If you cannot attend the event in person, sign up to follow the action on The Cowboy Channel.