By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
The final Canadian Finals Rodeo was memorable for Strathmore product Riley Roy in more ways than one.
For Roy and his team roping partner Brady Chappel, it was their first trip to the CFR as competitors. Roy grew up watching the event as a kid with two uncles who competed in steer wrestling.
The 24-year-old Roy finished 10th as a header in the team roping in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) standings. Roy put in some serious hours this season: he cashed in $15,915.39 in 44 rodeos.
“We put a lot of work to get here, so it was pretty exciting to be in the box getting ready for my first run, looking up and seeing the crowd,” said Roy, who is wrapping up his fourth year on tour.
It certainly wasn’t the start the team was looking for, as they failed to record a time through the first three runs.
Roy was taking care of business on his end. He roped the steer all three times, but his partner, Chappel, had a difficult time finding his rhythm.
“Sometimes you just have some tough luck. Brady is one of the best heelers I know. He will get it going,” said Roy following his Nov. 10 performance, expressing his level of patience in his partner. “With the rounds paying as much as they do, all you need is a couple good rounds to get back in it.”
The strategy was simple from that point out.
“We’re just going to go as fast as we can and hopefully we win a couple go-rounds,” said Roy.
That’s exactly what happened for Roy. The following morning, the team pulled off a 5.7 second run, but it was nearly one second too long from winning money. Later that same night, Roy and Chappel had everything working, as they finished fourth in a time of 4.6 seconds, winning $2,587.50 each, and etching their name in the CFR record books.
“We’ve roped that steer in the past and we picked him heading into the CFR. It was a pretty easy steer, he was a little slower than the ones we’ve been roping earlier this week and we had a good start on him,” said Roy. “We talked and said that we wanted to be more aggressive going after the steers.”
The aggressiveness caught up to them on their final run Nov. 12, when Roy got clipped for breaking the barrier and Chappel only roped one foot, giving them a 15-second penalty.
Roy and Chappel left their first CFR with a little cash in their pocket and the feeling of accomplishment for a year’s worth of work.
“I was excited to get to (Northlands Coliseum) before it closed down,” said Roy, who didn’t take any souvenirs from the rodeo’s 44th and final instalment at the historic Edmonton arena.
The offseason hasn’t quite set in, as Roy and Chappel will compete in a team roping event in Regina this weekend, before hanging up the ropes for the long winter, as they await a new roping season and another shot at the road to the CFR in April.