By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
Following the Grass Roots Final Sept. 30 in Calgary, the final standings were set for the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR).
One of the greatest bull riders of all time will be joined by another local at the 44th installment of the CFR, which runs Nov. 8 to 12 at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton.
Joining Scott Schiffner is the 24-year-old Riley Roy, who will be attending his first CFR, after finishing 10th as a header in the team roping. Roy put in some serious hours this season: he cashed in $15, 915.39 in 44 rodeos.
“It’s something we worked towards all summer and it feels great to make it,” said Roy. “Part of the reason we entered so many rodeos was to give us the best chance to make it. We didn’t want to miss out on the CFR by a few hundred bucks, wishing that we would have competed a few more times.”
“It’s always awesome when guys get their first chance at the CFR,” said Schiffner. “It’s extra special when someone else is able to make it from your hometown. Hopefully it’s the first of many for Riley.”
Roy’s partner, Brady Chappel, also qualified for the team-roping event. Chappel, a Moose Jaw product, placed sixth in the heeler standings after 43 rodeos, earning $16,685.57.
The heelers and headers are ranked separately, in case one of the two members of the team goes off and competes in more rodeos and earns a different dollar amount over the summer.
Luckily, both qualified in the top 12, so they won’t have to find new partners with nearly $30,000 on the line in Edmonton.
“I’m just excited for the atmosphere each night,” said Roy. “I watched last year’s event and I think it’s going to be pretty cool competing with all that money on the line.”
Like Roy, Chappel will be attending his first CFR at the age of 37. The two might not have any experience at the national stage, but they are only a phone call away from advice, if they decide to use a lifeline.
Schiffner is excited for Roy and said that he will either sneak into the stands for Roy’s runs or watch via live feed from the dressing room.
Roy’s cousin Kasper Roy, from Mossleigh, Alta., finished second in the team roping last year, taking home $6,193.50 from Edmonton.
Schiffner is the benchmark of excellence when it comes to bull riding. He will be competing in his 17th CFR, a record he continues to build on each fall.
The legend finished the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) in sixth, earning $28,485.31 in 24 rodeos.
“This year was one of them deals where I was in the middle of the pack. I always expect (to) be first, but it didn’t go that way. I wouldn’t say I was happy with it, but I also wasn’t disappointed,” said Schiffner. “It’s great to qualify and always exciting. If it isn’t exciting anymore, there are definitely a lot easier ways to make a living.”
Schiffner will be bidding for his third national title, having won the CFR in 2001 and 2012.
The Top 12 – with the minimum of attending 15 rodeos this season – in the seven major events, qualified for a trip to Edmonton. In the novice events, the top three in the saddle bronc and bareback, along with the top six in steer riding also qualify.
Fellow local roper Denver Johnson missed out on a trip to Edmonton by nearly $8,000. After 30 rodeos, the header hauled in $6,651.20, placing him 24th.
Tate Hartell competed in just enough rodeos to qualify for the CFR, but missed out on a trip to the big dance by a wide margin, after earning $1,436.70, finishing 35th in the saddle bronc.
Rounding out the local scene from the CPRA was Riley Sibbet, who placed 14th in the novice steer riding and earned $227.95.