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CPRA Year-End Livestock Awards Announced
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September 20, 2023 l Airdrie, AB
For immediate release

As the 2023 regular season winds down, it’s time, once again to celebrate the animal athletes of our sport and those who raise and care for them. These awards are decided by votes cast by the top 20 contestants in their respective events. Junior Steer riders vote only on steer riding contractor of the year.

In the Stock Contractor of the Year category,  Duane Kesler Championship Rodeo is a repeat winner. Congratulations to Duane, Margo and Chase Kesler who run their award-winning operation from the Raymond, Alberta area and represent four generations of stock contracting expertise on both sides of the border.

The Steer Riding Contractor of the Year - voted on by the steer riders - is also a returning winner:  Duane Ashbacher and the Lazy 2 Rodeo outfit.

Animal of the Year selections

The Ladies Barrel Racing Horse with the Most Heart is SR Boots On Fire (aka Cowboy). Owned, trained and jockeyed by Lynette Brodoway, the nine year old gelding has demonstrated athleticism, consistency and the tenacity to be an outstanding rodeo horse. Cowboy has Brodoway in the Season Leader position heading to the final rodeo of the year.

For the second year in a row, the Breakaway Roping Horse of the Year award goes to Bradi Whiteside and her horse, Hott for Teacher (aka Teacher). Owned by Ben Bamford, Teacher, in Whiteside’s words “makes her job much easier”. Teacher has been a big part of Whiteside’s regular and post-season success.

The Team Roping Heeling Horse of the Year, for the fourth consecutive time, is Coys Smokin Jet (aka Cruz). Owned until earlier this year by previous winner Keely Bonnett, the talented gelding is now in the hands of reigning Canadian Champion Heeler, Dillon Graham.

And keeping it close to home, this year’s Team Roping Heading Horse of the Year is 11 year old Chex Yer Gun (aka Outlaw) owned by the other half of the Graham team, older brother Dawson. He purchased Outlaw as a five year old from Tristin Woolsey.

The Tie-Down Roping Horse of the Year honours go to first time winner, Shane Smith and his 14 year old gelding, El Rey De La Luna (aka Moon). Smith purchased the horse in Oklahoma back in 2018. He, and his brother Jason, have both qualified for CFR the last three years with Moon’s help.

And Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year is Eddie, owned by Tanner Milan. Milan acquired the standout gelding in 2020 from Canadian bulldogging legend, Lee Laskosky. Steer wrestlers on both sides of the border have been mounted on Eddie, including World leader Dalton Massey. Rough calculations have Eddie at $335,000 in 2023 earnings alone.

The Bareback Horse of the Year award winner is Bar C5 Rodeo Company's much decorated F13 Virgil. Among his many previous accolades are World, Canadian, CFR and WNFR Champion Bareback Horse.

Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year for the first time is the Calgary Stampede's outstanding 13 year old mare X-9 Xplosive Skies. The 2021 World Bareback Horse of the Year, Xplosive Skies, is now excelling in saddle bronc riding as well. This legendary mare carried Logan Hay to a world record 95.5 point ride in 2022 and this year, helped Ben Andersen to a 94 point score. Both rides took place at the Hard Grass Bronc Match.

The Bull of the Year is Duane Kesler Championship Rodeo’s 715 American Hats Chester. The 6 year old big brown bull weighs in at an impressive 1800 lbs. Last year’s Bull of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Chester remains unridden to date.

Winners will be celebrated at the CPRA Night of Champions Oct 31 at the Red Deer Resort and Casino. Special "Horse of the Year" blankets will be presented by Jones Boys Saddlery and Western Wear.

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alta. is the official sanctioning body for Professional Rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves 55 + events annually with a total payout exceeding $6 million. The organization oversees the SMS Equipment Pro Tour Finale each fall in Armstrong, BC, holds their premiere event–the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR)–at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alta. in early November and endorses the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals as part of Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Sask.
For details, please see
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Barb Poulsen
CPRA Communications Lead
Mobile: 403 625-9225

CPRAEditorial Note: The information within this release is provided by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) and is intended for media use. If you use any of the following information verbatim in your publication, or broadcast the details via radio or television, please note that the information is courtesy of the CPRA. * Photos are copyright protected and must not be copied, shared or otherwise disbributed without permission of the CPRA.

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