Well another Ontario Rodeo season has come and gone you traveled Ontario made some good memories broke a few hearts and made a little bit of cash. You look outside on a frosty December day listening to your scruffy horses calling for the morning feed and smile, because you love that sound and don’t mind the snow so much but you can’t help but wonder when the next rodeo is. You quickly run to the Google machine and start looking for events only to discover that nothing is going on and you do not live in Texas. You quickly text your best friend to vent about the lack of events but he does not share the same negativity because for him, he has one more huge event in order to wrap up the 2014 season!
Yes it is that time of the year again it is time for the International Finals Rodeo (IFR) Hundreds of North Americas best Cowboys and cowgirls will all be booking flights and GPS’n the best routes to Oklahoma City for the 45th annual IFR held in OKC January 16-18 in the Big State Arena.
Ontario is no stranger to the IFR as we hold many records as well as 2 World titles in the Steer Wrestling event thanks to Matt Mousseau. As the years roll on more and more Ontario athletes find themselves planning trips to OKC. The rush in of the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) in Ontario is growing in popularity and thanks can be sent to Rawhide Rodeo and Wild Time Rodeo Production , both of which are business tycoons in their own right.
The Cowboys and cowgirls from Ontario know who to thank for their shiny new leather jackets when January rolls around. But they also have one thing on their minds and that’s to win gold buckles! But without any further or do let’s meet your 2014 Ontario IFR qualifiers.
In my mind the most prestigious award in rodeo is for the All Around Cowboy. It’s a milestone to be dawned as Worlds Champ in one event but a completely different milestone to be an All Around champ. In order to win this you must compete in 2 or more events. This award correctly defines the term “Cowboy”. Only one Ontario cowboy has the chance to unseat 18time IPRA World Champion Shawn Minor and that cowboy is Cody Mousseau from Aylmer Ontario. Cody is cowboy head to toe competing in Steer wrestling , tie down roping, and team roping and is fresh off his win at the All Region Finals in Lexington Kentucky wear he walked away with All Around championship! . With roughly $8700.00 separating Cody and the all time great it’s no question that Cody could capture his first IPRA All Around World title!
The most gut wrenching event in rodeo is the bareback bronc riding this event puts your body through more damage than any other but that will not stop 5 Quebec Cowboys from capturing gold. Leading the charge sitting 5th in the world is Pascalle Isabelle from St.Julliene Quebec right behind him is Philippe Harvey of Terre Bonne along with Danian Nutt of St.Tite and rounding out the French arsenal OKC will also be seeing Spur Lacasse of Mirabel and Bruno Roby from Ste-Sophie!
Danian Nutt pictured above.
In the worlds most dangerous event Bull Riding Ontario will be behind 8 bull riders. Several of these bull riders are no stranger to the Big State Arena. Unfortunately the likelihood of an Ontario bull rider winning the world title is slim to none as the leader from Bristow Oklahoma has a gigantic lead. But the average winner of the finals is fair game. Leading to Ontario charge is Quebec bull rider Eric Isabelle sitting 2nd in the world from Ste. Julliene. Sitting 4th in the world is multiple finalists Ian Charman from PontyPool Ontario a few steps down from him in 6th is Luke McCoag. The Quensville Ontario cowboy is no stranger to the IFR and is back on track and riding very well. Arthur Ontario sends Aj Vaal for his second IFR trip along with first time qualifier and this years Ontario Bull riding champion Nick Goncalves. Wynnwood Oklahoma sends Ontario cowboy Dustin McMullen who recently made the sooner state his permanent residence to further his professional career. The Big State Arena is not one that is memorable for Dustin but I have never seen him ride any better than he is right now! I believe it’s time for the tables to be turned. Rounding out the heard is first time qualifier Steve Foster from Newtonville Ontario , Steve is fresh off his finals victory at this years Ontario Finals Rodeo and will be looking to build on the momentum!
In the classic event of rodeo Ontario will be spurring necks with some handy cowboys. Capturing a World title seems very unlikely as Shawn Minor of Camden Ohio and Sean Prater of Chandler Oklahoma have a giant lead over the rest of the pack. However, starting things of is a cowboy from St.Lin Laurentide Quebec in Gino Perron who has spent most of his days on the rodeo trail and his GPS is pre-programmed for Oklahoma City. Sitting 7th in the world is Dave Doyon from St-Victor Quebec and immediately behind him is Alvington Ontario cowboy Rodney Weese. Rod recently added 2 shiny gold buckles to his never ending collection after he won both the year end and finals championship at the Ontario Finals Rodeo just a month ago. Another decorated Ontario champion and all around good guy is Peter Hallman by way of Kitchener Ontario sitting comfortably in the 11th position. Last but certainly not least is the Shawinigan Quebec cowboy Louis Hemart.
Rod Weese riding to his Year end, and Finals title at the 2014 Ontario Finals Rodeo
Every cowboy should know how to swing a loop and these working cowboys swing with the best of them(pun unintended) the Tie Down roping is one of the more intense races to the World title as Aylmer cowboy Cody Mousseau attempts to unseat the multiple champion from Waycross Georgia Justin Thigpen. Cody is the lone survivor in the tie down roping but that will stop this future Worlds champ from throwing down and making some serious cash.
Cody roping at St.Tite this past summer
The big mans event features the only Ontario cowboy leading the charge and you probably already guessed who if you were paying attention. Yes, its Cody Mousseau who sits comfortably in the number one position with just under 17grand in winnings. However, this is no time to get comfortable as Brian Barefoot of Dunn North Carolina is very close with a mere $1400 separating the 2 of them. Sitting 5th in the world from New Hamburg Ontario and just winning the Canadian Cowboys Association (CCA) Finals in Regina Saskatchewan Tim Kemp is on fire and he is a competitor the competition should not take lightly. Directly behind him is Sebringville cowboy Jacob Dewetering and if history as shown me anything its that a bull dogger with Dewetering after his first name is no joke. All around cowboy Danian Nutt will be riding in 2 events at this years IFR and with a little cowboy or cowgirl on the horizon he will be looking to take a mitt full of cash back to St.Tite Quebec and hopefully a gold buckle or 2.
Tim Kemp getting down and dirty and winning the CCA Finals in Regina this past weekend.
The good looking ladies and their fast horses will also be in attendance at IFR45. 3 cowgirls from Quebec is all that stands for Ontario heading into IFR45. Sitting 4th in the world is the rookie Sabrina Lemay from Thetford Mines a World title win is possible for Sabrina so long as she keeps up her winning mentality. Behind her in 5th is Jessica Gauthier from Mirabel Quebec and last but certainly not least in the 15th position is Maryse LeBlanc from St-Libiore Quebec.
Jessica Gauthier turning and burning at St.Tite this past summer.
The only team event in rodeo has only one Ontario cowboy in it and if you don’t know the answer you should probably stop reading. Cody Mousseau once again is the lone survivor in the Team Roping event. Sitting 2nd in the world in the heading category he has a very good shot at another world title!
Cody Mousseau getting western at St.Tite this past summer.
Even though no Ontario cowgirls will be competing in the Cowgirls Breakaway event I wish all the ladies the very best of luck.
Well there ya have it Ontario once again makes our prescience known. The amount of talent and hard work in Ontario is unsurpassed. Every year the IFR rolls around more and more local competitors are signing their tickets to OKC and I love seeing it. It shows growth in our sport that once started in the backyards of local farmers with only 10 rodeos a season and has now blossomed into the tycoon it is now. I wish every single competitor at IFR45 good luck! Go for broke and take nothing less than first place!!
Let Er Buck