Sawyer Eirikson from Okotoks, Alta. rides to victory on Hangin Out in the saddle bronc competition at the CFR 45 Rising Stars Junior Canadian Finals Rodeo on Saturday afternoon. Robin Grant/ Red Deer Express

Sawyer Eirikson from Okotoks, Alta. rides to victory on Hangin Out in the saddle bronc competition at the CFR 45 Rising Stars Junior Canadian Finals Rodeo on Saturday afternoon. Robin Grant/ Red Deer Express

Foremost’s William Barrows takes the bull riding win at the CFR 45 Rising Stars Rodeo

Saskatchewan’s Kaybree Zunti rides to victory in the barrel racing competition

Junior bull rider William Barrows said he was pumped when he drew the bull, Tornado, at the CFR 45 Rising Stars Junior Canadian Finals Rodeo this afternoon.

“I’ve been on him once and then showing up here and drawing him here just gave me the confidence to ride,” he said. “Riding him and winning – this just makes me feel good.”

The rising rodeo star from Foremost, Alta. placed first in the bull riding competition with a score of 71.00.

“I knew he was the bull you can win money on and win events on,” he said. “He’s just a more rider friendly bull. He’s honest. Goes on spins, does what the judges like to see and just one you want to draw.”

Barrows has been cleaning up in the junior rodeo circuit. He placed fourth out of 22 bull riders at the High School Rodeo Provincials in June in Ponoka, earning a spot in the National High School Rodeo Association in Wyoming. He said qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo was a ‘cool experience.’

“I really hope to make it here in the actual CFR in the next few years.”

The Rising Stars Junior Canadian Finals Rodeo gives young competitors the opportunity to show off their skill in barrel racing, bull riding, bareback and saddle bronc riding as well as team roping, steer wrestling and tie down roping. There is $24,000 in scholarship money to be won and the opportunity to be named the Rising Stars Canadian Finals Rodeo Junior Champion.

Rising rodeo star Kaybree Zunti from Unity, Sask. placed first in the barrel racing competition with a final score of 13. 564. She was riding her horse, 19-year-old Chex.

“It went really well,” she said. “I kicked him as hard as I could and when I found out my time I was really excited.”

She said seeing all the professional rodeo competitors at CFR 45 is a great experience.

“Being in this big, nice building when there is a whole bunch of people here is exciting.”

Macy Auclair, who was the wild card rodeo qualifier in barrel racing this year, placed last after knocking down two barrels. She said her horse Daisy hasn’t been run in a while.

“I think she got a bit short on me,” said the Ponoka native. “It’s probably my riding errors too. She did slip a bit on the first barrel but it happens.”

Despite the mistakes, she said she is having fun.

“The energy inside is awesome.”

The top scores for the Rising Stars Junior Canadian Finals Rodeo are as follows:

Bareback:

Blake Link – Patricia, Alta. – 59.00

Saddle Bronc Riding:

Sawyer Eirikson – Okotoks, Alta. – 70.00

Bull Riding:

William Barrows – Foremost, Alta. – 71.00

Tie Down Roping:

Colt Cornet – Brandt, Alta. – 9.0

Steer Wrestling:

Pecean Deleeuw – Athabasca, Alta. – 9.0

Team Roping:

Kash Sigouin and Carson Payton- 13.8

Barrel Racing:

Kaybree Zunti – Unity, Sask. – 13.564

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