GETTING READY - Bull rider Wacey Finkbeiner prepared his rope before taking on a bull called Corona Time from Wayne Vold Rodeo during the Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Event at Westerner Park last weekend.

Pro rodeo makes a stop in City last weekend

The City of Red Deer got a rare glimpse of the world of professional rodeo last Friday night as the fifth annual Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Event rolled into Westerner Park for the first time ever.

The annual charity rodeo, which is put on every year by former Calgary Flame Curtis Glencross, featured some of the top cowboys and stock in bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding who took to the arena in support of the Hockey Alberta Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta.

This is the first year that the rodeo, which in previous years has been hosted at the Daines Ranch Rodeo grounds, has taken place in Red Deer and Glencross said he couldn’t be happier with how the night turned out.

“I think it went awesome. We had great support. Obviously with our sponsorship, our title sponsors and all the rest of our sponsors and with the turnout we had — look at the building here, it’s full. That’s all you can ask when you’re putting on an event,” said the former NHLer, who retired from hockey in 2015.

Glencross added the move indoors also proved to be a good idea for the event, which has seen some rain in previous years.

“It’s tough to beat that one. You don’t have to worry about the weather or anything like that and, like I said, we packed the building here tonight so as long as we can keep packing the building and raising money for what really matters for the two charities of choice.”

Attendees were treated to an excellent night of rodeo action in last Friday’s public performance, which saw 12 competitors in each event going head to head to earn the night’s big prize – a one year lease on a brand new Dodge 1500 Laramie Ecodiesel pickup, plus the prize money that goes along with it.

“This is a great event. Curtis does a great job with (fellow committee member and saddle bronc competitor) Jim Berry’s help and getting great sponsors. It’s awesome,” said Strathmore bull rider Scott Schiffner, who put up a pair of big scores on Friday winning one of the trucks.

“The last couple of months I’ve struggled just a little bit; just haven’t had my things going, so I feel pretty good,” said the former Canadian champion of his stellar evening, which included an 89.5 point ride on a bull called Tennessee Whisky from Franklin Rodeo in the long go and an 89 point spin on a bull called Crooked Nose from Nansen Vold in the short go.

“He bucked me off last time that I had him and I just wanted to get things right. I kind of had a little bit of a bad start out of there but it all turned out good. He just round and round to the right into my hand,” Schiffner said of Crooked Nose.

The legendary Canadian bull rider added that although the prize money and the truck are great, they’re not the reason that the cowboys compete at the Glencross event.

“It’s awesome what Curtis does. This is an event that really doesn’t count for anything; it doesn’t count for any finals or anything, but it’s here because it’s for charity. It’s for the Ronald McDonald House. So, you know, me having three little girls of my own, I hope I never have to use something like that but if we ever do it’s near and dear to my heart.”

Schiffner wasn’t the only Alberta cowboy to come away from Friday’s performance smiling, however, as Carbon’s Cole Goodine rode a horse called American Thumper for 89.5 points to win the bareback while Berry, who hails from Rocky Mountain House and sits on the Glencross Invitational Committee, posted an 87.5 on Quittin’ Time from the Outlaw Buckers to win the rodeo that he helped plan.

When asked whether he thought the event would be coming back to Red Deer next season, Glencross said the future looks bright. “We’ll see what happens but it’s definitely looking that way right now.”

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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