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Armstrong cowboy seeking Canadian Finals Rodeo spot

Jaret Cooper, 20, waits for official qualification confirmation; won 2023 B.C. saddle bronc title

He’s conquered B.C. in 2023.

Now, Armstrong cowboy Jaret Cooper will likely look to add a Canadian title to his growing rodeo resumé.

Cooper – who just celebrated his 20th birthday – is waiting to get the official word from the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on two things:

1. He’s finished in first place in the 2023 CPRA Novice Saddle Bronc standings, which would lead to:

2. Qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) in Red Deer Nov. 1-5 (top three in the event qualify).

As of Monday, Sept. 18, with no CPRA Novice Saddle Bronc events left before Red Deer, Cooper is shown to have amassed $19,813.97 this season, which puts him more than $1,700 ahead of Dylan Young of Sturgeon County, Alta. Defending CFR Novice Saddle Bronc champ Colten Powell of Sylvan Lake, Alta. is third at $15,042.22, and Cache Schellenberg of Cochrane, Alta. is $14,624.67.

CPRA officials are crunching the numbers again to officially determine the outcome and before announcing who has qualified for Red Deer. Cooper was third at the CFR in 2022.

Cooper is coming off a year in his home province where he won the B.C. Rodeo Association’s season-long championship in the Saddle Bronc. Cooper won nearly $14,000 and finished a comfortable $5,800 ahead of longtime rodeo pal Ryan-Spur Reid of Savona, between Kamloops and Cache Creek.

At the provincial finals in Barriere, Cooper edged out Reid by one point to win the saddle bronc, scoring a 74 aboard Train Station while Reid earned a 73 from the judges aboard the horse Bear Mountain.

Cooper was the novice saddle bronc winner during the CPRA event in his hometown during the Interior Provincial Exhibition, and also won the championship buckle earlier in the summer in the novice saddle bronc at one of B.C.’s oldest events, the Williams Lake Stampede.

The former Vernon Panthers football player won the novice saddle bronc at the prestigious Calgary Stamede in 2022, and finished fourth trying to defend his title in July.

Cooper was the 2019 Junior World Finals novice saddle bronc champion in Las Vegas in 2019.

• Former Vernon cowboy Clay Elliott has one last chance to qualify for the CFR in the rodeo discipline of tie-down roping.

Elliott, who now lives in Nanton, Alta., watched as Thorsby, Alta.’s Erik Dublanko – who was leading Elliott for the final CFR qualifying spot by just $20 heading into a pair of events Sept. 15-16 – put some distance between himself and the former Canadian bronc riding titleist.

Dublanko was second at Hanna, Alta. with a time of 8.7 seconds to earn $1,432, and collected a fifth-place cheque for $1,023 at Olds, Alta.’s Oldstoberfest. Elliott was blanked on the weekend.

The final event of the year, to wrap up a great 2023 CPRA regular season, is the SMS Equipment Pro Rodeo Tour event in Edmonton Sept. 29-30 and it could mean a potential big payday. Elliott has a chance to qualify for Red Deer if he can come up big in the Alberta capital.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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