Hayden Cole, 19, hangs on to the bronc during a ride in his 2019 season. The Condor rider is competing in his first CFR this week in Red Deer. Photo Submitted.

Eckville area riders saddle up for CFR

Ben Andersen, 20, and Hayden Cole, 19, are competing at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Oct. 29-Nov. 3

Two Eckville area riders have landed on the 2019 Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) qualifiers list.

Ben Andersen, 20, and Hayden Cole, 19, will be competing at Westerner Park in Red Deer during this year’s CFR.

Eckville’s Andersen will be competing in saddle bronc for his first CFR appearance as a pro.

“It’s definitely a new experience,” said Andersen in a phone interview, “I get to ride all six days so I’m pretty excited about that.”

Andersen made his first CFR appearance last year in Novice Saddle Bronc.

The saddle bronc rider says he is expecting tough competition from the 11 other qualifiers.

“There’s some badass bronc riders here and it’s going to be tough,” explained Andersen. “With Zeke [Thurston], Dawson [and] Logan, the Hay boys, it’s going to be pretty tough, but it’s going to be pretty cool.”

“There’s a lot of great bronc riders here, it’s going to be all high scores,” he added.

He says his first season as a pro has gone well, despite breaking his foot halfway through the year.

During the 2019 season Andersen won in High River and Merritt as part of his campaign to CFR qualifications.

He also finished second at the Strathmore Stampede with an 86.5 on a Calgary colt B-21 Blue Chip.

“Ponoka was pretty awesome too,” commented Andersen. “It’s a cool rodeo and I did pretty good there.”

According to the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, Andersen has won $27,063.48 during his rookie pro season.

On the other hand, Cole is saddling up for his first CFR appearance in Novice Saddle Bronc.

“It’s been a goal of mine for the last three years,” said Condor’s Cole. “I wrote it down as a goal for the last three years, so it feels good to finally cross it off.”

Cole says he is anticipating a tough, but friendly, competition from the other two qualifiers.

“The other two kids that made it I’ve travelled with a bit this year and we’re all pretty good friends,” said the 2019 Canadian College Rodeo Champion.

Cole earned $5,506.01 cent and finished the year in the top three in standings to find himself on the qualifier list.

This season claimed the title of Champion in Falkland, Wildwood, Dawson Creek, Kennedy and Pincher Creek.

Personally, he says, the standout memory from the season was the bronc match in Pollockville.

The 2016-107 Canadian High School Champion says he is working towards making rodeo is only interest.

“I like being able to travel all over and do what you love,” said Cole, “not being stuck in the same place all the time.”

Andersen is also looking to make rodeo a top priority heading into the future as he plans to make it his career.

He competes both north and south of the border with his eyes set on the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) next year.

Currently, Andersen trains colts and helps his dad, Chris Andersen, out on the ranch.

“I like to ride my BMX bike quite a bit,” he added. “I think it helps with bronc riding just balance wise.”

Both riders are looking forward to competing so close to home with their family and friends being able to attend.

The 2019 Canadian Finals Rodeo begin today, Oct. 29, at Westerner Park in Red Deer and will run until Nov. 3.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and Eckville slowly climbing out of the deep freeze

The Weather Network says warmer, more moderate temperatures are on the way

Mystery thrillers were Sylvan Lake’s popular reads in 2019

Half of the top 10 borrowed titles from Sylvan Lake’s library in 2019 were mystery crime thrillers

School busses once again running in Sylvan Lake

School busses did not run for three days this week due to the extreme cold temperatures

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

Advance care planning helps you document your healthcare wishes

It’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes for healthcare

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Most Read