Rodeo finals offer exciting weekend of thrills and spills
For the 28th straight year, the Lakeland Rodeo Association Finals provided a weekend ripe with high intensity performances in the heart of St. Paul.
Every thrilling ride and cringe-worthy spill was captured from multiple angles and projected on an instant replay video board at the north end of the arena, adding a new element of excitement to the atmosphere at this year’s LRA Finals.
Another new addition to the finals this year was Peewee barrel racing. The event saw young Kalli Beebe impressively take all five showdown victories en route to the championship, registering a fastest time of 13.456 seconds.
“I’d like to thank St. Paul for finally having Peewees,” said Beebee. “This was an amazing barrel race.”
Bryce West was dominant in the junior bull riding event. West claimed his third showdown victory of the finals on Sunday afternoon with an 83-point ride to earn the title of champion.
In the team roping event, long-time friends Wyatt Branden and Tyler Schmidt, the second-youngest competitors in the event, claimed the championship with a showdown victory on the Thursday, and a second place finish at Sunday’s showdown.
The duo said they have been friends for years, but only decided to team up this summer.
“When you’ve got somebody you get along with real good, and we’re neighbours too so we get to practice all the time,” said Schmidt. “We’ve known each other since we’ve been born.”
Val Frey was named the LRA’s Rookie of the Year, while Murdock Keith was named All-Around Cowboy, and Steve Friend was presented with the title of Cowboy of the Year.
“I just want to thank everyone,” Friend said to Thursday’s crowd at the Clancy Richard Arena. “The (LRA) is a great association, it’s been like a family to me.”
LRA Finals results
Finals trailer winner: Rebecca Paradis
Saddle bronc: Austin Siklenka (289.5 points)
Bareback: Cole Goodine (380 points)
Bull riding: Brock Radford (233.5 points)
Tie down roping: Dallas McDougall (one finals victory)
Steer wrestling: Tyler Wilkinson (3.9 seconds)
Ladies barrel racing: Rebecca Paradis (one finals victory, one second place, two third place)
Junior barrel racing: Kennedy Smith (three finals victories)
Peewee barrel racing: Kalli Beebe (five finals victories)
Team roping: Wyatt Branden and Tyler Schmidt (one finals victory)
Novice horse riding: Ryley Borris (256 points)
Junior bull riding: Bryce West (311 points)
Junior steer riding: Kagen Schmidt (295 points)
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