Canadian Finals Rodeo
The Canadian Finals Rodeo is the national championship rodeo in Canada. The CFR takes place in November and is the final event of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association season. It offers one of the richest purses in Canadian rodeo, usually worth over C$1,000,000. Since 1974, the event has been held at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Alberta; after rejecting a bid by Northlands and Oilers Entertainment Group to continue hosting the event in Edmonton, organizers announced on July 21, 2016 that the event would be held in Edmonton for the last time in 2016, and would move to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan beginning in 2017. On October 19, 2016, it was announced that the memorandum of understanding between the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the city of Saskatoon had fallen through, and that a new deal had been reached between the CPRA and Northlands. The new deal would see the CFR remain in Edmonton until 2018.
Currently, the CFR features the 10 leading money-winners in each event throughout the Canadian rodeo season, as well as the first- and second-place finishers in each event during the last 10 rodeos of the Canadian Tour season. Each CFR event is contested over five days, featuring six rounds. Before 2006, only Canadian residents were able to compete in the CFR. However, international contestants are now eligible to compete, granted they qualify.
From its inception through today, the CFR had a unique sudden-death format in which none of the prize money the competitors had earned during the season carried over to the finals. Competitors who finished in the first four places in each round of the CFR received points on a sliding scale from 40 points to 10 points. At the end of the rodeo, the top four places in "the average" (i.e., average time or score throughout all the rounds) also earned points on the same scale. The performers with the most points in each event were crowned Canadian champions.
In 2008, at the request of the competitors, the CFR adopted a format similar to that of the National Finals Rodeo in the United States. The competitors now carry over their money earnings during the Canadian season, and the money they earn during the CFR is added to their season total, with the leading money-winner in each event at the end of the CFR crowned as season champion. The contestants argued that the amount of money on offer at the CFR made it impossible to clinch a season title before the CFR, and that adopting an NFR-style format would encourage more entries at smaller late-season rodeos.
Championship titles are awarded to the individuals who earn the most money in his or her event:
- Bareback riding
- Steer wrestling - Also known as Bull Dogging
- Team roping - Divided into "Headers" and "Heelers" in 1995
- Headers - Cowboys who rope the steer's head
- Heelers - Cowboys who rope the steer's hind feet
- Saddle bronc riding
- Tie-down roping - Also known as calf roping
- Barrel racing
- Bull riding
- List of Canadian Rodeo Champions
- Festivals in Alberta
- Calgary Stampede, Canada's largest rodeo
- Raymond Stampede, Canada's oldest rodeo
- "CFR officials yee-haw fan roundup". Edmonton Journal. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
- "It's official: Canadian Finals Rodeo riding off to Saskatoon next year". CBC News. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- "Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and Edmonton Northlands Launch New Partnership". Rodeo Canada. October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (2008-11-03). "New format for Canadian Finals Rodeo". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2008-11-10.