Layton Green holds on as his final ride Sunday at the CFR flies out of the chute on their way to an 86 score, good enough for second in the go-round and to secure the overwhelming victory over buddy and world champ Zeke Thurston. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Layton Green holds on as his final ride Sunday at the CFR flies out of the chute on their way to an 86 score, good enough for second in the go-round and to secure the overwhelming victory over buddy and world champ Zeke Thurston. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Layton Green walks away with championship buckle

Bashaw saddle bronc rider breaks earnings record at CFR

It was one of the most exciting finishes to a Canadian Finals Rodeo.

The last CFR ever at Northlands, Nov. 8 to 12, proved to be among the most competitive in several years, entering the final performance with the champions to be determined on the last go-round.

For Meeting Creek’s Layton Green, it would be the memory of a lifetime being one of the last champions at Northlands.

Green finished strong to capture his first Canadian saddle bronc title — placing in the top five in the last four performances — on his way to setting a record for money earned at just under $107,400. That included more than $29,000 earned at the CFR.

“It’s really special to win, it’s been a dream since as far back as I can remember,” said Green, who beat his friend and current world champ Zeke Thurston.

“This was a great week and to walk out with a great friend Zeke, knowing one of us was going to win was wonderful in itself. The way this season has played out, I’ve been second to Zeke a few times like Ponoka and Calgary, so to beat him here though feels pretty good.”

Despite starting the CFR with a wide lede, Green wasn’t worried about the pressure.

“You just have to tell yourself to forget about it all and just do your best. Being able to win this last one at Northlands is a cherished memory I’ll always have,” he said.

Meanwhile, Donalda steer wrestler Curtis Cassidy had another Canadian championship slip — literally — through his fingers.

He was within $2,000 of top spot entering the last run Nov. 12, but a tricky steer left Cassidy scrambling to hang on.

“The steer I let off a bit and I couldn’t get latched on,” he said about his 8.1 second final run that push him back to fourth place.

There was one other area cowboy at the CFR who put in a competitive performance, although not really in the running for a championship.

Garrett Green, Layton’s brother, was in the bull riding event and just wasn’t able to get on track during the week, finishing in seventh spot.

Other champs

The current world champion team roping pair of Levi Simpson, of Ponoka, and Arrowwood’s Jeremy Buhler finally were able to add a Canadian title to their resume, after making a great comeback in the last three runs following no times earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Seth Hardwick won the bareback by just $800 over Ponoka’s Jake Vold, Jason Thomas took the steer wrestling, Logan Bird captured the tie down roping, Garrett Smith won the bull riding and Carmen Pozzobon rode off with the barrel racing.

Last CFR?

The 44th edition of the CFR was the last at Northlands and the people took to the seats in record numbers. More than 90,000 showed up for the six performances, but the venue for next year is still up in the air.

That left many cowboys reflecting on competing in the soon to be closed building, but Cassidy basically covered much of the feeling with his comment.

“This has been a great building for rodeo and it’s sad to be leaving, but I’m excited for what the future holds,” explained Cassidy, whose been to the CFR 18 times and won three titles.

Canadian Finals RodeoCFRCurtis CassidyLayton Green

 

Curtis Cassidy hangs on and would eventually wrangle the steer to the ground for an 8.1 second run during the final day of the CFR. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Curtis Cassidy hangs on and would eventually wrangle the steer to the ground for an 8.1 second run during the final day of the CFR. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Team ropers Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler along with Bashaw saddle bronc rider Layton Green - pose at the end of the CFR with the rest of the Canadian champions to bid a fond farewell to the crowd and to Northlands after 44 years. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Team ropers Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler along with Bashaw saddle bronc rider Layton Green - pose at the end of the CFR with the rest of the Canadian champions to bid a fond farewell to the crowd and to Northlands after 44 years. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka’s Levi Simpson on the head and Jeremy Buhler of Arrowwood on the heels rope this steer in 4.2 seconds to take second in the final go-round and walk off with their first CFR title. Photo by Jordie Dwyer 

Ponoka’s Levi Simpson on the head and Jeremy Buhler of Arrowwood on the heels rope this steer in 4.2 seconds to take second in the final go-round and walk off with their first CFR title. Photo by Jordie Dwyer