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Rising Star Tanner Eno

Bull rider Tanner Eno - Wildwood ImageryTalking to CPRA rookie bullrider feels like you’re conversing with a ten-year veteran. The young man has a goals, he has a plan and he isn’t likely to waver in reaching those goals and executing that plan.

“I wanted to be ready when I turned pro so I decided I wanted to win the FCA, the LRA and WRA before I started getting on bulls at this level,” he noted.

Well, check, check and check. The second generation Coronation talent won the FCA and the LRA in 2018, then added the WRA in 2019. And he capped off his semi-pro successes by being named the first-ever CPRA Novice Bull Riding Champion.

“That was another notch in the belt, that’s for sure,” the likeable Red Deer College Carpentry student acknowledged. And all the success has helped him put together a large helping of the ingredient he considers most critical to success in the professional ranks. That ingredient is confidence.

“I think Bull Riding is 80 per cent confidence and my family has been huge getting me to this point,” Eno adds. “Because my dad rode bulls and my family has been involved in rodeo I feel really comfortable in this environment. I remember being eight years old and J.B. Mauney was standing right there next to me. I’ve been in cowboys dressing rooms all my life. I guess I feel like I belong. And one thing my family has taught me is that you can learn from everybody, not copy but learn. I think all of that is going to help me get where I want to go quicker.”

Having already tasted a little success at the Rebel Energy Services event in Red Deer, Tanner Eno is excited to be taking that confidence and that plan to Claresholm on February 29 for the Chad Besplug Invitational.

You get a chance, you want to keep an eye on this young man. Better yet, have a chat with him. But don’t expect him to talk like a rookie.


Sherwood and Koch Secure Team Roping Title

Matt SherwoodIt was a story of the veteran and the kid.

Two time World Champion Team Roper Matt Sherwood of Pima, Arizona celebrated his fiftieth birthday during the course of the season while his partner on the heeling side - 22 year old Texan Hunter Koch - was at his first professional Finals. And the pair, as they had so many times over the course of the season, dominated the field en route to their first Canadian title.

For Sherwood, the Canadian title was a bit of redemption. “This is just so exciting for me. I was here two years ago and I placed in two rounds. I roped terrible so to be able to come back here and rope close to the way I know I can compete, it’s nice to be able to do that.”

For the young Texan, Canada and the Canadian Finals Rodeo were totally new experiences. “I really didn’t know what to expect,” Koch admitted. “But having a veteran header like Matt, he made it really easy for me all week. Our game plan came together and it worked out good for us.”

Hunter KochThe duo started slowly with a 7th in the first round but righted the ship in a hurry and put together three go round wins and a second place finish in another over the remaining five days of competition. The unstoppable pair won both the aggregate and the overall title going away with $74,000 plus in season earnings compared to just under $47,000 for second place finishers—Canadians Kolton Schmidt and Jeremy Buhler.

The 2019 Champions came together for the first time at the Tucson Rodeo back in February when both of their partners didn’t want to make the trip to Arizona. In fact, they met for the first time just minutes before they were to compete. ”I was actually riding around the warm up area before the rodeo asking people if they could point out my partner to me so I could talk to him before we had to rope,” Sherwood recalled with a chuckle.

Despite their success, the two will be going in separate directions in the 2020 season. ”I’m going to be roping with Canadian, Kolton Schmidt, next year and our plan is to be going hard both in Canada and the US,” Koch noted.

But Sherwood is hoping history can repeat itself. ”I’m taking applications from really good young fast heelers, just send your videos,” he laughed.

But before they parted company in 2019, there was unfinished business to take care of as Sherwood and Koch also qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December in Las Vegas. Both men ended up 14th in the 2019 final world standings

KochHunter Koch – 2019 Canadian Heeling Champion
Vernon, TX
Born: 07/10/1997
Year turned pro: 2018
CFR qualifications: (1) 2019
NFR qualifications: (1) 2019
2019 standings: 1st
2019 earnings: $74,728.86
2019 highlights: All-American Finals Heeler Champion, Clovis California Heeler Champion,
3rd in Team Roping Heeler Rookie standings
Career highlights: All-American Finals Heeler Champion, Clovis California Heeler Champion
Other occupation: Riding and training horses
Special interests: Roping, riding colts
Height and weight: 6'0, 160 lbs
Family: Shelly Koch (Mom), Brad Koch (Dad), Kash Koch (Brother)
SherwoodMatt Sherwood - 2019 Canadian Heading Champion
Pima, AZ
Born: 09/20/1969
Year turned pro: 2005
CFR qualifications: (2) 2017, 2019
NFR qualifications: (6) 2006, 2008 ,2011, 2015-2016, 2019
2019 standings: 1st
2019 earnings: $74,616.07
2019 highlights: Won Innisfail
Career highlights: 2 World championships - 2006, 2008
Other occupation: Life coach
Special interests: Basketball, anything my children are doing
Height and weight: 6’0, 180 lbs
Family: Kim (Wife), 7 kids, 3 grandchildren

First Canadian Title For Larsen

Orin Larsen - 2019 Canadian Champion. Billie-Jean Duff photoOne of the loudest moments of the 2019 CFR came on Sunday afternoon in the bareback riding when Canadian Orin Larsen rode his way to his first Canadian Championship. The Inglis, Manitoba veteran capped off a brilliant week to cruise by 2018 titleist, Richmond Champion of Dublin, Texas, en route to the victory.

“It’s unbelievable,” Larsen grinned moments after his winning ride. “Ever since I was a kid running my hand in a riggin’ this is what I’ve wanted to do and I dreamed of being in this position. Now that dream has come true.”

The four time CFR qualifier wasted no time in his dogged pursuit of the title as he cashed second and third place cheques in the first two go-rounds before settling for an eighth place finish in the third round at Red Deer’s Centrium. But Larsen was saving his best for the weekend. On Friday, he posted the first of three successive go-round wins with an 87.5 on Outlaw Buckers’ dependable Buckwheat. Then came Saturday night and one of the three or four best rough stock rides of the entire CFR as the #3 ranked man in the world standings teamed up with the Calgary Stampede superstar stallion, Special Delivery, for a spectacular 90 point ride.

That set the stage for Championship Sunday and his head to head showdown with Richmond Champion. Larsen was the last man to ride and once again he brought the crowd to its feet with his brilliant 89.5 on Calgary’s outstanding Zulu Warrior. The win put another $10,530 in the Larsen bank account and clinched first in the aggregate as well, resulting in another $15,795. When the dust settled and the final computer key strokes were made, it was official. Orin Larsen was the 2019 Bareback Riding Champion with a CFR haul of $60,345 and season earnings topping out at $80,578.

The 28 year-old was philosophical about both the title and his spectacular season. “This year I’ve wanted to be more in the moment. I realize this won’t last forever. I just try to enjoy what I do and appreciate the sport because the day will come when it will just be a memory.”

But what a memory--like the roar of the CFR faithful during that Sunday afternoon ride. “I was pretty busy doing what I was doing but when you hear the crowd roar like that you know you must be doing something kind of special.”

Special is just about the right word to describe both the championship and the man who won it—Orin Larsen, 2019 Canadian Bareback Riding Champion.

Orin LarsenOrin Larsen – 2019 Canadian Bareback Riding Champion
Address: Inglis, MB
Born: 04/15/1991
Year turned pro: 2011
CFR qualifications: (4) 2016-2019
NFR qualifications: (5) 2015-2019
2019 standings: 1st
2019 earnings: $80,578.34
2019 highlights: Winning the American and San Antonio; 2019 Reserve World Bareback Champion
Career highlights: Competing at CFR last year with my brothers
Special interests: Fly fishing, hunting
Height and weight: 6’, 160 lbs
Family: Tyrel and Kane (Brothers), Cassie (Sister), Wanda (Mom), Kevin (Dad)
Relatives in rodeo: Tyrel (Brother, saddle bronc), Kane (Brother, bull riding)
What Does it Mean to be a Canadian Champion?
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