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Canby Rodeo: Bull riders battle top-notch stock


Longtime announcer Wayne Brooks attributes some of the animals' success to breeding programs at the Calgary Stampede ranch in Canada.

by: JEFF GOODMAN - Bull rider Dakota Beck gets tossed before the 8-second mark Aug. 13 at the 56th-annual Canby Rodeo. Only two competitors posted scores in the bull-riding competition that night.Just 2.19 seconds after being introduced to the crowd as a former world champion, Wesley Silcox was introduced to the dirt.

The accomplished bull rider entered the arena with more than $1.1 million in career earnings and a coveted gold buckle to his name, but he left with a quick and decisive defeat.

Silcox certainly wasn’t alone. Many of his fellow competitors suffered similar fates at the 56th-annual Canby Rodeo, a trend that longtime announcer Wayne Brooks attributed to the top-notch quality of the stock provided by John Growney and his subcontractors.

“We had an outstanding group of quality contestants, but what we have here in Canby — and grown to expect — is such a high-caliber pen of bucking bulls that either you ride and make money or get thrown off,” Brooks said. “And that’s a double-edged sword. Because the bulls are so rank, it’s an attraction for the cowboys. They know that, if you can ride, you get paid. A lot of places might have a mediocre pen, and 50 or 60 percent of the cowboys cover, but a lot of those guys don’t get a check. When you come to a Growney Brothers rodeo, you really have a chance to win. But it’s up to you. We’re not shy on talent, but they have dramatically improved the breeding programs. They’ve got some phenomenal bulls.”

The proof was in the dirt. The bulls were victorious in all but two matchups on the first night of the rodeo, tossing contestants left and right. Only Chris Roundy and Corey Maier lasted the required 8 seconds that evening.

Part of the bucking animals’ overall success this year can be traced to the Calgary Stampede, a 22,000-acre ranch in Canada that has become known throughout the continent for its breeding programs. Designated by “CS” brands on their left shoulders, animals from the acclaimed Alberta ranch performed in Canby this year for the first time in the local rodeo’s history thanks to a partnership with Growney.

“It’s an added bonus to our contestants and our spectators,” Brooks said. “It’s a bonus for both ends of the spectrum to have high-quality athletes of the four-legged kind in Canby. (Growney) deserves a pat on the back. He could safety up and save some money, but instead he and the committee bring world-class talent that has Calgary Stampede written all over it.”