Nicola Valley cowboys Ty Pozzobon and Spencer Rutherford came so very close to victory at the 2012 Canadian Finals Rodeo, held at the 18,000-seat Rexall Centre in Edmonton on the weekend.
The 21-year-old Pozzobon had to settle for 2nd place in the bull riding event, while Rutherford, 27, wound up 5th overall in the team roping competition with his partner, Marty Lillico, from Stettler, Alta.
Pozzobon went into this year’s CFR as the overall money leader with over $33,000 in earnings this season. Despite two wins and a third place over the course of six rounds of intense competition, the Merritt youngster finished second to champion Scott Schiffner of Strathmore, Alta.
When the dust had settled, Schiffner had won $73,028 for the year and Pozzobon $67,801. Third place went to Tanner Byrne from Prince Albert, Sask. with $57,189.
Pozzobon went into Sunday’s final round of bull riding pretty banged up. The night before, he had a head on collision with a horned beast named Bull Durham and come out second best – with a gash to the head and a concussion.
“He was knocked right out before he hit the ground,” his mother, Leanne, said. “He was down for quite awhile. It was pretty scary.”
Despite the doctor’s diagnosis and his mother’s protestations, Pozzobon rode Sunday, knowing he needed a win to take the championship title from Schiffner.
“He drew Slash,” Leanne said, “a bull that’s only been ridden once in three years. He lasted 7.2 seconds.”
Pozzobon doesn’t have much time to lick his wounds as he’s off to Saskatoon for this weekend’s Canadian PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Finals. Immediately following, he’ll be travelling to Utah and the start of a new PRCA season. The durable cowboy won’t be home until around Dec. 16.
Rutherford and Lillico, who teamed up exclusively for the CFR, picked up a 1st, a 2nd and two 7th-place finishes over the course of six rounds to take home $17,765 each. The duo had one of the fastest times of the five-day competition with a fifth-round 5.0 seconds.