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Canadian Finals Rodeo: A closer look at the animal/athlete partnership

EDMONTON – The rodeo world can be wild, but there’s a big difference from the ranch to the spotlight.

Stock contractors work all season caring for their animals and travelling with them to compete at events like the CFR and the Calgary Stampede.

“The animals that come here are the animals that go to all the rodeos during the summer and are marked high and have bucked off a lot of cowboys. So they’re the cream of the crop. They are picked just like the contestants; the top get here,” says CFR chute boss Don Johansen.

There are about 50 stops on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association circuit throughout Western Canada.

“Every horse has a personality. They’re just like humans you know, some are going to be real calm and quiet. Some are just a little more difficult to deal with and others are like big old pets. It just depends on the animal and their background,” adds saddle bronc rider Chet Johnson.

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CFR officials say it’s all about mutual respect.

“In any industry you’re always striving to do a better job and I think the rodeo has definitely kept up with the times. And trying to get the general public more knowledge and understanding to what we do and how much care and love goes into this sport,” says Calgary Stampede Ranch Manager Tyler Kraft.