No free rides at Daines' rodeo

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

The Calgary Stampede is still a couple of weeks away but the top cowboys on the planet are in Alberta this week for the 47th Annual Innisfail Pro Rodeo.

Jack Daines, who hosts the rodeo and nightly dances at his ranch about six km north of Innisfail, said he's got an all-star roster of contestants and stock.

"Everyone who was at the Canadian Finals (Rodeo) is here," Daines said of the event that kicked off yesterday.

"There's world champions in here and we have 10 contractors here with their best stock.

"It's the top cowboys on the best stock."

Cowboys will compete for between $240,000 and $250,000 in prize money.

With so many contestants entered in the timed events, the payouts have gone through the roof.

Cloverdale, Canada's fifth largest rodeo, cancelled two timed events last month after a calf-roping mishap that resulted in an animal's death.

Daines said there's no way an Alberta rodeo would consider cancelling events like roping or steer wrestling.

"Hell, no," Daines said. "Not even close.

"We're using the right kind of cattle. They're long-horned, rodeo cattle.

"(Cloverdale) is old news. We're looking to the future."

The Calgary Stampede stock, including bareback stud Grated Coconut, will be out tomorrow night.

Pre-rodeo entertainment begins nightly at 6 p.m., one hour before the first gate cracks.

Saturday features two performances (1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.) with free dances every evening.


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