INNISFAIL – Every year Albertans join competitors from across North America for a rodeo showdown at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Innisfail’s Sydney Daines recently took part in her third Canadian Finals Rodeo at Edmonton’s Northlands Coliseum from Nov. 8 to 12.
“The CFR has been in Edmonton for forty-four years,” said Daines. “It will probably be the last CFR at that stadium. Who knows right now if it will go back to Edmonton or not. There are four cities that are interested in (hosting the event).”
Daines competed in six performances over the five-day event. Although she was pleased with her overall results, there were some challenges for the accomplished 21-year-old barrel racer.
“I competed every day. I hit quite a few barrels this year so that was unfortunate,” she said. “I probably placed eight or ninth overall.”
Going into the event, Daines said she was ranked fifth in her category.
“This year was the highest (ranking) I ever had going into the CFR. I was happy about that and I was happy to be there,” she added.
Daines began riding at just two or three years of age and entered her first barrel race competition when she was six years old. Today she trains and competes with her horse Flame, whom she has ridden for several years.
Daines said she had a good rodeo season and was pleased with her progress over the past year.
“I’m continuing to grow in the sport. I’m only 21 right now so there’s still a long ways to go,” said Daines, noting she’s learning about the ups and downs of the sport as well.
Now attending school at the University of Alberta, Daines said she will continue to focus on both barrel racing and her education.
“I’m in school right now at the University of Alberta and I also play on my soccer team too,” she said. “I am focusing on barrel racing one hundred per cent and it is an important part of my life, but I’m also going to school and playing soccer.”
Over the next two months Daines said she will focus on her school work and will participate in Canadian rodeos for the foreseeable future. Last week she competed in a rodeo event in Regina that will count towards next year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo.
“I’ll stay in Canada to compete in rodeos until I’m done school, then maybe I’ll go to the United States,” Daines concluded.
Sydney Daines, barrel racer
“I’m continuing to grow in the sport. I’m only 21 right now so there’s still a long ways to go.”