By Mike Pearson, News staff
Rodeo fans can enjoy a taste of the Wild West next weekend when the Ontario Finals Rodeo comes to the Ancaster Fairgrounds.
Top professionals from Canada, the U.S. and from as far away as Brazil will ride and run over three rounds of intense competition with provincial awards and prizes at stake.
Joe Scully, president of the Ontario Rodeo Association, said the upcoming rodeo features the best riders and ropers in Ontario, along with animal athletes such as bulls, broncs and horses.
“It’s a great exposure for those who live in an urban centre,” Scully said.
Bull rider and actor Daniel Fathers is better known for his recent television roles in Disney’s Camp Rock and as host of Canada’s Greatest Know It All.
But he’s also a bull rider who proudly wears a Farmers Feed Cities crest on his back. A native of London, England, Fathers became interested in the sport of rodeo while living in Saskatchewan.
“I just loved it so much that I became a professional bull rider,” Fathers said.
Rodeo is considered one of the most dangerous sports in the world and riders must be well trained to avoid serious injuries.
“You have to counteract the move of the animal,” Fathers explained. “It’s the fastest game of chess you’ll ever play.”
Scully is promising some exciting story lines for this month’s rodeo. He is also the event’s announcer.
While some fans will cheer for the riders and ropers, others will root for the animal athletes. In order to score points, bull riders must remain mounted on the animal for a full eight seconds. One run can make or break a competitor’s weekend.
“If you want to go to all three shows, you’ll see a great story unfold,” said Scully.
Competitions will be held indoors at the Ancaster Fairgrounds show arena beginning on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Events continue on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Advance tickets are available for $15 for adults at all three Montana’s restaurant locations in Hamilton, as well as the Ancaster Fairgrounds, Super 8 Motel in Mount Hope and online at orarodeo.com.