by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - During the PRCA convention in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 4, the Canby Rodeo was honored with a pair of awards. Picking up those awards were: (From left) Jim Williams, rodeo director, Keith Marrington, with the Calgary Stampede, Clay Rhoades, Dave McDonald, Dick Eagle, Dan Mickelsen, Paul Borgen, Donny Kish and Tim Birdwell, of Growney Brothers Stock Contractors. (Front Row from left) John Growney, Jeff Robinson, A.J. Swaim and Gary Linton. (not pictured) are directors Jackie Bates, Rick Kauffman, Todd Gary, Lyle Hendrickson, Steve Johnson, Bob Traverso and Doc Rosebrook.The Canby Rodeo strives to put on one of the best events in the nation. Judging by a pair of recently accepted awards, they seem to be accomplishing that mission.

Rodeo board members recently received the Justin Boots Best Footing Award for “most improved” from a vote of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association; and received the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association REMUDA Award.

The rodeo received the best footing award in 2011, according to former board President Dan Mickelsen, and it speaks to the quality of the ground the barrel racers compete on.

“It takes into account the moisture, the depth — everything they have to race on,” Mickelsen said. “What’s unique about Canby is that a lot of rodeos will let three girls ride, then rake. We don’t rake at all anymore. We can have our fastest time with the first girl out or the last girl out – it doesn’t matter.”

The REMUDA award is given to the rodeo with the best bucking stock.

Mickelsen said that a change made for 2013 paid dividends immediately.

“This was the first year we had the Calgary Stampede stock with John Growney’s stock,” Mickelsen said, noting that many people don’t realize that the Calgary Stampede has its own stock line. Combining the two well-known contractors ensured the Canby Rodeo got National Finals Rodeo quality stock for the cowboys to ride.

That, he said, impressed the cowboys.

The change now puts the Canby Rodeo on equal footing with its main competition – the rodeo at Caldwell, Idaho. Cowboys, he said, will take note of the new arrangement and more top-tier stars will want to be in Canby in the future.

“It seems like in the last few years we are doing everything right,” Michelsen said of the rodeo board. “We’ve gotten really good support from the fair manager and the fair board. That makes a huge difference. They are very supportive.”

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