Mankota's Shaun Williamson picked up in the CCA Finals Rodeo from right where he left off at the end of the regular season.
Williamson leads the Tie Down Roping event after the first performance at the Finals Rodeo in Regina, turning in a 9.6 second run to earn day money of $1,000 plus collect an important 40 championship points. Williams entered the Finals Rodeo as the top seeded competitor after topping the regular season money won list at $9,760.
Just 0.2 of a second separated the top four times which all came in under 10 seconds. Swift Current's Blaine Switzer tied for second place with a 9.7 second showing to earn 25 championship points and $625 in day money. Jesse Popescul from Glentworth earned fourth place and 10 championship points for a 9.8 second time.
Nolan Jans had a quick start in the junior steer riding field, opening with a first place 71.75 point ride to earn 40 championship points and earn day money of $343. Chanse Cutler from Hazenmore finds himself in second place after a 71.5 point ride which earned him 30 championship points and $281.
Southwest entries also set the pace during the first day of Junior Girls Barrel Racing. Nicole Pana from Wood Mountain turned in the fastest time in 14.58 seconds to take top prize money of $250 and grab 40 championship points. Maple Creek's Mardi Yarshenko was runner-up in 14.86 seconds, collecting 30 championship points and winning $187.
In Ladies Barrel Racing action, four-time defending CCA Finals champion Dannielle Knudsen from Stewart Valley is third after the opening day after a 14.37 second run. Knudsen has 20 championship points and collected a $500 day paycheque. Kerry Maynes from Maple Creek placed fifth in 14.73, Swift Current's Jane Corey ran sixth in 19.93, while Janet-Lynn Moen of Stewart Valley tipped a barrel and finished off the pace.
Maple Creek's Ross Kreutzer had a third place 76.75 point ride in the saddle bronc event to capture 20 championship points and earn day money of $500. Maple Creek Shelton Udal turned in one of six qualifying rides in the opening round, placing sixth with a 69.5 point performance.
Brady Bertram of Piapot placed fourth in the bareback event with a 74.5 point ride to earn day money of $250 and earn 10 points in his first effort in the five round championship point race.
In team roping action Ty Popescul and Jesse Popescul from Glentworth turned in an 11.1 second effort but finished fifth and out of the points. The defending Finals championship duo of Scott McLeod and Tuftin McLeod from Waldeck had no time.
This year's CCA Finals Rodeo includes one competitor in each event from the Ontario rodeo circuit, and they are not intimidated by the change of scenery. Ontario's Tim Kemp had a blistering 3.5 second time in the steer wrestling event to be the day one leader. All top four competitors turned in times of 5.0 seconds or faster.