Family Ties and Fierce Competition Wow the Sold-Out Crowd in the Finals

May 21st, 2024

Surrey, B.C. – There was no shortage of emotion and excitement in the finals at the 76th Cloverdale Rodeo. The day saw the highest score of the weekend in the Bareback competition, a ride-off in the Bull Riding event, a daughter winning the same Barrel Racing title her mom won in 2015, and a win for a Bronc Rider who started his rodeo career clowning with his family in the Stetson Bowl over 20 years ago. Each competition had a deep, often emotional, story emerge and fans couldn’t have asked for more under beautiful blue skies in Cloverdale.

Bareback Competition: Cooper Cooke Takes the Title with a 90-Point Ride – The Highest Score of the Weekend in any Competition

Monday’s finals kicked off with the bareback competition. Riders were in top form, but none more so than Idaho’s Cooper Cooke who scored 90 points – the highest score of the weekend in any category. The 21-year-old took home his first Cloverdale Rodeo championship and $29,150 in prize money between his Pool B winnings and the $25,000 winner’s cheque.

As he accepted his award, announcer Bob Tallman asked him what it’s like to be here in Cloverdale at this invitational rodeo, and Cooper shared a sentiment that was echoed by all the riders throughout the weekend: “It’s awesome, you know. To get out here, compete,…go have fun with all your best buddies in the world, it’s awesome.”

Saddle Bronc Competition: Canadian Kolby Wanchuk Takes the Title in the Arena Where He Started His Rodeo Career Over 20 Years Ago as a Clown

Arriving only minutes before his ride after what he called “a quick 15-hour drive” back from Miles City, Montana the night before didn’t seem to affect Kolby Wanchuck’s focus as he edged out Jake Clark by half a point to win the Saddle Bronc competition with a score of 88 points. 

Kolby hails from Sherwood Park, Alberta, but the crowd cheered him on as they would for a hometown rider because the Cloverdale faithful knew Kolby started his rodeo career in this very arena. “Yeah, I was a little young to remember the first year,” remarked Kolby as announcer Bob Tallman recalled Kolby’s first days in the ring. Kolby’s dad and Cloverdale Rodeo clown, Ricky Ticky, shared his memory of those first days as he beamed, “25 years ago, Kolby…started his career as a clown in this arena. And now he gets to be the star in the Bronc riding.”

When asked what inspired him to be a bronc rider, Kolby shared what the Cloverdale Rodeo means to him. “I think it was this arena right here. Getting to grow up in this arena, watching them Kesler broncs buck here every year, 90-point rides, big scores. Made me want to do this…Every bronc rider’s got a list. This one’s been at the top of my list for a long time.”

Ladies Barrel Racing: BC Rider Vanessa Leggett Wins the Barrel Racing Competition and Follows in Her Mother’s Footsteps as a Cloverdale Champion

When reigning Canadian champion Lynette Brodoway clocked a 15.81 second ride midway through the finals, it looked like her time could hold up for the win. That was until Vanessa Leggett blazed into the arena to the sound of Van Halen’s “Panama” blaring over the PA. Riding in the 7th spot on her 8-year-old bay, Looker, the rider from Kamloops, BC, clocked a 15.74 to take home the title.

Vanessa looked fresh and rode fast all weekend despite being one of the busiest riders in the field. In addition to a full rodeo schedule, Vanessa works as a nurse in her hometown of Kamloops, BC. “This week I worked three night shifts, 12 hours [each]. Then got up and drove here. So it’s busy!”

Vanessa’s win makes her a second-generation champion at the Cloverdale Rodeo. Her mother, Julie Leggett, won this event in 2015. During her acceptance interview, Vanessa remarked, “I love following in my mom’s footsteps. She is such an inspiration to me and everyone. I’m so excited to be here with her today… I just really wanted to do it today [to make her proud].”

Bull Riding: Rugar Piva Takes the Title in a Ride-Off After Two Riders Score 88 Points

Not to be outdone, the Bull Riding event brought the excitement to another level in the weekend’s final event. Fort St John BC’s Jacob Gardner had the standout ride amid stiff competition and hard-bucking bulls until Rugar Piva tied the top mark of 88 points in the last ride of the day. Officials conferred and decided the tie would be broken with a ride-off. Two new bulls, including one that had yet to be ridden, were brought out. Jacob Gardner went first and set the bar at 7.1 seconds on Flight Risk. Rugar Piva then took to the ring on Enter the Dragon and made it the full 8 seconds to take home the title.

Rugar was in top form all weekend, and announcer Bob Tallman asked him what this win means to him as he moves into the rest of the season, “If I’m going to be really honest, I was on an eight bull buck-off coming into today. So confidence wasn’t really good. But after today, winning the short round then winning the ride-off, I feel like about 25,000 bucks!”

Riders and fans alike commented on the quality of the competition. Cloverdale’s volunteer-run invitational rodeo is often hailed by riders as one of their favourite events all year and Rugar Piva echoed these sentiments in his acceptance speech “I’ve been telling everyone this is my favourite rodeo of the year. Now it’s really, REALLY my favourite.”


The full results from the Cloverdale Rodeo Finals can be found below.

2024 Cloverdale Rodeo Finals Results

Monday, May 21st, 2024 – 2:00 pm

Download Results – PDF

Cloverdale Rodeo - 2024 Rodeo Finals Results - 240520

About The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association

Established in February 1888 to promote and encourage agricultural development in the Lower Fraser Valley, the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association is the non-profit organization that manages the world-famous Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair held every year on the May long weekend at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey, British Columbia. 


Media Resources & Images
Media Image Folder – May 21, 2024 – Cloverdale Rodeo Finals

Event Location:
Cloverdale Fairgrounds
6060 176th Street, Surrey, British Columbia 

 Media Inquiries:
Josh Miller
Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair
Phone: 250-308-6994 (direct)

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