It’s a big week for Pouce Coupe professional steer wrestler Clayton Moore, who’s in Edmonton for the 2012 Canadian Finals Rodeo Nov. 7 to 11 at Rexall Place.
Moore, whose U.S. season ended sooner than he hoped, has another shot at some big money and a Canadian championship this week as he goes head-to-head against 11 other top steer wrestlers from North America.
Is he nervous?
“Wednesday afternoon I might start getting a bit nervous but for the most part I’m going to try to treat it like any other rodeo and go at it day by day and see what happens,” Moore said on Monday.
“I just try to keep myself mentally prepared and focused. That’s about all.”
When it comes to training, it’s obviously a different routine for steer wrestlers than, say, a cyclist or a mixed martial artist. Moore can still have some beers and a big steak if he wants; he just has to run his horses and practice with some steers here and there.
“I try not to treat it too differently from any other rodeo,” he said. “There’s not a lot going on right now as far as rodeos go, mostly just keeping my horses in shape. When it’s busy rodeo season they keep themselves in shape because they’re getting used every day. Now it’s just riding them.”
Moore and the 11 other steer wrestlers will compete once a day during the CFR and twice on Saturday when there will be a matinee and night purse. For each “go-round”, Moore can win up to $12,000. The Canadian steer wrestling champion will be determined by who makes the most money, including the amount they bring into the Finals from their season winnings.
Currently Moore is only about $5,000 off from being in first place, which isn’t even one go-round, so he’s hopeful about his odds.
“There’s a good chance at money everyday, you just have to make sure you go at them and take advantage of the good steers and get by the bad ones and see what happens,” Moore explained.
“I never nod my head without thinking I’m going to win it. I try to always keep a positive mind frame. There are six go-rounds and each go round pays close to $12,000 and so does the average. I’m not going to worry too much about the average, just kind of go to each go round and try to win each go round. Whatever happens with the average happens, just rack up as much as I can at the go-rounds and hopefully that adds up to enough for the Canadian championship.”
In terms of his competition, Moore doesn’t count anyone out. Although there are a handful of rookies attending their first CFR, Moore knows that all of them earned their spot by being the best.
“I’d hate to single one person out and say, ‘That’s a guy I’m worried about,’” he said. “I’m not going there to try to beat anyone else; I’m just trying not to beat myself.”
The CFR isn’t all about business though – there’s a lot of entertainment, too, not unlike the Calgary Stampede (although not nearly on the same level for debauchery). Country music artists Dean Brody and Chris Young are headlining the CFR, not to mention the Long N Slow Barbeque, Miss Rodeo Canada and The Buckle CFR Party Headquarters.
While a hangover isn’t worth a shot at $12,000, Moore plans on checking out some of the goings-on while he’s there.
“I try to take care of business as much as I can but there’s a lot of atmosphere there and fun things to do,” he said. “I try to check out the farm fair at least once, piddle around and take the girlfriend shopping, but for the most part I’m there with one thing in mind and that’s to try to win something.”
“Sunday’s usually the day when most of the cowboys kick back and try to enjoy themselves. I have to head out Sunday as soon as we’re done and head to deer camp and start guiding some deer hunters so I don’t get to stick around, but I’m sure I’ll go out a night or two a week and try not to get out of hand,” he added laughing.
Moore and his horse Pistol will get their first chance at $12,000 on Wednesday night at Rexall Place. The CFRs wrap up Sunday, Nov. 11.