Greens following bumpy path to the top
Layton Green of Meeting Creek was disqualified in his ride on River Reflection for failing to mark out properly in the saddle bronc competition at the 2018 Spring Classic Pro Rodeo at the Camrose Regional Exhibition on Sunday. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian
There are few cowboys happier about the Canadian Finals Rodeo relocation down Highway 2 from Edmonton to Red Deer than Meeting Creek's Garrett Green.
The local bull rider has won twice in Enmax Centrium and finished second another time in four trips there for a Professional Bull Riders event, but he has not finished higher than sixth in three previous attempts at the CFR at Rexall Place. He's hoping a change in location will have him following in his brother Layton Green's steps to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
"I've had a lot of good luck in that building, so I will have a lot of confidence heading into the finals this year, I really expect to do well there," he said. "I've never had much luck in that Edmonton building."
Garrett's season started out great with three finishes in the money, including winning in Lethbridge in March. But he landed funny after getting bucked off a bull in an event at Teepee Creek a few weeks ago, busting his index finger on his grip hand and forcing him to the sideline. This meant he missed this past weekend's Spring Classic Rodeo at the Camrose Regional Exhibition, but is going to get back on the road this weekend in Prince Albert.
"I was really riding high there because I had been to three events and got no worse than second … so I was really happy," said Garrett, 25. "For a couple of hours after I broke it, I was really upset then I came to terms with it, realized I just had to take a couple of weeks off, stay in shape and get ready to come back stronger."
Layton, 24, meanwhile, had his own bad luck this weekend in Camrose in the saddle bronc event. He had appeared to ride his draw River Reflection, but was disqualified on a marking out violation.
"It was kind of my own fault," he said. "He jumped at the gate and I thought we were going to go over the gate an then he rolled off and come down. It was a tricky deal, but I'll take it as a positive. It was a real good horse and I felt good."
The reigning CFR champion was hoping for a better start to the season but has been on a bit of a break-even skid while hitting the California circuit. It's not quite the start he had hoped for after coming off of his major break out last year.
Still, his hopes remain sky-high after he broke the Canadian single-season earning record previously held by Rod Hay, taking home $110,619.61 and then capped the year with a $45,679 pay day at the NFR.
"I dang sure, if I can, want to break the record I set last year … I think that would be pretty cool if I could pull that off," said Layton. "I want to win a world title and another Canadian title, that's what everyone is shooting for and that's what my mindset is."
With the two brothers taking different paths on the rodeo circuit they do not travel together as they are often at different events on the same weekend. Still they find ways to follow each other and support one another from a distance.
"We support each other lots, he's usually out back behind the chutes helping me out during the bull riding, if we're at the same day, I'll be out there behind the chutes telling him good luck," said Garrett.
The two originally were on similar paths as they both were competing in steer riding at the same time but when they out grew the competition Garrett decided to follow his friend Wacey Finkbeiner to the bright lights of professional bull riding. Two years later Layton decided to follow take their father Dave's lead in the saddle bronc ring.
Garrett's decision did not originally sit well with their father who figured he should be riding broncs.
"At first my dad wouldn't let me enter or buy a bull rope or nothing, he didn't want' me riding bulls," said Garrett. "I just went online and ordered one myself and entered up."
Garrett did give it a shot, but his first time riding a bronc, his foot got caught in the saddle on his dismount and he became hung up. His decision to stick to the beefier stock was cemented.
"I was more or less doing it because dad really wanted me to get on a bronc," he said. "I did that and got hung up and got stomped and I was like 'well, I think I'll stick with the bull riding for now.'"
Garrett is, however, toying with the idea of a return to broncs. The Green family does have their own bucking ring on their ranch outside of Meeting Creek and he has been getting on their bucking machine. To do both events, though, is a tall order and quite taxing on the body.
"I wanna give it a go because dad has a bunch of horses here and we've got an arena set up," said Garrett. "It wouldn't be nothing for me to practice all week and ride bulls on the weekend until I got good enough to start entering bronc riding."
The Spring Classic Rodeo played a big part in both of their upbringings as their hometown stop, Layton even finished first a couple of years ago.
"It's fun to come back here and see all of the people you know from around here and people you grew up around," he said. "That's one of the coolest things is if you can win your hometown rodeo and I was lucky enough to win this couple of years ago."