Team roping is a family affair when it comes to the Bonnett clan of Ponoka.
All three Bonnett brothers came to the Stampede on Canada Day with hopes of making a pair of runs that could get them into Sunday’s rich finals.
It’s even more lucrative this year as both headers and heelers get an equal paycheque instead of having to split the purse down the middle.
Youngest brother Kash Bonnett, roping with his header Trent Tunke of Seven Persons, spun their steer in the fastest time of the performance with a 5.7, which netted them $3,113. But in their morning slack run, a slipped heel and the resulting five-second penalty bumped them too far back in the aggregate standings to make the cut for Sunday.
The two older siblings, Keely and Logan, rope together and they followed up on a 6.4 from the morning run with a 6.9 in the afternoon. The resulting 13.3 total finished sixth overall, and means they’ll get another steer on Sunday.
“The morning steer was tracking right and left a bit, so we just wanted to be safe and get him caught,” explained Keely.
“We had a good steer for our next one,” added Logan, who handles the heading duties.
Both brothers paid tribute to longtime team roping supporter Lyle Kurtz, of CVS Controls, for helping team ropers get to equal money at Ponoka.
“It means doing well at Ponoka can help you get a long way toward the NFR now,” said Keely, who confirms a run for Las Vegas could be in the works for them if things go well on Sunday.
“We’re pretty busy at home, but we’d have to take a look at it.”
The Bonnets still need to be among the four fastest in the finals, in order to make it to the Showdown Round, where there’s an additional $5,000 up for grabs.
“We’ve only made it to the four round once and that was a while back,” said Keely.
There’s a lot of sharing within the family and with their close friends the Graham brothers, who lead going into Sunday at 11.9 seconds on two head.
Keely sold his three-time heeling horse of the year, Cruz, to Dillon Graham, which was not an easy decision.
“Well, my fiancé and I are building a new house, so it helped with that,” he smiled.
Fortunately, Keely was able to look to younger brother Kash’s horse pen and pluck one to use, and he’s been having good success with it. So the family connections proved valuable again!