TEAM WORK - Rocky Ross of Botha and Marty Lillico of Stettler work for a fast time during team roping last week at the Ponoka Stampede.

TEAM WORK - Rocky Ross of Botha and Marty Lillico of Stettler work for a fast time during team roping last week at the Ponoka Stampede.

Action wraps up at Ponoka Stampede

After seven days, the fifth largest rodeo in the world, the Ponoka Stampede, came to tremendous crescendo July 1, and once the dust


Black Press

After seven days, the fifth largest rodeo in the world, the Ponoka Stampede, came to tremendous crescendo July 1, and once the dust settled only eight rodeo competitors walked away with championship buckles.

Ponoka’s bareback champion Jake Vold finished the short go with a score of 91.5. “I feel pretty good, a few bumps and bruises but I feel pretty good.”

Vold had seen Stampede Warrior perform before and knew, with his riding style, he had a good chance of winning. “I knew she was going to do her part and it was just up to me to do mine.

“Right from the get-go she, she’s a strong horse and if you stub your toe she’s going to throw you off. But coming in the middle of the ride I knew I was tapped off on her and it felt good,” he added about his championship ride.

Vold knew he was going to have to ride hard, and while his drive and instinct to spur doesn’t always come off positively, it fit Stampede Warrior. “She stays hooked the whole time and I knew if I could just get going on her it was going to work out.”

Vold’s competition, Kyle Bowers, Colin Adams and Clint Cannon, are some of the top bareback riders in the world. “They all ride good, you got the top of the world here. To come out on top was a huge accomplishment.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, when your buddies do good you’re happy, if it ain’t you you make sure it’s your buddy.

“You’re always cheering for the other guy, it’s a good feeling it doesn’t matter who wins. But if you come out on top it feels pretty good,” he added.

With it fixed in his mind that Ponoka was just another rodeo for the taking, Vold was able to keep the nerves at bay. “You just have to put your mind in the middle, envision your ride and make it happen.”

With the 77th Ponoka Stampede winnings in the back pocket of his Wranglers, Vold figures his place at the Canadian Finals Rodeo is mostly secured and he’s focusing his efforts on the National Finals Rodeo. Saddle bronc champion was Jacobs Crawley from Stephenville, Texas, and he was thrilled to kick off his Fourth of July weekend and the rest of the summer season with such momentum and a score of 89.5.

Crawley’s championship ride got off to a rocky start when his bronc refused to leave the chute. “That’ll happen. Sometimes bucking horses, whenever they get in the habit of being bucked a lot, sometimes they learn some tricks.”

After being reset the horse left the chute with a vengeance. “Outside of the chute she was what you look for in a bronc. Like, I mean (she) took her head, jumped, kicked overhead, hung in the air; what a bronc rider looks at and drives 20 hours to go get on.”

Brenda Mays of Terrebonne, Ore. was barrel racing champion, with a time of 17.380, and this year is the second year she rode at the Ponoka Stampede. “(I’m) just excited, I don’t think it’s hit yet. I’m pretty excited and it’s just unreal,” Mays said after receiving her buckle.

Mays had placed 13th in the long go but when another competitor turned out she was bumped into 12th place and was given the opportunity to ride for a championship place.

After taking the first barrel on a horse she’s owned for the last 12 years Mays knew the ride was going to go well. “With the first barrel with him it’s a little iffy, especially in a big, wide open place like this. Tonight he nailed it.”

Bull riding champion is Tyler Thomson of Black Diamond, and the humble cowboy says he may have won the title and buckle but it was travelling partner and fellow bull rider Chad Besplug who came out with best scores after the long go and really won the rodeo. However, he’s still feeling good to have the Ponoka winnings to his name after finishing with a score of 88. “This rodeo’s a big deal in the whole year. It’s a very large step towards making the Canadian Finals. It’s an unbelievable feeling to win a rodeo like this.”

Timber Moore of Aubrey, Texas, was the tie down roping champion with a time of 7.0; Airdrie’s Todd Maughd won the steer wrestling with 4.20 seconds and the champion team ropers were Brett McCarrell of Camrose and Clint Buhler of Okotoks, who won with a time of 5.9.

Just Posted

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Most Read