The wild ponies run during the grand opening of Day 7 of the Ponoka Stampede. (Kevin Sabo/Black Press News Media)

The wild ponies run during the grand opening of Day 7 of the Ponoka Stampede. (Kevin Sabo/Black Press News Media)

Ponoka Stampede Finals set up incredible showdown

The final day of competition is complete at the Ponoka Stampede and all that remains is the Stampede Showdown.

After a week of competition, the top performers faced off on Sunday afternoon each vying for a spot in the top four.

The first event up was bareback bronc riding, with Caleb Bennet, of Corvallis, Mont, placing first overall with a ride worth 94 points and an aggregate score of 180.75. Coming in behind Bennet was Tanner Aus of New London, Minn, with a ride worth 86.5, and an aggregate score of 175 point. In third place was Ty Taypotat of Nanton, Alta, with a ride of 85 points, leaving him with a total score of 172.5. Rounding out the bronc riders was Jacob Stemo of Bashaw who scored a ride of 85.5 leaving him with a total of 172.25.

The Second eent up was tie-down roping. Leading the pack was Caleb Smidt from Bellville, Texas, with a blistering time of 9.3 seconds for a total of 26.2 on three rides. Following Smidt was Shane Hanchey from Sulpher, La, with a time of 8.1 and an aggregate of 27.4 seconds. Third was Shad Mayfield from Lipan, Texas, who rode for 10.1 seconds and an aggregate of 28 seconds. Rounding out the top four was Kyle Lucas from Carstairs, Alta, who rode with a time of 11 seconds for a total aggregate of 28.5 seconds.

The third event up was professional steer wrestling. Leading the pack was Scott Guenthner from Provost, Alta, who rode with a blistering 4.4 seconds and a combined aggregate of 13.5. Behind him was James “Jimmy” Struxness of Perrin, Texas, with a ride of 6 seconds and a combined aggregate of 15.9 on three rides. Stephen Culling, from Fort St. John, B.C., brought up third with a ride of 9.2 seconds and a total aggregate of 16.8. Rounding out the top four in steer wrestling is Ty Livingstone of New Worway, Alta, with a ride of 4.2 seconds and an aggregate of 19.9.

Just before the intermission, the volunteers of the Ponoka Stampede held a tribue to Alicia Jolene McKendrick, the stampede volunteer who was killed during the practice of the wild-pony entrance the night before Stampede started. During the tribute McKendrick’s horse was led around the arena by her friend and business partner and escorted around by many of the Ponoka Stampede volunteers.

After the intermission was professional saddle-bronc. Logan Hay of Wildwood, Alta, took top spot with an 88.75 ride and a total score of 176.5 on two rides. In second was Brody Cress of Hillsdale, Wyo, with a ride of 90.5 and a combined score of 175.25. Tied for second was Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alta, who rode for a score of 87.5 and a combined total of 175.25. Rounding out the top four was Cole Ashbacher of Arrowwood, Alta, with a ride of 87 points and a combined aggregate of 174.5.

Team-roping was the next event up, with the team of Brett McCarroll of Camrose and Clint Buhler of Nanton, Alta, taking first place with a run of 5.7 seconds and an aggregate of 17.4 seconds on three runs. In second was Jeremy Buhler of Arrowwood, Alta, and Rhen Richard of Roosevelt, Utah, with a score of 7 seconds and a combined total of 19.6. In third was Jesse Popescul of Glentworth, Sask, and Logan Cullen of Courtenay, B.C. with a ride of 6.5 seconds and an aggregate of 20.1. Rounding out the top four was Kent Drake and Kavis Drake of Moose Jaw, Sask, who came in with a time of 7.3 seconds and an aggregate of 21.5.

Moving into barrel racing, Bayleigh Schoate of Fort Worth, Texas, took the first spot in the finals with a run of 17.43 seconds and an aggregate of 34.70 on two runs. Taking the second position was Wenda Johnson of Pawhuska, Okla, with a run of 17.47 seconds and an aggregate of 34.78. Third was Lane Wills from Pouce Coupe, B.C. with a run of 17.54 seconds and an aggreagte of 34.95. Finally, Virginia Forrin of Bastrop, Texas, took the fourth position with a time of 17.52 seconds and an aggregate of 35.12.

The final event of the afternoon was bullriding, and the bulls were uncooperative. Of seven riders, five had no score. The only two to stay on were Lonnie West, from Cadogan, Alta, who scored 86 points, for a combined aggregate of 174, and Jerrod Parsonage of Maple Creek, Sask, who rode for 85.5 points and a 172 aggregate. The two others joining them in the top four in the showdown, based on previous rides, are Dawson Shannon of Drayton Valley who goes in with a score of 86.5, and Wyatt Laughlin of Rocky View County, Alta, with a score of 84.75.

Also taking place this evening is the Tommy Dorchester Dash for Cash on Ponoka’s half-mile of hell.

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