The 13th annual Jace Harty Memorial PBR event is once again starting the Ponoka Stampede and promises to be an action-packed night to thrill the fans and pay homage to a Ponoka boy, a lover of the sport.
The PBR takes place on June 24th, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“It was a local kid that got in an unfortunate accident,” said organizer Nanson Vold. He feels having the bullriding event in his name is a great way to pull the community together and memorialize a young man who was loved by everybody he met.
Once again, 30 contestants are travelling from all over the world to master the beast and claim the championship title. ‘The top 10 come back for a short round,” said Nanson.
The total purse up for grabs at this year’s event is $40,000.
“It’s the biggest bull riding event in Canada, except for the (Canadian) Finals,” said Nanson.
For the event, 12 contractors will supply their rankest bulls to challenge the cowboys. “Vold Rodeo will have some bulls there,” said Nanson.
The Ponoka Stampede week action is not limited only to the Stampede Grounds and fans can also check out the variety of events located at the Calnash Ag Event Centre throughout the week.
On June 25th, 26th and 27th fans of the Wild West can check out the action-packed, gritty, gunslinging, yet family-friendly Canadian Finals Mounted Shooters shows.
“Where else can you go to see that?” asked Calnash event coordinator Joyce Vold. “Cowboys riding and shooting guns.”
June 28th to 30th the Calnash Ag Event Centre is also home to multiple roping events. On June 28th and 29th fans can come see the Canadian Qualifiers Team Roping, beginning at 9 a.m.
On June 30th the Old Timers Rodeo takes over. The event used to be in the Ponoka Stampede lineup but was discontinued for a few years. “This is the first year we’re back at it,” said Joyce.
“It’s a 90-plus, 100-plus and 110-plus,” she added, referring to the roping classes. The combined ages of the roping teams must add up to the minimum age of the class they are competing in and must be, individually, 40 or older, 45 or older, or 50 or older for the classes, respectively.
“On June 30th we have a feature event as well; Open Team Roping. That’s at 5 p.m.,” said Joyce.
She added the event should be over in time for the Josh Turner concert for viewers who want to see both. “Team roping, it’s an event for all ages,” said Joyce. She stated qualifying ropers must be between the ages of 13 and 85.
Penning has been a usual event to grace the Ag Centre during the Ponoka Stampede but it is being held off this year. “We wanted to try something different,” said Joyce.
“Everything is free admission, come down and enjoy.”