A nearly full house on Canada Day at the Ponoka Stampede saw some good Canadian performances.
On Day 5 Saturday, none of the top positions changed, but there were a few shifts made among the other spots in the top 12 in a few events.
Ponoka’s own Wacey Finkbeiner was the only one to stay on for eight seconds in the bull riding, scoring an 80.25. That means just five cowboys have earned a score with just one day of qualifying remaining.
Local cowboy Zane Lambert was among those that were bucked off as the bull continue to beat up on the cowboys.
Nanton’s Clay Elliot had the best score of the day in saddle bronc — notching an 83 on Black Hills — and pushing Sylvan Lake’s Lane Cust to the cusp of being knocked out of the top 12.
In the bareback, Ty Breuer of Mandan, North Dakota shone bright in the sun by putting up an 85.75 to sit third in the standings. Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyoming was the other cowboy to score a top 12 spot Saturday with an 83.25.
It’s looking more likely that no one will catch the 9.8 runs put up earlier this week in the steer wrestling by Tanner Milan and Hunter Cure, though one Canadian did put in a top 12 time yesterday.
Todd Woodward from Lethbridge sits fifth with a two run time of 12.1 seconds, after going strong in the afternoon performance with a 4.6 second run.
The same looks to be happening in the team roping, as Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler’s 12.9 time on opening night has not face a real challenge.
However, a few Canadian teams did give themselves a shot at the finals with some nice times. Strathmore’s Riley Roy and Brady Chappel of Moose Jaw moved into third with a 13.3, while Troy Fischer of Mayerthorpe and Okotoks’ Wyatt Eirikson had the best run of the Stampede — 6.1 — in their second run for a 14.6 total that is good for seventh at the moment.
Meanwhile, sitting in ninth and tenth, are Kelly Buhler of Monte Creek, B.C. and Trent Petersen from Claresholm at 15.5 followed by Strathmore’s Denver Johnson and Spencer Rutherford of Merritt, B.C. at 15.7.
For the ladies barrel racing, only Taylor Manning from Edson was able to crack the top 12 by posting at time of 17.837, which is good enough for ninth place with one more day to go.
While the rodeo cowboys got to enjoy some of the best conditions of the week, the chuckwagons got nothing but slop to run in following a huge late afternoon thunderstorm.
And those muddy conditions slowed the times considerably, with Kurt Bensmiller posting the best time of the evening at 1:17.73 — nearly four seconds slower than the top time set at this year’s Stampede.
Bensmiller takes over the aggregate with that time and a big advantage heading into tomorrow night’s semi final races.
Also heading to the semi finals are Gary Gorst, Layne MacGillivray, Layne Bremner, Colt Cosgrave, Evan Salmond, Troy Dorchester and John Walters.
The top four of those will race for the $50,000 Dash for Cash on Monday night.
In the pony All Pro Chuckwagons, Cole Adamson leads the way by three seconds over Kevin Desjarlais with one night left before the top four are decided for the $10,000 Dash.