Competitors and fans on Day 6 of the Ponoka Stampede July 2 proved that even when it pours the stands will be full and the arena will be full of high flying action.
Rain steadily fell throughout the afternoon Event 10 performance making arena extremely muddy but the athletes didn’t let wet jeans and the filthy conditions get them down.
Tanner Aus from New London, MN, continues to sit at the top of the leaderboard for the bareback event and Bayleigh Choate’s best time of 17.2 couldn’t be beat by Saturday’s barrel racers. Unfortunately, Sam Smith and Kennedy Smith from Rimbey, Alta., couldn’t crack the top 12 with their runs Saturday but central Alberta ladies Marci Laye from Bashaw, Alta., Tana Millard from Eckville, Alta., and Shelby Spielman from Ponoka currently sit in fifth, sixth and tenth heading into Sunday.
Dawson Hay from Wildwood, Alta., sits in first for Saddlebrong and Caleb Smidt takes the lead in tie down roping after adding a 8.6 second run Saturday. Beau Cooper from Stettler, Alta., is currently fourth overall in the tie down roping event.
Stephen Culling leads in steer wrestling after a lightning quick time of 3.7 seconds. Chance Butterfield of Ponoka had his steer get away from him and came away with a no time however Ponoka atheletes Ben Ramby put up a time of 22.8 and Clay Guthrie a time of 16.8.
Brett McCarroll (Camrose, Atla) and Clint Buhler (Nanton, Alta) lead in the team roping event.
Fans got a performance from Wild Rose Cowgirls Trick Riding in the infield during intermission and were energized by Event 10 wrapping up with the wild horse races which resulted in many a cowboy being dragged face first through the mud.
Saturday’s events continued into the evening with the All Pro Canadian Chuckwagon and World Professional Chuckwagon races followed by the Wild West of ‘36 Professional Bull Riding (PBR) championships.
Central Alberta professional chuckwagon racers Chad Harden finished his heat with a time of 1:26:03 and in a seperate heat Troy Dorchester finished his race with a time of 1:26:12.
In the PBR event bulls were sending more than one rider fliping boots over heads into the mud and just under ten riders were able to put a score on the board. Unfortunately, Ponoka’s Zane Lambert was one of the majority who found that the bulls were determined to win on Saturday night.