Skip to content

Ponoka Stampede 2024, the full showdown deal

Weston Timberman now has his own Ponoka story to tell, after he went on a mission with Calgary Stampede horse Agent Lynx during the Ponoka Stampede showdown round on July 1. The horse stayed right by the chutes, getting higher with every jump and Timberman kept pace, to be rewarded with a 90-point mark, $14,890, and all the championship glory and hardware. (Covy Moore photo)

By Dianne Finstad  

The Ponoka Stampede roster of champions has plenty of newcomers, as the 88th edition drew to a close on Canada Day.

A pair of them were even rookies! Weston Timberman of Columbus, MT. is one of them.

Although it was his first time ever to Ponoka, the second-generation bareback rider had heard many a story about the rodeo from his father Chris, and his uncle Kelly, a world champion.

Timberman now has his own Ponoka story to tell, after he went on a mission with Calgary Stampede horse Agent Lynx.

The horse stayed right by the chutes, getting higher with every jump and Timberman kept pace, to be rewarded with a 90-point mark, $14,890, and all the championship glory and hardware.

“I’ve been dreaming of getting on that horse for a while now, and I was happy to get her here in Ponoka,” grins the 20-year-old.

“That horse was so awesome. She was able to help me out doing my job, and she did her job, about as good as you could do it.”

Timberman’s exit was nearly as high flying as the ride, while some audio issues meant the buzzer hadn’t sounded for the crowd.

“I didn’t hear a whistle either,” says Timberman.

“You get on so many, you’ve got a pretty good idea as to when the when the whistle blows. She did slam me down there and I was like, ‘Man, I felt like I made the whistle pretty solid’. It took forever to announce the score and I was thinking ‘sonofagun – at least I went out gassing it!’ I would guess I came off at 9.3 seconds,” he chuckled.

“I tell you what – I was having a lot of fun. Every jump she was just getting better and better. I thought, ‘Man, I’m going to see how far I can get my feet up here’ and every jump I got ‘em a little more and a little more. Then eventually she said alright buddy, you’re done having fun. You’re getting off!”

Timberman was pretty sure his uncle and father were just as dialed in watching him from their homes.

“I’ve seen videos of them watching my rides and they can’t stay still. They’ll be in their seats jumping around. I’m sure my Dad got bucked off just as hard as I did today!”

Saddle bronc

Another rookie who cracked the championship ranks was Zachary Dallas.

In an outstanding saddle bronc riding showdown, the 22-year-old emerged number one overall after combining with Calgary’s Tokyo Bubbles for 90.5 points.

“I got a good start on it, marked it out, and just went to it,” says Dallas, who hails from New Mexico.

“But I definitely had to gas it and bare down, to stay on it those last few jumps. It wasn’t a day off. 

“It’s the first time I was 90, so that’s cool!”

The win gave Dallas, who’s leading the world rookie saddle bronc race, a cash bonus of $18,863 for his time in Ponoka.

But he also took home a Ponoka Stampede jacket and a championship buckle.

“I saw Orin Larsen’s from last year earlier today, and it looked pretty cool, so I’m glad I’ve got one.”

Tie-down roping

Haven Meged had been within a 10th of a second of winning the tie-down roping title at Ponoka last year.

So the Montana man had some unfinished business and left no doubt about his claim on the championship this year, his first at Ponoka.

After a solid week of roping on his big bay horse Smoke, Meged came into the showdown round as the aggregate winner, so the last of the four to go.

He sizzled through his run in just 7.8 seconds, nearly two seconds faster than the rest of the field.

“I had high hopes to do good,” says Meged.

“My horse has been great, and we’d been making good runs, so I’m just very thankful and blessed to have success today.”

Meged won an extra buckle as the High Point Champion, as he competed in team roping as well.

His take-home pay from Ponoka was $20,062.

“This is going to help me a lot. I think I’ve had a $25,000 week so far, just in Canada, so that’s big for me in the world standings and the Canadian standings. If I didn’t do good this week in Canada, I wasn’t going to make the Canadian Finals.”

Meged’s list of ‘drove all night’s’ from the week was long, and he took Smoke with him, adding in a Williams Lake win as well.

“He’s a big, strong horse. I think that’s what separates him from a lot of the horses out here. He takes it really good, and I’m just really thankful to have him in my trailer and on my team.”

Steer wrestling

Steer wrestler Dalton Massey made it two in a row for steer wrestling championships, after he tipped over his showdown steer in 5.8 seconds, two-tenths faster than high money winner at Ponoka this year, Cody Cassidy.

“It’s unreal to win it again,” admits Massey, who’s from Hermiston, OR.

“I was pretty chill until about 10 minutes before the bulldogging. It hit me that I’m here again in Ponoka for the four-man, at one of the biggest rodeos of the year. I just got done winning Reno and to have a chance at the best rodeo over the fourth (of July run) – to get ‘er done is just a real blessing.

“I can’t thank Tanner Milan, my travelling partner, enough for sticking around and helping me out in getting the win today,” he adds, as one of the biggest fans and users of Milan’s horse Eddie.

Massey’s Ponoka cheque was $20,191, just $350 behind Cassidy.

That will help pad Massey’s number one position in the world steer wrestling standings.

Team roping

It was a second trip to the Ponoka Stampede for two-time world champions in team roping.

Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira made this year’s trip very worthwhile, as they caught their steer fastest in the showdown, at 5.8 seconds to claim the Ponoka honors.

“Honestly, I was a little bit late at the barrier,” says Driggers, the header.

“Our steer was probably just average for the herd. We just tried to put a good run together because we were second out, and let them try and beat us. 

“It fell in our way today, because it was a very close team roping. 

“There’s no holding back here in the final four. First pays $7,500 and second’s $3,750, so you try to go for the win.”

Driggers and Nogueira wound up with a total of $17,131 apiece from Ponoka. Nogueira adds they were both grateful for the rodeo family friendships, as they used borrowed horses at Ponoka, so they could fly in to compete.

Driggers rode Ponoka cowboy Logan Bonnett’s horse, and Nogueira heeled on fellow showdown competitor Trey Yates' horse in the showdown round.

“Last year, we had a good chance to be high call back, but I messed up on the second one. So we had a little unfinished business,” smiles Nogueira.

The duo has no shortage of big wins in their career, but both say the Ponoka one is memorable.

“Especially for me, coming from Brazil, all the way down south, to compete here all the way up north, it’s pretty cool to get a win,” says Nogueira.

“But just to see the sport and the whole industry is amazing. We’re very thankful to be here.”

Barrel racing

It was the third time Nanton-raised cowgirl Lindsay Sears has ridden away with a Ponoka Stampede buckle for her barrel racing performance.

But this is one she’ll never forget. After competing on her stallion Mojo in the rain earlier in the week, Sears wasn’t even sure she’d make it back for the finals. But they did, and sailed through there to the showdown round, where a running time of 17.47 seconds was the fastest of them all.

“This is, oh my gosh, unreal,” exclaims Sears, still wiping tears from her eyes after the emotional win. Sears’ previous Ponoka wins (2009 and 2011) were on her much-decorated mare Martha.

These days, Sears spends most of her time in Texas, where Martha’s son Mojo is the foundation of her horse breeding program.

But he suffered a traumatic injury a year ago, and it’s taken time, patience, and a huge effort from Sears and her team to get him back running again.

Their initial trip around the barrels at Ponoka was the horse’s first competitive run since January.

“We just didn’t know if he would ever be the same,” says Sears.

“It’s amazing. I just think he’s got what Martha had – grit and try. When it comes down to nights like tonight, that’s what shines through and he really tried tonight. I’m just so thankful. There’s so many people that have played a part in getting him to this point. If you knew where he was at a year ago today, this would seem an impossible pipe dream. 

“I did not think this would happen, so I’m just so excited.”

Despite the $14,347 win, Sears has no intention of changing her summer plans to include more rodeos further away from her Texas horse operation.

“It’s hard for a stallion to be out on the rodeo trail. I’m just going to pick and choose. I’m going to go to Cheyenne on my way home, and that’s kind of it. 

“This buckle will be in my Dad’s office,” adds Sears.

“He and Rick Wierzba are great friends. This was really special because Rick’s the president here. He’s so great to our family when we get to Ponoka. I’m so thankful and very proud of this. 

“This is the greatest rodeo in Canada,” declares Sears, emphatically.

“I just want everyone to know that. All the cowboys and cowgirls know it.”

Bull riding

There were four talented bull riders, and four strong bulls in the showdown round at Ponoka.

But on this day, the bulls out-muscled the cowboys, and none were able to make the full eight seconds.

So the champion’s buckle and jacket went to aggregate winner, Jared Parsonage. The Maple Creek cowboy is enjoying rodeo with his young family this season, and had his son Kade in his arms behind the chutes.

“For me, it’s what keeps me going, keeps me interested,” says Parsonage.

“It’s what counts the most. I don’t know if I want him to be a bull rider or not,” he chuckles.

“He can watch some team roping!”

Parsonage tried his hand on the Vold bull Chosen, which was honored as the Bull of the Ponoka Stampede.

He made it to about six seconds on the ride.

“That’s a bucker. They can’t make ‘em buck much harder than that. I got around there and just kind of missed it. I got bucked off fair and square. It’s not how I drew it up to win Ponoka. But I’m going to win this thing one year, riding in the four round! 

“It’s disappointing to not ride all three, but it’s pretty exciting to win the rodeo,” adds Parsonage, who still earns $11,865. He also managed to win at Williams Lake, B.C. for a good July first run.

Other Ponoka Stampede award winners included C5’s Virgil as Bareback Horse of the Stampede; Calgary Stampede’s Exotic Warrior as Saddle Bronc of the Stampede; All Around Champion Kyle Wanchuk; Chase Siemens in the Novice Bareback; Briley Scott in the Novice Saddle Bronc; Levi Robbins in the Steer Riding and Rae-Leigh Pederzolli in the Women’s Ranch Bronc Riding.

Ponoka News is your source for all things Ponoka Stampede. Find more Ponoka Stampede stories here and follow us at