A new buckle was simply not in the cards for some local and area cowboys at this year’s Calgary Stampede.
Three Ponoka cowboys — Jake Vold, Craig Weisgerber and Zane Lambert — did well enough to make the finals, but none of them were able to earn their way into the big money showdown on July 14.
The most disappointing of these was Vold, who had to miss the finals for the second time in four years because of injury. Unfortunately, in his last bareback ride of the round on July 8, he was bucked off and the horse stepped on his knee. He finished on top of his pool with $11,000.
The results of tests and a doctor’s evaluation meant he had to bow out of the chase for $100,000 and will likely be rehabing for some time. The incident brings back some tough memories as Vold qualified for the finals in 2016, but a recurring back injury saw him stay away from moving onto Sunday.
Weisgerber won $10,500 in the steer wrestling to finish at the top his pool and nearly made the top four for the showdown. However, his finals time of 4.7 seconds wound up being bumped to fifth by two of the last three cowboys to run, leaving him short by three-tenths of a second.
Meanwhile in the bull riding, Lambert qualified for the finals after earning $8,500 to place fourth in his pool. However, only four cowboys managed to stay on long enough in the finals to post a score and Lambert wasn’t one of them.
Bashaw’s Jacob Stemo, Meeting Creek’s Garrett Green, Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Riley Warren from Stettler along with Curtis and Cody Cassidy of Donalda all made it to championship Sunday on July 14, but none of them reached the $100,000 showdown.
Stemo, in the bareback, got the closest to the big money after scoring an 87.5 in the finals, but lost out on the last top four spot to Seth Hardwick due to a tiebreaker. Stemo made it to Sunday after being the top wildcard qualifier July 13 with a score of 88 after earning $5,500 in his pool.
Green, after posting just one score in his bull riding pool, topped the crowd with an 88 in the July 13 wildcard round to get to the final. Unfortunately, he was among the six cowboys to be bucked off in the final, which made it really easy to figure out who would compete for the big prize.
As for the Cassidy brothers in the steer wrestling, a fraction of an inch made a huge difference.
For Cody, whose pool performance of $9,000 earned him a finals berth, he came away with a no-time after slipping over the steer’s horns and sliding to the ground.
Meanwhile, Curtis managed just one time in his pool, to go with no cash, but captured a wildcard spot with a 4.0 run. However, his 3.5 second finals run would have placed him first in the finals, except that he was just a bit too quick and broke the barrier to add a 10-second penalty that put him out of the running.
Thurston walked off with $18,500 and first place in his pool to make the finals, then won that round with a 93.5. However, he couldn’t repeat that in the showdown, ending up in third after posting an 87.
Warren managed to pull of $7,500 in his tie down roping pool to qualify for the final, but that would be all as he and four others were nailed with a no-time on the last day.
Tanner Aus from Granite Falls, Montana qualified third for the showdown, but came up big to capture the bareback by posting a 92.5 score.
In the saddle bronc, top spot went to the fourth place qualifier in Rusty Wright of Millford, Utah, scoring a 92.
Sage Kimzey from Strong City, Oklahoma, walked off with the bull rider title by notching a score of 92.5.
The steer wrestling was won by Robertsdale, Alabama’s Kyle Irwin who put up a run of 3.6 seconds.
Caleb Smidt of Bellville, Texas, wrapped up the tie-down title with a 7.3 second run.
Lastly, the barrel racing crown went to Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, South Dakota, by three one-thousands of a second with her time of 17.116.
Guenthner third with a 4.3 July 9 for $3,500, July 10 run was 5.0 (9th in the round) to sit sixth overall, 14.5 broken barrier July 11, tied for top spot with 3.9 July 12 but that resulted in split earnings and him missing out on a showdown bye by $1,000.
Curtis was among the half of the competitors that wound up with a no-time July 9, was fast July 10 at 4.4 but missed out on the money as he placed eighth in the round, no-time July 11, no-time july 12.