CHARLES TWEED/Ponoka News
No matter the sport, there is always a little extra pressure when you’re competing at home in front of friends and family.
Just ask Craig Guthrie or Brock Butterfield who were both visibly upset after turning in sub par runs in the steer wrestling event at the Ponoka Stampede.
Justin Gattey can relate, entering his second run on Day 4 the Ponoka cowboy sat with a time of five seconds flat.
“I was pretty nervous, I was pretty good in my first one this morning and needed to make a solid run to try to stay in the average,” said Gattey.
Steer wrestlers want to put up a solid time in their first go but the time can play tricks with a competitor’s mind.
“It’s a lot harder trying to be safe,” said Gattey. “It’s hard to talk yourself into being safe and you try to have a good run. There is always a little more pressure at home but we appreciate the support and that’s what we live for, we want to see a big crowd come out.”
Gattey is competing for the second straight year in Ponoka and felt the fact he’d seen the long chute and the crowd once before helped him this year.
“Last year I missed my second one so I was ready to come back and throw two down,” said Gattey, who works as an auctioneer at Vold Jones Vold.
The total time 11.9 seconds had Gattey in a tie for ninth place in the overall standings up to June 30 with the top 12 coming back to compete for all the money July 3.
“It all depends what happens whether I’ll get to come back for the short round. It’d be awesome and it’s where I want to be. I’ve worked forever to try to get there,” said Gattey.
The steer wrestler was hitting the road after his stop in Ponoka heading to Airdrie then off to Williams Lake, BC to compete in a rodeo July 2 but had no issue with having to jump in the truck and head back to get in the short go on in Ponoka the next day.
“It’s why we work so hard and it’s where you want to be. It’s going to be a full house here on Sunday and I’m focused on steer wrestling,” said Gattey.