Jace Harty memorial celebrates the legacy

Bull riders toughed it out June 20 during the 10th annual Jace Harty Memorial.

Gunnar Fuchs holds on to win steer-riding champion at the Jace Harty Bull Riding memorial event.

Bull riders toughed it out June 20 during the 10th annual Jace Harty Memorial. More than 1,250 rodeo fans were entertained with bull riding and bull soccer, and donations from the Jace Harty memorial organizers were given out to different organizations throughout the event.

The not-for-profit group uses the bull riding event as a way to celebrate Harty’s life, who was also a bull rider.

“It’s an annual celebration of his life and the legacy he left,” said Carrie Harty, organizer and sister of the late Jace Harty.

President of the Jace Harty Memorial, Patrick Lentz said in an email they hope to make the event larger as the years move forward but “not losing the uniqueness of the event and who it is really about”

Harty’s chaps and vest were on display while competitors held on to their rides and vied for top rider of the day.

“Overall, the event was a success for everyone: Attendance was up, Jace ensured the sunshine. The hair on our necks still stood and we were able to provide a lot of special smiles throughout the night. I understand all of these items are hard to measure in individual detail. They just seem to be the way a lot of people described the night,” explained Lentz.

The memorial also sponsored a barn stall at the Ponoka Ag Event Centre, and made donations to the Ronald McDonald House, central Alberta, $2,000; the Broncs Rodeo Academy, $1,156.50 — matching their 50/50 ticket earnings; the Ponoka Stampede Rodeo Challenge 2012, $1,000; and the Halvar Johnson Centre for Brain Injury, $1,000.

Harty’s sister said the goal is to give back to the community as much as possible. Taylor-Rae Poznikoff sang Over You, by Miranda Lambert in tribute of Jace Harty as well as joined in a duet with Kory Wlos, who entertained at the cabaret later in the day.

The half-time show gave most attendees some entertainment as six brave men played a game of soccer with three or four bulls to heat things up. Players attempted to outscore each other while dodging the horns of bulls on their tail. It was unclear who the winner was.

The bull riding continued with the eventual winners leading the pack:

• Bull Riding Champion – Jesse Torkelson of Warburg, scored 85.5 on Vold Rodeo’s “Captain.”

• Junior Bull Riding – No Qualified Rides – Buckle was drawn for and went to Cawl Braithwaite of Bluffton.

• Steer Riding Champion – Gunnar Fuchs of Sangudo, scored 68.5.

Zane Lambert, from Ponoka scored 84 on ART Holy Roller for the long go.

These were the other finalists.

Chad Besplug 157.5/2

Zane Lambert 84/1

Tyler Thomson 82/1

(Tie) Kyle Lozier 81.5/1

(Tie) Tyler Pankewitz 81.5/1

Ty Patten 80.5/1

Jared Paulson 74/1

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