Airdrie’s Jake Vold makes a solid 88.75 ride on Not Crystal Friday afternoon to land him the first place spot of the bareback riding at Ponoka Stampede. The top 12 competitors in each event will head to the rodeo finals July 2 for a chance at the top four final rodeo showdown in the evening. Photos by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Jake Vold takes the lead at Ponoka Stampede

Ponoka Stampede’s fourth day of rodeo was full of thrills and spills.

Bareback rider Jake Vold once again showed his grit at the Ponoka Stampede.

Friday’s performance for the former Ponoka native was a solid 88.75 run on Not Crystal putting him right in first place in the leader round. The next highest in the bareback event is JR Vezain who scored 86.5 on Alley Trail in the June 27 performance.

The bareback event saw several re-rides for competitors as one horse or another may not have performed as well as it could have.

Another Ponoka native landed himself in the top 12 leaderboard; tie-down roper Keely Bonnett managed a time of 9.2 in the afternoon performance. Adding his morning time of 10.7 put Bonnett with 19.9 seconds from the two runs, landing him in the fifth spot, just a few seconds behind Rimbey’s Dean Edge who sits in fourth.

Bonnett also competed in the team roping event with his brother Logan as they looked to capitalize on their 6.4 second morning performance, but a no time in the afternoon performance dashed their chances at a run for the money.

However, another Ponoka team roper, Travis Gallais, with header AJ Sullivan out of Drayton Valley, was able to complete a time and stay within throwing range of a finals run. The pair managed an 11.8 second morning run and a 12.4 second afternoon run to land them in 10th spot.

The pair sit just behind Dean Edge and Nelson Ladouceur of Pendryl. The top spot in team roping currently is Tristan Woolsey and Denver Johnson with a combined time of 12.6 seconds. They’re going to be the ones to beat.

As for the top performers in the other events, barrel racer Stevi Hillman of Weatherford, Texas, sits at 17.56 seconds from her June 26 run.

In bull riding there are only eight qualified rides with Wacey Finkbeiner still in the lead at 88 points from his June 28 run. Sage Kimzey (fifth spot) and Dakota Louis (eighth) were the only qualified rides on Friday’s performance.

In the saddlebronc event, Coburn Bradshaw of Milford, Utah, became the new leader in the round. His 86.25 run on Tiger Warrior made him the guy to beat.

In tie down roping, Eckville cowboy, Clayton Smith remains the leader from his combined 17.9 seconds run on June 28.

Rodeo action continues through the weekend and will conclude on July 2.

The top 12 competitors in each event will compete for a chance at the top four final rodeo showdown that same evening. It’s at the showdown that top dollars are up for grabs.

 

Ponoka’s Keely Bonnett makes a 9.2 second catch during Ponoka Stampede’s Friday steer wrestling event. Bonnett’s ride was good enough to land him in the fifth spot in the average, just one spot behind Rimbey’s Dean Edge.

Barrel racer Kendra Edey of Longview makes a quick turn with a final race time of 18:201, not quite enough to get into the top 12 spot. A win in barrel racing can be the difference in thousandths of a second.

Bull rider Dakota Louis from Browning MT makes a solid eight seconds on Early Departure Friday afternoon. Louis scored 83.50 securing the eighth spot. After Friday’s performance there were only eight bull riders who stayed on for the full eight seconds.

Lacombe’s Justine Elliot makes her way to the second barrel during Friday afternoon’s performance. Elliot’s time was 17.859, just enough to squeeze her into the 12th spot.

Bull rider Trevor Lulua from British Columbia holds on to bull, Lighting McQueen, as best as possible after getting bucked off. Ponoka Stampede’s stock continues to prove among the toughest out there as bull riders from around the world try their hand at a chance for big money.

Bareback rider Jake Vold prepares his saddle before the bareback riding event.

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