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Oldtimers take team roping seriously

Doug Williams and Roger Gunsch finished second in the 40-plus Ponoka Stampede Old Timers Team Roping and Reunion with a time of 7.05 seconds.


It may be a ‘fun’ event to commence the 75th Ponoka Stampede but don’t think there still isn’t some competitive fire that burns in the belly of the contestants in the Ponoka Stampede Old Timers Team Roping and Reunion.

Big cash was up for grabs as 152 teams competed for $11,520 and championship buckles.

To suggest the conditions were a touch muddy would be an understatement but competitors braved the conditions and turned in some fast times.

“It was the same for everybody so the conditions aren’t a factor,” said 79-year-old Bob Robinson who roped in all three categories, the 40-plus, 50-plus and 60-plus events.

Robinson, who hails from Millet and was the 1956 Canadian Bronc Riding Champion, grabbed third place in the 50-plus division with header Ken Loren.

Mel Coleman and Mike Beers won the 50- plus buckles and $1,564 purse with a time of 7.27 seconds while Bill Hamblin and Brien Mouley were the runners up with 7.98.

In the 60-plus division, Roger Gunsch and Calvin Stern won the buckles and a $1,064 purse with a time of 8.84, while Eddie Jensen and Art Gallais were second and Gunsch and Jim Berry were third — each competitor is allowed to enter each division three times, if they compete with the same partner twice they must switch header and heeler.

In the 40-plus division, Marty Lillico and Mike Beers took the top prize and $1,880 with a run time of 6.57 — the fastest of the day. Gunsch and Doug Williams were second while Jim Gunsch and Scott Auclair rounded out the top three with a time of 7.52.

“It’s a great day and a chance to see some people that you only see once a year,” said Robinson. “I didn’t take up roping till I was 51 years old; my sons golf and they want me to golf but that’s more exasperating than team roping.”

Each category had $800 added by the Ponoka Stampede Association and when all the buckles and cash were handed out the competitors made their way to the Stagecoach Saloon for beef on a bun dinner sponsored by the association.