Come the end of June, it’s that time of year once again in Ponoka.
The huge opening night of the 82nd annual Ponoka Stampede flew out of the chute last night to an appreciative crowd, many of whom were hoping to be the big winner of a new truck along with enjoying some excellent rodeo action.
And the performance started off with a bang, with five bareback riders making a huge play to be there when the real money is handed out on Monday by putting up scores of 84 and higher.
Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyoming leads the pack with an 84.75 with Regina’s Ty Taypotat right behind with an 84.5. Wyatt Denny of Minden, Nevada with an 84.25 is that group along with Clayton Biglow from Clements, Californa and Clint Laye of Cadogan, Alberta who each put up a score of 84.
For the tie down ropers, it was a bit tougher night as not one cowboy got into the single digits during the evening.
Cory Solomon from Prairie View, Texas had the second best run of the night with a 10.7 and is the leader after the first day with a two run time of 20.0 seconds after posting a 9.3 in the morning’s runs. Meanwhile, Stettler’s Riley Warren is in the hunt, finishing last night with an 11.0 and a combined time of 20.8 to sit second at the moment.
The long run in the steer wrestling took some time to figure out with only three bulldoggers able to put up times in both runs on opening day — all of whom are Canadians.
Layne Delemont of Chauvin, Alberta was consistent between his morning and evening runs, posting an 8.3 and a 7.4 to sit first. Pouce Coupe, B.C.’s Clayton Moore had a rough morning, but made up for it with a blazing 5.2 during the night performance for second with a combined time of 16.8.
Also staying in the mix for Monday was Ponoka’s own Ben Ramey, whose 10.6 last night has him third at 20.1 overall.
And the big score performances just kept coming after the intermission, with five more 84 or higher scores in the saddle bronc.
Sterling Crawley from Stephenville, Texas has set the bar high as he sits first with an 85.75, with Brody Cress of Hillsdale, Wyoming following close behind with an 85.5. Meanwhile, Cort Scheer from Elsmere, Nebraska with an 84.75 as well as Isaac Diaz of Desdemona, Texas and Tyler Corrington from Hastings, Minnesota — both with 84 scores — remain in the hunt for a spot in the finals.
For the team ropers, it was a long night with just a pair of teams earning times in both the morning and evening events.
And it was an Alberta pairing of Logan Bird from Nanton and Stacy Cornet of Brant that used their past experience to their benefit, posting times of 7.6 and 8.0 to get top spot last night. The other team to do the job was the Torres brothers, Joshua and Jonathan, from Stephenville, Texas with a combined time of 34.8.
There were also some fast times in the barrel racing with the top five all under that 18 second barrier.
Stevi Hillman of Weatherford, Texas had the top time of 17.560 followed by Taber’s Nancy Csabay at 17.689, while Jessica Routier from Buffalo, South Dakota had a 17.754.
Now, while the bull riding is usually the big hit of the night, it was all bull at the opening performance with just one scoring ride. That came courtesy of Joe Frost of Randlett, Utah with an 85.75.
The action will get back under way today with an afternoon of rodeo, followed this evening with the opening night of chuckwagon racing.