By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye
It was a weekend of firsts when the Professional Roughstock Corporation (PRC) hosted its first Bares, Broncs and Bulls rodeo finals at the new Ponoka Ag Event Centre.
Wayne Powell, general manager of the PRC said they had competitors from around the globe this year. “Guys from Australia, New Zealand, a bull rider from Mexico, and some from Olds College.”
Powell, a second-generation cowboy, and co-ordinator of the rodeo program at Olds College, would like to come back and have more rodeos at the event centre, “This has the potential to be one of the busiest buildings in Alberta and Chas (Lambert, general manager) and Charlie Cutforth have gone over and above to accommodate us.”
Powell said with the user-friendly nature of the building, the event centre is ideal for holding a variety of events throughout the year, and the central location is great.
There was some worry the event centre wouldn’t be able to fulfill its agreement when the PRC checked in, but Lambert had it ready.
“I’m really happy with him and I think they found the right guy for the job,” said Powell.
The band Sweet Tequila, from Edmonton performed at the cabaret to a large crowd.
The rough stock rodeo held three events: saddle bronc riding, bare bronc riding, and bull riding. Competitors rode for top prize money and bragging rights. Beau Brooks, 21, won the bull riding event with $4,600 prize money, a saddle and a coat. Brooks, rated second in the CPRA standings, has been riding for seven years and three years professionally. He will head to North Dakota next weekend and to the Canadian Finals Rodeo Nov. 9 to 13 in Edmonton.
Another competitor, Armando Davila, 22, from Coahuila, Mexico, placed second in bull riding. “He has all the makings of a professional bull rider,” says Powell of Davila, who until the finals was the season leader at the PRC with $9,552 in earnings.
Davila wants to go back to Mexico to finish his education but would like to return and enter the pro rodeo circuit in Canada.
The other champions were: bareback riding, Ky Marshall, Bowden; and saddle bronc, Mark O’Dempsey, Mayerthorpe.