Seen and herd at the Ponoka Stampede

Bareback rider Justin Randle from Fort Vermillion hangs on for dear life as he nears the end of a gruelling eight-second ride aboard Cool Pieces. In many events during the 73rd annual Ponoka Stampede

A Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer is calling it a day.

Joe Beaver, who arrived in town last week with just the boots on his feet, announced the Ponoka Stampede was to be his last rodeo in Canada before he retires.

Beaver and his team from Florida flew into Alberta June 25 for the Friday afternoon draw but Canada’s border inspectors turned around his partners’ horses, tack and clothing at the Alberta border. Horses from New Mexico, Idaho and Colorado are banned from entering Canada due to a breakout of the vesicular stomatitis infection.

They were forced to borrow clothing, ropes, string and horses to compete.

Over 25 years Beaver has won five world tie-down championships, three all-around cowboy gold buckles and more than $3 million in career earnings.

The Texan said he’s getting road-weary and a wonky hip that required surgery three years ago limits his mobility.

Allan Cup on parade

Kurt and Chance Bensmiller had more than their chuckwagon driving skills to show off June 26 at the stampede.

Tipping their hat to the fans after their heat, the pair of Bentley Generals paraded the Allan Cup. The brothers were part of the championship senior men’s hockey team.

Coach Brian Sutter dropped the cup off at the chuckwagon camp before the races.

One tough cowboy

After riding a horse named Need Ajax, saddle bronc rider Bryce Miller needed stitches.

The cowboy was bucked off and the horse’s hooves struck his neck and abdomen, knocking him unconscious and sending him to the hospital. He required stitches to an ear and treatment for a concussion.

Miller, from South Dakota, is second in world standings and was planning to compete at the Calgary Stampede.

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