Great stock, great entries and a great crowd could be found at the Cowtown Pro Rodeo last week.
High-quality stock was supplied, with a higher number of entries in many events. The number of spectators was also up, with a record crowd out on Friday night.
About 300-350 people came out July 16 and 17 to catch the action, but Friday evening’s performances drew out upwards of 900 people.
“It was awesome. Everybody’s talking about how good the stock was,” said Slim Needham, president of the Cowtown Pro Rodeo Committee. “The word’s getting around that it’s really something to come see.”
The excellent stock was supplied by contractors Bar C5 Rodeo, Lazy B and X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle. Roping calves arrived at the rodeo straight from the Calgary Stampede, and the bucking stock was on its way to Cheyenne, Wyo. following the Cowtown Pro Rodeo for its professional rodeo.
Announcer Barry Boghean provided commentary, with bullfighters Dawson Northcott and Scott Waye as well as pick-up men Wade Rempel and Travis Erickson keeping the competitors safe.
This year’s rodeo was another huge success, with no injuries.
Saddle bronc riding was won by Jim Berry of Rocky Mountain House, Alta. with a score of 84.5. Jake Watson of Hudson Hope, B.C. was second and Josh Harden of Big Valley, Alta. and Troy Crowser of Whitewood, S.D. tied for third.
In bareback riding, Jake Vold of Ponoka, Alta. earned the win with his 87.5-point ride. Logan Hodson of Telkwa, B.C. was second and Ty Taypotat of Regina was third.
Katie Garthwaite of Merritt, B.C. was the winner of ladies barrel racing with a time of 17.138 seconds. Julie Leggett of Kamloops, B.C. was second and Debbie Guelly of Okotoks, Alta. was third.
The steer wrestling champion was Jesse Lawes of Provost, Alta., with a time of 3.8 seconds. Josh Harden placed second and JD Hays of Rocky Mountain House, Alta. was third.
Riley Gagnon of Red Deer Country, Alta. was first in boys steer riding with a score of 79.5. Klayton Lakevold of Provost, Alta. was second and Coy Robbins of Camrose, Alta. was third.
In novice bareback riding, Danton Bertsch of Eastend was victorious with a score of 67. Spur Lacasse of Cochrane, Alta. was second.
Novice saddle bronc riding was won by Keenan Reinhardt of Calgary, Alta. with a score of 77. Tyler Kampjes of Sturgeon County was second.
Steele DePaoli of Longview, Alta. was the winner of tie-down roping with a time of 8.5 seconds. Riley Warren of Stettler, Alta. was second and Jesse Finnerty of Duchess, Alta. was third.
Team roping was won by Cody Brett of Silver Valley, Alta. and Travis Speer of Blue Ridge, Alta. with a time of 5.5 seconds. Riley Roy of Strathmore, Alta. and Casey Weerstra of Brooks, Alta. were second and Roland McFadden of Vulcan, Alta. and Tyrel Flewelling of Lacombe, Alta. were third.
In bull riding, Zane Lambert of Westbourne, Man. was the champion with a score of 83.5. Daniel Hansen of Calgary was second and Tyler Pankewitz of Ponoka, Alta. was third.
Niki Flundra wowed the crowd with her liberty horse act. The Pincher Creek, Alta. cowgirl’s young son Ridge garnered cheers and smiles from the audience when he entered the arena to help his mother. New this year was a huge video screen, which provided an instant replay of the wild rides and displayed the scores for spectators.
“I think the addition of the video screen really bolstered our attendance,” said committee member Pat Armstrong. “People really seemed to enjoy that.”
An increase in the number of entries resulted in slack being run on Thursday morning.
Sponsorship was also up this year.
Family supper specials offered Wednesday and Thursday evening encouraged people to come out for the performances, which started at 6 p.m. – an hour earlier than previous years. A kids’ night sponsored by the Bank of Montreal on Wednesday night resulted in over 120 children coming through the gates for free, with a free supper included.
The Cowtown Pro Rodeo Committee is thankful for all the sponsors, competitors, spectators, organizations and volunteers that helped make this year’s rodeo a success.