Zeke Thurston is awarded the buckle after Showdown Sunday at Ponoka Stampede. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/MIKE COPEMAN

Zeke Thurston conquers Ponoka with a $11k win, next Calgary

Thurston rides Get Smart with a score of 87.75 on Showdown at Ponoka Stampede.

Moush Sara John

Independent staff

Local cowboy, Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston rode three-time Canadian Champion saddle bronc Get Smart to score 87.75 on Sunday, July 2 at Ponoka Stampede to win an $11,000 payday.

After his win, Thurston said, “Ponoka Stampede is by far one of the biggest sanctioned rodeos in Canada and in the world, and it sure feels good to win it.”

Headed to Calgary next, the win for Thurston will do him a world of good as he goes into it with a winning frame of mind, but that’s how he rolls.

“When I go out there, I ride the horse to the best of my ability, the best I know how,” Thurston added. “In this game, you got to have a short memory, that’s the only way to do it. When I don’t do as well as I wish I had done, I shake it off, there are more rodeos to go to and win.”

Having a positive frame of mind, a good attitude and being surrounded by the right people are what Thurston attributes his success to.

“You have to enjoy the ride, go and have some fun,” Thurston said.

In his downtime, Thurston usually relaxes with his friends and family.

“So far I’ve really had a great season, and am sitting second in Canada and the world,” Thurston stated.

Right now, in first place in the world standings is Jacobs Crawley from Boerne, Texas.

All eyes will be on Thurston this weekend and next week as he competes in Calgary Stampede, which starts on Friday, July 7.