As is always the case, the Sunday is jammed with both spectators and competitors hoping for that last bit of excitement before the big day comes.
And on Canada Day it turned out to be no different, as there were plenty of changes and many near misses on the last day of qualifying for the Ponoka Stampede finals.
A pair of bareback riders got to join the party, as Orin Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba scored an 87 and Seth Hardwick from Ranchester, Wyoming got an 86.75 on Sunday. The only local cowboy to make it to Monday is no stranger and comes in with the top ride of the week — Ponoka native Jake Vold.
The bull riding saw the most rides made all week with three, including one Ponoka rider. Trey Benton put up an 88.75 Sunday to take the lead, while Cadogan’s Lonnie West managed an 82.75. Local Zane Lambert stayed on just long enough for an 84 and will join Wacey Finkbeiner whose 88 from Thursday has him back for the finals.
In the saddle bronce, there were only a few good rides on the day, the best of them being Sam Kelts of Stavely at 82.75. However, that was not enough to crack the top 12 for Monday. Just one area cowboy will compete in the finals and that is former world champion Zeke Thurston.
Three bulldoggers were fast enough on Sunday to qualify. Provost’s Scott Guenthner had the best steer wrestling time of the day at 4.0 for a combined time of 12.1. That was followed by Luke Gee of Stanford, Montana with 7.8 run to leave him at a combined 12.8 and Langdon’s Jeremy Krywcun with a 6.2 for a combined time of 13.8.
Cody Cassidy of Donalda with his 14.8 held onto a spot in the finals and joins Ponoka’s Craig Weisgerber with an 11.0.
Three cowboys did just enough in the tie down roping to secure at top 12 spot on Sunday.
Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas snared a combined time of 18.3 with Jake Hannum of Plain City, Utah slid in with an 18.4, while Tuf Cooper from Decatur garnered the last spot with a 19.2. That left just one area cowboy — Eckville’s Clayton Smith at 17.9 — with a chance at the title as Rimbey’s Dean Edge was knocked out by just one-tenth of second.
Over in the team roping, three teams from yesterday booked there finals spots with some good runs. Brazile and Patrick Smith of Lipan, Texas posted a combined time of 13.2, while Longview’s Steele Depaoli and Claresholm’s Chase Simpson put up a 13.3. The other team to come out with a spot at 13.8 was Troy Fischer of Mayerthorpe and Daysland’s Clark McCarroll.
They join two local teams in the finals — former world champs Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler as well as Lacombe’s Tyler Flewelling, who will be running twice Monday, with partners Tyrell Gordon of Ponoka and then Okotok’s Clint Buhler.
The barrel racing Sunday saw no changes in the top 12 positions, with only Ponoka’s Shayna Weir as the lone local cowgirls to qualify for the finals.