Rodeo returns to town in style

Mud is all around  - Norm Breen of Stettler (top) made a great effort in the steer wrestling event on Sunday but the muddy arena was as slippery as the steer. Jonathan Kmita of Weyburn

Mud is all around - Norm Breen of Stettler (top) made a great effort in the steer wrestling event on Sunday but the muddy arena was as slippery as the steer. Jonathan Kmita of Weyburn

Adrianne Shepherd

Independent reporter

The first annual Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede ran rain and shine over the weekend with scores of competitors from near and far.

The stampede kicked off on Friday despite the rainy weather that plagued the area all day long.

Competitors braved the less than favourable weather in the infield to rope, wrestle and ride to the top of the standings.

Friday night also saw a handful of locals who compete at the professional level including Cody Cassidy, Curtis Cassidy, Jeremy Harden, Levi Harden and many more.

With just over 200 spectators on Friday, organizers were not very impressed.

“The first day was disappointing because of the weather,” said Ted Nibourg with the organizing committee.

He said that many people assumed the events would have been cancelled, but the show went on.

“The second day our attendance was over 300,” said Nibourg.

He said that Sunday afternoon was by far their best day with over 800 people of all ages in the stands.

“Given the weather I am quite happy with the way things went,” said Nibourg.

“We have had very positive feedback,” he said, “everyone was really happy that the rodeo came back to town. We have had very, very enthusiastic and positive response.”

He commented that they have not received any negative feedback.

Nibourg said that the contractors were very impressed with the set-up at the grounds. He also said that the stampede had one of the highest added dollar prize money.

“We are going to definitely have another one next year,” he said. “We will be working on some improvements including the sound system.”

Taking the top spot in bull riding with a score of 86 points was JJ Koopman from Raymore, SK with $1120.56; second place was Paul Gravelle from Bengough, SK with an 81 point ride winning $927.36 and third place went to Royce Perrin from Warman, SK with a71 point ride and $734.16 in prize money.

In ladies barrel racing, Robyn Hoover from Grandora, SK had the top time of 18.30 taking home $2010.20; local Melissa Thiessen had the second fasted time of 18.37 seconds winning $1748 and Jacqueline Hoover also of Grandora, SK won third place with an 18.46 time and took home $1484.80.

In team roping the fastest time over three performances went to Braidy Davies and Mark McNinch, both of Lethbridge, with at time of 5.6 seconds and the duo took home $2,708.48; second place winnings of $2,355.20 went to locals Kyle Smith and Dace Harper with a time of 6.2 and third place went to Logan Gartner and Fillip Williams of Raymond, AB with a time of 9.5 seconds and winnings of $2,001.92.

In the bareback riding event Jonathan Kmita of Weyburn, SK took the top score with a 76 point ride and $960.48 in earnings tied for second and third place was Ty Taypotat from Regina, SK and local Cody Cox with 75 point rides winning $794.88 and 629.28 respectfully.

In saddle bronc, Mark O’Dempsey from Mayerthorpe scored 79 points and won $1120.56; local Levi Harden placed second with his 77 point ride and won $927.36 and in third place was Travis Reay also from Mayerthorpe with a 76 point ride and $734.16 in winnings.

Locals swept the steer wrestling event: with a speedy time of 4.1 seconds, Curtis Cassidy won first place and $1,311.92; Jeremy Harden had a time of 4.9 which won him second place and $1,140.80 and in third place was Dace Harper with 5.2 seconds and $969.68 in winnings.

In the tie-down roping it was Dalton Kraft from Medicine Hat with a time of 9.7 seconds and Curtis Taypotat of Regina that tied for the first and second place position with a time of 9.7 seconds and $1565 and $1361 in earnings respectfully and in third was Clint Radke from Maryfield, SK with a time of 9.8 and $1157 in winnings.