Big Valley cowboy Zeke Thurston took third place in the saddle bronc competition after the final showdown at the 80th Ponoka Stampede on Sunday, July 3 as he collected total earnings of $2,250.
Although Thurston was leading after his first two rides with an average of 171.50 ahead of Nanton’s Clay Elliott at 170.50 and Texan Jacobs Crawley’s 168.50, his final run atop Wild Cherry put him behind with 86.50.
“It was a good run though, I’ve never been on that horse before, but you just make the best of what you have,” said Thurston on his way to Oregon to attend the rodeos at St. Paul and Molalla. “This year, I’ve had a great few weeks, and it has been a great run, you just got to keep rolling and keep getting them.”
Looking forward to the rodeos in Oregon, Thurston said that the horses he will ride will be Nasty Jacky and Dark Town and he hopes they are good.
“Oregon has some good horses, so hopefully it will be even better there,” added Thurston. “I’m not disappointed, it has been great riding at Ponoka.”
There was a rideoff for first place between Crawley and Elliott after they tied in the showdown, with Crawley being crowned the champion with 87 points on C5 Rodeo’s 541 Black Hills and winning $7,500.