With clear skies and warm sunshine, somehow it just knew the local cowboys were coming up at the Ponoka Stampede for Day 3 on Thursday.
And one of those was Ponoka’s own Jake Vold, who put in a stellar ride on Up In Smoke with a mark of 86.5. The ride leaves him second, a half point back of Richmond Champion who picked up on 87 on Wednesday.
“I knew I had a chance if I had her here,” said Vold about the horse he drew.
“(It’s) a good way to kick-off the weekend.”
However, Vold had little time to savour the fact he had pretty much assured a return for the finals on Monday and a shot at the big money in the showdown.
Just a few hours after leaving the ground, Vold was on his way to compete in the Williams Lake (B.C.) Stampede.
He added the season has been going relatively well so far, picking away at the different rodeos on the circuit in order to up his points for the season. Vold figures the next six weeks will be a busy time.
Finally in the bull riding, more than one cowboy was able to make a mark and both cowboys made a change in the leaderboard.
Garrett Smith of Rexburg, Idaho was nearly perfect on Crooked Nose to score an 88.75 to grab the lead, followed by Calgary’s Jordan Hansen with an 84.75 on Venom. That leaves plenty of room left in the finals Monday with just four cowboys having put up a score so far.
While Vold was the best of the day in bareback, two other Alberta cowboys — Bowden’s Ky Marshall scoring an 83.25 and Cole Goodine of Carbon with an 82.5 — put themselves into the top 12 and a chance at reaching Monday’s finals.
Thursday was a good day for the bulldogers as witnessed by the several new names in the standings.
Tanner Milan of Cochrane put up the fastest time in the Stampede steer wrestling with a 4.1 second run, which put him in a first place tie with Hunter Cure at a combined time of 9.8.
Calgary’s Harley Cole at 10.2, Blake Gagnon of Innisfail at 11.6, Didsbury’s Morgan Grant at 15.2, Ponoka’s Ben Ramey at 26 seconds and Wade Jober of Viking at 33.1 all reached the top 12 with their runs yesterday. And, they’re all hoping those times stick and they’ll get another chance on Monday.
Nobody came near Layton Green’s lead in the saddle bronc yesterday, though Tyler Corrington of Hastings, Minnesota gave it good try as he earned an 84 on Laramie. Cort Scheer from Elsmere, Nebraska was the only other rider on the day, with a 79.25 on Flight Risk, to reach the top 12.
Meanwhile, Thursday’s sunshine was too wonderful for many of the cowboys in the roping events.
In tie down roping, Tyson Durfey of Weatherford, Texas was just one of two to grab a spot among the top 12 after posting a pair of great runs to ride into the lead with a combined time of 16.1 seconds. The other cowboy was Tyler Prcin of Alvord, Texas who sits in 12th place at 29.6 seconds.
Over among the team ropers, it’s looking like the world championship team of Ponoka’s Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler may see their lead at 12.9 seconds stay safe for a while longer after only two teams from Thursday managed to earn times on two runs.
Lastly, in the barrel racing, Callahan Crossley of Hermiston, Oregon put a scare into yesterday’s leader after racing to a time of 17.675 seconds, putting her second by only 0.065 of a second.
Layne Bremner, in Heat 3 on Day 2 of the WPCA race event, put up the fastest time on Thursday night running the half-mile in 1:14.19. That result also put him into the aggregate lead after two days.
Colt Cosgrave, Gary Gorst and Kurt Bensmiller are the other big rigs making up the top four, with all three separated by just half a second. But the old veteran Kirk Sutherland is only one-tenth of second behind that in fifth, so the field remains tight for Monday’s Dash for Cash.