Even a chilly night couldn’t cool down the hot streak a Central Alberta cowboy is enjoying. Ky Marshall did his part for charity by riding Friday evening at the Glencross Invitational Roughstock Event, and wound up driving home a new Dodge truck.
The Bowden bareback rider has been on the roster for each of the four years Central Alberta hockey player Curtis Glencross has held the invitational rodeo event to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer and the Hockey Alberta Foundation. The top four marks of the 12 competitors in bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding at the Daines Ranch near Innisfail come back for a Finals and a shot at a buckle, part of a $5,000 purse and the use of a Mountain View Dodge truck for a year.
“I’ve made it to the short go every year,” noted Marshall. “The last two years I was second. To be runner-up twice is kind of…. I really wanted it this year!”
Marshall made it back to the Finals, along with his neighbor Dylan Bilton of Innisfail, B.C.’s Logan Hodson and Manitoba’s Colin Adams. The finalists get to pick their horse from the designated pen, in the order they finished.
Marshall made a spectacular ride on a colorful paint from the Calgary Stampede called Wannico Rocket, for an impressive 89 points.
“It was kind of the one none of us knew really knew what he was going to be like. He’s had some really good trips, so I kind of took a gamble and picked him.
“He had an awesome trip, just stacked up and felt really good. That was probably one of my best feeling rides. He just threw your feet, and all you had to do was set them. He didn’t cover much ground. If every bareback horse could feel like that one, it would make this sport a lot easier,” chuckled the 23-year-old.
But lo and behold, Colin Adams came out on American Thumper and equaled that score, so organizers loaded the chutes with two more horses and the cowboys went at it again. This time, Marshall got on City Storm, owned by Red Deer’s Justin Twogood, and wound up with an 85.5 — which was just half a point more than Adams spurred on Kit Kat — to give him the victory.
Marshall has been enjoying a rodeo roll since winning the debut pro Bowden Bareback Riding event, held at the end of July.
“August has really been my turnaround point. Right up to that weekend, I really didn’t have much money won. I was kind of getting a little nervous about CFR,” he said. “Then in two weekends, I won close to $11,000 between Bowden and the next weekend. That really put me back in it, and now it feels great.
“Then you come to a charity event like this, and all you’re here (to do) is just to help out and have fun, and you come out crowned champion and you win this pickup truck — it’s a pretty sweet deal. This whole month has just been awesome, and this is really a way to top it off. Hopefully I can stay on this roll right through CFR.”
Marshall is the current Canadian all-around champion and he’d love to vie for that title again. But it requires a minimum of three placings in the season at both ends of the arena. He had no problem getting the riding ones, but he’s still one cheque short in his tie-down roping to be in the hunt.
“Last year, it took me to about this time and this year I’ve only got two. There’s still a few more (rodeos). I think I can hit another hit eight, to give me another shot.”
Big Valley’s Josh Harden is the only one to have met the requirements so far and he’s put himself in a position over the last month to potentially make Edmonton in both the saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling.
Another veteran of the Glencross Roughstock Event is saddle bronc rider Todd Herzog. He made it out of the first round Friday night to meet up with a horse called Maiden Chick in the finals. The 84.5 points he scored was just a half point more than last year’s Glencross champion, Sam Kelts, giving Herzog his first win at the event.
“It was close and I don’t think I rode perfect. I did get a little lucky too, but it’s dang sure just cowboy try out there and everybody’s putting their heart into it,” he emphasized.
“It’s a pretty big deal to win this. I’ve been a big supporter of it ever since it started up, and helped Curtis on the committee here, doing everything I can. Putting up banners, working on the ground or shovelling out the bucking chutes. I’m pretty proud to be part of this committee, and this whole deal. It’s pretty special to be a winner at it too.”
The truck couldn’t have come at a better time for Herzog, who became a new father in May and had just sold a vehicle that morning to help with a property purchase.
It was the second time Jordan Hansen has won the bull riding at the Glencross charity event, but it’s the first time it included a truck and he was pumped to claim the keys.
There was a scary moment in the short round when the bull he drew — Kill the Lights — toppled forward over Hansen before scrambling back to his feet.
“It hurt my knee a little bit,” admitted the Okotoks cowboy. “It doesn’t bother me too much right now, but who knows how it will feel in the morning.”
Hansen was given a re-ride and knew he’d have to put on a show to beat the 88 already on the board from Adam Jamison. That’s exactly what he did, chalking up an 89.5 on Rival Son for the $2000 cash, plus the buckle and the keys to the Dodge.
“I feel like I’m riding with more confidence,” said Hansen. “Everything’s kind of clicking for me. It’s kind of hard to explain, but everything’s working out good for me right now.”
Over the past three years, the Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Event has raised over $777,000 for the two charities. A cheque from this year’s effort will be presented later in the fall.