Zeke Thurston, of Big Valley, Alta., rides Lunatic Party during saddle bronc rodeo semi-final action at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Sunday, July 14, 2019. Thurston is among five Canadians competing in the 2020 world championship of rodeo Dec. 3-12 in Arlington, Texas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Zeke Thurston, of Big Valley, Alta., rides Lunatic Party during saddle bronc rodeo semi-final action at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Sunday, July 14, 2019. Thurston is among five Canadians competing in the 2020 world championship of rodeo Dec. 3-12 in Arlington, Texas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston turns in big performances over August long weekend

Lacombe’s Justine Elliot third in ladies barrel racing in Strathmore

The August long weekend was good to Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston.

The two-time world champion and reigning Canadian Saddle bronc champion topped $11,000 in winnings with big performances at the Hard Grass Bronc Match, the Strathmore Stampede and the Medicine Hat Stampede.

Thurston and K’s Thomson tied with 182 points on two head to earn $3,895 each in Pollockville, Alta. The 27-year-old Thurston was second at the Strathmore Stampede, with a score of 86.5 to pick up another cheque of $4,535. He was sixth in Medicine Hat to earn another $500.

Former Ponoka native Jake Vold also had a memorable return to the area. It had been 18 months since he climbed on his first bareback horse and he posted 84.5 points on Duane Kesler Championship Rodeo’s G7 Little Rotten to win the Medicine Hat Stampede and $2,500.

Lacombe’s Justine Elliot was third in ladies barrel racing in Strathmore with a time of 18.083 seconds and earned $4,451 for her efforts. As of July 30, she sat third overall in the Canadian Pro Rodeo standings.

Rodeo stars will be back in central Alberta over the weekend from Aug. 6-8 at the Sundre Pro Rodeo.

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