Red Deer’s Ashton Sahli competes in the bull riding event in the Ponoka Stampede on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Red Deer’s Ashton Sahli competes in the bull riding event in the Ponoka Stampede on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

‘It’s an electric crowd:’ Central Alberta riders succeed at Ponoka Stampede

Day three featured tough competition

There’s no question it’s one of the best rodeos in North America.

That’s what Blackfalds, Alta. native Nicholas Patterson said of the Ponoka Stampede after he launched himself up the leaderboard on day three in saddle bronc riding with 79.25 points. That put him tied for ninth with Layton Green leading the way with 88 points.

“It’s just an electric crowd, great people everywhere, and they bring the best stock in Canada to get on. I really like it here,” Patterson said.

In his third year competing at this very rodeo the 26-year-old thought his run of the day went well.

“Missed a couple spur jumps at the very beginning and then picked them up and finished them strong. It felt pretty good I was pretty happy with the way I road today,” he said.

Patterson was one of the few who were able to get on the leaderboard Wednesday in saddle bronc riding with a flurry of no scores. Patterson added it’s not an easy task to do.

“We’re getting on the best horses in North America right now so they’re bucking hard and you got to give everything you got to try and get by them and if you do get rode it’s hard to be up in the top right now because we got the best riders in North America too,” he said. “It’s a tough thing to do but just got to give it your all and keep trying.”

This summer Patterson has been travelling around Canada going to rodeos and has gone to quite a few so far with the end goal to try and make the Canadian Finals.

Patterson has a unique story as he didn’t starting riding bucking horses until he was 20-years-old, which he said is a little later than most riders.

“I didn’t grow up in a rodeo family. I met a few people got me into it and just kind of fell in love with the sport and went from there,” he said.

The most action packed event was saved for last as multiple bullriders hopped on top of the 2,000 pound animals for a chance to make it on the leader board.

Red Deer’s Ashton Sahli did just that having one of the best rides of the afternoon posting a 84.25 point total. That’s good for a fourth place tie but wasn’t good enough to sit on top where Lonnie West sits with 88 points.

Sahli said he was happy with the result and that he did his job to the best of his ability.

“I stayed on did all I could do and now I just got to see how these next few days where I end up do come back for Sunday,” he explained.

Sahli added because it’s an individual sport so if you just do your job and beat the bull everytime and let the chips fall where they may.

Sahli also competes in the Professional Bull Riders circuit where he currently ranks 131 in the world. This was Sahli’s first time competing in the Ponoka Stampede which he said was an awesome experience.

“It’s one of the coolest rodeos to go to,” he added.

Some results of other events include bareback riding where Ty Taypotat remains as the leader with 87.50 points. However, Rocker Steiner from Texas in his first visit to Canada rocketed himself up the leader board Wednesday into second place with 87.25 points.

In tie down roping Beau Cooper sits on top with a time of 8.2 seconds with Shad Mayfield and Trevor Hale tied for second with 8.5 seconds.

Up next was novice saddle bronc riding with Brodie Roessler in first place with 73.75 points. In steer wrestling the competition remains tight with Ty Allred in the lead with a time of four seconds followed by Craig Weisgerber with 4.8 seconds and Jesse Brown with five seconds.

Team roping is also sure to be a close battle until the finals day with the leaders Travis Speer and Chase Simpson leading the competition with 5.4 seconds. Rhen Richard and Jeremy Buhler close behind with 5.5 seconds. In the ladies barrel racing it was a tough environment for the competitors as it started down pouring shortly before they started. Many of the riders had a hard time as their horses slid in the mud around tight turns. As a result Bayleigh Choate remained on top with a time of 17.27 with Virginya Foran the next best time at 17.60.

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Blackfalls’ Nicholas Patterson competing in the saddle bronc riding event at the Ponoka Stampede on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Blackfalls’ Nicholas Patterson competing in the saddle bronc riding event at the Ponoka Stampede on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Bareback riding event had the crowd on it’s feet at times during the Ponoka Stampede on Wednesday. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Bareback riding event had the crowd on it’s feet at times during the Ponoka Stampede on Wednesday. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)