The Ponoka Stampede has been running for 73 years.
Wayne Vold has been coming to what he’s considers his hometown show for a good chunk of those years. First it was as a kid, watching his father produce the event. Now, it’s as the man responsible for the bucking stock at the world class show.
Sunday was a very good day for Wayne Vold.
All of his animals were in fine form. For some cowboys, that was good news. For others, not so much.
Take Anthony Bello, for instance. The talented Australian bronc rider drew up on Vold’s horse Awesome, a colorful paint that’s claimed both bareback and saddle bronc horse of the National Finals Rodeo honors.
The ride was breathtaking for the first five or six seconds. The bronc was high in the air, kicking and making all kinds of hard-to-handle moves. Bello, who’s been to two NFR’s himself, was hustling, and looked like he’d be collecting a mountain’s worth of points when he spurred over his rein, and was out the left door and on the ground in an instant.
Thousands of dollars flashed in front of his eyes, flying away.
So Bello did what cowboys do. He packed up his saddle, and hustled on down the road to the next rodeo.
But Wayne Vold was sticking around to savor the moment.
“Anthony Bello is a real tough guy to throw off,” said Vold. “I mean, he goes to Vegas and he rides them all. I was kind of surprised that he bucked him off. Awesome was absolutely pulling everything but a knife on him, and he threw him off.
“That pinto horse, they don’t really know what he’s going to do. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do. He never does the same thing twice. He’s thrown the last three guys off.”
Vold was responsible for just about the entire bucking lineup on Sunday. Because of his longtime connections with the Ponoka Stampede, he’s given the task of making sure competitors have a shot to collect cash on the world’s best stock. There’s plenty to choose from, but Vold was tickled his own offering showed up so well.
“We’ve got about nine contractors here, and I’ve been putting guys together. But I did the whole thing today, so I was pleased. Very pleased,” he said.
But while Awesome may have had top billing, there were other horses that did Vold proud as well, horses like Nemo, Grated Coconut, Devil in Disguise, Distiller, and Nelly Kelly. Needless to say, to have his team of bucking stars perform so well in front of the Ponoka grandstand, was a double treat for Vold.
“I’m ecstatic. This is my hometown rodeo. I was born and raised in this country and this is the absolute biggest rodeo that I have, and my prestige rodeo. It’s my showcase rodeo as a stock contractor,” said Vold.
While the lead in the saddle bronc riding at Ponoka didn’t change, leaving Delano Kjos of B.C. on top with his 83, six riders in Sunday’s performance most likely earned themselves a trip back to Ponoka for Wednesday’s Finals. Best of the bunch was South Dakota’s Chad Ferley with an 82 on Distiller. In the bareback riding, it’s still Bobby Mote of Oregon first with his 86, but both Russ Hallby of Airdrie and Tilden Hooper of Texas will likely make it back after marking 81’s Sunday. The 85 from Brett Thompson of Medicine Hat is still best in bull riding, but Marty Cockrum of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan moved into fourth with an 83.5 on Santa Monica.
The fastest total in team roping is still 17.0 seconds on two runs from Hunter Herrin of Oklahoma, while Cochrane’s Baillie Milan sets the steer wrestling pace with 10.2 seconds on two runs, followed by Donalda’s Cody Cassidy at 10.3. In team roping Rhen Richard of Utah, and World Champion header Matt Sherwood of Arizona snugged up a pair of steers in 12.4 seconds, to move into second behind Shane Schwenke and Mike Beers.
Barrel racer Lindsay Sears is still untouchable in her event with that 16.93 second run. She also picked up $12,376 in Reno, Nevada on the weekend, after finishing off that rodeo in first overall, still with her broken leg.
In the Pro Chuckwagons, Leo Tournier, aboard the Wolf Creek Golf Resort wagon, posted the fastest time of the night — and the meet to date — with a 1:13.05.
Jason Glass leads the overall aggregate with a three-day total time of 3:41.41, just .52 seconds ahead of Obrey Motowylo.
Monday’s rodeo performance starts at 1 p.m., with the wagons starting at 6:30 p.m.