67 year old Barrel Racer rides to victory for a second straight day
After two days of action, several Pool A rodeo contestants are leaving no doubt they want to be part of the Calgary Stampede’s richest afternoon of rodeo.
Mary Burger is the motivational story of Stampede 2016. The 67-year-old grandmother raced away with the victory in barrel racing for the second straight day, after making a 17.72 second run. She’s now earned $11,000, and is the Pool A leader.
The grandstand crowd began cheering for the Oklahoma rider even before she entered the arena.
“You know, several years back I used to think, ‘well, I’ve got a little age on me’,” admits Burger. “But I’ve had so many people come up and say ‘you’re my inspiration’. When I hear the crowd go, I just get goosebumps all over, and I’m really, really proud.”
Burger actually made her entire run with one foot out of the stirrup of her saddle.
“My horse just really tries to please me, and he knows his job. He set a little bit hard on that first barrel, and popped my stirrup, so I was just hanging on, saying ‘go boy, do your thing’! And he did it.”
Burger wasn’t the only double day winner. Utah’s Caleb Bennett of Utah accomplished the same feat in bareback riding, after scoring 86 points on a horse called Sexy Bucks, a half point more than Alberta’s Dusty LaValley and Colin Adams of Manitoba. Bennett is on top in Pool A with $11,000.
For the second day in a row, an Alberta bull rider claimed the first place $5500 cheque. Devon Mezei of Carstairs rode 2 Dark 2 C to 85 points, to sit tied for second in the Pool A race, behind leader Ryan Dirteater of Oklahoma.
“I needed that,” said Mezei. “I’ve been really struggling for the last few weeks. I was pretty down on myself coming into here, so I needed that to get the monkey off my back.”
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
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