Calgary – It was a banner day for bareback rider Jacob Stemo, who collected his first Calgary Stampede go-round trophy bronze, after an 88-point ride during the third day of rodeo action.
“I’m ecstatic. I wrote this goal down on a white board four years ago when I was in college. After shoulder surgery and knee surgery, to be here this year is unbelievable,” said Stemo, who grew up in Calgary, but now calls Bashaw home. It was a turnaround in fortunes that Stemo, who won the Stampede steer riding title in 2007, desperately needed, including the $5500. Jake Vold remains the Pool A Bareback leader, with his tally of $11,000 in winnings
It was a big day for B.C. rodeo fans, after two cowboys from that province made their way to the Stampede stage to be recognized for their wins. Steer wrestler Stephen Culling earned his first go-round win in Calgary in just 3.9 seconds Sunday afternoon. It’s his debut year at this big show, and described his feelings after knowing he was the fast one of the day.
“A big sigh of relief. That was a dream come true right there, getting a go-round win here at Calgary,” said the Fort St. John, BC cowboy. “I knew if I wanted to win something, I needed to be on that barrier. I broke it yesterday to win a good cheque.” Craig Weisgerber remains the Pool A steer wrestling frontrunner with $10,500.
Joining Culling on the awards stage Sunday was Saddle Bronc rider Jake Watson, from Hudson’s Hope, BC. Watson spurred to an 87.5 on a horse by the name of Twisted Sister.
“Luckily, she’s a pretty nice bucker,” said Watson, who got some tips from fellow rider Zeke Thurston who’d won a rodeo on her recently. “The hardest part about her was the turnback there. I managed to stay with her. I knew it was coming, so I had a plan for it.” The win earned Watson his biggest paycheque this week. Thurston, at 86.5, was just a point behind Watson. The keeps him atop the Pool A standings, with $13,000, with Watson’s total next best at $11,000.
Defending Calgary Stampede Bull Riding champion, Marcus Gloria, stuck to the middle of a bull called Home Grown for an 87.5 mark, best of the round. He tossed his hat in celebration as he made his first whistle in Calgary this year, collecting $5500. Gloria, a Brazilian, lives in Edmonton with his mentor and translator Andre Portes.
“I was very happy, especially because I didn’t have a good start during the first two days, so that’s the reason to celebrate today.” Life, and bull riding, changed for Gloria after his $100,000 victory at Calgary a year ago.
“It helped me in every way. After winning here, it opened a bunch of doors. I got invited to big rodeos and it definitely was a hundred per cent change.” Jared Parsonage is on top of the Bull Riding standings, with $10,750.
Marty Yates put himself into the Pool A conversation in Tie-Down Roping by tying his calf in just 7.2 seconds, the fastest time of the day. Fellows Texans Jake Pratt and Caleb Smidt share the Pool A standings lead, with $11,500 apiece.
For the second straight day, Sister and her rider Nellie Miller made their way to the winner’s circle. They managed to speed up their Saturday time nearly half a second, and at 17.29, were just a tenth faster than Ivy Conrado, at 17.30.
“She felt better on the second (barrel) today,” commented Miller, a California cowgirl. “She really finished hard and strong, and she just felt awesome.” Miller has won the most in any pool this week with $14,500 in prize money. Monday is the final day for competitors in Pool A to earn their way directly to Sunday’s semi-final round by finishing among the top four money winners in their event.
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 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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Communications Manager, Western Events and Agriculture