Bullrider Tyler Thomson grabbed Tanner Milan on Sunday morning and rubbed all over him, hoping some of the steer wrestler’s luck would rub off on him.
It didn’t. The Black Diamond cowboy was bucked off later in the day.
All the good luck stayed with Milan for another day.
The Cochrane native continued to be the hottest cowboy in Calgary this week, picking up up his third straight day win to start the Calgary Stampede rodeo. With it, he locks up a spot in next Sunday’s final where $100,000 will go to the winner .
Milan had a 4.0 second time on Sunday for a $5,500 pay day, which pushed his three-day winnings to a sweet $15,500. He won outright on Friday with a 3.6 then shared top spot on Saturday with K.C. Jones of Decatur, Texas and Kyle Irwin of Robertsdale, Ala.
Jones and Casey Martin of Sulphur, La., shared second place on Sunday with 4.4 second times, worth $4,000 each. Jones has $10,500 so far entering the final day
While he wouldn’t admit to feeling comfortable on Saturday, Milan nodded at reporters when asked if he thought he had enough money to safely make plans to return to Calgary on Sunday.
“Sure, it feels a lot better,” he said. “But, I have to keep going and hopefully keep building that bank account.”
Pool A wraps up on Monday, giving Milan a few days of chill time at home with his family before he goes for the big cheque and the prestigious title.
“We just get to hang out and talk to family and friends and some of the people who showed up to cheer us on,” he said.
“It’s nice to not have to load your horses up and haul ass to another rodeo. It’s nice to sit around and talk to everyone and have a couple of beers and talk about life.”
On Sunday, the 2014 Canadian champion wrestled a steer that was among those used on Day 1, which gave all the competitors a good idea of what they were dealing with. Milan obviously like the one he drew.
“My steer, they were a little late on him the first day and ran him out there a little bit,” he said. “On the ground he’s a really good steer. I just got a really good start today and the steer was outstanding. Couldn’t ask for a better one.”
Milan will get a few days to think about the possibility of joining his brother Straws as a Calgary Stampede champion. Straws won the steer wrestling title here in 2011 but he’s not in the 20-man field this year.
His other brother Baillie is here, however, serving as he always does as Tanner’s hazer, riding alongside the steer to keep it going in a straight line. Tanner gave plenty of credit to him and the “little horse” Smoke he bought last winter that he has credited with turning around his season.
“My confidence level is so high when (Baillie’s) over there,” Tanner said.
“It’s never in the back of my mind whether he’s going to put the steer where he needs to be. He just always has him there for me. Baillie and I click, we always have since we kids.
“Between Baillie and the horse and my whole family cheering me on, that’s where most of my success comes from.”
Though he’s an easy going guy, Milan isn’t about to relax a bit with a Sunday appearance secured because another $5,500 top prize is on the table on Day 4.
“I’ve got to get (my bank account) built up because I don’t have much of a retirement plan,” he said.