Rodeo notes: Veteran Bowers claims Sunday's bareback round

JEFF MACKINNON, FOR THE CALGARY HERALD

 

The self-described ‘veteran’ had his day at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday, beating the same young riders he credits with keeping him motivated to compete.

Kyle Bowers of Brooks, who has been a professional rodeo cowboy for 16 years, rode Zip Code for an 85 to win Day 3 of the bareback competition.

“I’ve said this before, I think they let me win so I don’t retire,” the 38 year old said.

“I have to keep coming back if I win once in a while. They let me win so feel good about myself.”

Canadians took the top six spots in the 10-man field on Sunday. Clint Laye of Cadogan, Alta., was second with an 84.5, Matt Layley of Cayley third (83.0), Ty Taypotat of Regina fourth (82.0), Luke Creasy of Brownfield, Alta., fifth (81.5) and Dusty LaValley of Bezanson, Alta., sixth (81.5).

Laye leads the bareback after three days with $13,500 won. Bowers is next at $10,000.

If there’s one thing Bowers can point to that has allowed him to keep competing for so many years it’s his riding style, which he said keeps him from putting himself at risk of injury.

“Nowadays, I’ve had to open up a bit more to keep up with these kids. I’ve put my body under more stress in the last few years than I did in my first 15,” he said.

“You have to be so aggressive. If you’re not putting on 22, 23, 24 point spur rides you’re not going to be them, that’s all there is to it.”

Bowers said Wayne Brooks asked him the other day what keeps him going and he turned and looked at the Stampede crowd and said: “This is what keeps me going. You can’t get any better than this.”

BYRNE SILENCES FIELD

Prince Albert’s Tanner Byrne, who drew in just last week as an alternate, rode Silence Reins for 85.0 to win the bull riding.

He’s now second in the aggregate with $8,000, right behind Mike Lee of Fort Worth, Texas, who has $12,500 so far.

“That’s the biggest fear, is you wanting to do good,” Byrne said. “Everybody thinks you’re scared of getting hurt or something like that, but the main drive for us is to be successful, especially in Calgary, where they give you four chances (to win money). You don’t want to come in here and not take advantage of any of them.”

BURK SITTING PRETTY

It has been 15 years since Blair Burk won the Calgary Stampede tie-down title, but Durant, Okla., man is now in the running for a second.

The 41-year-old took over the lead on Sunday with a winning 7.1-second win on Sunday. He now has $13,500, and is followed by a couple of other Oklahomans — Ryan Jarrett of Comanche ($12,000) and Hunter Herrin of Apache ($8,500).

Sunday’s ride likely means Burke gets to avoid wild-card Saturday and book a spot in the final. He went through the wild-card process in his winning year of 2000.

Burke is remaining in Calgary for the rest of the week and will likely be joined by his family for the weekend.

“I’m just going to rest and hang out here for a few days and enjoy Calgary. Hopefully the weather stays great and I’m going to enjoy every day and get ready for the finals,” he said.

RUSTY NOT RUSTY

Twenty-year-old Rusty Wright won for a second-straight day in saddle bronc, riding the famous Lynx Mountain for an 89.0.

His dad Cody, who won on Friday, was second and the two are 1-2 respectively in the aggregate standings — $10,500 for Rusty and $9,500 for Cody.

“My dad and I were sitting in the locker-room right before the draw and they told us (Lynx Mountain) would be in there and I said that’d be a nice one to have because he’s getting old and you don’t know how much longer they were going to buck him,” Rusty Wright said.

“I told them that was the one I wanted just to know how he felt. I’d get on him one time at least.”

WALKER TURNS ‘EM FAST 

Former world champion Mary Walker posted a 17.77 second run on her horse Latte to win Day 3 of barrel racing.

Current world champion Fallon Taylor of Collinsville, Texas, who won Friday, was second. Carmel Wright of New Zealand, who won Saturday, was third.

Walker won the National Finals Rodeo title in her first appearance in Las Vegas in 2012 and the Calgary Stampede is next on her rodeo bucket list.

“Last year I hit a barrel in the final round to win it and I’ve been second,” she said.

“I’m really knocking at that door and I’d really like to win the Calgary Stampede trophy. This is the biggest rodeo we compete at and it just a bucket list item and I’m getting older.”

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