Zeke Thurston- PRCA Photo by Dan Hubbell
Wrangler NFR Round 4 Re-Cap
Thurston Lets 'Er Rip
Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alberta, the youngest of the Canadian contingent at the #WranglerNFR, cashed his first ever World Finals cheque in Round 4. After a start that saw the Calgary Stampede and Rodeo Houston Champion struggle through the first three rounds, Thurston had the Canadian flags waving with his 85 point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Let ‘Er Rip - good for second place.
“It was kind of a slow start,” the second generation athlete acknowledged. I’m just glad to have a horse that bucked well; it’s easy to start fighting your head any day in this game - that’s the way it is - ups and downs. One day you’ll be riding the Killer Bees and Medicine Womans for 90’s and the next you might fall off a hopper. You need to figure out a way to fight through it… stick to the basics, stay calm and not worry about it.” Thurston earned $20,730 for his efforts.
In a saddle bronc riding that highlighted the ‘kids’, Rusty Wright earned his first go-round win WNFR buckle with an impressive 85.5 ride on Flying Five Rodeo’s Sundance.
It wasn’t all sunshine for the bronc riders as Tyrel Larsen came out second best in his encounter with Calgary Stampede’s outstanding Mata Fact. The 13 year old Grated Coconut bay mare bucked off the Inglis, Manitoba native at the six second mark. And Louisiana cowboy, Heith DeMoss, was unsuccessful in his bid to master Calgary Stampede’s 2012 CFR Champion Shoshone Mountain.
Twenty one year old Thurston was one of three Canadian success stories in go-round four.
Clint Laye earned his third consecutive bareback placing as he paired up with Korkow Rodeos Flashcard Champion to the tune of 81 points - good for a 3rd place finish and $15,653. Laye has $36,384 to his credit so far. Manitoba's Orin Larsen came back from a rough landing last night (that saw him assisted from the arena) to be 78.5 points tonight. Round 4 bareback riding winners were Steven Peebles and Kaycee Feild - 84 points each.
#ProRodeoCanada bull dogger, Tanner Milan, split 4/5 in WNFR round 4 Steer Wrestling with a 3.8 second run for a $8884 payday. (The Cochrane, Alberta cowboy has $22,210 in total so far). Dakota Eldridge won the round - 3.3 seconds - to earn the first place cheque tonight.
Canadian Deb Guelly switched to Bud Light (owned by the Collier family) in round 4… but tipped a barrel resulting in a 19.45 second run. Sarah Rose McDonald navigated the pattern in 13.71 seconds - the fastest time of the 2015 WNFR to date.