Published on: July 16, 2016 | Last Updated: July 16, 2016 7:32 PM MDT
Timber Moore of Aubrey TX earned $100,000 when he tied up his calf in a time of 8.1 at the Stampede finals on July 12, 2015. Moore will be back in the finals at this year's Stampede. LORRAINE HJALTE / CALGARY HERALD
Timber Moore still has a shot at a roping repeat.
Moore lassoed the $100,000 prize at the 2015 Calgary Stampede, and the tie-down tactician from Aubrey, Texas, booked a return ticket to Championship Sunday with the second-fastest clocking in Saturday’s mucky wildcard round.
“Anytime you get a chance to rope or ride on Sunday, you’ve got a chance to win a lot of money, so it feels good to get through. This is, by far, usually one of the toughest days,” said Moore, who has a Canadian connection because his father is originally from Fort St. John, B.C.
“I didn’t quite go the same route as I did last year, but hopefully it has the same results at the end of tomorrow.”
Wildcard Saturday at Stampede Park featured a who’s who of some of the most successful ropers on the planet.
Trevor Brazile, the richest man in rodeo history.
Tuf Cooper, the youngest cowboy to rack up $1-million in career earnings.
Caleb Smidt, the reigning world champion.
And each of those guys were packing up after finishing on the wrong side of the cut-off line among Saturday’s dirty dozen.
Oklahoma’s Hunter Herrin was the first cowboy on the roping roster for the wildcard go and finished his business in 7.7 seconds, while Moore wrapped up his assignment in 8.0 seconds flat to sneak into Sunday’s long round.
Of course, he’ll be saddling up with some fond memories.
“Knowing you’ve been in a situation before and knowing you’ve had success always helps, but you just hope to draw a good one, have a good run, hopefully qualify for the top-four and just go as fast as you can again,” Moore said. “And hopefully, you’ll end up first.”
The field for Sunday’s tie-down roping action also includes Marcos Costa of Brazil, plus Louisiana’s Shane Hanchey, Oklahoma’s Ryan Jarrett, Utah’s Rhen Richard and Clint Robinson and a hat-trick of Texans — Cory Solomon, Fred Whitfield and Marty Yates.
Steer-wrestler Cody Cassidy hoping for cure to Sunday snakebite at Calgary Stampede
Published on: July 16, 2016 | Last Updated: July 16, 2016 7:19 PM MDT
Cody Cassidy from Donalda, Alta, after steer wrestling at the calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alta., on Saturday July 16, 2016. LEAH HENNEL / LEAH HENNEL/POSTMEDIA
Cody Cassidy finally bucked one trend.
“This is the first time I’ve ever made it through the wildcard,” said Cassidy, the younger of two star steer-wrestling siblings from Donalda, Alta. “Usually, I break the barrier every time in the wildcard because I’m trying to be first or second. This time, it worked out. I guess maybe the luck was with me this time … Finally.”
Now, it’s time for Cassidy — a four-time Canadian champ — to buck another trend.
The 35-year-old had a close call in 2004, when he missed a steer that would have been worth $50,000, but he’s never won the big cheque at the Calgary Stampede.
“I’m kinda snake-bitten when it comes to Sunday, getting to that four-round,” Cassidy said. “I’ve ended up fifth, I think four times or something now … A couple times, it was my own fault not getting into the final four. And then a couple times, it was just steers maybe hitting on a leg or something like that.
“Hopefully, this time around, things will change. That’s all I want — I just want a chance at the $100,000. You get into that final four, and anything can happen.”
Of course, you can’t get to the big-money showdown unless you’re on the roster for Sunday’s long round.
Cody Cassidy secured his last-chance invite on Wildcard Saturday, spiking his steer in 4.7 seconds.
Only one of his bulldogging buddies, Clayton Moore of Pouce Coupe, B.C., managed a better time in the muddy conditions, finishing his dirty work in 4.4.
Saturday’s speedy run was a sigh of relief for the 34-year-old Moore, who cashed just one cheque in Pool A action and didn’t have much luck as he skedaddled to rodeos in Taber, Teepee Creek and a couple more in Wyoming before returning to Calgary.
“This is the first good one in a couple weeks now,” Moore said. “I’m just going to try to do the same thing and get a real aggressive start. I’ve made it to Sunday a few times now and that’s always been my problem — I’ve been a bit reserved on the barrier and it’s cost me winning lots.
“Hopefully, I’m a little more seasoned now than I have been in years past and over that a little bit and I can just go bulldog.”
Cody Cassidy — his older brother Curtis finished fifth in the wildcard go — and Moore add a bit more Canadian content to Sunday’s list of steer-wrestling contenders.
Cochrane’s Tanner Milan was the only Canuck to earn a direct ticket through the preliminary rounds, while Americans Seth Brockman, Hunter Cure, Dakota Eldridge, Ty Erickson, K.C. Jones, Casey Martin and Tyler Waguespack also earned the right to kick up their feet Saturday.
Barrel-racer Mary Walker wins wildcard round in tribute to late son
Published on: July 16, 2016 | Last Updated: July 16, 2016 6:16 PM MDT
Mary Walker from Ennis, Texas during barrel racing at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday July 16, 2016. LEAH HENNEL / LEAH HENNEL/POSTMEDIA
She was tearing around the barrels at Stampede Park.
And then she was tearing up.
Just moments after her winning run in the wildcard round at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, Mary Walker revealed to the jam-packed grandstand that she was racing with a heavy heart and an angel on her shoulder.
Her son Reagon, killed in a car accident in 2011, would have turned 27 on Saturday.
“Today is his birthday,” Walker said. “I flew home to Texas and yesterday put flowers on his grave and wished him a happy birthday. So today is for him.”
Just minutes after the 57-year-old cowgirl shared the emotional story, the skies opened up over Stampede Park.
“It’s very emotional, but it is a feeling of confidence,” Walker said of Reagon’s continued impact. “I feel like he’s with me all the time and encouraging me to keep going and ‘You can do it’ and just, ‘C’mon Mom, you’re OK.’ ”
Walker and her star ride, Latte, completed their spin in 17.94 seconds on Wildcard Saturday, the only combo to break the 18-second barrier in sloppy and potentially slippery conditions.
Utah’s Kimmie Wall and Foxy stopped the clock in 18.37 to claim the other last-chance invite to saddle up on the richest day in rodeo.
“Tough horses today,” Walker said. “A lot of these horses have already been running in the mud for three or four days and mine didn’t, but it didn’t bother him.”
It’s not uncommon to see Walker on the stage at Stampede Park — in four trips to Cowtown, she has advanced to Sunday each time — but she was one of the nine barrel-racers seemingly running for second as Mary Burger and her four-legged ride, Mo, rolled to four straight victories in Pool A.
At 67 years young, Burger emerged as the undisputed fan favourite in rodeo action, with the grandstand going bonkers every time that the announcers mention she is a grandmother.
The soft-spoken senior citizen from Pauls Valley, Okla., will try to complete the sweep on Championship Sunday, an opportunity to add another $100,000 to the $22,000 that she pocketed in the preliminary runs.
“When we go over to the food tent, I get a lot of congrats and compliments,” Burger said. “To win four of ’em was really something. I expected my horse to perform pretty well, but being young and a little bit less experienced than a lot of them, he has just come through very well.
“This has just been really awesome.”
There’s no doubt Burger and Mo were riding a wave of momentum earlier this week, but the barrel-racing granny figures the five-day breather was good for her star steed, a seven-year-old that she has trained since he was two.
“I’m just me. I just go through that alley-way,” Burger said. “But four runs in a row, trying his heart out and winning it four days … He deserved a few days off.”
Alberta’s own Nancy Csabay, who collects her mail south of Taber in the hamlet of Skiff, will be the only Canadian on Sunday’s barrel-racing roster.
The final field also includes Ivy Conrado, Jackie Ganter, Lisa Lockhart, Michele McLeod, Kelley Schnaufer and Taylor Jacob.
Brotherly love in bareback Wild Card
Published on: July 16, 2016 | Last Updated: July 16, 2016 7:07 PM MDT
Louisiana cowboy Heith DeMoss rode Evening Mist to a score of 85.50 on Day 9 at the Calgary Stampede rodeo in the saddle bronc event at the Calgary Stampede rodeo on Saturday, July 16, 2016. AL CHAREST / AL CHAREST/POSTMEDIA
For the DeMoss brothers, there’s no better way to wrap up the Calgary Stampede than a victory lap.
To do it together is a bonus.
And, for Cody and Heith DeMoss to qualify for Sunday’s final — and a shot at $100,000 in the bareback event — is the cherry on top.
“Me and Cody were talking about it,” said Heith with a mud-covered grin. “That was probably one of the more memorable victory laps we’ve ever had, we got to go around the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and I got to look at my brother in the background, in front of I don’t know how many thousands of fans.
“Yes, I enjoyed it very much. I won’t forget it.”
The Heflin, La., natives had done it one other time at the National Finals Rodeo.
But Saturday, racing around the Calgary Stampede infield after winning the Wild Card round, was special.
“I really enjoyed that,” Cody said. “Here, it’s outside and our kinda deal. And muddy.”
After watching Heith grind out a mud-soaked 85-point ride aboard Evening Mist, vying to be one of two riders advancing to Sunday’s final from the Wild Card, Cody, the final rider to take the stage, pulled off an 87-point performance on Simply Marvellous.
“It did feel really good,” Heith said. “I got to work on a few things I’ve been working on. If it looked half as good as Heith’s, I’m happy about it.
“Doing a victory lap with my brother was pretty cool.”
And Heith’s ride?
“That horse was a bucking rascal,” he said with a chuckle. “Coming from Louisiana to Calgary, it’s a bucking horse rider’s dream to get on these calibre of horses. Just to get on top of them is fun but to win is a bonus.”
Yvan Jayne prepared for Showdown Sunday at the Stampede
Published on: July 16, 2016 | Last Updated: July 16, 2016 6:52 PM MDT
Yvan Jayne rode Twin Cherry to a score of 74.00 on Day 8 at the Calgary Stampede rodeo bareback event on Friday, July 15, 2016. AL CHAREST / AL CHAREST/POSTMEDIA
Yvan Jayne will do nothing different Sunday morning before the Calgary Stampede showdown.
The 34-year-old, who has no time for nerves, plans to wake up early and get at his normal workout routine before saddling up for, hopefully, another two rides in the bareback competition.
“I’m going to hit the gym and try to get some of that soreness out of me,” he said. “I’ve been getting on horses the last five days and the Fourth of July run was right before that. I’ve been getting on a lot of horses lately. I just want to go to the gym and try to feel loose.
“I just want to try and do my best.”
Easy enough for the Marseille, French-born cowboy who managed to slide into the top-10 after Saturday’s 84-point ride aboard a horse called Raggedy Ann in the Wild Card round.
After riding for four straight days in Pool B competition and not exactly getting great horses, he needed a pick-me-up.
Saturday was his last chance to qualify after earning only $1,500 in the aggregate.
“It’s exciting, sneaking in the very last day,” Jayne said. “Yeah, it plays with your nerves. I wasn’t pleased at the way I drew the past four days but you can’t ever control that.”
When he saw that he’d drawn Raggedy Ann, a horse he’d been wanting to ride for a while, in Saturday’s Wild Card, he was pumped.
“I think it paid off,” Jayne said. “You can’t draw more than four days in a row without drawing something good. This is a horse I’ve seen for a long time throughout my career, Raggedy Ann.
“She’s been around for a while. I’ve just seemed to draw around her a lot and I’ve always wanted to get on her and what a better spot to get on her and her bringing me into the top-10.”
Also advancing into the top-10?
Kaycee Feild, a four-time world champion who has dedicated his season to his late father Lewis, posted an 85.5-point ride aboard Xceptional Margarita.
Feild and Jayne will join Caleb Bennett, RC Landingham, Dusty LaValley, Bobby Mote, Tanner Aus, Richie Champion, Orin Larson, and Steven Peebles in Championship Sunday.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Jayne said. “I like to call myself a veteran now. I don’t get nervous about that stuff. I got really nervous at the NFR last year. That really helped me out. But I know that getting nervous doesn’t really help anything so I just try to stay cool.”
One round at a time, that is.
“I’m still two rounds away from the bonus round,” he said. “I’m just going to take it one round at time.
“It sounds cliche but you have to focus on what’s coming first.”
Lambert lucky to be alive, qualified for Stampede finals
Published on: July 16, 2016 | Last Updated: July 16, 2016 6:49 PM MDT
Ponoka, Alberta bullrider Zane Lambert was Day 9 winner in bulls at the Calgary Stampede rodeo on Saturday, July 16, 2016. AL CHAREST / AL CHAREST/POSTMEDIA
Zane Lambert considers himself lucky.
Lucky that he was able to get on another bull in Saturday’s Wild Card round at the Calgary Stampede. Lucky that he was able to produce an 87-point ride aboard a bull named Bee Bop, a score good enough to advance him into championship Sunday.
And, frankly, the 30-year-old Ponoka cowboy is lucky to be alive.
In May, Lambert had been air-lifted out of the Stavely rodeo following a bull riding wreck that left him with two collapsed lungs and five broken ribs.
He was hospitalized for 10 days and sidelined for nine weeks — which might as well be years in cowboy time. And, against all odds, he made a comeback to the Pro Rodeo Canada Series, the Professional Bull Riders’ circuit, and his main objective. Recovering for the Calgary Stampede.
“Well, it was my goal, right?” Lambert said with a muddy grin, holding his Stampede-issued bronze statue following his re-ride. “I never wanted anything more in my life.
“It’s pretty cool to move onto Sunday and have a chance of winning it. That’s what I’m here for.”
Truth be told, it took him a few mouthfuls of dirt to do it.
Lambert was bucked off three times in Pool A competition, winning only $1,500 on Day 3.
“There’s not many ways to practice this sport but getting on,” he said. “That’s a good way to do it, is to get on a bunch. By the third one, I was moving better and riding better.
“It worked out.”
In the pouring rain on Saturday, Cody Teel of Kountze, Tex., had reserved a spot in Sunday with an 88-point ride aboard Nailed. No one was going to touch that.
Teel had finished fifth in the Pool B aggregate standings with $6,500 after posting and 83.50 ride on Tuesday and an 84.50 ride on Friday (plus two buck-offs). He hadn’t earned quite enough to advance to Sunday’s final the easy way.
“I’d actually been on that bull at the Ponoka Stampede,” said Teel of Nailed. “I was pretty excited to get on him again. He had a little better trip today. It was quite a day. I was just happy to be able to get it done.”
As for Lambert, it initially didn’t look good as two cowboys had posted 85.5-point rides which meant that he had to be better than them.
Because of the tie-breaker rules, Robson Palermo of Rio Branco, Brazil, had appeared to have advanced to Sunday’s final instead of Bowden’s Tanner Girletz.
But after Lambert’s ride, he was in. He raced across the Stampede infield and gave Robson a quick high-five on the way by.
Yeah, you could say so.
“There’s lots of kids in this sport that aren’t allowed to keep going with injuries and stuff,” Lambert said. “To do what I love, it just means that much more to me. A close call like that? It makes you realize what’s important in life and this is what’s important to me.”