Photo by Jeremy Wombold
Pro Rodeo Canada
June 6, 2016
For immediate release
WILDWOOD, LEDUC AND HAND HILLS, ALTA – Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Saddle Bronc Rider, Zeke Thurston, had a dominating weekend on the rodeo trail after winning the Hand Hills Lake Stampede and sweeping both rounds and the short go of the Wildwood Bronc Bustin’. Thurston will add $6,609.72 unofficially to his season total that, before the weekend, sat at just over two hundred dollars.
Thurston no doubt turned heads after his flashy performance during the Wildwood Bronc Bustin’. The Big Valley cowboy scored 85.5 points on Franklin Rodeo’s “Scottish Lass” in round one to win the first place cheque of $1226.70, but the night was far from over.
“In the second round they had a twelve-man eliminator round where they take all the big, rank, hard to ride horses. Mine was not as tricky as some of them but he was just big and strong,” said Thurston of not just getting by Bar C5’s “Thunder Struck”, but winning another first place cheque with a score of 85 points.
The short go round consisted of yet another challenge for Thurston as he competed against the top six competitors of the night, paired with top bucking horses. Thurston drew another horse from the Bar C5 herd called “Another Sunday”.
“I never knew anything about that horse, I had just heard good things,” said Thurston of his third and final horse of the night, “they said she might stall [in the bucking chute], which she did and then once she finally left she took a little scoot and was as good as you’d want one, jumping high and kicking hard and those kind are fun.”
Thurston took home a cheque for $3384.00 unofficially in the final round of the Wildwood Bronc Bustin’ to bring the night’s total over the five thousand dollar mark.
There was no rest for the wicked; after three surely exhausting rides Thurston was scheduled to compete the next day at the 100th Anniversary of the Hand Hills Lake Stampede. His 84 point, first place ride didn’t garner his largest check of the weekend at $872.32 unofficially, but Thurston says winning the Hand Hills Lake Stampede this year was something that he’ll always be proud to have on his resume.
“It was cool, I really like that rodeo and always have,” said Thurston of the rodeo that is just 40 miles down the road from his hometown, “It’s an awesome rodeo because all the locals come out every year and it’s a big deal for them. Winning the 100th, that’s something nobody else will do.”
This weekend’s winnings will shoot Thurston right into the hot seat in both the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Standings. Thurston says this is a welcome move after a quiet winter.
“It was getting pretty slow for me there, I never got to rodeo much all winter and so I'm kind of playing catch up, this was a good hit this weekend. It will take a little pressure off; I'm still going to have to ride good and rodeo hard but it’s kind of nice knowing you’re in the top 15 [and top 12 in Canada],” said Thurston.
The young cowboy’s schedule is looking pretty full the rest of the rodeo season, but he assures CPRA fans that you’ll see him at the top rodeo stops in Canada this year, “for the most part, I’ll be rodeoing where the money is. That’s how we enter, we chase the money around.”
Other top earners of the weekend included Dustin Bird and Russell Cardoza who won the Team Roping at both Leduc and Hand Hills for a total of $2,949.83, Bird also split third in the tie down roping at Hand Hills for an extra $950.69 in his pocket. Your top Ladies Barrel Racing earner of the weekend was Lynette Brodoway with $2105.79 for winning Leduc and a fourth place finish at Hand Hills added $885.95 to her total earnings of $2,991.74.
Steer Wrestler Derek Frank took home two cheques totaling $2,742.61 for a second place finish at Leduc and third place at Hand Hills. The highest earner in the Tie Down Roping came from a single cheque worth $1967.12 for first place at Leduc, won by Rhen Richard.
Lonnie West placed twice this weekend in the Bull Riding to collect a total of $1,748.57. Orin Larsen also double dipped in the Bareback Riding this past weekend by winning Leduc and splitting last place in Hand Hills to add a few more dollars to his $1,722.72 total.
Find complete rodeo results at www.rodeocanada.com
Next on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association schedule is the Lea Park Rodeo (Marwayne, Alberta) June 10 to 12, and the Brooks Kinsmen Pro Rodeo June 10 to 11.