Last Chance Stampede, Helena, Montana WrapUp

Courtesy of PRCA (

Courtesy of PRCA (

It was a Helena weekend for Montana cowboys

By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Last Chance Stampede committee

HELENA, Mont. –  A Montana cowboy and the son of a Montana legend won the bull riding at the Last Chance Stampede July 30.

Parker Breding is following in his father’s footsteps, or at least he has a good start. 

The Edgar, Mont., cowboy’s 84-point ride on Kesler Rodeo’s Strange Tale won him a check for $2,497 and a pair of Montana Silversmith spurs.

It wasn’t the first time the 23-year-old Breding had met up with the bull whose brand is 05. 

He won the Augusta, Mont., rodeo last year on Strange Tale.

“All I took away from him (after riding him last year in Augusta) was that he was really mean and wanted to run me over,” Breding said. “So, tonight I was wanting to ride him but I was wanting to make sure I got up and got out of there quickly. That was probably the bigger victory for me.” 

Breding is the son of five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Scott Breding, who is Parker’s coach and occasional travel partner, although Scott was not with his son in Helena.

“He usually gets to come (to Helena) and be around all his old friends and everything. But this weekend he’s judging a big bull riding so he couldn’t make it.” 

Parker’s first phone call after his ride was to his dad.

“I had him around with me last week to a bunch of big rodeos, and I didn’t do very good and my spirits were pretty low, so I’m excited to call him after this and tell him I turned it around a little bit.

“He’s always my biggest support. I’m blessed. I get to live with my coach, basically, and not a lot of guys have that. I try to take anything he tells me and run with it, because I know he’s been there and done it. He’s one of the best bull riders there was, so I’m pretty blessed to be able to hear anything from him.” 

Parker is similar to his dad in his riding style, although he doesn’t think so. “I’ve had a ton of people, especially a lot of guys who watched my dad, walk up and tell me they thought they were watching Scott ride when I ride. I love hearing that. That’s awesome.

“My dad had a pretty cool style. I think mine’s a little different, but him being my coach must show a little bit.” 

A Helena cowboy has also won himself a pair of Montana Silversmith spurs.

Timmy Sparing turfed his steer on Thursday night in a time of 3.7 seconds to win his event.

The Capital High School graduate, who was also a prep football star, gave much of his credit for his winning run to his mount, Shakem.

Shakem, owned by Sparing’s friend and fellow steer wrestler Ty Erickson, is the 2015 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year. Sparing brought him back from Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, rode him on Thursday night, and Erickson rode him on Friday night. Shakem makes an excellent steer wrestling horse, due to his “speed, and he’s really good in the box, and the crowd doesn’t bother him,” Sparing said. He’s also very laidback. “He’s a deadhead. He’ll just walk around, ease around. But once you back him in the box, it’s go time.” 

Shakem gets some time off now; Erickson won’t compete with him on the road until the big rodeos in the Northwest kick off. Sparing, who is traveling with Rowdy Parrott, will ride Rowdy’s horse, George. 

The saddle bronc riding title went to 19-year-old Ryder Wright. The Milford, Utah cowboy was two points better than his dad, Cody, who finished in second place; Ryder scored 83 points on Kesler Rodeo’s Show & Tell and Cody scored 81.

The other 2016 Last Chance Stampede champions were bareback rider Jessy Davis, Power, Mont. (83 points), team ropers Nathan McWhorter, Telephone, Texas, and Dustin Davis, Terrell Texas (4.6 seconds), tie-down roper Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas (7.5 seconds), and barrel racer Sarah Rose McDonald, Brunswick, Ga. (17.59 seconds). 

The 58th annual Last Chance Stampede and Fair will be July 26-29, 2017. 

For more information on the Stampede, visit For complete rodeo results, visit

Lufkin shares lead at Last Chance Stampede

By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Last Chance Stampede committee

HELENA, Mont. –  It was Joe Lufkin’s first trip to Helena for the Last Chance Stampede, and he made the most of it, scoring 78 points on his horse to split the lead in the saddle bronc riding.

The 23-year old cowboy from Sallisaw, Okla., rode Kesler Rodeo Company’s Rain Forest, a horse he had never been on but had heard about. “They told me he was good, and that he bucked,” he said, “and he was.”

“He was a handful, that’s for sure. I wasn’t expecting that. The horse bucked, I sat down and didn’t fall off,” he laughed. “That’s about as good as you can get.” 

Lufkin is having the best year of his five-year ProRodeo career. “I’m just having fun,” he said. “Me and (fellow saddle bronc rider) Roper Kiesner are traveling together, and he’s a great bronc rider, and we’re just living life.”

He and Kiesner, also an Oklahoman, began traveling together this year. “We don’t have any worries; we’re just having fun. We both love to ride bucking horses and we pump each other up. And it’s been great.”

Lufkin is 14th in the WEATHER GUARD PRCA world standings, and hopefully headed to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but he chooses to not keep track of where he’s ranked.

“I try not to think about it too much,” he said. “Rodeo, it’s a mental game. It’s pretty much 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. If you get too much stuff in your head, you can’t do your stuff right. So, I just take one bronc at a time, and have fun, and if I make the (Wrangler National) Finals, I make the Finals. That’s great. And if not, I keep trying.” 

Lufkin is tied with Luke Butterfield, of Ponoka, Alberta, who also scored 78 points on Thursday night. 

The team roping lead changed hands on Friday as Texas cowboys Nathan McWhorter and Dustin Davis had a time of 4.6 seconds. The pair has been roping together since October in the pro ranks, but roped in high school and college rodeo. 

Davis and McWhorter complement each other well. “He tends to score, he’s really good,” Davis said, of his header. “He doesn’t reach as far as a lot of guys. Most of the time when the head rope goes on, it’s tied around the horns, and the steers are moving. I know right where they’re going.” 

Other fast times and high scores from the second performance of the Last Chance Stampede and Fair are bareback rider Devan Reilly, Sheridan, Wyo. (75 points), steer wrestler Clayton Hass, Terrell, Texas (4.0 seconds), tie-down roper Reese Riemer, Stinnett, Texas (8.8 seconds), barrel racer Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. (17.78 seconds), and bull rider Riker Carter, Stone, Idaho (61 points.) 

The final night of the Last Chance Stampede is Saturday, July 30 with a performance at 7:30 pm. The day is full of activities, including the Gold Buckle Dreams Youth Rodeo at 8 am, and the Stampede Parade at noon. The carnival opens at 1pm. Tickets are available online and at the gate.

Last Chance Stampede

Helena, Mont., July 28-30


All-around cowboy: Hank Hollenbeck, $2,143, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping.


Bareback riding: 1. Jessy Davis, 83 points on Kesler Rodeo's Alley Street, $1,824; 2. George Gillespie IV, 82.5, $1,382; 3. Richmond Champion, 82, $995; 4. Chase Erickson, 78, $663; 5. Devan Reilly, 75, $387; 6. Tristan Hansen, 73, $276. 


Steer wrestling: 1. Timmy Sparing, 3.7 seconds, $2,465; 2. Hank Hollenbeck, 3.8, $2,143; 3. Clayton Hass, 4.0, $1,822; 4. Reef Mills, 4.1, $1,500; 5. (tie) Ethen Thouvenell and Cody Cabral, 4.2, $1,018 each; 7. Taz Olson, 4.4, $536; 8. Tanner Milan, 4.7, $214. 


Team roping: 1. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.6 seconds, $2,742 each; 2. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 4.9, $2,453; 3. Jake Orman/Tyler Domingue, 5.2, $2,164; 4. Delon Parker/Ryan Zurcher, 5.3, $1,876; 5. Levi Simpson/Jeremy Buhler, 5.9, $1,587; 6. Brady Williams/Britt Williams, 6.0, $1,299; 7. Adam Rose/Walt Woodard, 6.3, $1,010; 8. Cody Tew/Matt Robertson, 6.6, $721; 9. Jason Carlson/Sam Levine, 7.8, $433; 10. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 9.2, $144. 


Saddle bronc riding: 1. Ryder Wright, 83 points on Kesler Rodeo's Show & Tell, $2,358; 2. Cody Wright, 81, $1,807; 3. (tie) Joe Lufkin and Luke Butterfield, 78, $1,100 each; 5. Wyatt Hurst, 76, $550; 6. Joe Harper, 75, $393; 7. (tie) Rusty Wright, Robert Wagner and Tyrell J Smith, 74, $183 each. 


Tie-down roping: 1. Marty Yates, 7.5 seconds, $2,357; 2. Cimarron Boardman, 8.2, $2,049; 3. Stetson Vest, 8.7, $1,742; 4. Reese Riemer, 8.8, $1,434; 5. Rawlee Yamauchi, 9.3, $1,127; 6. Jayce Johnson, 9.4, $820; 7. Austin Barstow, 10.0, $512; 8. Logan Hofer, 10.1, $205. 


Barrel racing: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.59 seconds, $2,243; 2. Emily Kallenberger, 17.69, $1,906; 3. Brittany Kelly, 17.72, $1,570; 4. Danna Jo Whitford, 17.73, $1,346; 5. (tie) Mandy Hamilton and Lisa Lockhart, 17.78, $953 each; 7. Heather Knerr, 17.84, $561; 8. Sherry Cervi, 17.96, $449; 9. (tie) Darcy Mapston and Rachel Dice, 17.98, $364 each; 11. Cranna Roberts, 18.01, $280; 12. Kaela Murphy, 18.03, $224. 


Bull riding: 1. Parker Breding, 84 points on Kesler Rodeo's Strange Tale, $2,498; 2. (tie) Lon Danley and Riker Carter, 61, $1,665 each; no other qualified rides. 


Total payoff: $84,746. Stock contractor: Kesler Rodeo. Sub-contractor: Kesler Championship Rodeo.