With a tip of the hat the gate is thrown open and Botha’s Garnet Kromm explodes out of the chute atop of a horse named Birth Mark, kicking off day two of Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede action.
However, the rodeo isn’t all that was happening in town. The day in Stettler started early on June 11, with a free pancake breakfast cooked and served by members of the Town of Stettler and County of Stettler councils. The well attended breakfast ran from 8-10 a.m. and filled the room in the agriplex, causing some people to sit outside.
At 11 a.m., the always popular stampede rodeo kicked off, winding its way through town by William E. Hay Secondary and down Main Street. The parade lasted around twenty minutes and had a wide variety of entrants.
Aside from the usual delegates from neighbouring communities such as Forestburg, Halkirk, and Red Deer County, members of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve unit based in Red Deer also participated.
Also starting at 11 a.m., the north end of Main Street in front of the town hall was taken over by the Stettler Magnetos Car Club for their annual Stampede show and Shine. According to organizers, it was the best event in years with 86 cars registered.
Set up in the same area was the Soap Box Derby which the car club helped run. Members of the Stettler RCMP detachment were also on hand with their radar guns to help determine which of the drag racers of tomorrow had the fastest car of the day.
Heading over to the agricultural grounds, members of the Stettler Antique Tractor Club held a tractor pull demonstration starting at 1 p.m.
At 5:30 p.m., the gates opened for day two of rodeo action. There were plenty of options for food on the grounds, with a variety of foodtrucks set up behind the grandstand.
Kromm started things with the Bareback Riding event at 6:30 p.m.
Novice Bareback and Novice Saddle Bronc followed before events shifted to the timed event end of the new arena. Novice Bareback was won by Kromm with a 66 point ride, and Novice Saddle Bronc was won by Chance Sjogren, also with a 66 point ride. Bareback was won by Brady Bertram with a score of 70 points.
Tie Down Roping was the next event, where Stettler’s Beau Cooper earned a 9.2 second run, which was good enough to tie him for first for the weekend with Tyler Popescul.
Ladies Breakaway Roping followed Tie Down Roping before the Castor-based Daring Divas Trick Riding team wowed the audience with their dazzling performance.
Steer Wrestling took place just before the intermission, where Scott Sigfusson of Tugaske, Sask, took the fastest time of the day at 10.3 seconds which placed him at third overall for the weekend. Winner of the event was William Beierbach of Maple Creek, Sask, who ran a blistering 7.5 seconds.
Once the intermission concluded, events remained at the timed end with the Ladies Barrel Racing. Barrels were won by Ferrah Fogg of SHeho, Sask, with a time of 17.68 seconds.
After the barrels were cleared from the field, night two of the Jerry Sinclair Memorial Saddle Bronc event kicked off. Australian Aidan Jeffery kicked things off with 65 point ride atop the mount known as Rotten Tomatoes. Sundre’s Briely Scott ended up the high point winner after his 74 point ride for the night.
The saddle bronc event was split into two halves, with Stettler’s own Ladies of the Heartland drill time wowing the audience with their precision riding in between.
When saddle bronc wrapped up, events moved back to the timed event end for Team Roping. Team Roping was won by the team of Tuftin McLeod and Devin Wigemyr with a time of 5 seconds flat. Once Team Roping finished, things moved to the final event of the night: Bull Riding!
Grady Young of Tyvan, Sask, took top place on the night with his 77 point ride on a bull named Holey Moley. Chris Young, of Holden Alta, rode two bulls earning 76 points on his first ride on the back of Loonie Bin before getting bucked off on his second ride on the back of a bull named Ned. Overall winner of the Bull Riding event was Orrin Marshall of Coronach, Sask, who also rode a pair of bulls, earning 79 points on his first ride and 78 on his second.
Once rodeo action wrapped for the day, Stettler’s own Renegade Station entertained the crowd in the tent into the early hours of the morning.