Despite the weather looking unfavourable earlier in the day, the rain stayed away and day one of the 2023 Big Valley Bust Out Rodeo was able to start as planned on July 28 and finish the next evening, on July 29.
The triple-sanctioned rodeo event featured cowboys from the Lakeland Professional Rodeo Association, the Chinook Rodeo Association and the Foothills Rodeo Association.
Starting a little after 7 p.m., the show started with a presentation by the Big Valley Drill Team followed by the singing of O Canada and the recitation of the cowboy’s prayer.
Upon the conclusion of the opening ceremonies, it was time to start the performance; the first event out of the chute was bareback riding. After two days, Stettler’s Garnet Kromm won the event with 69.5 points.
Next up was the Junior Bull Riding; after two days, Winfield, Alta., cowboy Lowen Nash rode away with the prize money after accruing 73 points.
The third event was tie-down roping; following both evening performances, and the Saturday morning slack, Manitoba cowboy Stran Dunham came out on top with a run of 8.4 seconds, just over half a second faster than second-place Halkirk’s Owen Schauer.
Tie-down roping was followed by more junior Bull Riding.
Following the bulls, the bulldoggers had their opportunity to enter the arena; Sonnindale, Sask., cowboy Clay Ellis won theSteer Wrestling with his run of 4.7 seconds, a full second faster than second place Consort cowboy, Garrett Zieffle.
Finally, the last event before the intermission was Ladies Breakaway Roping, a new event to the rodeo. The event was won by Glentworth, Sask., cowgirl Carla Popesul with a run of just 2.9 seconds, a mere 0.10 seconds ahead of second-place fellow Saskatchewan cowgirl Ashley Weber who ran a time of 3 seconds flat.
Despite there being an intermission, attention was held on the infield as rodeo’s next generation was given a chance to perform with a short performance of Mutton Busin’ held on both nights. During the intermission, the spectators also had the opportunity to check out the concession and the beer gardens.
Once the spectators were back in their seats, the performance resumed with Ladies Barrel Racing as the first post-intermission event. After two days, the event was won by Tiley, Alta., cowgirl Delaney Tateson Douglas.
Moving from the barrels directly into the junior barrels, Tacia Tuck of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., rode away with the prize money with a time of 15.760 seconds; second-place cowgirl Rhys Desmet of Strathmore was hot on her heels with a time of 15.990 seconds.
Following the barrels, events moved back to the chutes; it was time for saddle bronc riding. Maple Creek, Sask., cowboy James Perrin rode away with the prize after his 75-point ride on the back of a bronc known as Custom Moves.
Towards the end of both evening performances, competition moved back to the timed event end of the arena for Team Roping. After two days, the team up of Jesse Popescul, of Glentworth, Sask., and Garret Brownlee, of Jaw, Sask., took the prize money with their run of 5.3 seconds, though second-place Saskatchewan cowboys Tee Mcleod and Brady Chappel were hot on their heals with a run of 5.5 seconds themselves.
Closing out both nights of competition was the bull riding. The event was won by Grimshaw, Alta., cowboy Denver Leitch with his 70.5-point ride.
In addition to the two evening performances, the Big Valley Bust Out Rodeo also featured a pancake breakfast and a slack performance on the morning of July 29.
Editor’s notes: All final results are as listed on the Chinook Rodeo Association website; the Lakeland Rodeo Association and the Foothills Rodeo Association websites have yet to post official results from the rodeo.