Zeke Thurston and Chase Outlaw among those punching tickets to Showdown Sunday
CALGARY, Alberta – The first flight of finalists for Showdown Sunday at the Calgary Stampede has been set. The bull riding line-up includes Chase Outlaw, who nodded his head for Rhythm & Blues on Monday. The two made powerful music together, to the tune of 90 points for the go-round win, pushing his Calgary earnings to $13,500.
“Everybody was telling me how I had the pick of the pen today, and I did my job and it worked out,” Outlaw downplayed in his southern drawl. But there’s no minimizing the feat it is every time the Arkansas cowboy climbs back into the chute, less than a year after a horrifying bull riding wreck. In Cheyenne a bull hit him in the face, and shattered it.
“They had to put 68 screws and 12 plates in my face, in thirteen hours of surgery that night,” he shares, matter-of-factly. “I sat out two and a half months, came back, made the World Finals, had another surgery in November and then was back at the first of the year in January.” Also advancing from Pool A for the bull riding is Jess Lockwood, with $14,000; Jared Parsonage $10,750; and Zane Lambert with $8500.
What a day of barrel racing! In fact, the previous fastest time of the week was only good enough for fifth place Monday. Ivy Conrado blew the doors off the place when she rounded the turns in just 17.01 seconds, which is only two one-hundredths of a second off the arena record of 16.99, set in 2017. Conrado was emotional about her fastest run ever at the Calgary Stampede.
“I can’t believe it, I’m like flabbergasted, to be honest,” she bubbled, moments after the speedy run, which looked effortless for her horse. “J-Lo never looks that fast. She just tries really hard. She’s not the most physical horse, she’s not the “fastest” horse, or anything like that, but she tries really hard and she does the same thing every time.” For the third time, Conrado will be part of Showdown Sunday at the Stampede, after finishing as the highest money winner among Pool A barrel racers at $17,500. Nellie Miller was close behind ($17,000). Jessica Routier and Jessie Telford fill the remaining spots with $8000 each.
Wyoming Bareback rider Seth Hardwick needed some cash to avoid the stress of Wildcard Saturday, and when the dust settled, the 88 points he racked up on board Dirty Looks proved to be enough to do the trick, netting him the first place bonus of $5500.
“I’d rather skip that one,” he said about Wildcard Saturday. “I’ve ridden in that one a few times. It’s a tough one to get through. There’s twelve guys and twelve tough buckers in the Wild Card. I’d rather just go straight to the semi-finals.” Also getting a break from Saturday’s action from Pool A are Jake Vold ($11,000); Taylor Broussard ($10,500); Hardwick ($10,000) and Richmond Champion ($9500).
The man who got to make the victory lap in a Saddle Bronc round full of high marks was Zeke Thurston. He got the half point edge, with an 88.5 on Rock Star, making his weekly income $18,500, highest of all events in Pool A.
“I love this rodeo,” said the three-time Stampede champion. “It treats me well. But even if a guy didn’t do good, it’s hard not to have fun here.” Joining Thurston Sunday from Pool A are Jake Watson ($12,500); CoBurn Bradshaw ($12,000) and Chase Brooks ($10,500).
Legendary looper Trevor Brazile added to his collection of small Stampede bronzes with his first tie-down roping money of the week. He showed the style that’s won him 24 world titles with a 7.3 second run.
“I’m just glad for every opportunity, going to a few (rodeos) or not, when one of them’s Calgary, I’m going to come. I love the rodeo. I’ve never won it, but it’s still one of my favorites. That says a lot about the Calgary Stampede.” Brazile will need to be back for Wild Card Saturday to try for a Sunday berth. Those who avoid that extra round are a pair of Albertans and a pair of Texans: Caleb Smidt ($16,000); Logan Bird ($13,500); Jake Pratt($11,500) and Riley Warren ($7500).
The fast man in the steer wrestling in the fourth performance was Nick Guy of Wisconsin, with a 3.7 second run. But even with the $5500 deposit, he still wound up $500 shy of the top four in Pool A, so he’ll be back on Saturday. Those making it straight through are Craig Weisgerber ($10,500); Bridger Chambers ($10,000); Cody Cassidy ($9000) and Stephen Culling ($8500).
Pool B contestants begin their Calgary Stampede journey on Tuesday.
*Courtesy of the Calgary Stampede
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.