PONOKA, Alberta — If you’ve been following along with the Biggest Moments and Worst Wrecks countdown you would have seen Steve Turner’s wreck yesterday morning from last year’s Ultimate Cowboy Championship.
Currently, Steve is healing up from hip surgery. It’s not likely someone will get in another wreck like he did, but there’s no telling what will happen.
Ultimate Cowboy Championship Contestants this New Year’s Eve include 2013 Canadian All-Around Champion, Travis Reay; young gun Clay Elliot and Roughstock Cowboy, Logan Hodson. Rocky Mountain House Roughstock specialist Branden Dillman is also entered this year along with the Smith Brothers, Wyatt and Garrett of Idaho. Rounding out the UCC entrants is Ty Ellis of Saskatchewan who nearly won the bull riding at November’s CCA Finals in Regina. $10,000 is added for these cowboys and it pays $4,000 to win.
Expanding on last year’s two man Timed Event Challenge are nine-time Canadian Champion Curtis Cassidy; Ponoka’s own, Trygve Pugh and both Baillie and Tanner Milan.
This year, event organizer Scott Wyzykoski has amped up the production of the event. He’s brought in Vold Audio to do sound, Shawn Metchewais of Reita Creek Scoreboards with his replay screen and more of Canada’s top cowboys and cowgirls to compete for more prize money. It’s what the fans wanted and it’s going to be yet another top notch event.
Also new this year is the “Rodeo Masters” portion of the event. Fans wanted to see higher scores on the rankest stock and Scott has made it happen. For example in the Bronc Riding, as 2013 Canadian Champion Rylan Geiger is entered up, same with 2012 Novice Champion of Canada, Layton Green. Tyrel Larsen missed the NFR by one spot this year and he’s in the mix too.
Or there’s the Bareback Riding which features this year’s Canadian Champion Matt Lait and three-time Canadian Champion and two-time Novice Champion Kyle Bowers, 2012 Novice Champion Jake Stemo or Jake Vold, the man who has the highest scored ride in all of Pro Rodeo which took place just up the hill at the Ponoka Stampede.
In the Bull Riding you’ll watch, many time CFR qualifier Devon Mezei, 2010 Canadian Champion Jesse Torkelson and his neighbor two-time CFR Qualifier Ty Patten.
Barrel Masters features five round of competition with the top lady bringing home $1,000. Cranna Roberts, Crystal Shaw and Melissa Thiessen highlight that competition.
Each contestant also receives $100 for showing up, the same goes for each of the Masters Events including the $1,000.
Wyzykoski wants to help out a few cowboys trying to go south for the winter by adding more money every year and getting them great stock to compete on. For one many footing the bill and putting on the event, it’s great to see for all of us in Canada involved with our great sport.
Team roping action starts at noon on Tuesday, from placing in that event, contestants will choose their stock at VJV Auctions and have supper between four and five. Barrel Masters begin their race at 6:30 with the rest of the event to begin at 7:00pm at the Calnash Ag Event Center. Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 before the event online or at VJV Auctions or Jones Boys in Ponoka. Kids get in for $10, contact Scott Wyzykoski for more information at ScottWyz@hotmail.com or visit RodeoMasters.ca for more information.