The loud cheers in the stands was echoed by cracking thunder overhead as competitors from across North America braved Alberta’s ever-changing weather for the 102nd Benalto Fair and Stampede.
The four-day event brought in the best professional cowboys and girls Canada, the United States, and even some from as far away as Australia, to the small Central Alberta town for exciting rodeo action.
For the most part, the rain stayed away during the performances over the weekend.
This gave Klayton Lakevold from Provost, Alta. the chance to take home top spot and the prized buckle in the rodeo-favourite event bull riding.
Lakevold won nearly $900 for his 82.5 point ride on 11 Bar Code.
With 81 points, Jacob Gardener took second place and $744.48 in bull riding followed by Kyle Brown in third place with 71 points, winning $589.38.
Lane Watt from Hardisty, Alta. won for his 83.5-point ride on JR 31 Benny’s Boy in the stampede’s saddle bronc event. Second place went to Lane Crust with 83 points while third place was an 82-point tie between Hunter Sawley and Ben Andersen.
A score of 80.5 points was enough to win first place in the bareback event. Strawbs Jones took top prize for his ride on Northcott-Macza Rodeo’s 36 Scarface.
Wyatt Maines came in second with a score of 77 points at the end of the rodeo Sunday. Third place was a tie between Michael Solberg and Spur Lacasse, both riding for 76 points.
Vanscoy, Sask. cowboy Dustin Walker took the buckle, and a prize of $1405.30, in steer wrestling. The Saskatchewan cowboy had the fastest time of 3.5 seconds.
In tie-down roping, Logan Bird could not be touched. He put up a time of 8.7 seconds early in the rodeo, and that secured him first place.
Less than half a second behind Bird, Blair Smith put up a time of nine-seconds for second place. Third place went to Dean Edge with a time of 9.2 seconds.
Toni Dixon from Millarville, Alta edged out the rest in the barrel racing event. Dixon put up a time of 15.343 seconds for first place and won $1781.54.
Just milliseconds from first place was Jennifer Sharp with a time of 15.502. Third place went to Rylee Trenholm who put up a time of 15.503.
The McCarroll team of Justin and Brett McCarroll hailing from Camrose had the fastest time in team roping. The duo put up an impressive time of 5.1 seconds.
Second place was a tie. The Bonnetts, Keely and Logan, had the same time as the Bradies, Braidy Davies and Brady Chappel. Both team had a time of 5.7 seconds.
Rounding out the rodeo events was the novice and junior events.
Novice saddle bronc saw Condor resident Hayden Cole take top spot with a score of 73 points.
Tanner Eno from Coronation had a 37-pint ride in novice bull riding. This was enough to give the young cowboy first place.
Hailing from Sundre, Gordon Erickson put up 81.5 points in junior steer riding. Following Erickson was Benjamin Havell in second place with 80.5 points and Tristen Manning with 75 points for third.
No competitor qualified in the novice bareback event.
The pro rodeo in Benalto is one of the longest running, continuous rodeo event in Canada.