The picture for Saturday’s semi-finals became clear by the time the dust settled on after day five action of the Ponoka Stampede.
Bareback kicked things off with Manitoba cowboy Orin Larsen earning the high score of the day with 88.5 points. That score was enough to catapult him into second place in the aggregate. Texas cowboy Leighton Cowboy and Sherwood Park, Alta., cowboy Kody Lamb Each entered the top 12 as well, each earning 86.5 on their respective rides.
Moving into Tie Down Roping, Saskatchewan cowboy Jesse Popescul completed his second run of the week earning a time of 8 seconds flat, good enough to move him into seventh in the top 12.
Next up, the field for Novice Saddle Bronc got deeper with Jordan Cust moving into the top spot with a 78-point ride and Dexter Hale earning his way into the semi-finals with a fifth-place, 69-point ride.
Two riders took to the infield for Boys’ Steer Riding; neither scored points leaving Saskatchewan’s Joseph Vansandt and Claresolm, Alta., cowboy Hayden MacKay as the only qualifying rides so far.
Moving into Professional Steer Wrestling, the best time of the day went to Cochrane, Alta., cowboy Baillie Milan who ran with a time of 4.2 seconds. The time was sufficient to jump him into seventh in the aggregate.
After the intermission, it was time for Professional Saddle Bronc.
The top-12 in the saddle bronc event continued to tighten up as Wildwood, Alta., cowboy Dawson Hay rode for 88.75 points which put him into second in the aggregate. Zeke Thurston, of Big Valley, Alta., was hot on his heels, earning 87 points, which moved him into fourth place. Montana cowboy Houston Brown picked up 85.75 points, moving him into sixth place. Finally, High River, Alta., cowboy Lucas Macza picked up 85.5 points, moving him into seventh place.
While other riders scored, the floor in the aggregate had moved to 84 points meaning none of them would make it into the semi-finals.
Moving into Professional Team Roping, five of the 12 riders scored riders scored points, however, the only team to crack the top-12 in the aggravate to punch their ticket into the semi-finals were Roland McFadden and Tyrel Flewelling, who picked up a time of 5.8 seconds which was enough to move them into eleventh place.
After a brief intermission with a performance by the Wild Rose Trick Riders, it was time for the Ladies Professional Barrel Racing. Unfortunately, things did not work out for the ladies on Friday; none of the 16 riders managed to beat the aggregate bottom time of 17.83, which meant no one from Friday’s group made it into the semi-finals.
Finally, it was time for Professional Bull Riding.
Out of a field of seven riders in Friday’s event, two more qualified for Saturday’s semi-finals.
Alsike, Alta., cowboy Nick Tetz slid into the fourth spot with a ride worth 84.25 points aboard the bull “Night Walker” and Wheatland County cowboy slid into the seventh and last spot with a ride of 76.75 points.