24 Ponoka Stampede Wrap 7

The Ponoka Stampede roster of champions has plenty of newcomers, as the 88th edition drew to a close on Canada Day. A pair of them were even rookies!

Weston Timberman of Columbus, MT is one of them. Although it was his first time ever to Ponoka, the second-generation bareback rider had heard many a story about the rodeo from his father Chris, and his uncle Kelly, a World Champion.

Timberman now has his own Ponoka story to tell, after he went on a mission with Calgary Stampede horse Agent Lynx. The horse stayed right by the chutes, getting higher with every jump and Timberman kept pace, to be rewarded with a 90-point mark, $14,890, and all the championship glory and hardware.

“I’ve been dreaming of getting on that horse for a while now, and I was happy to get her here in Ponoka,” grins the 20-year-old. “That horse was so awesome. She was able to help me out doing my job, and she did her job, about as good as you could do it.”

Timberman’s exit was nearly as high flying as the ride, while some audio issues meant the buzzer hadn’t sounded for the crowd.

“I didn’t hear a whistle either,” says Timberman. “You get on so many, you’ve got a pretty good idea as to when the when the whistle blows. She did slam me down there and I was like ‘man, I felt like a made the whistle pretty solid’. It took forever to announce the score and I was thinking ‘sonofagun – at least I went out gassing it!’ I would guess I came off at 9.3 seconds,” he chuckled.

“I tell you what – I was having a lot of fun. Every jump she was just getting better and better. I thought ‘man, I’m going to see how far I can get my feet up here’ and every jump I got ‘em a little more and a little more. Then eventually she said ‘alright buddy, you’re done having fun. You’re getting off!’”

Timberman was pretty sure his uncle and father were just as dialed in watching him from their homes.

“I’ve seen videos of them watching my rides and they can’t stay still. They’ll be in their seats jumping around. I’m sure my Dad got bucked off just as hard as I did today!”

Another rookie who cracked the championship ranks was Zachary Dallas. In an outstanding saddle bronc riding Showdown, the 22-year-old emerged number one overall after combining with Calgary’s Tokyo Bubbles for 90.5 points.

“I got a good start on it, marked it out and just went to it,” says the Dallas, who hails from New Mexico. “But I definitely had to gas it and bare down, to stay on it those last few jumps. It wasn’t a day off.”

“It’s the first time I was 90, so that’s cool!”

The win gave Dallas, who’s leading the world rookie saddle bronc race, a cash bonus of $18,863 for his time in Ponoka. But he also took home a Ponoka Stampede jacket and a championship buckle.

“I saw Orin Larsen’s from last year earlier today, and it looked pretty cool, so I’m glad I’ve got one.”

Haven Meged had been within a tenth of a second of winning the tie-down roping title at Ponoka last year. So the Montana man had some unfinished business and left no doubt about his claim on the championship this year, his first at Ponoka. After a solid week of roping on his big bay horse Smoke, Meged came into the Showdown round as the Aggregate winner, so the last of the four to go. He sizzled through his run in just 7.8 seconds, nearly two seconds faster than the rest of the field.

“I had high hopes to do good,” says Meged. “My horse has been great, and we’d been making good runs, so I’m just very thankful and blessed to have success today.”

Meged won an extra buckle as the High Point Champion, as he competed in team roping as well. His take home pay from Ponoka was 20,062.

“This is going to help me a lot. I think I’ve had a $25,000 week so far, just in Canada, so that’s big for me in the world standings and the Canadian standings. If I didn’t do good this week in Canada, I wasn’t going to make the Canadian Finals.”

Meged’s list of ‘drove all night’s from the week was long, and he took Smoke with him, adding in a Williams Lake win as well.

“He’s a big, strong horse. I think that’s what separates him from a lot of the horses out here. He takes it really good, and I’m just really thankful to have him in my trailer and on my team.”

Steer wrestler Dalton Massey made it two in a row for steer wrestling championships, after he tipped over his Showdown steer in 5.8 seconds, two-tenths faster than high money winner at Ponoka this year, Cody Cassidy.

“It’s unreal to win it again,” admits Massey, who’s from Hermiston, OR. “I was pretty chill until about ten minutes before the bulldogging. It hit me that I’m here again in Ponoka for the four-man, at one of the biggest rodeos of the year. I just got done winning Reno and to have a chance at the best rodeo over the fourth (of July run) – to get ‘er done is just a real blessing.”

“I can’t thank Tanner Milan, my traveling partner, enough for sticking around and helping me out in getting the win today,” he adds, as one of the biggest fans and users of Milan’s horse Eddie.

Massey’s Ponoka cheque was 20,191, just $350 behind Cassidy. That will help pad Massey’s number one position in the world steer wrestling standings.

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