By Adam Eisenbarth
One of the top rodeos in North America was just down the road in Ponoka June 28 to July 4 and a few locals participated in the big event.
Rimbey tie down roper Dean Edge always seems to be a contender for big money, but he ran into some bad luck in Ponoka after a decent start.
“On my second run, I made a pretty good run but my calf ended up getting jerked down too hard so they disqualified me. So that was kind of disappointing.”
Edge says the sport is becoming much more strict with disqualifications when calves take rougher falls.
“It’s frustrating. Is it the way it should be? I don’t know; it’s been that way for the last 50 years and all of a sudden now they want to change it.”
Edge says the no time score come down to bad luck more than anything.
“My calf kind of changed directions after I roped him and I didn’t have enough time to change where my position on my rope was after I roped him and that’s what made him come over so hard.”
Despite the DQ, Edge didn’t lose his enthusiasm for the event itself. “It was awesome as always, they put on a really good show.”
In the chuckwagons, Bluffton’s Obrey Motowylo was ready to defend his title as Ponoka Stampede champion. After a thrilling victory on his birthday in 2009, Motowylo finished strong in the aggregate standings and for the second year in a row, advanced to the Tommy Dorchester $50,000 Dash for Cash.
Motowylo has quickly emerged as one of the top drivers in the World Professional Chuckwagon Association, and he drew the three barrel for the final run.
“I thought I’d do really well, I was happy actually (when I drew the three,) I wanted the three or the four and so it wasn’t because I drew a bad barrel, I just didn’t get it done.”
Motowylo came across the line third.
He was pleased with the way his horses ran all week, but in the final, things just didn’t seem to work quite as well.
“The lead team didn’t quite work as well as they usually do in the dash but they ran well and to make it to the final four is awesome.”
As for an explanation for his Ponoka success, Motowylo doesn’t have one.
“I have no idea, Ponoka just brings me luck I guess.”
Veteran driver Kelly Sutherland took the win, tying a record with his seventh Ponoka Stampede win.
On July 7, it was back on the road for Motowylo, who will compete in the Calgary Stampede. Ponoka is the perfect tune up for the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
“They’re both almost identical tracks so if you do well in Ponoka, generally you should do decent in Calgary too as long as you can go penalty-free so I’m really looking forward to Calgary.”
Bull rider Jesse Torkelson also posted impressive results in the Ponoka Stampede.
The Winfield rider advanced to the Sunday finals but was bucked off, missing a chance to compete in the final Showdown where $10,000 was up for grabs.