Making Miles – Making Money



No sleep, no problem.

\”I got a couple of hours at the airport,\” shrugged saddle bronc rider, Zeke Thurston, after his win at the Oldstoberfest Pro Rodeo this past weekend. \”I was in St. George, Utah last night and got dropped off at the Salt Lake airport at about 2:30 in the morning, then flew to Calgary and my grandpa picked me up and drove me here.\”

Despite the schedule, the 20-year-old Thurston posted the top score of the weekend in Olds, AB, with an 83.5-point ride on C5 Rodeo\’s Black Hills to win $1,627. That will leave him 9th in the unofficial Pro Rodeo Canada bronc riding standings with just under $16,000 in earnings and bump the Big Valley, AB, cowboy from 12th to 5th in the Pro Rodeo Canada Series standings.

\”This was the only one I made money at this week,\” revealed Thurston, whose recent travels have taken him to the U.S. in search of a spot at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. \”It doesn\’t take much to turn things around. If you do something right that you\’ve been having trouble with, the next day it\’ll be twice as good. Then you can get on a roll and you can\’t be beat.

\”I\’m zeroed in on my targets. There will be plenty of time after the season to look back. You have to be confident for good things to come your way. You have to believe in yourself.\”

Utah\’s Rhen Richard followed the tracks of Thurston to Olds. And, like him, won an Oldstoberfest championship stein, too.

\”I left St. George at six this morning and got here at 11,\” offered Richard, who topped the tie-down roping with an 8.0-second run on Saturday to win $2,211.

The 26-year-old, four-time CFR team roping qualifier can also relate to Thurston\’s recent struggles on the rodeo trail.

\”It\’s been a long three weeks up here without winning much,\” sighed Richard, who used Curtis Cassidy\’s award-winning horse, Stick in Olds. \”I was hoping to ride him a lot more up here this year and even down south but he\’s been having health trouble. The last two times I\’ve been on him, it\’s worked out great.

\”I think I have enough now (to qualify for the Canadian Final Rodeo). On paper, Clint (Arave) might have a chance if he won everything at the (Pro Rodeo Canada Series) finals. It would be nice to finally get to the CFR in the tie-down roping.\”

Other Olds\’ champions included steer wrestler, Cody Cassidy (4.7-seconds, $1,886); team ropers, Stacy Cornet/Denver Johnson (5.2-seconds, $1,411 each); barrel racer, Julie Leggett (17.336- seconds, $1,737); bullrider, Jarod Parsonage (84-points on C5 Rodeo\’s Sugar Bear, $1,374) while Cole Goodine (Franklin Rodeo\’s Ultimate Cash), Jessy Davis (C5 Rodeo\’s Montana\’s Hope) and Tate Hartell (C5 Rodeo\’s Virgil) were all 81 points to split the bareback riding title and collect $1,178 each.

Next up on the Pro Rodeo Canada schedule is the Hanna Pro Rodeo in Hanna, AB (Sept. 25-27) and the Dallas Sunstrum Memorial Pro Rodeo in Brooks, AB (Sept. 25-26).


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