CALGARY — Dakota Buttar didn’t mind sharing the spotlight with Shane Proctor at the Calgary Stampede rodeo on Sunday.
Both Buttar and Proctor posted scores of 88.5 points atop their bulls in a bonus round of action of the marquee event in front of a near capacity crowd at GMC Stadium.
“Shane’s a good guy, I’ve looked up to him for a long time,” said the 29-year-old Buttar of Eatonia, Sask., in regards to the 37-year-old Proctor who hails from Grand Coulee, Wash. “It was a tie, but I didn’t know if they were going to break it or not.
“I didn’t know what they were going to do. It was just a waiting game and we were sitting there nervous.”
Buttar and Proctor — along with Brazilian bull rider Alan De Souza and Jared Parsonage of Maple Creek, Sask. — were all given second chances after they were bucked off their bulls in the final round.
After Proctor posted an 88.5-point ride atop 2 Guns, Buttar matched his competitor’s score with his wild ride aboard Lil Hootch.
“I knew what I wanted to do and I knew what I had to do to get the result,” Buttar said. “I was just taking breaths and staying focused on the task at hand.”
The pair won $31,250 each as they split the first- and second-place prizes of $50,000 and $12,500, respectively.
“It’s fun splitting it with Dakota,” said Proctor, who was the lone winner of the bull-riding event in 2011 when the top prize was $100,000. “We got to have a showdown and it was fun. We’re not the young guys in the locker room, so it’s kind of fun — a lot of them guys are 21 or 22 and we’re a lot older.”
Winning the event 11 years apart was special for Proctor.
“It feels really good to accomplish that goal one more time,” he said. “I’ve had my ups and downs here in Calgary and that’s part of the business. We’re finishing on a high note today.”
Ten competitors in each of the six events qualified to compete on Sunday and only the top four from the first go-round advanced to the finals.
Thanks to his 89.5-point ride atop Baby Kibitz, 25-year-old Logan Hay of Wildwood, Alta., edged out his younger brother Dawson, 23, to win the saddle-bronc event.
“It feels good,” said Logan, whose cousin Ben Anderson of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., and good friend Lefty Holman of Visalia, Calif., also advanced to the final round.
“It’s always nice to come out on top, but it’s pretty special to ride with all four of us in the short-round like that. It’s a pretty special day for me to be able to share that with the boys.”
Logan and Dawson’s dad Rod, who won four times in Calgary in 1994, 1999, 2002 and 2005, was on hand to cheer on his sons.
“He’s pretty tickled,” Logan said of his legendary father. “He was just excited that Dawson and I both made the final four. (He) tells me to stay calm and just ride like I can — and that’s all you can do.”
Thanks to his 91.5-point ride atop Yipee Kibitz, 18-year-old sensation Rocker Steiner of Weatherford, Texas finished first in the bareback competition.
“It feels pretty good,” said Steiner, who beat out defending champion Tim O’Connell of Zingle, Iowa, and 2013 winner Caleb Bennett to win the $50,000 top prize.
“This is the best group of bareback riders there’s ever been and definitely the strongest group of bareback horses. To be winning like I am against the greatest group that there’s ever been means a lot," added Steiner.
Orin Larsen of Inglis, Man., scored 89.5 points on Xplosive Skies to earn a $12,500 payday for finishing second.
Kassie Mowbry of Dublin, Texas won the barrel racing championship in a quick time of 16.977 seconds to edge out Dona Kay Rule of Minco, Okla., by just .137 for top spot.
“It’s just amazing — I’m still shaking,” said Mowbry, who praised her horse Famous Ladies Man. “I just feel so proud of my horse for holding it together like this. I just feel like he’s livened up with this crowd and ran so hard every time he heard it cheer.”
Will Lummus of Byhalia, Miss., captured his first steer wrestling title in Calgary by recording the top time of 3.6 seconds.
“This one’s everything,” Lummus said. “I’ve been here one other time (in 2019), and I was in the final four and didn’t really draw the steer I wanted. I knew I had a chance — they had won a round with him earlier.”
His travelling partner, Ty Erickson of Helena, Mont., wound up in second spot after stopping the clock at four seconds even.
Caleb Smidt of Bellville, Texas, won the tie-down roping title in a time of 6.8 seconds. It’s the second Calgary Stampede title for Smidt, who also won in 2019.
“They’re both awesome,” said Smidt of his two titles. “But the one in 2019 was $100,000 and this one’s only $50,000, so I think that one was a little better.
“But any time you get to rope $50,000, it’s a good day. I’m just glad I was here.”
Later in the evening, chuckwagon driver Kris Molle won his first-ever Cowboys Rangeland Derby title by edging out Layne MacGillivray at the finish line in a time of 1:13.56.
For his efforts, the 47-year-old Molle of Chauvin, Alta., won $50,000 and a new GMC truck, while the 47-year-old MacGillivray of Halkirk, Alta., took home $20,000 for his second-place showing.
Four-time Rangeland Derby champion Kurt Bensmiller of Dewberry, Alta., had to settle for third and a cheque for $10,000.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 17, 2022.
Laurence Heinen, The Canadian Press