It Was a Helena Weekend for Montana Cowboys

by Jim Bainbridge | Jul 31, 2016
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Last Chance Stampede committee

HELENA, Mont. – A Montana cowboy and the son of a Montana legend won the bull riding at the Last Chance Stampede July 30.

Parker Breding is following in his father’s footsteps, or at least he has a good start.

The Edgar, Mont., cowboy’s 84-point ride on Kesler Rodeo’s Strange Tale won him a check for $2,497 and a pair of Montana Silversmith spurs.

It wasn’t the first time the 23-year-old Breding had met up with the bull whose brand is 05.

He won the Augusta, Mont., rodeo last year on Strange Tale.

“All I took away from him (after riding him last year in Augusta) was that he was really mean and wanted to run me over,” Breding said. “So, tonight I was wanting to ride him but I was wanting to make sure I got up and got out of there quickly. That was probably the bigger victory for me.”

Breding is the son of five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Scott Breding, who is Parker’s coach and occasional travel partner, although Scott was not with his son in Helena.

“He usually gets to come (to Helena) and be around all his old friends and everything. But this weekend he’s judging a big bull riding so he couldn’t make it.”

Parker’s first phone call after his ride was to his dad.

“I had him around with me last week to a bunch of big rodeos, and I didn’t do very good and my spirits were pretty low, so I’m excited to call him after this and tell him I turned it around a little bit.

“He’s always my biggest support. I’m blessed. I get to live with my coach, basically, and not a lot of guys have that. I try to take anything he tells me and run with it, because I know he’s been there and done it. He’s one of the best bull riders there was, so I’m pretty blessed to be able to hear anything from him.”

Parker is similar to his dad in his riding style, although he doesn’t think so. “I’ve had a ton of people, especially a lot of guys who watched my dad, walk up and tell me they thought they were watching Scott ride when I ride. I love hearing that. That’s awesome.

“My dad had a pretty cool style. I think mine’s a little different, but him being my coach must show a little bit.”

A Helena cowboy has also won himself a pair of Montana Silversmith spurs.

Timmy Sparing turfed his steer on Thursday night in a time of 3.7 seconds to win his event.

The Capital High School graduate, who was also a prep football star, gave much of his credit for his winning run to his mount, Shakem.

Shakem, owned by Sparing’s friend and fellow steer wrestler Ty Erickson, is the 2015 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year. Sparing brought him back from Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, rode him on Thursday night, and Erickson rode him on Friday night. Shakem makes an excellent steer wrestling horse, due to his “speed, and he’s really good in the box, and the crowd doesn’t bother him,” Sparing said. He’s also very laidback. “He’s a deadhead. He’ll just walk around, ease around. But once you back him in the box, it’s go time.”

Shakem gets some time off now; Erickson won’t compete with him on the road until the big rodeos in the Northwest kick off. Sparing, who is traveling with Rowdy Parrott, will ride Rowdy’s horse, George.

The saddle bronc riding title went to 19-year-old Ryder Wright. The Milford, Utah cowboy was two points better than his dad, Cody, who finished in second place; Ryder scored 83 points on Kesler Rodeo’s Show & Tell and Cody scored 81.

The other 2016 Last Chance Stampede champions were bareback rider Jessy Davis, Power, Mont. (83 points), team ropers Nathan McWhorter, Telephone, Texas, and Dustin Davis, Terrell Texas (4.6 seconds), tie-down roper Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas (7.5 seconds), and barrel racer Sarah Rose McDonald, Brunswick, Ga. (17.59 seconds).

The 58th annual Last Chance Stampede and Fair will be July 26-29, 2017.

For more information on the Stampede, visit For complete rodeo results, visit

Courtesy of PRCA