Calgary – Tanner Milan scored a rodeo hat trick, by winning his third straight go-round Sunday, with a 4.3 second run, locking him in to advance to Showdown Sunday, at the 2017 Calgary Stampede.
“It’s been pretty awesome. That steer I had today, it felt like I got a really good start and caught up quick. I didn’t quite make the run on the ground that I wanted to. I got rocked up there a little bit, but that steer was good enough, as soon as I got the nose, he laid over. In 2015, I won two in a row and split one, but I’ve never won three rounds right out by myself,” says Tanner Milan proudly, after securing a spot in next Sunday’s Showdown.
Milan is the Pool A dominator, with $16,500 won, but Jason Thomas is staying within range, placing second for the third straight day, and bumping his earnings to $13,500.
Bronc rider Clay Elliott rode the saddle of his old classic Harley all the way in from his Nanton, Alberta home before he jumped in the saddle on Quittin’ Time at the Stampede. The one sweet ride must have been good for the other, because Elliott came out a few hours later and made an 86.5 point spur ride, to get his first ever Stampede trophy bronze in the bronc riding.
“I knew I did have a chance to win first on that horse. He’s a good son-of-a-gun,” insists Elliott. “I got on him at the Canadian Finals last year, and I placed on him. But I felt like I made a better ride on him today.”
This is Elliott’s first time in the open bronc riding at Calgary, although he won the novice title, and participated as a steer rider too. He’d been invited to compete last year to the Stampede, but disappointed when he couldn’t compete.
“Last year I pulled my groin right before Calgary, so I ended up having to turn out. I am sure glad to be here, and I’ve gotten on some great horses so far, and have more to come,” adds Elliott.
Elliott’s $5500 goes well with his other two cheques, and he’s sitting second in Pool A with $12,000, just behind the $13,000 Layton Green has on top of the standings.
Bareback rider Caleb Bennett collected his first bronze of this Stampede, for a flashy 88 point ride on a stylish horse called Fabio.
“Everyone’s come with their riding britches and their game face on,” says Utah cowboy, Bennett. “It makes it fun. It puts a little pressure on. It put a little pressure on me the last couple of days. I’ve been here a bunch, but it feels like this year it’s just a little different environment. We’ve got some younger guys in there that are a little hungry, and wanting to win, so it dang sure makes you step up to the plate,” adds Bennett.
Bennett’s $5500 payday bumped his Stampede account up to $8000, which sits third behind Jake Vold ($9000) and Pool A leader Richmond Champion ($13,500), who placed for the third straight day.
Defending Stampede tie-down roping champion Shane Hanchey had posted two no-times before Sunday, and really needed to turn things around. The Louisiana roper managed to do just that, when he showed his true form and tied a calf in the fastest time so far at the Stampede, 6.7 seconds.
“I knew the pen of calves, and I told (rodeo announcer) Bob Tallman I’d have to rope in six seconds to win anything,” notes Hanchey.
The $5500 for first was Hanchey’s first cheque of this Stampede, which puts him just outside the top four in Pool A, led by Ryan Jarrett with $12,000.
“My game plan backing in there today was to win first, and my game plan tomorrow is to win first, so it’s not going to change,” adds Hanchey.
The first cowgirl to take her turn around the barrels this time was California’s Nellie Miller, who posted the fastest time of 17.30 seconds on her horse Sister, for $5500. But it’s Emily Miller (no relation), who was second, three days in a row, who is out in front with $13,500. Nellie Miller has $10,500 now.
Garrett Smith is on top of the world race in bull riding, and he hasn’t lost his touch at Calgary. The Idaho cowboy has ridden all three of his bulls, but Sunday’s was the best. He claimed the top prize of $5500 for an outstanding 89 point ride on Heavens Basement.
With the $5500 injection, Smith now has $10,000 in the Pool A race; while Oklahoma’s Ryan Dirteater, the only other cowboy to ride three bulls, is ahead of him with $10,500. But Montana’s Jess Lockwood has the number one spot yet, sitting at $11,000.
Monday is the final day for Pool A competitors to lock up a spot in the top four standings, to advance directly to Showdown Sunday. The others return for Wildcard Saturday.
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
See more at calgarystampede.com