RODEO NOTES: Tyson transports steer wrestlers to Calgary Stampede success

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Who is the star of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo?

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Some would say it’s a horse.

Not a bucking, either.

There are nearly 50,000 reasons – at this year’s Stampede alone – to bestow this honor on Tyson, Canadian star Curtis Cassidy’s dream ride,

After all, Tyson led a handful of cowboys to success and solid salaries here at the greatest outdoor show on Earth.

So far he has helped manage wrestlers Cassidy, Tristan Martin, Justin Miller, Stephen Culling. Jesse Brown and JD Struxness to a whopping $49,000 in seven Stampede days.

“Tyson is amazing – he’s the best,” Brown told Sportsnet. “My career changed when I got on Tyson and came in with Curt. I owe that guy and that horse a lot.

Certainly, Tyson helped Brown at the right time this week.

The Oregon bulldogger won his event for the second day in a row on Friday, coming out of a moneyless hole and sending him to Showdown Sunday.

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Brown clocked a terrific time of 4.2 seconds in the final round of Pool B for a $5,500 salary and move up the rankings to be one of four steer wrestlers to qualify for the championship.

That was 24 hours after he had a 4.0 second celebration to win the third round and move up the standings.

Struxness, meanwhile, finished third on Friday with Tyson, finishing in a 4.8 time for a share of third place, $2,500 and a spot on Showdown Sunday. That followed the Minnesota Cowboy’s 4.1 effort for runner-up status on Thursday.

Tyson therefore carried Struxness ($12,000), Brown ($11,000) and Cassidy of Alberta ($10,500) to the final, while Miller of Manitoba ($7,000) and Culling of Columbia Briton ($6,000) could still go through Wildcard on Saturday with the horse’s help. Albertan Martin, meanwhile, walks away with $2,500—thanks to Tyson—from the Stampede.

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With a total of $14,500 for first place in four days of Pool B action, Kansas bulldogger Tanner Brunner also qualifies for Showdown Sunday. He finished second Friday with a performance of 4.7 seconds. And Riley Duvall of Ohio leads with a total of $8,000 and a tiebreaker advantage over Dakota Eldridge of Nevada.

• The top four bareback riders entering Friday’s Pool B final served at the Stampede.

Rocker Steiner, Caleb Bennett, Leighton Berry and Jacob Raine finished in the first four paying holes of the round to secure their lead at Showdown Sunday.

Young phenom Steiner left no doubt that he was heading to Showdown Sunday bareback. The 18-year-old Texan danced to a score of 89.5 on Dancing Queen to score the most points and win the day’s top prize of $5,500.

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Montana’s Bennett followed suit with a pretty strong score on Mucho Dinero — 85.0 — for the second $4,500 payday.

Texan Berry also did well, with an 83.0 ride on the zip code and $2,500.

“Even if a guy wants to win first, when you draw a horse that’s in the middle of the bullpen and you do your job and you put in every day in a place like Calgary where the money is big, you can’t complain at all,” Berry, on his first trip to the Stampede, said on Sportsnet. “But my focus isn’t going to stop – I’m going to keep trying to win first, and if the Lord keeps blessing me with the good horses he has, I think I’ll be fine.”

Tennessee’s Raine also posted an 83.0 for $2,500 and a berth in the championship round.

• The fastest barrel racers went faster on Friday.

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In fact, a new arena record was set by Kassie Mowry, when she clocked a crazy 16.86 seconds aboard Famous Ladies Man – aka “Emmitt”. This more than secured the Texan the $5,500 round victory and a spot at Showdown Sunday.

“It blows my mind,” Mowry told Sportsnet. “He exceeded expectations long before this round, and I’m so proud of him right now. It’s just an incredible accomplishment for him. He kind of came back slowly, and now I feel like he is something i can rely on.

“I had a good draw, and I really wanted a clean race to try and make sure I made it to the final round, and Emmitt had other things on his mind, and I just hung on for the race.”

Right in front of her, Wenda Johnson – already safe for the championship round ahead of Friday’s action – started the round with a lightning-fast trip of 17.10 seconds for the second $4,500 payday.

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Ivy Saebens finished third in 17.23 seconds for $3,500 also to secure her spot at Showdown Sunday.

And Sissy Winn is moving on despite being done without Friday’s money.

• Shad Mayfield needed some fast stringing on Friday to have a chance of entering Showdown on Sunday.

How does the fastest lashing of the week catch you, cowboy?

“Yeah…that was awesome – I’ve been waiting for this all week,” Mayfield told Sportsnet. “My horse was exceptional. I had a tough little break – suspended by a spur which caused me to roll back. But I got in (Thursday) and came back (Friday) for a win, so I feel good. That’s why I love Calgary – it’s a new day every day, and that’s how it should be taken.

“I’ll take a 6.6.”

Unfortunately for him, runner-up Ty Harris posted a 6.9 and Quade Hiatt a 7.2 to keep Mayfield out of the championship round.

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As New Mexico’s Mayfield heads to the Wildcard on Saturday, Harris qualifies third in Pool B with $10,000, while Hiatt gets the fourth hole with $9,000. World champion Mayfield’s $8,500 just wasn’t enough to catch the two Texans.

Terrifyingly tough, Tuf Cooper finished first in the pool with $14,500, and fellow Texan Cory Solomon snagged $10,500 to grab the other qualifying spots.

• Alberta riding stable star Logan Hay was knocked out of the championship round in a tiebreaker with Texan Sterling Crawley.

The two stars finished tied for second in Friday’s round – 86.5 – and tied the money total – $8,250 – but Crawley secured the fourth and final qualifying spot for earning the highest score. of the week – 87.0 – in between. It happened in the first round.

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Meanwhile, defending champ Brody Cress, of Hillsdale, Wyo., won on Day 8 with a 90.5-point effort over Smokin’ Hippy for $5,500. That propelled him to third place in the Group B total with $12,000, so he qualifies for Showdown Sunday, along with Alberta’s Ben Andersen ($13,500) and Australia’s Damian Brennan ($13,000) .


The Stampede junior steer champion is Nash Loewen of Winfield, Alta. The youngster won bronze after a 73.5-point run on Friday gave him a two-day total of 142 points. That’s just ahead of Saskatchewan’s Kahl Wasilow, who posted the best score of 74.0 in the second round for a total of 139.0. In total Friday, five cowpokes rode clear, including Lucas Ozirney of Saskatchewan for a 68.5, Chase Skene of Saskatchewan for a 65.0 and Hayden Mackay of Claresholm for a 60.0… Day 9 of the Rodeo of Stampede brings the Saturday Wildcard – a last-ditch dance for 10 cowboys or cowgirls in each event to chase the respective $50,000 champion checks… The action starts Friday at 1:30 p.m. (Sportsnet One).

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