BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Monty Koopman holds on during the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association’s bareback finals at Westman Place on Saturday night.
The Wheat City Stampede wrapped up another year yesterday and organizers say attendance continues to grow.
Rapid City’s Justin Bridgeman leaps from his horse during the calf roping event at the Wheat City Stampede’s MRCA Rodeo finals on Saturday night. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Jeremy Harden holds on to win the saddle bronc event during the MRCA Rodeo finals at Westman Place on Saturday night. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Brandon’s Paige McLeod makes a run in the barrel racing event during the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association competition as the Wheat City Stampede wrapped up at Westman Place on Sunday afternoon. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
While firm numbers weren’t available, organizer Erin Park said the buzz surrounding the four-day event is growing and with this year’s performance by country singer-songwriter Clint Black, the Stampede continues to broaden its appeal.
"The stands looked great and there was lots of people," Park said, with Thursday’s free family night drawing big numbers.
"The buzz around the event has been really positive. And the louder the crowd is, the harder they compete and it’s pretty exciting."
As work begins on next year’s events, Park said organizers are looking to restructure the slate of volunteers and directors.
"We’re pushing forward and we’re getting into a position to move forward and create new things, and it’s getting busier and busier, so I don’t know how we’re going to squeeze much more in."
Aside from the directors who work year around to put together the Stampede, between 50 and 60 volunteers donate their time over the weekend to ensure everything runs smoothly.
The Stampede also hosted the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboy Association season finals. Rapid City’s own Justin Bridgeman captured the tie-down roping title, the only Manitoban to win an event this year.
Calonna Slade of Lestock, Sask., placed first in junior girls barrel racing; Karly Lanz of Carievale, Sask., took top spot in ladies barrel racing; Wes Peterson of Moose Jaw, Sask., came out on top in steer wrestling; Ben Switzer and Jim-Bob Gomersall nabbed first place in the team roping category; Monty Koopman of Consul, Sask., had the best performance in the bareback event; Mark Fraser of Esterhazy, Sask., came in first place for bull riding; Chanse Switzer of Hazenmore, Sask., came out on top in junior steer riding; and Wyatt Thurston out of Big Valley, Alta., took home top prize in saddle bronco.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 28, 2013