Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clint Laye, Zeke Thurston Prevails on Showdown Sunday at Calgary Stampede

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clint Laye, Zeke Thurston Prevails on Showdown Sunday at Calgary Stampede

Article excerpt

Pair of Canadians prevail at Calgary Stampede


CALGARY - A pair of young Canadian cowboys each took home $100,000 for winning their respective events on Showdown Sunday at the Calgary Stampede.

Clint Laye, 21, of Cadogan, Alta., started things off by winning the bareback championship, while Zeke Thurston, 20, of Big Valley, Alta., followed up his Canadian counterpart with a victory in the finals of the saddle bronc event.

Laye had an 88-point ride aboard Virgil in the second event of the finals to beat last year's champion Kaycee Feild by just one point.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," Laye said. "This is the hugest win I've ever had. My motor's just rolling right now. It's the biggest rodeo in the world. For it to be in my own country ... I wanted to win it even more."

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.

"I was towards the end and kind of watching everybody and I knew I just had to let it all go on the line, so I did," said Laye, who earned his spot in the finals thanks to an 87.5-point ride atop Raggedy Ann.

Luke Creasy of Brownfield, Alta., joined Laye in the finals after Tim O'Connell had to give up his spot due to injury. Creasy responded with an 84-point ride on Shadow Warrior to win $15,000 for placing third.

Shortly after Laye accepted his $100,000 cheque, Thurston, Cody DeMoss and Wade Sundell all posted scores of 90.5 in the saddle bronc finals to force a buck-off. After Sundell and DeMoss had rides of 82 and 85 points respectively, Thurston scored 88.5 aboard Easy To Love to win his first title at the Calgary Stampede.

"That was exciting," Thurston said. "It was pretty nerve-wracking getting on that calibre of horses, three of them in one day. It's great. It gets your blood running for sure. To win in Calgary, it's unreal."

Trevor Knowles of Mt. Vernon, Ore., won his fourth steer wrestling title in Calgary by recording the top time of 3.9 seconds. Tanner Milan had a no-time in the finals, but still won $10,000 for finishing fourth.

"A lot of things have to go right at this rodeo," said Knowles, who also won in 2009, 2012 and 2014. …

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