Helena rodeo to feature world champions
Montanans among those returning to defend titles
Helena, Mont. (July 24, 2017) – The contestant list has been set for the 57th annual Last Chance Stampede in Helena, Mont., and it is dotted with world champions and cowboys and cowgirls from across Montana and the nation.
Reigning PRCA world champion team ropers Levi Simpson, Ponoka, Alb., and Jeremy Buhler Arrowwood, Alb., will compete, as will world champion tie-down roper Tyson Durfey, Colbert, Wash.
Helena’s Timmy Sparing will be on hand to defend his 2016 steer wrestling win. The 28 year old cowboy turned in a time of 3.7 seconds last year to win the rodeo, and it was “pretty sweet,” he said. He had been in town only an hour, after coming from the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, and hadn’t seen his family before the rodeo but he could hear them cheer. “I was the very first guy out, and after I made my run, I knew exactly where my family was sitting. It was pretty special.”
In the week prior to the Last Chance Stampede, Sparing will compete in Spanish Fork, Utah, Salinas, Calif., Nampa, Ida., Ogden, Utah, then Cheyenne, Wyo. He hasn’t been home since early June, and hopes to soak up some family time with his brother and sister, their spouses and children, and his parents, Bob and Linda, while he’s in town. He’s also hungry for some home cooking. He doesn’t matter what his mom makes, “it just needs to be home cooked,” he said. “Being on the road so much, eating out gets old pretty fast.”
Sparing travels with fellow steer wrestler Rowdy Parrott, Mamou, La., and is ranked in the top fifty in the nation in the PRCA world standings. He is a 2008 graduate of Capital High School and will compete on Sat., July 29 in Helena.
Another Montanan and Helena champ will be back to the Last Chance Stampede.
Bull rider Parker Breding scored 84 points last year on Kesler Rodeo’s Strange Tale to win the title.
The Edgar, Mont. man has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the pinnacle of the sport, twice (2013, 2015) but this year probably won’t.
He started the year gunning for the WNFR, but “things weren’t going my way, so I had to back off.” Instead, he’s competing in the Montana Circuit and doing well, leading the circuit standings. “That’s been a good thing, I think,” he said. “I don’t have a shot at the (Wrangler National) Finals but I’ve been having fun riding again, and getting back to where I need to be.” Breding has qualified for the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo six times and won it five times. He won the Ram National Circuit Finals in 2016.
Breding, whose father, Scott, a five-time WNFR qualifier (1994-1997, 1999) often travels with him, loves rodeoing in his home state. “I’ve had a lot of success in Montana, and I think that’s because I feel at home going to these rodeos, where I know everybody and grew up with a lot of these people. Those bigger rodeos all over the country, there is more pressure at them and there’s more of a feeling like I have to do well. Here, I’m having fun.”
He looks forward to riding in Helena on July 27. “It’s always nice to come back to where you’ve had success.”
In addition to Sparing and Breding, three other 2016 Last Chance Stampede champions return to defend their titles: bareback rider Jessy Davis (Power, Mont.); saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright (Milford, Utah); and all-around champion Hank Hollenbeck (Molt, Mont.)
The Stampede takes place July 27-29 at 7:30 pm each night. Tickets range in price from $15-$21 for adults and $5-$21 for children. They can be purchased online at http://www.LastChanceStampede.com, at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds, and at the gate.
For more information visit the fairground’s website at LastChanceStampede.com or call 406.457.8516.
–Last Chance Stampede