Saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston enjoying another great run at Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede is in full swing, and the lucrative rodeo has been special to saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston over the years as he captured the Calgary title three years in a row – 2015-17.
And history is repeating itself for Thurston at the 2022 Calgary Stampede, which is a key stop on the NFR Playoff Series presented by Pendleton Whisky.
Thurston, a two-time PRCA Saddle Bronc Riding World Champion – 2016 and 2019 – competed at the Calgary Stampede July 8-11 and he has earned $16,500. Thurston won the first, second and third round of Pool A.
“It has been a great rodeo and I have been fortunate to draw good horses every round,” Thurston said. “It just seems to go good every time I go there.”
Thurston, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, is seventh in the latest PRCA | RAM World Standings.
Thurston returns to action in Calgary July 17 for the 12-man semifinals. The top four semifinal finishers move on to the sudden death Showdown Round later that day.
“I’m very excited for the semifinals and there’s nothing like getting in the round of four,” Thurston said. “You are getting on the best horses there and you are riding for a lot of money. It is a lot of fun.
“They have had great crowds and every day they have been sold out and there are just people everywhere. It has been super electric and a lot of fun.”
Thurston is from Big Valley, Alberta, which is just two hours from Calgary.
“The whole crowd gets behind you, kind of being the local boy,” Thurston said. “It has kind been that way for me ever since the first time I went there. The crowd is just awesome. Obviously, they cheer for everybody, but I think they want the Canadians to do well to.”
Thurston turns 28 July 15, and he would love a belated birthday gift to be the Calgary Stampede champ again.
“I have had a lot of luck at all the big rodeos and I don’t really know what causes it, but I sure like doing good at the big ones,” Thurston said. “Winning Calgary again would be a great birthday present.”
The Calgary Stampede concludes July 14-17 and starts at 1:30 p.m. each day. You can catch all of the action on The Cowboy Channel and the PRCA on Cowboy Channel Plus App.
Cowboys and cowgirls from 4 to 18 years old came from Montana, North and South Dakotan Wyoming, gathering in Newcastle, Wyoming to vie for Championship titles in the Weston County Mini Roughstock Rodeo.
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