Last Chance Stampede, Fair kicks off this week
Helena, Mont. (July 22, 2019) – Helena becomes “cowboy central” this week, when the 59th annual Last Chance Stampede and Fair gallops into the Lewis and Clark Co. Fairgrounds.
Over 325 cowboys, members of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association, and barrel racing cowgirls, members of the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association, will come to town to compete in the three rodeo performances, July 25-27.
One of those cowboys is Helena resident Walt Anseth.
Anseth, a steer wrestler, has been involved in rodeo since he was in high school, competing in the steer wrestling, tie-down roping, and team roping and in the same three events collegiately at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
After graduating with a degree in ag business in 2001, Anseth began steer wrestling professionally and has competed every year since.
The 40-year-old steer wrestler grew up in Raynesford, Mont. and moved to Helena sixteen years ago to work for the Montana State Dept. of Agriculture. His job gives him the flexibility to rodeo on the weekends. “I’m fortunate to have a job that gives me the opportunity to work and rodeo,” he said.
In Helena, he’ll ride his eighteen-year-old sorrel gelding, a horse by the name of Bernie. Typically in the event of steer wrestling, up to three or four cowboys might ride the same horse during a rodeo performance, because of the horse’s talent. Depending on scheduling, fellow steer wrestlers Jordan Holland and Timmy Sparing may ride Bernie.
Anseth is married to his wife Becky, who is a team roper. They’ll often team rope together at Northern Rodeo Association (NRA) rodeos.
He estimates he’s competed in Helena about twenty times, winning money there several times. He loves the crowd at the Last Chance Stampede. “It’s usually packed, and it’s a good crowd,” he said. “It’s usually high-electric rodeo, and the crowd’s into it.”
Anseth will compete in slack following the rodeo on Thursday. He’ll compete in Lewiston the morning of July 25and will also steer wrestle in Libby and Eureka this weekend.
Other Helena residents who have entered the Last Chance Stampede include barrel racers Torie Briese, Rene Cloninger, Shelby Gill, Cally Goyins, Chloe Hoovestal, Desirae Peters, and Lisa Warfield; steer wrestlers Ty Erickson and Timmy Sparing; and Landon Williams, who will compete in the tie-down roping and team roping.
Pre-rodeo mutton busting and steer riding kicks off each night of rodeo at 7:30 pm, with the rodeo beginning at 8 pm. Tickets start at $17 and can be purchased at the Lewis and Clark Co. Fairgrounds ticket office and online at http://www.LastChanceStampede.com. For more information, visit the website or call the fairgrounds at 406.457.8516.
–Last Chance Stampede