(Post by Christopher Martin)
The finals of the 2012 Calgary Stampede’s Centennial Rodeo were a wet, muddy (and awesome) affair. The last event was the Bull Riding Final.
Earlier in the day, the rain and mud seemed to work in the bull’s favour and of the ten cowboys that qualified for last day. Only three of the four places in the final four were filled. The other men were bucked off and did not get a shot at the $100,000. In the final, luck stayed with the bulls and all three riders were thrown. That meant another round of rides but adrenaline took over and you wouldn’t have known that these guys were each on their third bull of the day!
Shane Proctor, the 2011 Stampede Champion from Mooresville, North Carolina, got started and hung on from the side of the bull for the last two seconds to make full-time and earned a score of 66.50. With the wet conditions and the ferocity of the animals, no one ruled out that as the winning ride even though the cowboy himself would have liked more.
Next up was Aaron Roy from Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan. He rode beautifully aboard Risky Remedy and scored an 86.0. He had great control and it was a ride worthy of a champion.
The final ride, barring a tie, was Chad Besplug riding on Kish This. When the gate swung open, they came out like a huge whirling dervish.
Mud flying, cow jumping and spinning while the cowboy stayed balanced and rode out the madness.
Chad won the battle and remained firmly in place past the horn. He did end up getting thrown and went flying in the air a couple of seconds after time.
However, you have to get off a bull somehow and as long as you don’t get hurt doing it then it’s a good dismount. The crowd knew it was a great ride but it was not clear where his score would land. Later, when he was being interviewed he said neither him or Aaron Roy were sure who won. They had a minute to share a couple of words while the judges confirmed the score and shook hands agreeing that either one was deserving. The score was an 87.0 and Chad Besplug earned the title of 2012 Calgary Stampede Bull Riding Champion.
The three rodeo clowns, who practice their craft of keeping the bull riders safe, were the first to congratulate the winner.
Christopher Martin, Kananaskis, Alberta
Chris is a travel and landscape photographer who loves exploring new places and experiencing what people have to offer from around the world. He also enjoys photographing people at work and play and is drawn to the interesting moments, big and small. He regularly contributes to a local magazine, Bragg About the Creek, and his images continue to be licensed for a variety of printed and online publications. To find out more about his work check out his Blog or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.Tweet