Cowboys Hit $100K Pay Dirt at Calgary Stampede

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It took a one-head, sudden-death rope off between Matt Shiozawa and Fred Whitfield for Shiozawa to win the $100,000 top prize in Calgary. In the rope-off, Shiozawa tied his calf in 6.5 seconds.

Typically, in these big-time jackpot payoffs, there is no dominance. Each year a new contender forces his way to the top of the mountain. But not in the bareback riding. For the third straight year, three-time World Champion Will Lowe walked away from Calgary $100,000 richer.

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth started with 20 contestants in each event. They were divided into two pools. It’s a new rodeo each of the first nine days as the contestants compete for $105,000 in prize money—$17,500 in each event. Then, the progressive final sees 10 qualifiers compete once, with the four highest scores or fastest times advancing to the showdown round. First place took home $100,000, second took home $25,000, third took home $15,000 and fourth took home $10,000. All the competitors that did not advance to the Showdown round received $3,333.

Lowe rode Calgary Stampede’s Mad Money for 87.5 points in the final—after an 89-point score on Growney Brothers’ Beaver Fever in the semifinal round—to win, and he took home a total of $117,000.

Tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa claimed his first-ever Calgary title in a rope-off with Fred Whitfield. In the Showdown round, both men tied their calves in 7.4 seconds—forcing the rope-off. Shiozawa came back with a blistering 6.5 seconds to answer Whitfield’s 8.5 and win $116,500. As an aside, Shiozawa was the only 2010 $100K winner not to win the semifinal round. Cody Ohl was the fastest tie-down roper in that round with a 7.4.

The most popular winner, no doubt, was hometown hero and Two-Time World Champion Steer Wrestler Lee Graves. Graves turfed his final round steer in 3.8-seconds to win his first ever $100K jackpot in Calgary. In sum, he pocketed $112,000. In 2006 after his first world championship, Graves was recognized as the Male Athlete of the Year by the Calgary Booster Club—an award that no other ProRodeo cowboy had ever won.

Rodeo’s classic event, saddle bronc riding, saw Wade Sundell dominate Showdown Sunday with a 90.5 point ride in the semifinal round on Calgary’s Lynx Mountain, followed by an 88.5 mark in the finals on Calgary’s Mata Fact. He won $112,000.

Savannah Reeves from Dublin, Texas, ran two 17.25-second times in the semifinal and final rounds of barrel racing to keep Albertan and World Champion Lindsay Sears off the Calgary podium. It was the first-ever Calgary victory for Reeves, who pocketed $112,500 in sum.

In the bull riding, Alvin, Texas, young gun Douglas Duncan rode Braithwaite Bucking Bull’s Wrangler Deja Vu for 88 points to edge Beau Hill by one point and earn the Calgary title and $110,500. Duncan also won the semifinal round by scoring 85.5 points on Calgary’s River Rat.