Local boys ride their way to the Calgary Stampede
The MPI Oilfield Wild Pony Racing team from Bonnyville is set to try to bring home a buckle from the Calgary Stampede. From left- Carter Shideler, Ethan Evans and Griffin Purdy - Photo by Mike Marshall
The 106th Calgary Stampede is underway and some 10 and 11-year-old boys from the Lakeland are looking to bring home a win in the Wild Pony Race. Griffin Purdy, Carter Shideler and Ethan Evans are all from Bonnyville. They qualified for the Calgary Stampede and will see their first stampede action tomorrow.
Ethan Evans is Shankman on the MPI Oilfield team. He says his job is to keep the pony within the control of the mugger so the rider can hop on.
As for tips on how he gets it done, Evans says he figures to use a little more brawn and a little less thinking.
“Don’t be smart when you’re a cowboy. If you’re smart you won’t be able to cowboy.”
The boys got the opportunity to head to Cowtown through strong showings at a few CPRA and Lakeland Rodeo Association events.
Mugger Carter Shideler says he’s proud of some of the arenas the boys have got to compete in.
“We had to do good last year. I think the two rodeos that sent us to Calgary this year are K-Days Rodeo (in Edmonton) and Wainwright.”
Shidler says the boys have been a team now for just over a year. While they know their wild pony days won’t be forever, they all want to have a future in the rodeo circuit.
Rider Griffin Purdy says this may just be the beginning when it comes to buckles and prize money.
“I would want to do Steer Wrestling and Team Roping.”
The boys first chance at a title comes Monday during day four of Stampede action. Stampede action can be seen all week on CBC.