RODEO NOTES: Clayton Sellars dominating in Stampede bull riding

RODEO NOTES: Clayton Sellars dominating in Stampede bull riding


RODEO NOTES: Clayton Sellars dominating in Stampede bull riding

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Clayton Sellars is off to Showdown Sunday.

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Bully for him.

That’s because he’s the only rider to stay aboard all three of the bulls he’s drawn during Pool A action at the Calgary Stampede.

The skilled bull rider from Florida says it’s luck of the draw.

“I have really good luck when it comes to drawing animals,” said a humble Sellars, who’s sitting pretty — and in first place — with $13,500 through three rounds so far. “They told me what I had (Sunday), and I was happy with it. I went at him as hard as I could.”

He did it well, scoring a sizzling 88.5 points aboard Afraid To Nod for the top-prize day-money of $5,500.

Only three others rode the full eight seconds, as well, as Texan Tyler Taylor (Hood Mentality), Mexico’s Edgar Durazo (Whip Cracker) and Saskatchewan’s Cody Coverchuk (Stutterin) all put up matching 81.5 spins before Sellers came along.

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“I gotta be honest …” said Sellars, of Wildwood, Fla. “I didn’t even notice what the leaderboard was doing. I just stayed calm and relaxed and what I am and just rode the bull that was underneath me, and thankfully, that was enough to win.”

Few are getting a full ride on the bulls here at the Stampede.

It’s a big story with only 10 of 30 rides completed by the cowboys so far in the marquee event, making for a Monday that’s wide open for the riders chasing the final three spots in Showdown Sunday.


He is the story of the Stampede.

Hard not to be with three wins in three straight days and a chance for one more to pad his score Monday morning in the concluding round of Pool A action. 

That’s Alberta saddle bronc star Zeke Thurston, who delivered a Sunday-best 89.0 ride aboard Urgent Delivery for another $5,500 payday and a guaranteed spot in the championship round seven days from now.

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“I don’t know about being the story,” said Thurston with a chuckle. “I just came in here wanting to ride good and just make the best ride on the horse I get drawn. Luckily, I’ve been super blessed to have drawn three awesome horses. Fortunate to use them and come out on top.”

Don’t be surprised if he does it again Monday.

“Four’s what we’re going for,” added the Big Valley cowboy. “We’re going to give it a good try.”


Will Lummus is more than just the big man on campus this week among steer wrestlers.

“I’m the ‘Big Man from Mississippi’,” he proclaimed proudly after Sunday’s 4.1-second first-place trip put him on top of all the bulldoggers — with $10,500 — through three rounds of Pool A action.

“Some of the littler guys, they have a lot of success, but they have to rely on quality runs and technique so much,” continued the 6-foot-2, 250-pounder from Byhalia, Miss. “I feel like, a lot of times, strength kind of works in my favour because I can muscle it out of the steers.”

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He did just that Sunday, putting him in the driver’s seat to make the final round. 

So a money placing Monday locks him into Showdown Sunday, and the same goes for Alberta’s Cody Cassidy — on $10,500, as well — and Montana’s Ty Erickson — on $9,500.

“The win (Sunday) feels good,” Lummus added. “We’re going to take a deep breath and run that one (Monday).”

• California cowboy Clayton Biglow was simply marvellous aboard a bareback horse of that name, Simply Marvellous. 

But so, too, was Idaho’s Tim O’Connell on Coffee Express, as the two put up matching 86-point rides for a split of top spot Sunday. They pocket both $5,000 and a berth in Showdown Sunday with the third-round efforts. 

California’s RC Landingham is also through to the finale, after his third-place finish 85.5 ride on Weary Joke on Sunday, leaving just one qualifying spot up for grabs for the other eight bareback riders when they wrap up Pool A action Monday.

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• Texan Stevi Hillman put up the fastest time of the week — 17.51 seconds — in barrel racing Sunday. 

That run aboard her horse, 15-year-old Truck, jumped her up into second in Pool A with $12,000. 

But all the ladies are still chasing fan-fave Dona Kay Rule, who rules all with $13,500. The Oklahoman had a 17.68-second trip for third and $3,500. Sandwiched between the Americans was Shelby Spielman, of Ponoka, Alta., with at 17.52-second twirl around the cloverleaf. But the Albertan is currently $500 shy of finishing top four to make Showdown Sunday with just Monday’s round to make up that money and likely needing more.


Ethan Mazurenko seems ready to graduate to the big leagues after winning the Stampede’s novice bareback event. Three young riders posted scores over the two rounds of novice bareback action, held Saturday and Sunday, while the other three were shut out. But Mazurenko, of Thorhild, Alta., was tops after his sensational 77.5 score aboard Delicate Rose made him the aggregate winner with 152.0 total points. Jackson Lunn, of Whitecourt, Alta., was runner-up with 146.5 points, while Saskatchewan’s Blake Link collected 142 for third place … Score one for the young stock Sunday, when a steer went all fashion police on a contestant. Bulldogger Payden McIntyre put on his Sunday best, but the steer he wrestled down didn’t like it much, ripping the Wyoming cowboy’s shirt to shreds with one of his horns and leaving the rodeo man baring his mid-rift. McIntyre can’t even dip into any won day-money to replace the damaged duds since he finished eighth and out of the money in the round, even though he had a quick 5.8-second effort … Day 4 of the Stampede rodeo goes Monday at 1:30 p.m. (Sportsnet West).

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