July 20th, 2024

Time precious in the rodeo game

By Ryan McCracken on July 28, 2017.

NEWS PHOTO RYAN MCCRACKEN - Cereals Tanner Girletz tries to hang onto Blind Spot during the bull riding performance at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede rodeo on Thursday.


When Tanner Girletz heard he would be getting a re-ride on the back of Blind Spot to close out Thursday’s bull riding performance of the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede rodeo, he knew every fraction of a second would count.

Unfortunately, he came 0.08 shy.

The Cereal product says he’s crossed paths with Blind Spot before, and the veteran bull seems to have a knack for buzzer beaters.

“That’s the second time he’s thrown me off and both times were right at the whistle,” said Girletz. “It’s just one of them deals.”

Girletz didn’t have any luck with his opening ride on Quiverin’ Lips — a bull he had yet to ride. While he was quickly bucked off the young bull’s back, some contact with the chute allowed Girletz for a re-ride.

“I’ve seen some video of him and he’s been really good all the time,” said Girletz, who entered the weekend ranked 14th in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association standings with $7,207 in earnings. “Today he just kind of had a bad go and hipped himself, but I was fortunate to get another chance and try again.”

Girletz has dedicated his season to the memory of Ty Pozzobon, a friend and fellow bullrider who took his own life in January after dealing with depression and brain injury. Still fresh off the pain of the loss, Girletz has worn his old friend’s chaps to every event.

“He had just come off (a bull) in fifth at the world finals. The guy had done everything in bull riding and he was only 25 years old. He battled with concussions and depression, and none of us knew that or saw it coming. It tears us apart every day still,” said Girletz. “I was fortunate enough to be asked by his parents to wear his chaps this year, in memory of Ty and it’s been an honour. It’s something I hold pretty special to my heart.”

Hailing from a small town just more than 200 kilometres north of the Gas City, Girletz says he always circles Medicine Hat’s rodeos on his schedule, but now it’s on to Bonnyville for another chance at the full eight seconds.

“I played a little hockey in Medicine Hat growing up, lots of sports and I was just down here lots,” he said. “I look forward to Medicine Hat’s spring rodeo and summer rodeo every year.”

Todd Chotowetz, of Major, Sask., ended up taking the by money with a 81-point ride on the back of Shake It Off as the only eight-second ride of the afternoon.

Texan Jackie Ganter took the ladies barrel racing event with a winning time of 17.544 seconds, while Nanton’s Logan Bird won the tie down roping event in 8.3 seconds, Cole Bevans and Ty Cahoon won the team roping event in 5.7 seconds and Lethbridge’s Michael Trautman topped the steer wrestling event with a time of 5.4 seconds.

Cort Scheer, out of Elsmere, Neb. topped the saddle bronc event with a crowd pleasing 87.5-point ride atop Spanish Pair, and Bowden’s Ky Marshall kicked off the afternoon with a winning 85-point ride in the bareback event.

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