Cayley cowboy improves his position at Stampede

Rodeo: Matt Lait finished second in bareback on Sunday

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Monday, Jul 07, 2014 10:03 am

Cayley cowboy Matt Lait rides Twin Cherry to an 87 in the bareback at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday.
Cayley cowboy Matt Lait rides Twin Cherry to an 87 in the bareback at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday.
Wheel file photo

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A radical change in positioning helped a Cayley cowboy finish in the money on Day 3 of the Calgary Stampede.

Matt Lait finished second with an 87 on Twin Cherry to pick-up $4,500 on Sunday in the bareback after two previous days of hanging on for eight seconds but not picking up a paycheque.

“Sometimes draws come into play, but sometimes you have to look at yourself and say: ‘Pull your head out of your butt, get back in the middle, go out there to win and not just going out there to ride,’” Lait said after his ride on Sunday.

With his head firmly between his shoulders Lait had the 25,000 fans on their feet yahooing for his 87 ride. It put Lait in first-place on the day — for a while. Jake Vold took top spot with an 87.5 on Special Delivery just minutes later.

Lait scored a 76.5 and 79.5 on Day 1 and Day 2, respectively. That might be good enough to win money at some rodeos, but not when you are up against 10 of the best bareback riders in the world at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

“You’ve got to qualify to get here — it’s not like just anybody is here, it’s the best of the best,” Lait said. “Nobody’s going to give you anything here.”

Day 3 was different as Lait had a sweet draw in Twin Cherry. It was the first time Lait had drawn the horse.

“I had seen him a lot and I knew it was a good draw and I had a good chance to win first,” Lait said. “It seems the horses that are a little bit stronger and move like that, I seem to excel on.”

The 4-1/2 grand is great, but it put him behind the eight-ball in the tournament-style rodeo. He is sitting in seventh-place among the 10 riders in Pool A. The top four after four days will advance to the $100,000 Showdown Sunday on July 13.

Lait believes he has to finish in the top two in the final day of riding for Pool A today to qualify for the Showdown Sunday. If he doesn’t, he will compete in Wildcard Saturday on July 12 with the 12 non-qualifiers from Pool A and B for two spots in Sunday’s final.

Tough times

A Millarville cowboy had pretty well booked his ticket for Wildcard Saturday. Sam Kelts finished eighth in the saddle bronc with an 81.5 on Rubels on Sunday.

“I stayed on anyhow,” said Kelts who was bucked off during the first two days of the Stampede. “I drew a real nice little horse, but he was in there with some horses that were stronger.

“But I was happy with my ride — I stayed on.”

Kelts was bucked off on Friday by Quittin Time while on Saturday it was Southern Lights that darkened his day.

“My horse on Friday (Quittin Time) I had a real good chance, I just messed up,” Kelts said.

With no money in his jeans from Calgary, Kelts said he will now focus on his ride today and then try to finish in the top two on Wildcard Saturday.

But for a bronc rider, July is when to make hay. He will compete in rodeos in Wyoming, Montana and Teepee Creek, Alberta, before Wildcard Saturday.

For a complete list of results go to cs.calgarystampede.com


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