Original Published on Sep 23, 2022 at 13:28
By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Last Cowboy Standing professional bull riding event returned to Strathmore for the second time on Sept. 17 and found another year of success for the show.
Kale Pribyl, owner and founder of the Lazy P Rodeo company, said he was exciting to see so many spectators come out to see the show and engage in the rodeo.
“There were a lot of rides and a lot of spectators, so I think it was good by everyone and we bucked through the bulls pretty quickly so it was good,” said Pribyl, who was pleased to report due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns being much lesser than what was observed last year, the team had a much easier time coordinating and setting up the event.
Similarly, the team was able to start spreading the word earlier for advertising and encouraging people to check out their show.
“It was definitely a lot better with great support of the community and all the local businesses that believed in us and helped us out here, so it’s been great,” said Pribyl. “We had a lot of returning sponsors and people who loved coming the previous year, so they all signed up as fast as possible and supported us in a heartbeat.”
With the event jumping into full swing, Pribyl said there were some challenges the team encountered regarding time management, as well as making sure there were no loose ends where there was potential for the event to go awry, but he was otherwise satisfied with how it came together.
Competing at the event this year were 23 bull riders, less than last year, but nonetheless still exciting to watch.
“There was a lot of excitement throughout all the rounds. We posted some really cool rides in all the rounds, guys getting scores and the energy was just great throughout the whole thing,” said Pribyl.
Last Cowboy Standing is recognized as an official Bull Riders Canada event and scores achieved during the show will be tacked onto riders’ total scores for their rodeo circuit this year.
The champion of this year’s Last Cowboy Standing was Grady Smeltzer, who walked away with $5,000 in his pocket.
Seeing his event’s success again this year, Pribyl said he aims to develop Last Cowboy Standing into an annual event in Strathmore and make it one of the most anticipated rodeo events of the year for the community.
For now, Pribyl added his next steps are to look forward to his next event in Swift Current, the weekend of Sept. 24, as well as the Lethbridge PBR.