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Ironman Bronc challenge a hit

The Ironman Bronc challenge held in Riske Creek was a smashing success.
Ironman Bronc Riding competitors (back from left) Joe Roberson

Last year Chona Archachan and Karen Coldwell from Merritt decided to hold an Ironman Bronc Busting weekend for ranch cowboys to participate in.

The perfect spot for the weekend was decided upon to be Jack Palmantier’s Rafter 3 Ranch in Riske Creek, where Jack has a rodeo arena, which was built for the Chilcotin Rodeo Association rodeos.

Ironman Bronc Riding was born — an event where the cowboy who rides his first horse gets to continue on to ride a second horse, and so on.

As each one bucks off, the last rider who stays on is the winner.

The cowboys get so full of adrenaline running over to the chute to grab their saddle in preparation to put it on another bronc. The idea became quite a hit.

July 28-29 saw more than 11 cowboys sign up for the event.

More than five go for the 11 riders who narrowed the number down to the top six on Saturday. Bronc riders arrived from Saskatchewan, Ashcroft, Douglas Lake, Gang Ranch, and from Tatla Lake in the Chilcotin.

Spectacular rides had riders going sideways in the saddle, upside down, falling on their heads, grabbing the fence to get off or reaching for a pick-up man. Pick-up men, who performed their duties with perfect timing and exceptional skill, were Chona Archachan, Josh Klassen and Mark Elliott.

By the end of Saturday, the cowboys who rode five broncs each were quite tired and very happy to seek shade to enjoy a cool one. All in all it was a great day on Saturday.

By the end of Saturday four cowboys had ridden five horses each.

On Sunday Mike Fay and Curtis Smith were bucked off their first horse while facing elimination. Next Wacy Marr and Joe Roberson rode their first and second horse, so a decision was made to judge their third horses.

In the end Wacy Marr won the Ironman Bronc Riding by one point. 
The overall results were as follows:
The sixth place bronc rider was Ben Kessler, who won a set of rein chains, crafted by Racquel Russell of Riske Creek.
Fifth place went to Riely Miller, who won a watch fob-crafted by Peter Mayer (saddle maker, silver engraver of McLeese Lake). The watch fob had a little, silver saddle engraved with Ironman 2012 Rafter 3 Brand on the back.
The fourth place winner was Curtis Smith, who won $260 in cash.
Third place was Mike Fay, who just began bronc riding and pocketed $480.
The second place rider was Joe Roberson, who won $710 for his efforts, plus a bronc halter made by Dustin Sippola.

Finally, the first place rider, Wacey Marr, won $950. He also won a big buckle with Ironman Bronc Busting champion 2012, donated by Kristal’s Kustom Sewing (Kristal McColl).

A vote was taken by all the bronc riders and the pick-up men for the “wildest ride,” which also went to Marr. Jeff Gray donated $100 for the wildest ride, as well.

The Ironman Bronc Riding is quite a wonderful weekend and organizers are already planning for the 2013 Ironmam Bronc Busting.