kurtKurt Bensmiller’s 2016 Stompede beginning at Evergreen Park wasn’t so great . . . but what a finish!

During practice earlier in the week Bensmiller was tossed from his wagon. He was OK, but the wagon took a bit of a beating.

Sunday that rough start to the week in Grande Prairie was forgotten after Bensmiller won the Happy Trails RV Dash For Cash.

Helping him forget the accident is a $25,000 cheque and a new GMC truck.

Bensmiller – driving the Tsuu T’ina Nation Outfit, and along with outriders Wayne Wright and Shawn Calf Robe – captured the first leg of the Sierra Cup Series presented by GMC.

Coming off of barrel position No. 2 in the finale, Bensmiller captured the Grande Prairie crown with a penalty-free run of 1:21.61. Grande Prairie’s Kelly Sutherland, flying the Happy  Trails RV colors, started from barrel No. 4 and placed second in the heat – just 11 one-hundredths of a second behind Bensmiller. John Walters who was making his first appearance in the Grande Prairie final, placed third from barrel No. 3, while aggregate winner Troy Dorchester had the misfortune of knocking a barrel over and placed fourth in the heat from barrel No. 1.

Obrey Motowylo won the day money after posting the fast time of the night with a 1:19.03, and was the only driver to break the 1:20.00 mark on the night on a rain-soaked oval. Rae Croteau Jr. placed second, followed by Logan Gorst, Layne MacGillivray and Ross Knight filling out the top five on the final night.

 In the Western Chuckwagon Association Wapiti Gravel Suppliers Dash For Cash Derek Aebly and his Horizon Hauling horses came out on top in 1:23.36 followed by Dean Dreger and the Ruskin Construction wagon steeds at 1:23.00. Rick McRorie and his Shadow Rathole Drilling wagon was third (1:24.25) and Sean Debolt and the Vertex wagon fourth in 1:24.17.

Some of the top Canadian and American cowboys and cowgirls took part in the pro rodeo that included slack on Wednesday and a full rodeo Thursday to Sunday.

Ty Paypotat of Regina, SK rode Tweety Bird to top spot in Norlan Chrysler bareback riding with an 86.5; Conlay Max Inc. Steer Wrestling was won Cody Cassidy of Donalda, AB with a 3.9; Luke Butterfield of Ponoka, AB sat on Smokin Hot long enough to win Norlan Chrysler Saddle Bronc with a score of 85.5; Garrett Rogers of Baker City, OR and Jacob Minor of Ellersburg, WA joined for a 4.9 and top time in Elite Vac Team Roping; Rhen Richard of Roosevelt, UT and Shay Carroll of Hico, TX tied in Strad Tie Down Roping with an 8.5; Cranna Roberts of Lacombe, AB sped to a 16.026 in GP Chrysler Barrel Racing; the Tanks Direct Bull Riding title went to Jordan Hansen of Calgary who bounced to an 84.5 on Nailed; Ricky Warren of Hudsons Hope had a 79 to win Expert Mobile Novice Saddle Bronc; Great Northern Casino Novice Bareback went to Lane Link of Maple Creek, SK with a 79; and TNT Tank Rentals Steer Wrestling was won by Justine Maquire of Sik Sika, AB with an 81.