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Photos: Bull riders brought thrills to spectators in Midale

Weston Davidson and Stefan Tonita were the big winners of the event.

MIDALE - Twenty-one bull riders showcased their skills for a large crowd as part of the annual Bull Bash and Cabaret Friday night in Midale.

Midale Rodeo Committee president Adam Carlson said they attracted close to 1,000 people for the extravaganza. The stands were full and a lot of people were standing to watch the show. 

Bull Riders Canada sanctioned the event, with Crossfire Bull Riding serving as the production crew. A lot of talented athletes from Saskatchewan were entered, including Aaron Roy of Yellow Grass, who has competed at top bull-riding events in North America, and is a three-time national bull-riding champion.

Weston Davidson finished first in the opening round by staying on the bull for a full eight seconds and earning a score of 82.5. Stefan Tonita was second at 82 and Roy was third at 81.5. Grady Young (78), Gage Hillis (76), Eric O'Flynn (74) and Wyatt Milgate (65) also held on successfully. 

Davidson won about $800 for finishing first.

The seven riders were then auctioned off in a Calcutta and another round of riding. Tonita was the only one of the seven to successfully hang on for eight seconds. In all, he won approximately $5,900 on the night between the first round and the Calcutta. 

"He was very happy, and he walked out with a bronze plaque for winning it," said Carlson. 

The bulls had a great showing on the weekend, too. 

"There were lots of bulls that they could ride in that long run [the first round] and get good scores," said Carlson. "They were nice, tight bulls. They were really well put together. And then the short go was definitely a really rank pen, and that's why we only had one guy stay on."

The crowd seemed to have a great time during the event, and Carlson said they received lots of positive feedback. The event included local children taking part in the Mutton Bustin’ event, and the wild pony riding event, featuring teams of three trying to catch and ride a wild pony. Team Wyatt won this event, taking home about $300 as the top prize.

More than 200 people attended the cabaret that followed. The band Switch performed, keeping the crowd moving into the night. Carlson reported that many of the revellers remained until the cabaret's conclusion. 

The rodeo committee keeps part of the proceeds for themselves. They always have upgrades they need to make to the facility and items they need to purchase. 

"We also try to give back to a bunch of the little organizations around in the community as well," said Carlson. "There's a preschool and a swimming pool and things like that."

The committee also had team roping demonstration during the Pioneer Echoes activities organized by the Souris Valley Antique Association on Aug. 5 and 6, attracting competitors and spectators.