The 57th annual Last Chance Stampede came to a close on Saturday night, and tie-down roper Shane Hanchey came out a winner.
The Sulphur, Louisiana, roper had a time of 8.1 seconds to top the leaderboard and take home the trophy spurs.
It was aboard a horse that is relatively new to him, and a good partner.
Bam Bam, a 15-year-old sorrel he purchased last year from Mike Johnson, “did all the work,” Hanchey said of his run.
Bam Bam carried Hanchey on the last five of his runs at the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and is the perfect fit for the 2013 world champion.
“I have a lot of confidence on him," he said, "and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
The horse is similar to Hanchey’s his first horse, Reata, the exceptional horse that he got his start on and competed on in high school and college.
“His timing, his stop, letting me throw my rope, letting me put my sight where I want it," he said. "I’ve got a confidence on him that I had on Reata when I was coming through the ranks, and it’s a great feeling.”
Reata is 18 years old this year, and Hanchey is riding him a bit less, giving him a rest. But he and Reata teamed together for a $14,000 check at the Calgary Stampede a few weeks ago.
“I’m slowing down with him,” Hanchey said. “He’s had a lot of miles on him in his career, a lot more than a lot of these cowboys. He doesn’t owe me nothing, and I’m grateful to him for where I am.”
The bull riding title win went north, to a Canadian cowboy.
Jordan Hansen of Okotoks, Alberta, made an 82-point ride on Friday night aboard the Kesler Rodeo bull Slim City for his win.
The ride felt good, the 23-year-old cowboy said.
“I saw him one time, and I thought he spun to the left, but luckily I didn’t lean over there today because he jumped in one spot and spun to the right. You can’t complain about bulls like that. They’re a pretty smooth to ride, if you ask me.”
Hansen has had great success north of the border; he is the 2017 Canada Rodeo Association bull riding champion and qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo the last four years. Last year, his championship year, he sat out four months after surgery for a shattered ankle he suffered in Cheyenne, and still was able to win the title.
His success has brought confidence.
“You know, last year, I was just another guy I felt like.”
Now, he’s gunning for the WNFR.
“This year, I’m in the top 20 in the world, trying to make a run at the Finals.
"As a kid, I grew up watching the NFR on TV, and that has always been my goal. I remember watching (1995 world champion) Jerome Davis a lot. I just liked his style. He was definitely one I followed quite a bit, along with (PBR world champion) Michael Gaffney and (two-time PBR world champion) Justin McBride. Those are guys I looked up to for a long time, and still do.”
Other Last Chance Stampede champions include bareback rider JR Vezain, (85 points), steer wrestler Jacob (3.9 seconds); team ropers Cody Tew from Belgrade and Matt Robertson of Augusta, and barrel racer Shelly Anzick from Shepherd (17.29 seconds).
Sterling Crawley broke the arena record in the saddle bronc riding with his 88-point ride to win the title. Bull rider Hansen bested the field to win the title with a score of 82 -- he was one of only three bull riders to make qualified rides during the rodeo.
The all-around title went to Clayton Hass of Weatherford, Texas. The traveling partner of Helena steer wrestler Ty Erickson, Hass won the custom designed elk ivory ring valued at more than $2,600.