Lowe 'n behold, a wildcard win

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

Will Lowe couldn't get his hands on freebie tickets to the Kid Rock concert last night.

After winning yesterday's wildcard round and adding another $6,000 to his pockets, the Canyon, Texas, bareback rider can certainly afford the ducats he bought for his wife Tiffany.

He can help his barrel-racing sweetheart celebrate her birthday today by winning the $100,000 up for grabs in Showdown Sunday.

"Her birthday's tomorrow, so it's pretty fun for her to be able to come up," Lowe said yesterday after scoring an 86 on Mad Money for the day's top prize and one of two spots up for grabs for the bareback finale. "We got Kid Rock tickets for her birthday. We're ready to have some good fun."

Another rider ready to have some fun is Dusty LaValley, who didn't have much of it during the first four days of the Stampede.

After claiming just $1,500 in Pool A, he changed up his rigging for a couple of rodeos south of the border and came back feeling pretty good about himself for the wildcard go-round.

Turns out he had good reason to feel that way. He spurred out an 85 on Cajun Queen to lock up his berth and a shot at the $100,000 on the line today.

"I'm really happy the way things have gone," said LaValley, a Crooked Creek product. "I changed to a new barstool rig and, man, does it feel good.

"After I was done in Pool A here, I wasn't really happy with the way things were going, so I made the change then."

It cost him around $500 or so, but it was well worth it.

"It paid for itself already," he said with a grin.

Despite catching only a couple hours of sleep after driving overnight to Calgary from Sheridan, Wyo., LaValley looked good on the Sonny Riley bucking horse.

"Drove all night, got back here this morning -- about six in the morning -- slept in the truck for a couple of hours and felt good today," LaValley said. "(The drive) was about 12 or 13 hours. I have a slip tank in the back of my truck, so we filled that up. Had some bottles of water ready to go, and we just jumped in and were gone. Truck didn't shut off for 13 hours."

Lowe had a pretty good week in Pool B but finished sixth in the money after his four go-rounds.

Coming back for the wildcard competition and claiming the top money prize gave him a higher cash haul than every other competitor in his event.

"I could really use the money right now," Lowe said. "I've been spending a whole whack of it on building a house back home. It's great to get a little money in the pocket.

"I really would have liked to already have that Sunday (spot) wrapped up before (yesterday), but it's nice being able come back and pocket some more money and get ready for (today)."

The wildcard qualifiers join the eight already in the showdown.

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BAREBACK FINALE

Today's lineup

-Will Lowe $12,500

Davey Shields Jr. $10,000

Cimmaron Gerke $9,500

Ryan Gray $9,500

Bobby Mote $9,000

Justin McDaniel $9,000

Russ Hallaby $8,500

Steven Dent $8,000

Jason Jeter $8,000

-Dusty LaValley $6,500

- wildcard entry


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