Lowe down repeatin' champ

It's a Texas-sized thumbs up put up by Will Lowe, who won yesterday's bareback
final in the rodeo....

It's a Texas-sized thumbs up put up by Will Lowe, who won yesterday's bareback final in the rodeo. (Al Charest, Sun Media)

WES GILBERTSON

, Last Updated: 4:12 AM ET

Will Lowe doesn't want his wife, Tiffani, to think this is going to become an annual thing.

After claiming the $100,000 first-place payday at last year's Calgary Stampede, the star bareback rider from Canyon, Texas, promised he'd use the dough to buy a birthday gift for his wife, who was blowing out her candles that same day.

Lowe made it back-to-back crowns yesterday at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, but Tiffani, who gave birth to the couple's first child last month and celebrates another birthday today, won't have nearly as much say in how her hubby spends the money.

Or so he says.

"We could be dirt-poor and she'd still love me," Lowe said. "But I already bought her a birthday present, so she doesn't get this one."

He and his bride of seven years now have a little extra money in the slush fund, thanks to Lowe's match-made-in-heaven relationship with Alley Trail.

Lowe was sitting atop the 1,200-lb. mare from Duane and Greg Kesler's operation near Magrath, Alta., when he settled for second spot at the Stampede three years ago.

In yesterday's rematch, the pint-sized Texan spurred out an 87.5-point ride, good enough for his second consecutive title.

"We've danced quite a few times, and I dang sure like dancing with her," Lowe said.

Ryan Gray of Petersburg, Texas, was runner-up in the short round after registering 87 points on the Stampede's Coconut Roll, while Kyle Bowers of Brooks was third after an 86-point ride on famed Grated Coconut.

Kaycee Feild, of Elk Ridge, Utah, was disqualified after slapping Kesler's Blue Wings with his free hand, a no-no on the rodeo trail.

Lowe was the only 2008 Stampede champion to successfully defend his title. In fact, the other five were each elimainated in Saturday's wildcard round.

"With the pool that we have and the way the guys ride that you're competing against ... to be able to come out on top is just a huge blessing," Lowe said. "It's just so competitive all the way across the board. It'd be like getting the 20 best golfers together and making them play just each other all the time. And I'm sure they do that, but it's special for us."

Six-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier Jason Jeter was the only bareback rider bucked off his assignment in the long-round yesterday, but he didn't leave empty-handed.

Jeter, 35, won the Guy Weadick Memorial Award, which is named for the founder of the Calgary Stampede and is presented to the rodeo participant or chuckwagon driver who best combines performance and sportsmanship.

Past winners of the award include Rod Hay, Davey Shields Jr., Buddy Bensmiller and Richard Cosgrave.

"To think that they thought that I'm worthy of that type of award is just so flattering and humbling," Jeter said. "I look at the guys who have won that award in the past -- all the years that I've been up here -- and to be in that group with those guys is a shocker for me."

The Mansfield, Texas, cowboy didn't get any special treatment from Cajun Queen, though, getting tossed from his seat atop the Flying Five bucking horse after less than six seconds in the long round.

"That horse obviously didn't see that I won the award," Jeter said with a smile.

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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