postheadericon Scheer rebounds to win chute out

Cort Scheer C5 Rodeo's Classic Bear for 88 points to win the saddle bronc riding title Saturday at the San Angelo Cinch Chute Out. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Cort Scheer C5 Rodeo’s Classic Bear for 88 points to win the saddle bronc riding title Saturday at the San Angelo Cinch Chute Out. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Cort Scheer took advantage of opportunity Saturday night at the San Angelo Cinch Chute Out.

Scheer rode his first horse of the night, Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria, for 85.5 points but was still a half point from advancing to the four-man round in saddle bronc riding. Chad Ferley won the eight-man round with an 88.5-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Real Fancy, but the two-time world champion suffered an injury shortly after the ride.

Cort Scheer

Cort Scheer

Since Ferley couldn’t compete in the finale, Scheer took his place, then matched moves with C5 Rodeo’s Classic Bear for 88 points to win the title on the final night of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.

That was worth $12,500 for the Elsmere, Neb., cowboy, a two-time reserve world champion and five-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier. He snuck past Louisianan Cody DeMoss, who was 87.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s After Party to earn the San Angelo chute out title.

But Scheer wasn’t the only contestant in the field to take advantage of the situations that surrounded them. Bull rider Douglas Duncan bucked off his bull, Lancaster and Jones’ Bandit, but only after the bull had come down on its front knees. That meant Duncan was awarded a reride.

Douglas Duncan rides Chalk Outline for 92.5 points to win bull riding. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Douglas Duncan rides Chalk Outline for 92.5 points to win bull riding. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Matched with Carr’s Chaulk Outline, Duncan posted the highest-marked ride of the night with a 92.5. He needed every bit of it, because Chandler Bownds had posted a 91 on Carr’s Lineman. The difference in payout from first to second was $9,000, so it worked out quite well for Duncan.

Barrel racer Tiany Schuster knocked over a barrel – and suffered a five-second penalty because of it – but advanced out of the eight-woman round into the sudden-death championship with the fourth-fastest time. She then rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 14.038 seconds in the finale to earn the title.

In tie-down roping, two former world champions were the first to go in the four-man round, and both Shane Hanchey and Tuf Cooper posted blazing fast 6.77-second runs. The third cowboy, Marty Yates, then bettered the gold buckle tandem with a 6.68 to earn the big check.

A trio of bareback riders scored big in the finale. Wyatt Denny, who rode Pickett’s Delta Glamorous; Bobby Mote, on Powder River’s Craig at Midnight; and Clayton Biglow, on Pickett’s Top Flight, all scored 88.5. Denny won the title based on how the tie-breaker, followed by Mote then Biglow.

The San Angelo Cinch Chute Out promised big scores and fast times, and that’s exactly what the contestants provided the packed house.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Cinch Chute Out
Bareback riding:
1. (tie) Wyatt Denny, on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Delta Glamorous, Bobby Mote, on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight, and Clayton Biglow, on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight, 88.5 points (Denny wins $12,500 by tie-breaker, Mote earns $3,500 and Biglow $2,500); 4. J.R. Vezain, 87, $1,500

Barrel racing: 1. Tiany Schuster, 14.038 seconds, $12,500; 2. Trula Churchill, 14.182, $3,500; 3. Christine Laughlin, 14.562, $2,500; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 14.924, $1,500.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cort Scheer, 88 points on C5 Rodeo’s Classic Bear, $12,500; 2. Cody DeMoss, 87.5, $3,500; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 86.5, $2,500; Wade Sundell, 86, $1,500.

Tie-down roping: 1. Marty Yates, 6.68 seconds, $12,500; 2. (tie) Shane Hanchey and Tuf Cooper, 6.77, $3,000 each; 4. Ty Harris, no time, $1,500.

Bull riding: 1. Douglas Duncan, 92.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Chaulk Outline, $12,500; 2. Chandler Bownds, 91, $3,500; 3. (tie) Corey Maier and Marcus Mariluch, no score (Mariluch earned the third-place $2,500 by staying on longer, so Maier pocketed $1,500.

postheadericon Rutherford spurs his way to title

Chad Rutherford rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Painted River for 91.5 points Friday night to win the short round and the average title at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Chad Rutherford rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Painted River for 91.5 points Friday night to win the short round and the average title at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – The moment Painted River burst out of the chute Friday night, Chad Rutherford knew something special was happening.

“She was outstanding,” Rutherford said of the 8-year-old Pete Carr Pro Rodeo mare. “I felt like I could be in the high 80s with that ride, but I never imagined it would be that high.”

Rutherford and Painted River matched up for 91.5 points Friday night during the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo’s championship round and propelled the Lake Charles, La., cowboy to the top spot in bareback riding. He finished with 176 points on two rides and jumped from seventh to first with the highest marked ride of the rodeo.

“I felt like I was in charge,” he said. “It was a great feeling the whole ride. I was just as aggressive as she was.”

Chad Rutherford

Chad Rutherford

That ride was not only the highest marked ride of Rutherford’s career, but it stands as the highest marked bareback ride so far in the 2017 season. There are three cowboys that have posted 90s. With 91.5 points, it was also the highest marked of all roughstock rides early in the season. In all, he pocketed $6,953 and pushes his season earnings past the $24,000 mark.

“This fires me up and pushes me to want to go on to the next one and just do just as good,” said Rutherford, who was fifth in the world standings heading into this week. “I know I can’t be 90 every time, it definitely builds your confidence up.”

His confidence is sky high, and part of that is because he’s riding really well. He considers his style to be aggressive, and he thinks that’s been a big help to his season. He finished the 2016 campaign 24th in the world standings and hopes remain among the top 15 at season’s end to earn his first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“I think one of the things that’s helped me is that I have great traveling partners this year,” Rutherford said of Bill Tutor, who has been on the verge of the NFR the past few years, and Evan Jayne, a two-time qualifier. “I’m staying very true to my nutrition and staying healthy. I’m just focused this year.

“I feed off them, and they feed off me. I’ve always been a loner when it comes to traveling. Bill asked me last April if I wanted to haul with him. Getting in the van with him was probably the best thing I’ve done in my career.”

The traveling posse makes a difference. Not only do they split expenses that come with the rodeo trail, but they also are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. It helps keep morale up even through the trying times that come with the sport. Of course, a big boost is getting on good horses.

“I really didn’t know anything about Painted River,” said Rutherford, 25. “Bill had been on her at the Texas Circuit Finals (in January), and he said, ‘She’s a great horse, so just do what you do.’ It worked out great.

“I have an aggressive riding style. I believe that’s a big key to why I’m doing as good as I am. It doesn’t matter what they run under me, I’m going to go after them aggressively.”

That approach has paid off in San Angelo.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 3-5, Feb. 10-12, Feb. 15-17
Bareback riding:
1. Austin Foss, 89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight, $4,679; 2. Orin Larsen, 87.5, $3,587; 3. (tie) Devan Reilly, Tyler Nelson and Ty Breuer, 86 points, $1,819 each; 6. Kelly Timberman, 85, $780; 7. Chad Rutherford, 84.5, $624; 8. Seth Hardwick, 83, $468. Final round: 1. Chad Rutherford, 91.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Painted River, $1,650; 2. Clint Laye, 88.5, $1,250; 3. Kelly Timberman, 87, $900; 4. Ty Breuer, 86.5, $600; 5. Kody Lamb, 86, $350; 6. Austin Foss, 83, $250. Average: 1. Chad Rutherford, 176 points on two rides, $4,679; 2. Ty Breuer, 172.5, $3,587; 3. (tie) Kelly Timberman and Austin Foss, 172, $2,183 each; 5. Clint Laye, 169.5, $1,092; 6. Orin Larsen, 166.5, $780; 7. Kody Lamb, 166, $624; 8. Will Martin, 161, $468.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Dakota Eldridge, 3.3 seconds, $3,462 each; 3. (tie) Ty Erickson, Blake Knowles, Monty Eakin, Luke Branquinho and Justen Notes, 3.5, $1,771 each; 8. Stephen Culling, 3.6, $322. Second round: 1. David Hinman, 3.3 seconds, $3,704; 2. (tie) Baylor Roche, Dirk Tavenner, Josh Peek and Will Stovall, 3.5, $2,496 each; 6. (tie) Timmy Sparring, Clayton Hass, Nick Guy Todd Suhn and Rowdy Thames, 3.6, $483 each. Final round: 1. Baylor Roche, 3.0 seconds, $1,691; 2. (tie) Todd Suhn and Tyler Waguespack, 3.4, $1,360 each; 4. Blake Knowles, 3.6, $1,029; 5. Josh Peek, 3.9, $809; 6. Dakota Eldridge, 4.2, $588; 7. Trevor Knowles, 4.4, $368; 8. Dirk Tavenner, 4.5, $147. Average: 1. Baylor Roche, 10.2 seconds on three runs, $5,555; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 10.3, $4,831; 3. Todd Suhn, 10.8, $4,106; 4. Blake Knowles, 11.3, $3,382; 5. Josh Peek, 11.6, $2,657; 6. Dakota Eldridge, 12.2, $1,932; 7. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Dirk Tavenner, 12.6, $845 each

Team roping: First round: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 3.8 seconds, $3,506; 2. JoJo LeMond/Quinn Kesler, 4.1, $3,049; 3. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 4.2, $2,592; 4. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.3, $2,134; 5. (tie) Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz and Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 4.5, $1,448 each; 7. (tie) Shawn Besette/Sid Sporer, Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager and Cole Markham/Nick Simmons, 4.6, $356 each. Second round: 1. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 3.9 seconds, $3,506; 2. Nick Sartain/Justin Davis, 4.0, $3,409; 3. (tie) Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger and Matt Sherwood/Joel Bach, 4.1, $2,362 each; 5. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 4.2, $1,677; 6. John Alley/Clark Adcock, 4.3, $1,220; 7. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.4, $762; 8. (tie) Zac Small/Will Woodfin, Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan and Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.5, $102 each. Final round: 1. Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan, 5.5 seconds, $1,537; 2. Garrett Tonozzi/Bret Tonozzi, 5.7, $1,272; 3. Brandon Webb/Mickey Gomez, 6.4, $1,007; 4. Ty Blasingame/Kollin VonAhn, 10.4, $742; 5. Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager, 10.6, $477; 6. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 10.7, $265. Average: 1. Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan, 19.4 seconds on three runs, $5,259; 2. Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager, 20.4, $4,573; 3. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 20.6, $3,887; 4. Garrett Tonozzi/Bret Tonozzi, 21.3, $3,201; 5. Brandon Webb/Mickey Gomez, 21.9, $2,515; 6. Ty Blasingame/Kollin VonAhn, 25.6, $1,829; 7. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 25.8, $1,143; 8. Chase Massengill/Kory Bramwell, 10.1 seconds on two runs, $457.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Joe Lufkin, 83 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality, $3,466; 2. Ryder Wright, 81, $2,657; 3. (tie) Magin Lane Montoya, Dalton Davis, Isaac Diaz and Layton Green, 80, $1,155 each; 7. CoBurn Bradshaw, 79.5, $462; 8. (tie) Zeke Thurston, Jesse Kruse and Cole Elshere, 78.5, $116 each. Final round: 1. Jesse Kruse, 83 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Manhatten Moon, $1,650; 2. Leon Fountain, 82, $1,250; 3. Ryder Wright, 81, $900; 4. Zeke Thurston, 79.5, $600; 6. Tyrell Smith, 79, $350; 7. Rusty Wright, 78, $250. Average: 1. Ryder Wright, 162 points on two rides, $3,466; 2. Jesse Kruse, 161.5, $2,657; 3. (tie) Leon Fountain and Zeke Thurston, 158, $1,617 each; 5. Tyrell Smith, 155.5, $809; 6. Rusty Wright, 153.5, $578; 7. Jake Wright, 152, $462; 8. Bradley Harter, 149, $347.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. (tie) Michael Otero and Tuf Cooper, 7.0 seconds, $4,199 each; 3. Darnell Johnson, 7.5, $3,320; 4. (tie) Marty Yates, Hunter Herrin, Cade Swor, Catfish Brown and Tyler Milligan, 7.6, $1,562 each. Second round: 1. Cody Quaney, 7.0 seconds, $4,492; 2. Justin Smith, 7.1, $3,906; 3. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tim Pharr, 7.3, $3,027 each; 5. (tie) J.C. Malone and Lane Livingston, 7.4, $1,855 each; 7. (tie) Blane Cox, Seth Cooke and Trinton Downing, 7.5, $456 each. Final round: 1. Josh Peek, 7.3 seconds, $1,748; 2. Cade Swor, 7.5, $1,520; 3. Cimarron Boardman, 7.9, $1,292; 4. Marcos Costa, 8.0, $1,064; 5. Clint Robinson, 8.1, $836; 6. (tie) Ben Robinson and Catfish Brown, 9.2, $494 each; 8. Clint Singleton, 10.5, $152. Average: 1. Cade Swor, 23.7 seconds on three runs, $6,738; 2. Cimarron Boardman, 24.1, $5,859; 3. (tie) Josh Peek and Clint Robinson, 24.3, $2,541 each; 5. Marcos Costa, 24.4, $3,222; 6. Catfish Brown, 25.5, $2,344; 7. Ben Robinson, 25.8, $1,465; 8. Clint Singleton, 26.3, $586.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Tiany Schuster, 15.59 seconds, $4,988; 2. Carmel Wright, 15.84, $4,275; 3. Alexa Lake, 15.85, $3,563; 4. Sharin Hall, 15.89, $3,088; 5. Jill Welsh, 15.90, $2,375; 6. Amberleigh Moore, 15.91, $1,900; 7. (tie) Tammy Fischer and Stevi Hillman, 15.92, $1,188 each; 9. Abby Penson, 15.93, $713; 10. Kassie Mowry, 15.95, $475. Second round: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 13.99 seconds, $4,988; 2. Brooke Rix, 14.03, $4,275; 3. Sammi Bessert, 14.15, $3,563; 4. Tiany Schuster, 14.17, $3,088; 5. Kassie Mowry, 14.20, $2,375; 6. Laura Kennedy, 14.24, $1,900; 7. Lindsay Sears, 14.24, $1,425; 8. Kellie Collier, 14.32, $950; 8. (tie) Jennifer Arnold and Ari-Anna Flynn, 14.35, $594 each. Final round: 1. Kassie Mowry, 14.02 seconds, $3,325; 2. Kellie Collier, 14.18, $2,494; 3. Tiany Schuster, 14.26, $1,663; 4. Sammi Bessert, 14.27, $831. Average: 1. Kassie Mowry. 44.17 seconds on three runs, $7,482; 2. Amberleigh Moore, 44.19, $6,413; 3. Tiany Schuster, 44.22, $5,344; 4. Sammi Bessert, 44.43, $4,632; 5. Kellie Collier, 44.55, $3,563; 6. Carmel Wright, 44.59, $2,850; 7. Trula Churchill, 44.79, $2,138; 8. Hailey Kinsel, 44.92, $1,425; 9. Morgan Breaux, 44.97, $1,069; 10. Shelby Janssen, 46.01, $713.

Bull riding: 1. Trey Benton III, 88.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Red Rocket, $9,437; 2. (tie) Brennon Eldred and Roscoe Jarboe, 87.5, $6,291 each; 4. (tie) Jordan Hansen, Chase Robbins and Mickey Andrews, 85, $2,412 each; 7. (tie) Kyle Balls and Jordan Wacey Spears, 84, $1,101 each.

postheadericon Panhandle is rodeo’s proving ground

Clay Elliott, riding Stace Smith Pro Rodeo's Pony Boy at the National Finals Rodeo this past December, is one of six former Oklahoma Panhandle State University cowboys who competed at the National Finals in 2016. He was joined by fellow bronc riders Allen Boore and Jake Watson, bareback rider Orin Larsen, bull rider Joe Frost and four-time steer roping world champion Rocky Patterson. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Clay Elliott, riding Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Pony Boy at the National Finals Rodeo this past December, is one of six former Oklahoma Panhandle State University cowboys who competed at the National Finals in 2016. He was joined by fellow bronc riders Allen Boore and Jake Watson, bareback rider Orin Larsen, bull rider Joe Frost and four-time steer roping world champion Rocky Patterson. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

GUYMON, Okla. – There’s a distinct Panhandle pride when it comes to rodeo in this area of Oklahoma.

Cowboys live here, work here and attend school here. Over the years, there have been plenty of great ones with ties to Texas County, Okla. In fact, more than 40 cowboys and cowgirls that have made their home here at one time or another have competed on the grandest stage in the game, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Clay Elliott

Clay Elliott

Those that have moved on always return, especially for Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.

“Going to school for four years in Goodwell, you could see the whole community was excited when Pioneer Days would roll around,” said Clay Elliott, one of five Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo team alumni who competed at the 2016 NFR. “It’s a pretty cool community and everyone gets so involved in the rodeo.

“I feel like I’m part of that community. It feels like a hometown rodeo, and I sure enjoy going there every year.”

Elliott was one of three saddle bronc riders who competed in Las Vegas this past December, joined by Allen Boore and Jake Watson. The others were bareback rider Orin Larsen and bull rider Joe Frost. While he didn’t compete in Las Vegas, Panhandle State graduate Rocky Patterson claimed his fourth world championship last November at the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping.

Expect all to be in the field for this year’s Pioneer Days Rodeo.

Orin Larsen

Orin Larsen

“It has its unique style and its unique setup,” said Larsen, a two-time NFR qualifier from Inglis, Manitoba, who finished the 2016 season third in the world standings with $219,373 in season earnings, $81,077 of which came in Las Vegas. “The stock is usually really good there. It’s got its own special twist.”

While Larsen had the best year-end salary, Watson, of Hope, British Columbia, had the best NFR earnings with more than $136,000. He finished fifth in bronc riding. Boore, of Axtell, Utah, won $107,097 in Las Vegas, while Frost, of Randlett, Utah, earned $100,538. Elliott, of Nanton, Alberta, rounded out the solid NFR with nearly $60,000.

Patterson took home the biggest prize of them all with the world championship in his discipline. He set a new single-season earnings mark in steer roping with $142,432, including more than $57,000 at the finals. It was the biggest year of the 51-year-old Kansas cowboy’s career, one that included a solid finish in Guymon.

When Pioneer Days Rodeo rolls around, it’s the perfect setting. Nearly 1,000 contestants make their way to the Oklahoma Panhandle during rodeo week.

“Everybody’s still pretty hungry for rodeo, and that’s the biggest rodeo for that time of year,” Larsen said. “Winning that rodeo would be really sentimental to me.”

It’s sentimental to any winner, but that’s specifically true for those that have lived in Texas County. Whether they represented Panhandle State at the College National Finals Rodeo or just utilized their college education at the NFR, they know there’s great support in the region once known as No Man’s Land.

“There was almost as much pride in representing Panhandle State at the NFR as it was for me to be a Canadian at the NFR,” Elliott said. “They treated me so dang good in Goodwell – from the teachers to coaches to the old man at the elevator where I would buy my horse feed. To be part of that community is very special.”

And that feeling is reciprocated by the community.

“To us, all these cowboys and cowgirls are still part of the Panhandle, and we’re very proud of them,” said Earl Helm, chairman of the Pioneer Days Rodeo committee. “We’re still part of them. We want them to still feel at home when they come back here.

“When they ride at the NFR, we’re very proud of them. We feel like we’re with them there, too.”

postheadericon Final round field set for San Angelo

Tiany Schuster makes a turn during her 14.17-second run Thursday night at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. Schuster sits second in the average heading into Friday's championship round. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Tiany Schuster makes a turn during her 14.17-second run Thursday night at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. Schuster sits second in the average heading into Friday’s championship round. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – The field is set for Friday’s final round to decide the champions for this year’s San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.

The preliminary go-rounds concluded Thursday night with only a handful of competitors sneaking into the top 12 in the standings to secure their spots in the final round. Barrel racer Tiany Schuster of Krum, Texas, made the biggest impact; she posted a 14.17-second run to finish fourth in the second go-round. That was worth $3,088.

That, matched with her first run, gave Schuster a two-run cumulative time of 29.96 seconds; she is one of just two cowgirls to have posted sub-30 second runs and sits second in the average. Schuster trails leader Amberleigh Moore by just six-hundredths of a second.

Two bareback riders earned their way into the short round. Chad Rutherford of Lake Charles, La., rode Pickett Rodeo’s Scarlett Night for 84.5 points to finish seventh in the first round, worth $624. Morgan Wilde of McCammon, Idaho, rode Pickett’s Scarlette Belle for 82 points to finish just out of the money. He is ninth. Because of ties, only 11 bareback riders will compete Friday.

Steer wrestler Will Stovall of Roberts, Mont., posted a 3.5-second run Thursday night to finish in a tie for second place in the second round. He earned $2,496 and also moved into a tie for eighth place in the average to earn his spot in the short round.

Reigning steer wrestling world champion Tyler Waguespack leads his discipline with 7.0 seconds on two runs, while the brother tandem of Tate and Trevor Kirchenschlager lead team roping with an aggregate time of 9.8 seconds.

Saddle bronc rider Joe Lufkin scored 83 points Wednesday night to win the first round and hold the lead heading into the short round. He has earned $3,466 so far.

Oregonian bareback rider Austin Foss has the highest score of the rodeo so far, spurring Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight to 89 points last weekend. He won the first round and pocketed $4,679. He holds a point and a half lead over Canadian Orin Larsen heading into the championship round.

Cody Quaney has held on to the tie-down roping lead. Quaney also won the second round, worth nearly $4,500. The Kansas man roped and tied two calves in 14.8 seconds to lead the pack into Friday night.

Trey Benton III scored 88.5 points early in the rodeo to lead bull riding. Unlike all other disciplines, bull riding will feature just one go-round. Benton could still win the championship if his score holds out for the top spot through Friday.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 3-5, Feb. 10-12, Feb. 15-17
Bareback riding:
1. Austin Foss, 89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight, $4,679; 2. Orin Larsen, 87.5, $3,587; 3. (tie) Devan Reilly, Tyler Nelson and Ty Breuer, 86 points, $1,819 each; 6. Kelly Timberman, 85, $780; 7. Chad Rutherford, 84.5, $624; 8. Seth Hardwick, 83, $468; 9. Morgan Wilde, 82; 10. (tie) Clint Laye and Will Martin, 81 each.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Dakota Eldridge, 3.3 seconds, $3,462 each; 3. (tie) Ty Erickson, Blake Knowles, Monty Eakin, Luke Branquinho and Justen Notes, 3.5, $1,771 each; 8. Stephen Culling, 3.6, $322. Second round: 1. David Hinman, 3.3 seconds, $3,704; 2. (tie) Baylor Roche, Dirk Tavenner, Josh Peek and Will Stovall, 3.5, $2,496 each; 6. (tie) Timmy Sparring, Clayton Hass, Nick Guy Todd Suhn and Rowdy Thames, 3.6, $483 each. Average: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 7.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Baylor Roche, 7.2; 3. Todd Suhn, 7.4; 4. (tie) Josh Peek and Blake Knowles, 7.7 each; 6. (tie) Kyle Whitaker and Cooper Shofner, 7.9 each; 8. (tie) Nick Guy, Dakota Eldridge, Will Stovall, David Hinman and Dakota Champion, 8.0 each.

Team roping: First round: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 3.8 seconds, $3,506; 2. JoJo LeMond/Quinn Kesler, 4.1, $3,049; 3. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 4.2, $2,592; 4. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.3, $2,134; 5. (tie) Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz and Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 4.5, $1,448 each; 7. (tie) Shawn Besette/Sid Sporer, Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager and Cole Markham/Nick Simmons, 4.6, $356 each. Second round: 1. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 3.9 seconds, $3,506; 2. Nick Sartain/Justin Davis, 4.0, $3,409; 3. (tie) Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger and Matt Sherwood/Joel Bach, 4.1, $2,362 each; 5. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 4.2, $1,677; 6. John Alley/Clark Adcock, 4.3, $1,220; 7. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.4, $762; 8. (tie) Zac Small/Will Woodfin, Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan and Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.5, $102 each. Average: 1. Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager, 9.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.9 seconds; 3. Chase Massengill/Kory Bramwell, 10.1; 4. Clayton Van Aken/Shawn Darnall, 10.3; 5. Seth Hall/Byron Wilkerson, 10.6; 6. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 10.9; 7. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 13.3; 8. Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, 13.4; 9. Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan, 13.9; 10. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 14.5; 11. Ty Blasingame/Kollin VonAhn, 15.2; 12. Brandon Webb/Mickey Gomez, 15.5.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Joe Lufkin, 83 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality, $3,466; 2. Ryder Wright, 81, $2,657; 3. (tie) Magin Lane Montoya, Dalton Davis, Isaac Diaz and Layton Green, 80, $1,155 each; 7. CoBurn Bradshaw, 79.5, $462; 8. (tie) Zeke Thurston, Jesse Kruse and Cole Elshere, 78.5, $116 each; 11. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Chuck Schmidt, 78 each.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. (tie) Michael Otero and Tuf Cooper, 7.0 seconds, $4,199 each; 3. Darnell Johnson, 7.5, $3,320; 4. (tie) Marty Yates, Hunter Herrin, Cade Swor, Catfish Brown and Tyler Milligan, 7.6, $1,562 each. Second round: 1. Cody Quaney, 7.0 seconds, $4,492; 2. Justin Smith, 7.1, $3,906; 3. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tim Pharr, 7.3, $3,027 each; 5. (tie) J.C. Malone and Lane Livingston, 7.4, $1,855 each; 7. (tie) Blane Cox, Seth Cooke and Trinton Downing, 7.5, $456 each. Average: 1. Cody Quaney, 14.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Tuf Cooper, 15.0; 3. Clint Singleton, 15.8; 4. Cooper Martin, 16.1; 5. (tie) Cade Swor, Derrick Elliott Traylor, Clint Robinson and Cimarron Boardman, 16.2 each; 9. Catfish Brown, 16.3; 10. (tie) Marcos Costa and Marty Yates, 16.4; 12. (tie) Ben Robinson and Adam Gray, 16.6 (Robinson advances to the short round).

Barrel racing: Second round: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 13.99 seconds, $4,988; 2. Brooke Rix, 14.03, $4,275; 3. Sammi Bessert, 14.15, $3,563; 4. Tiany Schuster, 14.17, $3,088; 5. Kassie Mowry, 14.20, $2,375; 6. Laura Kennedy, 14.24, $1,900; 7. Lindsay Sears, 14.24, $1,425; 8. Kellie Collier, 14.32, $950; 8. (tie) Jennifer Arnold and Ari-Anna Flynn, 14.35, $594 each. Average: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 29.90; 2. Tiany Schuster, 29.96; 3. Kassie Mowry, 30.15; 4. Sammi Bessert, 30.16; 5. Brooke Rix, 30.18; 6. Carmel Wright, 30.23; 7. Shelby Janssen, 30.36; 8. (tie) Kellie Collier and Ari-Anna Flynn, 30.37; 10. Morgan Breaux, 30.44; 11. Trula Churchill, 30.47; 12. Hailey Kinsel, 30.48.

Bull riding: 1. Trey Benton III, 88.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Red Rocket; 2. (tie) Brennon Eldred and Roscoe Jarboe, 87.5 each; 4. (tie) Jordan Hansen and Mickey Andrews, 85 each; 6. Chase Robbins, 85; 7. (tie) Kyle Balls and Jordan Wacey Spears, 84 each; 7. Brock Radford, 83.5; 8. (tie) Tanner Learmont and John Pitts, 83 each.

postheadericon Lufkin rebounding well from injury

Joe Lufkin rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Miss Congeniality for 83 points Wednesday night to take the saddle bronc riding lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Joe Lufkin rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality for 83 points Wednesday night to take the saddle bronc riding lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – As July rolled into August last year, Joe Lufkin was among the top 15 saddle bronc riders in the game.

He just needed to sustain that position through the rest of the season, and he would have been bound for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. A groin injury he suffered the first week of August essentially put an end to his bid.

“That’s rodeo,” Lufkin said Wednesday night, shortly after his 83-point ride catapulted him into the lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. “I sat out for 10 days, and the first rodeo back was in Caldwell, Idaho. I ended up winning the long round at Caldwell, and I tried to keep it going the rest of the year.

Joe Lufkin

Joe Lufkin

“I was right there on the bubble for making the NFR. I tried to see if I could tough it out. I finally just went home.”

His bubble burst, but his confidence didn’t. The case in point was Wednesday’s ride aboard Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality, an athletic bay mare that has been selected to buck at the NFR three times.

“That’s just a good horse that’s been around for a while,” said Lufkin, 24, of Sallisaw, Okla. “She’s good to get on, the kind of horse you like to get on.”

It doesn’t hurt that Lufkin is pretty good, too. Despite his injury last year, he still finished 20th in the world standings. He is a past Prairie Circuit champion and has finished among the top 25 each of the past two seasons.

“It’s very important to do well in San Angelo,” he said. “This run in the winter sets you up so you can have your money built up for your summer run. Without having that extra money, it can get a little lean when you’re on the road through the summer as much as we are.”

That money not only pays the bills and travel expenses, but dollars equal championship points. The contestants in each event with the most money won at season’s end will be crowned world champions. It’s a dream for most that compete in the sport, and it’s something Lufkin has been shooting for since he decided to do this for a living.

“It’s always my goal to try to make the NFR,” he said. “I try not to overthink it and get ahead of yourself, then just try the best you can.”

He has taken it easy so far this year. San Angelo marked just the sixth time this season he’s been on a horse. Lufkin wants to make sure that groin is healthy, and Wednesday’s ride gave him a little more confidence.

He will now bring that attitude back to San Angelo Coliseum on Friday night for the championship round and the chance to walk away with this year’s title.

“The crowd was big,” Lufkin said. “San Angelo is always a nice plays for us to come. The crowd is always big and into it.

“My confidence is good. I always try to keep my confidence high, because rodeo is such a mental game. You have to stay on top of that.”

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 3-5, Feb. 10-12, Feb. 15-17
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Austin Foss, 89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight; 2. Orin Larsen, 87.5; 3. (tie) Devan Reilly, Tyler Nelson and Ty Breuer, 86 points each; 6. Kelly Timberman, 85; 7. Seth Hardwick, 83; 8. (tie) Clint Laye and Will Martin, 81 each; 10. (tie) Jamie Howlett, Casey Breuer and Kody Lamb, 80 each; 11. (tie) Justin McDaniel, Joel Schlegel, Luke Creasy and Jordan Pelton, 79 each.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Dakota Eldridge, 3.3 seconds, $3,462 each; 3. (tie) Ty Erickson, Blake Knowles, Monty Eakin, Luke Branquinho and Justen Notes, 3.5, $1,771 each; 8. Stephen Culling, 3.6, $322. Second round leaders: 1. David Hinman, 3.3 seconds; 2. (tie) Baylor Roche, Dirk Tavenner and Josh Peek, 3.5 each; 5. (tie) Timmy Sparring, Clayton Hass, Nick Guy Todd Suhn and Rowdy Thomas, 3.6 each. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 7.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Baylor Roche, 7.2; 3. Todd Suhn, 7.4; 4. (tie) Josh Peek and Blake Knowles, 7.7 each; 6. (tie) Kyle Whitaker and Cooper Shofner, 7.9 each; 8. (tie) Nick Guy, Dakota Eldridge, David Hinman and Dakota Champion, 8.0 each; 12. (tie) Dirk Tavenner and Ty Erickson, 8.1 each.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 3.8 seconds, $3,506; 2. JoJo LeMond/Quinn Kesler, 4.1, $3,049; 3. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 4.2, $2,592; 4. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.3, $2,134; 5. (tie) Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz and Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 4.5, $1,448 each; 7. (tie) Shawn Besette/Sid Sporer, Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager and Cole Markham/Nick Simmons, 4.6, $356 each. Second round leaders: 1. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 3.9 seconds; 2. Nick Sartain/Justin Davis, 4.0; 3. (tie) Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger and Matt Sherwood/Joel Bach, 4.1 each; 5. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 4.2; 6. John Alley/Clark Adcock, 4.3; 7. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.4; 8. (tie) Zac Small/Will Woodfin, Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan and Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.5. Average leaders: 1. Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager, 9.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.9 seconds; 3. Chase Massengill/Kory Bramwell, 10.1; 4. Clayton Van Aken/Shawn Darnall, 10.3; 5. Seth Hall/Byron Wilkerson, 10.6; 6. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 10.9; 7. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 13.3; 8. Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, 13.4; 9. Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan, 13.9; 10. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 14.5; 11. Ty Blasingame/Kollin VonAhn, 15.2; 12. Brandon Webb/Mickey Gomez, 15.5.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Joe Lufkin, 83 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality; 2. Ryder Wright, 81; 3. (tie) Magin Lane Montoya, Dalton Davis, Isaac Diaz and Layton Green, 80 each; 7. CoBurn Bradshaw, 79.5; 8. (tie) Zeke Thurston, Jesse Kruse and Cole Elshere, 78.5 each; 9. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Chuck Schmidt, 78 each.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Michael Otero and Tuf Cooper, 7.0 seconds, $4,199 each; 3. Darnell Johnson, 7.5, $3,320; 4. (tie) Marty Yates, Hunter Herrin, Cade Swor, Catfish Brown and Tyler Milligan, 7.6, $1,562 each. Second round leaders: 1. Cody Quaney, 7.0 seconds; 2. Justin Smith, 7.1; 3. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tim Pharr, 7.3 each; 5. (tie) J.C. Malone and Lane Livingston, 7.4 each; 7. (tie) Blane Cox, Seth Cooke and Trinton Downing, 7.5 each. Average leaders: 1. Cody Quaney, 14.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Tuf Cooper, 15.0; 3. Clint Singleton, 15.8; 4. Cooper Martin, 16.1; 5. (tie) Cade Swor, Clint Robinson and Cimarron Boardman, 16.2 each; 8. Catfish Brown, 16.3; 9. (tie) Marcos Costa and Marty Yates, 16.4; 11. Adam Gray, 16.6; 12. Josh Peek, 17.0.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 13.99 seconds; 2. Brooke Rix, 14.03; 3. Sammi Bessert, 14.15; 4. Kassie Mowry, 14.20; 5. Laura Kennedy, 14.24; 6. Lindsay Sears, 14.24; 7. Kellie Collier, 14.32; 8. (tie) Jennifer Arnold and Ari-Anna Flynn, 14.35 each; 10. Trula Churchill, 14.36. Average leaders: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 29.90; 2. Kassie Mowry, 30.15; 3. Sammi Bessert, 30.16; 4. Brooke Rix, 30.18; 5. Carmel Wright, 30.23; 6. Shelby Janssen, 30.36; 7. Kellie Collier, 30.37; 8. Ari-Anna Flynn, 30.37; 9. Morgan Breaux, 30.44; 10. Trula Churchill, 30.47; 11. Hailey Kinsel, 30.48; 12. Shelby McCauley, 30.53.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trey Benton III, 88.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Red Rocket; 2. Brennon Eldred, 87.5; 3. (tie) Jordan Hansen and Mickey Andrews, 85 each; 5. (tie) Kyle Balls and Jordan Wacey Spears, 84 each; 7. Brock Radford, 83.5; 8. (tie) Tanner Learmont and John Pitts, 83 each.

postheadericon Cody Ohl hoping Hooey carries him back to the top

HICO, Texas – Each of Cody Ohl’s tie-down roping gold buckles came with a common theme.

“In each of those world championships, I rode the best horse of that year,” said Ohl, who won six world titles overall, including his 2001 all-around crown. “One of those horses was the only one I rode at every rodeo I went to that year.”

He might just have that again, thanks to his partnership with Joey Austin, president of Hooey Brands. Austin acquired a 12-year-old bay gelding the first of this year. Ohl has big plans for himself and his new horse, Hooey, for 2017.

Cody Ohl

Cody Ohl

That next step will be at The American, a one-day rodeo scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas, that features a $2 million purse. The event will take place in AT&T Stadium and will include the greatest rodeo athletes in the game.

After that, he will travel North America in hopes of making his 21st qualification to the National Finals Rodeo.

Ohl has tested other horses since he rode the legendary Pearl, but he hasn’t found the right fit … until now.

“I’d seen the horse (Hooey) last fall, and I got to ride him at my dad’s memorial roping,” said Ohl, 43, of Hico, who spent 2016 in the Elite Rodeo Athletes association. “I got to ride him at the ERA Finals (in November). My first calf wasn’t that good, but the next three runs went really well. It just felt like it was supposed to.

“I had that feeling before when I had her (Pearl), but I haven’t been able to use her for three years. I’ve been searching for that feeling ever since. It’s just a long shot to get that feeling so quickly on a different horse, but Hooey had it.”

Like Ohl, Austin knew there was something special about the horse.

“I bought the horse from Kenneth Kelley, who has been training horses for a long time, and he felt like he had one of the best ones he’s ever made,” Austin said. “This horse is a throw-back, like a calf roping horse you’d see in the 1960s. He’s a ranchy, square-stopping bay with a roached mane and not a lot of chrome, which is just fine with me.

“Cody has ridden some of the best calf horses of all time, so I’m confident he can get the maximum potential out of him. This horse should be seasoned enough that he can handle the bright lights, but he’s young enough that he doesn’t have many miles on him yet.”

Ohl knows the need for great equine partners. They are, after all, the key for successful rodeo athletes.  Every world champion credits the mount that helped him earn gold. That’s why he’s so confident heading into the next chapter of his life. Still in his early 40s, time is running out, and he needs the perfect partner to help him reach his goals.

“It’s not difficult to make the NFR if you’ve got the best horse,” Ohl said. “I love to rodeo. Over the last 10 years, there are a lot of rodeos I’ve cut out of my schedule. I’m just going to go back to them.”

Because of his legendary pedigree, Ohl was invited to be in the field for The American. He has a shot at the $100,000 prize guaranteed to the winner in each event.

“With going to the ERA last year, there are some big rodeos I’m not getting to enter because of the qualifications rules,” he said. “But I’m just looking at the big picture. I hadn’t been in the practice pen or gotten excited about going to practice until I got this horse. There are rodeos I’ll make this year that I haven’t been to in 13 years.”

Being aggressive is nothing new to Ohl, but it’s a different approach than he’s taken in recent years. He’s making the rodeo circuit his priority, and he’s leaning on Hooey to not only get him back into contention, but also give him the best shot at a seventh gold buckle.

“I feel like this is the horse that could get me back to where I want to be,” Ohl said.

postheadericon Going back to his roots

Weston Rutkowski jumps a bull to start his fight during the Bullfighters Only Las Vegas Championship. He returns to his roots in west Texas this weekend to compete in San Angelo. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Weston Rutkowski jumps a bull to start his fight during the Bullfighters Only Las Vegas Championship. He returns to his roots in west Texas this weekend to compete in San Angelo. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Rutkowski returns to west Texas for BFO’s first stop in San Angelo

SAN ANGELO, Texas – The sound of Weston Rutkowski’s voice gleams of west Texas.

From that unmistakable drawl to the tone he uses, his regional pride is evident. He grew up in the burg of Haskell, a town of 3,300 people about two hours northeast of San Angelo. It’s home.

He returns to the Plains on Saturday night to headline the Bullfighters Only competition Presented by Ken Schlaudt Custom Homes, held in conjunction with the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. Rutkowski will be one of three freestyle bullfighters to test their athleticism while going head to head with aggressive and agile Spanish fighting bulls.

Rutkowski shows off his intensity during a freestyle bullfight last year. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Rutkowski shows off his intensity during a freestyle bullfight last year. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

“This is huge for me,” said Rutkowski, the No. 1-ranked bullfighter in the game today. “Everyone wants to compete at home, so I’m really looking forward to it. Once I started fighting bulls, I never really got to go home and do it there.”

He will now, and he will have the chance to show why he is considered one of the best in the business. West Texas isn’t just home for Rutkowski; it was a training ground in a way. He was a five-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball, baseball, track and golf. Now he utilizes that same athletic ability but in a more dangerous fashion.

“When they talk about football Friday nights, it’s a real thing,” he said. “It’s not just a story line. The town shut down, and everybody would go to the game.”

That’s a drawing card for his opportunity to compete in San Angelo. He knows of the great crowds that fill the coliseum. He understands that folks want to see something exciting, and that’s why the stock show and rodeo is so popular.

“When the rodeo’s in town, people pack in every night,” Rutkowski said. “They have such a prestigious event that people just flock to that arena.”

Now they’ll get to see him in action and see what the buzz is all about. After nearly 20 years on the backburner, Bullfighters Only was the guiding force to bringing freestyle bullfighting back into the limelight. After a successful inaugural run in 2016, the BFO Presented by Ken Schlaudt Custom Homes is one of the first events of the new season.

“I haven’t fought a bull since Vegas in December,” said Rutkowski, who earned more than $40,000 throughout the Bullfighters Only 2016 season. “I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, and I’ve been training hard. I’m ready for battle. I cannot wait to get back into the arena and go head-to-head.”

It’s a fascinating event. A big part of Bullfighters Only’s success lies within the heart-stopping action that comes with the extreme danger in freestyle bullfighting. Men will try to stay within inches of the bulls, which are bred to be part of this type of fight. The most successful will keep the animal engaged closely while showcasing true athleticism to stay out of harm’s way.

With scores based on a 100-point scale, men can earn up to 50 points per fight based on their ability to exhibit control and style while maneuvering around or over an animal; a bull can earn up to 50 points based on its quickness, aggression and willingness to stay with the bullfighter.

Now Rutkowski will showcase his talent in front of fans who understand rodeo and will want to see the action of the BFO.

“That is the heart of rodeo country,” he said. “They don’t need to put on a big concert, because they have very knowledgeable rodeo fans. They’ve been there, done that, and they expect a good show.

“The Oklahoma guys have a stronghold on freestyle bullfighting, but I want to do my best to make sure everyone knows Texas still has a ballplayer in the game.”

 

postheadericon BFO stars head to Florida

Toby Inman goes toe-to-toe against a fighting bull during a freestyle fight in Las Vegas this past December. Inman will be one of nine men competing this weekend at the Bullfighters Only event in Brighton, Fla. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Toby Inman goes toe-to-toe against a fighting bull during a freestyle fight in Las Vegas this past December. Inman will be one of nine men competing this weekend at the Bullfighters Only event in Brighton, Fla. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Bullfighters Only begins new season with its first event ever in Sunshine State

BRIGHTON, Fla. – The Brighton Field Day Festival has a long history of exciting events, with 79 years of extreme entertainment.

The organizers of the Field Day Festival and PRCA Rodeo are adding to that this year with three days of Bullfighters Only freestyle bullfighting competition. It takes place Friday through Sunday at Fred Smith Rodeo Arena and will feature nine of the top freestyle bullfighters in the world.

“We have a lot of activities with our festival, and Bullfighters Only is a perfect fit for what we produce,” said Marvin Hines of the Seminole Tribe. “We are pulling out all the stops to make this the best freestyle event Florida has seen to date. It’s going to be great.”

The Brighton event will kick off BFO’s 2017 season and is one of three events planned for this weekend. Bullfighters Only will also host events in Red Deer, Alberta, and San Angelo, Texas, on Saturday.

WAR Fighting Bulls from Texas will provide the challengers that the fighters will face in hopes of claiming a lion’s share of the $10,000 payout. BFO paid upwards of $300,000 in prize money during the inaugural 2016 season.

“I’m looking forward to visiting new towns and taking advantage of new opportunities,” said Toby Inman of Davis Junction, Ill. “Obviously getting back to places where we’ve been will be awesome, but this is a new year, and we are adding to our tour.

“The fans are going to love what Bullfighters Only brings to the table.”

Bullfighters Only has been growing freestyle bullfighting for the past two years. After 17 years away from the spotlight, freestyle bullfighting has surged back to the mainstream thanks to the presence of the BFO. The sport continues to grow.

“This will be our first event in Florida,” Weston Rutkowski said. “The Sunshine State is very rodeo-savvy the fans will hold you accountable for your performance in the arena – good or bad.”

A big part of Bullfighters Only’s success lies within the heart-stopping action that comes with the extreme danger in freestyle bullfighting. Men will try to stay within inches of the bulls, which are bred to be part of this type of fight. The most successful will keep the animal engaged closely while showcasing true athleticism to stay out of harm’s way.

At Brighton, Rutkowski and Inman will be joined by seven others considered to be among the best in the business. With scores based on a 100-point scale, men can earn up to 50 points per fight based on their ability to exhibit control and style while maneuvering around or over an animal; a bull can earn up to 50 points based on its quickness, aggression and willingness to stay with the bullfighter.

“It’s going to be a great event, and I’m really looking forward to showing everyone in Florida what sets Bullfighters Only apart from other bullfights.” Inman said.

postheadericon Moore sprints into San Angelo lead

Amberleigh Moore riders her mare, Paige, to a 13.99-second run Sunday afternoon to take the second-round and average lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Amberleigh Moore riders her mare, Paige, to a 13.99-second run Sunday afternoon to take the second-round and average lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Amberleigh Moore has a lot of faith in her young partner, a 7-year-old mare she calls Paige.

“She’s taking me for the ride right now,” said Moore of Keizer, Ore. “Ever since I fell off, she’s hit a new gear. The rodeos I went to this week – Jackson (Miss.), Belton (Texas) and here – she’s taken off like she did in Vegas, and I’m literally just hanging on for the ride.”

She held on pretty well, circling the cloverleaf pattern Sunday afternoon at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo in a rodeo-best 13.99 seconds. She owns the second-round lead and also sits No. 1 in the average with a two-run cumulative time of 29.90 seconds. It’s all been a whirlwind since she took a nasty spill last weekend in Fort Worth, Texas.

Amberleigh Moore

Amberleigh Moore

As she came around the third barrel on the afternoon of Feb. 4, the latigo broke on her saddle. Shortly after Paige crossed the scoring line, Moore hit the dirt hard. She is still sore, but she’s been riding with a huge smile on her face. She won the rodeo in Belton this weekend and leads Jackson.

All this coming shortly after her inaugural run at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where she earned more than $187,000 in 10 days and catapulted to the No. 2 spot in the final world standings.

“The momentum from last year is carrying over,” Moore said. “After Vegas, she got a month off. She hasn’t slowed down since the first run I put on her. That mare has not backed off one bit.

“This is our third year on the trail, so this is the third time she’s been in these pens. She knows what she’s doing and where she’s at. From 2016 to 2017, she’s just a year older and a year stronger. She’ll be 8 years old in May, and I’ve just let her do this on her own.”

It’s working, and now she’s made her plans to return to San Angelo on Friday for the championship round.

“She took off from the alleyway, and she was smooth and fast,” she said of Sunday’s run. “Last year, I ran a 13.99 and (knocked down) the third barrel to win the second round and take the lead in the average. This year I made up for it. This year I was determined to run clean around the third barrel.

“Last year I didn’t do any good at the winter rodeos. I tipped a lot of barrels. This year is setting up so it’s not so hard later in the year. If you can do well at these winter rodeos, it can set you up so that your summer run is easier.”

In 2016, Moore scrambled to finish the regular season 15th in the world standings, taking the last qualifying spot for the NFR. She’d like to have an easier time making it back to Las Vegas in December, and she knows the road she needs to take. More importantly, she knows that Paige is the right speedster to get her back. She is 14th in the world standings with nearly $11,000 in earnings.

“She’s one in a million,” Moore said her mare. “She gets bored being at home. She likes being out on the road with me.”

It shows in every run the tandem makes.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 3-5, Feb. 10-12, Feb. 15-17
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Austin Foss, 89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight; 2. Orin Larsen, 87.5; 3. (tie) Devan Reilly, Tyler Nelson and Ty Breuer, 86 points each; 6. Kelly Timberman, 85; 7. Seth Hardwick, 83; 8. Clint Laye, 81; 9. (tie) Jamie Howlett and Casey Breuer, 80 each; 11. (tie) Justin McDaniel, Joel Schlegel, Luke Creasy and Jordan Pelton, 79 each.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Dakota Eldridge, 3.3 seconds each; 3. (tie) Ty Erickson, Blake Knowles, Luke Branquinho and Justen Notes, 3.5 each; 7. Stephen Culling, 3.6; 8. (tie) Baylor Roche and Justin Shaffer, 3.7 each. Second round leaders: 1. David Hinman, 3.3 seconds; 2. (tie) Baylor Roche, Dirk Tavenner and Josh Peek, 3.5 each; 5. (tie) Timmy Sparring, Clayton Hass, Nick Guy Todd Suhn and Rowdy Thomas, 3.6 each. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 7.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Baylor Roche, 7.2; 3. Todd Suhn, 7.4; 4. (tie) Josh Peek and Blake Knowles, 7.7 each; 6. (tie) Kyle Whitaker and Cooper Shofner, 7.9 each; 8. (tie) Nick Guy, Dakota Eldridge, David Hinman and Dakota Champion, 8.0 each; 12. (tie) Dirk Tavenner and Ty Erickson, 8.1 each.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 3.8 seconds; 2. JoJo LeMond/Quinn Kesler, 4.1; 3. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 4.2; 4. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.3; 5. (tie) Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz and Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 4.5 each; 7. (tie) Shawn Besette/Sid Sporer, Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager and Cole Markham/Nick Simmons, 4.6. Second round leaders: 1. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 3.9 seconds; 2. Nick Sartain/Justin Davis, 4.0; 3. (tie) Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger and Matt Sherwood/Joel Bach, 4.1 each; 5. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 4.2; 6. John Alley/Clark Adcock, 4.3; 7. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.4; 8. (tie) Zac Small/Will Woodfin, Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan and Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.5. Average leaders: 1. Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager, 9.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.9 seconds; 3. Chase Massengill/Kory Bramwell, 10.1; 4. Clayton Van Aken/Shawn Darnall, 10.3; 5. Seth Hall/Byron Wilkerson, 10.6; 6. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 10.9; 7. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 13.3; 8. Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, 13.4; 9. Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan, 13.9; 10. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 14.5; 11. Ty Blasingame/Kollin VonAhn, 15.2; 12. Brandon Webb/Mickey Gomez, 15.5.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Ryder Wright, 81 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Pendleton Whisky Django; 2. (tie) Magin Lane Montoya, Dalton Davis, Isaac Diaz and Layton Green, 80 each; 6. CoBurn Bradshaw, 79.5; 7. (tie) Zeke Thurston and Jesse Kruse, 78.5 each; 9. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Chuck Schmidt, 78 each; 11. Wyatt Casper and Jake Wright, 77 each.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Michael Otero and Tuf Cooper, 7.0 seconds each; 3. Darnell Johnson, 7.5; 4. (tie) Marty Yates, Hunter Herrin, Cade Swor, Catfish Brown and Tyler Milligan, 7.6 each. Second round leaders: 1. Cody Quaney, 7.0 seconds; 2. Justin Smith, 7.1; 3. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tim Pharr, 7.3 each; 5. (tie) J.C. Malone and Lane Livingston, 7.4 each; 7. (tie) Blane Cox, Seth Cooke and Trinton Downing, 7.5 each. Average leaders: 1. Cody Quaney, 14.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Tuf Cooper, 15.0; 3. Clint Singleton, 15.8; 4. Cooper Martin, 16.1; 5. (tie) Cade Swor, Clint Robinson and Cimarron Boardman, 16.2 each; 8. Catfish Brown, 16.3; 9. (tie) Marcos Costa and Marty Yates, 16.4; 11. Adam Gray, 16.6; 12. Josh Peek, 17.0.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 13.99 seconds; 2. Brooke Rix, 14.03; 3. Sammi Bessert, 14.15; 4. Cassie Mowry, 14.20; 5. Laura Kennedy, 14.24; 6. Lindsay Sears, 14.24; 7. Kellie Collier, 14.32; 8. Jennifer Arnold, 14.35; 9 Trula Churchill, 14.36; 10. Hailey Kinsel, 14.37. Average leaders: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 29.90; 2. Kassie Mowry, 30.15; 3. Sammi Bessert, 30.16; 4. Brooke Rix, 30.18; 5. Carmel Wright, 30.23; 6. Kellie Collier, 30.37; 7. Morgan Breaux, 30.44; 8. Trula Churchill, 30.47; 9. Hailey Kinsel, 30.48; 10. Shelby McCauley, 30.53; 11. Brittany Kelly, 30.60; 12. Kelsy Lutjen, 30.68.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trey Benton III, 88.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Red Rocket; 2. Brennon Eldred, 87.5; 3. (tie) Jordan Hansen and Mickey Andrews, 85 each; 5. (tie) Kyle Balls and Jordan Wacey Spears, 84 each; 7. Brock Radford, 83.5; 8. (tie) Tanner Learmont and John Pitts, 83 each.

postheadericon Foss spurs his way to the top spot

Austin Foss matches moves with Powder River Rodeo's Craig at Midnight for 89 points Saturday night to take the bareback riding lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Austin Foss matches moves with Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight for 89 points Saturday night to take the bareback riding lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Craig at Midnight is big and powerful. He stands at least 16 hands tall and weighs in excess of 1,800 pounds, and he’s the reigning Bareback Horse of the Year.

On Saturday night at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, the athletic gray horse guided Austin Foss to an 89-point ride and the bareback riding lead through seven performances. It was the perfect horse at the perfect place for Foss, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Terrebonne, Ore.

“When I saw his name next to mine (earlier this week when the draw was released), I just about dropped my phone,” he said. “It was a good feeling.”

Austin Foss

Austin Foss

Foss has had great success inside San Angelo Coliseum before. Two years ago, he won both rounds to claim the bareback riding title. He earned more than $11,000 then, and that was one of the many events that earned him his third straight trip to Las Vegas and ProRodeo’s grand finale.

“I got a really good feeling when that horse was coming in to the chutes,” Foss said. “He’s a lot more level-headed than the last time I got on him, and I’m not hurting like I was back then.”

Their last meeting occurred at the 2013 NFR, and Craig at Midnight bucked off an ailing Foss, who was struggling with a herniated disc in his neck. The cowboy was forced to miss the final two rounds because of his injury.

That wasn’t the case Saturday.

“He bucked me off after the whistle, but we made it through,” Foss said. “He was really good tonight.”

What makes the powerful gray so good? Foss said the horse is considered an eliminator because he’s so difficult to ride. Sometimes those horses have some nasty moves with their bucking motion. Sometimes they just overpower their rider.

“He just bucks,” he said. “He just turns out of there and is so big, and he goes at it. He was pretty decent to ride tonight. He had just a few bumps to him, but I was able to manage them OK.”

After sitting out the 2016 season, Foss is excited to be back on the ProRodeo trail. He is 45th in the world standings, but a strong performance in San Angelo can go a long ways in pushing him up the money list.

“Having his name net to mine is a rung on the ladder for me,” Foss said. “It was a good feeling, and it gives you incentive to do your best and try your hardest. The long-term opportunity out there is something that can really catapult a guy right up there in the top 15 in the standings.

“My confidence is really good, especially after that ride. Being able to ride a horse like that definitely shoots a guy’s confidence through the roof.”

It worked two years ago, so he has no reason to doubt that it can happen again.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 3-5, Feb. 10-12, Feb. 15-17
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Austin Foss, 89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight; 2. (tie) Devan Reilly, Tyler Nelson and Ty Breuer, 86 points each; 5. Kelly Timberman, 85; 6. Clint Laye, 81; 7. (tie) Jamie Howlett and Casey Breuer, 80 each.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Dakota Eldridge, 3.3 seconds each; 3. (tie) Ty Erickson, Blake Knowles, Luke Branquinho and Justen Notes, 3.5 each; 7. Stephen Culling, 3.6; 8. (tie) Baylor Roche and Justin Shaffer, 3.7 each. Second round leaders: 1. David Hinman, 3.3 seconds; 2. (tie) Baylor Roche, Dirk Tavenner and Josh Peek, 3.5 each; 5. (tie) Timmy Sparring, Clayton Hass, Nick Guy Todd Suhn and Rowdy Thomas, 3.6 each. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 7.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Baylor Roche, 7.2; 3. Todd Suhn, 7.4; 4. (tie) Josh Peek and Blake Knowles, 7.7 each; 6. (tie) Kyle Whitaker and Cooper Shofner, 7.9 each; 8. (tie) Nick Guy, Dakota Eldridge, David Hinman and Dakota Champion, 8.0 each; 12. (tie) Dirk Tavenner and Ty Erickson, 8.1 each.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 3.8 seconds; 2. JoJo LeMond/Quinn Kesler, 4.1; 3. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 4.2; 4. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.3; 5. (tie) Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz and Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 4.5 each; 7. (tie) Shawn Besette/Sid Sporer, Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager and Cole Markham/Nick Simmons, 4.6. Second round leaders: 1. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 3.9 seconds; 2. (tie) Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger and Matt Sherwood/Joel Bach, 4.1 each; 4. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 4.2; 5. John Alley/Clark Adcock, 4.3; 6. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.4; 7. (tie) Zac Small/Will Woodfin, Travis Tryan/Chase Tryan and Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.5. Average leaders: 1. Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager, 9.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.9 seconds; 3. Chase Massengill/Kory Bramwell, 10.1; 4. Clayton Van Aken/Shawn Darnall, 10.3; 5. Seth Hall/Byron Wilkerson, 10.6; 6. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 10.9; 7. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 13.3; 8. Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, 13.4.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Ryder Wright, 81 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Pendleton Whisky Django; 2. (tie) Magin Lane Montoya, Dalton Davis, Isaac Diaz and Layton Green, 80 each; 6. Zeke Thurston, 78.5; 7. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Chuck Schmidt, 78.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Michael Otero and Tuf Cooper, 7.0 seconds each; 3. Darnell Johnson, 7.5; 4. (tie) Marty Yates, Hunter Herrin, Cade Swor, Catfish Brown and Tyler Milligan, 7.6 each. Second round leaders: 1. Cody Quaney, 7.0 seconds; 2. Justin Smith, 7.1; 3. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tim Pharr, 7.3 each; 5. (tie) J.C. Malone and Lane Livingston, 7.4 each; 7. (tie) Blane Cox, Seth Cooke and Trinton Downing, 7.5 each. Average leaders: 1. Cody Quaney, 14.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Tuf Cooper, 15.0; 3. Clint Singleton, 15.8; 4. Cooper Martin, 16.1; 5. (tie) Cade Swor, Clint Robinson and Cimarron Boardman, 16.2 each; 8. Catfish Brown, 16.3.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Cassie Mowry, 14.20 seconds; 2. Laura Kennedy, 14.24; 3. Lindsay Sears, 14.24; 4. Jennifer Arnold, 14.35; 5. Kelsey Lutjen, 14.38; 6. (tie) Cassidy Kruse and Carmel Wright, 14.39 each; 8. Shelby McCauley, 14.40; 9. Brooke Jeter, 14.42; 10. Morgan Breaux, 14.43. Average leaders: 1. Kassie Mowry, 30.15 seconds on two runs; 2. Carmel Wright, 30.23; 3. Morgan Breaux, 30.44; 4. Shelby McCauley, 30.53; 5. Kelsy Lutjen, 30.68; 6. (tie) Ericka Nelson and Samantha Boone, 30.69 each; 8. (tie) Jennifer Arnold and Rainy Robinson, 30.74 each; 10. Cassidy Kruse, 30.78; 11. Laura Kennedy, 30.80; 12. Meghan Johnspon, 30.81.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trey Benton III, 88.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Red Rocket; 2. Brennon Eldred, 87.5; 3. (tie) Jordan Hansen and Mickey Andrews, 85 each; 5. (tie) Kyle Balls and Jordan Wacey Spears, 84 each; 7. Brock Radford, 83.5; 8. (tie) Tanner Learmont and John Pitts, 83 each.