Archive for March, 2012

postheadericon Pierce speeds to big payday at RNCFR

OKLAHOMA CITY – Carlee Pierce and Rare Dillion have set the barrel racing world on fire over the last 12 months.

Carlee Pierce

Carlee Pierce

The tandem upped the ante on Saturday night during the fourth performance of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, posting a 15.16-second run to win the second go-round and the two-run average title and carrying a boatload of momentum into Sunday’s championship.

How fast was the run? Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., posted a 15.34 to finish second in the round; it was also the second fastest round of the rodeo so far, but it was nearly two-tenths of a second behind Pierce – in barrel racing, times are measured in 100ths of a second, so two-tenths is an eternity.

“It felt great from the beginning,” said Pierce, who grew up in Freedom and qualified for ProRodeo’s National Championship by finishing second in the Prairie Circuit, made up of contestants and rodeos in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. “He ran hard; he turned hard. I felt like that was a better run than he made at Houston setting the record there.”

Pierce purchased Dillion last April, and the 12-year-old buckskin gelding carried the cowgirl to her first qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the RNCFR. In Las Vegas this past December, Pierce set the arena record with a 13.46-second run in the fourth go-round. She won $138,000 in 2011, most of which came while riding Dillion.

She then posted the fastest run at RodeoHouston two weeks ago and finished second at the largest regular-season rodeo in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. The $27,200 she won inside Reliant Stadium pushed Pierce to the No. 1 spot in the world standings. Her run Saturday night in historic State Fair Arena is just further proof that the tandem is working quite well together.

“I think he’s one of the phenomenal horses out there,” Pierce said. “I’m blessed to have him. I think he and I have a bond, and we work well together.”

Pierce and her husband, Steve, moved their family from Woodward to Stephenville, Texas, last fall, but she is quite proud of her Oklahoma roots.

“It’s exciting to be here,” she said. “To be the top two in the circuit is tough to do anyway, and the Prairie Circuit is one of the toughest. It’s great to be back in Oklahoma.

“I know I had lots of family and friends from home who were out there cheering for me.”

Pierce finished the first round in 15.52, which put her in a tie for fourth place; that was worth $1,303. With her run Saturday, she has earned more than $10,000 in two runs. She admitted that things just didn’t go right for her or Dillion on Thursday night.

“Dillion worked great tonight,” she said. “I thought, I’m going to quit trying to ride him and just let him do what he does, and it worked.”

postheadericon Second round results

Bareback riding: 1. (tie) Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., on Southwicks Rky Mtn Rodeo’s Hard Times, and Tyson Thompson, Bradley, Calif., on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Big Lights, 82 points, $3,976; 3. Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo., 81, $2,468; 4. Luke Creasy, Brownfield, Alberta, 80.0, $1,645; 5. (tie) Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., Kaycee Feild, Payson, Utah, and Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., 78.0, $548 Average leaders: 1. Luke Creasy, Brownfield, Alberta, 160 points on two head, $4,525; 2. (tie) Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., Kaycee Feild, Payson, Utah, 158, $2,948; 4. Tyson Thompson, Bradley, Calif., 156, $1,645; 5. (tie) Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., and Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 155, $823; 7. Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho, 154; 8. (tie) Brian Bain, Culver, Ore., and Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., 153

Steer wrestling: 1. Jason Thomas, Benton, Ark., 3.5 seconds, $4,525; 2. Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla., 4.0, $3,428; 3. Logan Gledhill, Huntsville, Texas, 4.3, $2,468; 4. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 4.4, $1,645; 5. (tie) Wyatt Smith, Rexburg, Idaho, and Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D., 4.6, $823 Average leaders: 1. Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla., 8.3 seconds on two head, $4,525; 2. Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D., 9.0, $3,428; 3. Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 9.1, $2,468; 4. Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 9.2, $1,645; 5. Tom Farrelly, Cayuga, N.Y., 9.6, $960; 6. Shane Henderson, Winfield, Kan., 10.2, $686; 7. Juan Alcazar Jr, Kissimmee, Fla., 10.4; 8. Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb., 10.6

Tie-down roping: 1.(tie) Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, and Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 7.7 seconds, $3,976; 3. (tie) E.J. Roberts, Stephenville, Texas, and Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., 8.5, $2,057; 5. (tie) Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., and Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 9.0, $823 Average leaders: 1. Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., 18.4 seconds on two head, $4,525; 2. Nate Baldwin, Blackfoot, Idaho, 18.6, $3,428; 3. E.J. Roberts, Stephenville, Texas, 19.3, $2,468; 4. (tie) Bill Huber, Albia, Iowa, and Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., 19.6, $1,303; 6. (tie) Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, and Roger Nonella, Klamath Falls, Ore., 20.2, $343; 8. Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 21.0

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, Mont., 81 points on Western Rodeos’ Hippy, $4,525; 2. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 80, $3,428; 3. (tie) Jake Costello, Newell, S.D., Cody Taton, Mud Butte, S.D., Londo, Pendleton, Ore., Doug Aldridge, Carthage, Mo., and Ryan MacKenzie, Jordan Valley, Ore., 78., $1,152. Average leaders: 1. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 157 points on two head, $4,525; 2. (tie) Jake Costello, Newell, S.D., Cody Taton, Mud Butte, S.D., and Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 154, $2,514; 5. (tie) Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, Sam Spreadborough, Snyder, Texas, and Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, S.D., 153, $548; 8. Justin Browning, Sulphur, La., 150

Team roping: 1. Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz./Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 3.7 seconds, $4,525; 2. (tie) Jason Handy, Scobey, Mont./John Robertson, Polson, Mont., and Cody Graham, Everton, Mo./Jason Thompson, Ozark, Mo., 4.8, $2,948; 4. Blaine Linaweaver, Leavenworth, Kan./Jake Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., 5.0, $1,645; 5. (tie) Travis Dorman, Dade City, Fla./Brad Culpepper, Poulan, Ga., and Miles Kobold, Shepherd, Mont./Matt Robertson, Augusta, Mont., 5.2, $823 Average leaders: 1. Travis Dorman, Dade City, Fla./Brad Culpepper, Poulan, Ga., 11.3 seconds on two head, $4,525; 2. Tyler Schnaufer, Pueblo, Colo./Cole Cooper, Grand Junction, Colo., 12.3, $3,428; 3. Clay White, Shandon, Calif./John Chaves, Los Alamos, Calif., 13.4, $2,468

4. Blaine Linaweaver, Leavenworth, Kan./Jake Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., 13.8, $1,645; 5. Kaden Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, 15.9, $960; 6. Spencer Mitchell, Colusa, Calif./Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 16.0, $686; 7. Manny Egusquiza Jr., Madison, Ga./Clint Summers, Lake City, Fla., 17.3; 8. Adam Newcomb, Benton, Ark./Gabe Gwaltney, Carthage, Mo., 18.9

Barrel racing: 1. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 15.16 seconds, $4,525; 2. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 15.34, $3,428; 3. (tie) Sabra O’Quinn, Ocala, Fla., Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 15.39, $2,057; 5. Christina Richman, Glendora, Calif., 15.46, $960; 6. Theresa Walter, Billings, Mont., 15.52, $686 Average leaders: 1. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 30.68 seconds on two runs, $4,525; 2. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 30.82, $3,428: 3. (tie) Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., and Sabra O’Quinn, Ocala, Fla., 30.92, $2,057; 5. Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 30.93, $960; 6. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 31.01, $686; 7. Linda Vick, Hesperia, Calif., 31.28; 8. Tammy Whyte, Eau Claire, Wis., 31.31

Bull riding: 1. Travis Atkinson, Lehi, Utah, 85.0 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Coffee Break, $4,525; 2. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., 82.0, $3,428; 3. Tyler Willis, Wheatland, Wyo., 78.0, $2,468; 4. Dustin Hall, Republic, Mo., 77.0, $1,645; 5. Sunshine Schwartz, Anoka, Minn., 76.0, $960; 6. A.J. Hamre, Chico, Calif., 75.0, $686. Average leaders: 1. Sunshine Schwartz, Anoka, Minn., 157 points on two head, $4,525; 2. Travis Atkinson, Lehi, Utah, 85 on one, $3,428; 3. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., 82, $2,468; 4. Tyler Willis, Wheatland, Wyo., 78, $1,645; 5. Dustin Hall, Republic, Mo., 77, $960; 6. A.J. Hamre, Chico, Calif., 75, $686; 7. Paul Coppini, Kuna, Idaho, 68.

postheadericon Bitter rematch — and semifinalists

Kaycee Feild

Kaycee Feild

Reigning world champion bareback rider Kaycee Feild rode Bar T Rodeo’s Bitter Robin for 78 points on Saturday night, securing his spot in Sunday’s semifinals.

The last time the two matched moves together was during the second round of the 2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. That was worth 89 points and the go-round victory. Feild won five other rounds before the NFR was done and set all sorts of records.

The other semifinals qualifiers in bareback riding are Brian Bain, Cody DeMers, Will Lowe, Seth Hardwick, Tyson Thompson, Tanner Aus and Luke Creasy.

They’ll be joined by steer wrestlers Kyle Whitaker, Juan Alcazar Jr., Shane Henderson, Tom Farrelly, Luke Branquinho, Tom Lewis, Clay Cowan and Riley Duvall.

postheadericon Burk moves into position for RNCFR title

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sometimes karma works out quite well; just ask Blair Burk.

Blair Burk

Blair Burk

The Oklahoma cowboy returned to his old stomping grounds at Jim Norick Arena and found it to his liking on Saturday afternoon. Burk, of Durant, Okla., roped and tied his calf in 8.5 seconds to take the second-round lead in tie-down roping and move closer to his goal of winning the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

“Competing here at the State Fair Arena is really a special feeling for me,” said Burk, a 14-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo whose father, Barry, was a 16-time NFR qualifier who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1994. “My dad and them all competed here. My Uncle Roy is in the stands. They’ve all competed here in the National Finals.

“It’s been a great arena for me. I’ve won the world championship horse show here on the horse Sweetness. I’ve roped a lot in this arena.”

Being able to compete in the historic arena is just one of the motivating factors for Burk to compete in his home region, the Columbia River Circuit – even though he lives in southeastern Oklahoma, Burk claims the region in the Northwest because it’s close to his in-laws and because he spends so much time in that part of the country.

He earned the right to be in this weekend’s field by doing well.

“My wife is from Oregon, and we go up there and stay all summer,” he said. “I made it a priority to do well in my circuit because I wanted to be right here in Oklahoma City this day and competing for this prize money right here in front of my hometown fans. They moved the circuit finals here, and that’s why I told my wife I wanted to make it a priority.”

Burk’s two-run total of 19.6 seconds has him third in the aggregate. He needs to remain near the top if he wants to continue to battle for his first national championship on Sunday – only the top eight in each event advance to the semifinals.

“I rode a young horse in the first round,” Burk said. “The stress the noise and everything and the competition here was a little bit too much for him. I had to get on an old veteran today, TC. He’s been here and done it all. He’s just what I needed to tie one fast.”

He’ll wait through Saturday night’s fourth performance to complete the second go-round to see how he finishes in the round payout and if he can move into the round of eight. It helps that TC is one of the best horses in the business, voted as such last year by the ProRodoe tie-down ropers.

“He’s just a winner,” Burk said of TC. “He’s just a horse that lets you win. He does his job and lets you go fast.”

postheadericon Results from RNCFR’s third performance

Bareback riding: 1. Tyson Thompson, Bradley, Calif., 82 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Big Lights; 2. Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo., 81; 3. Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., 78; 4. Troy Vaira, Richey, Mont., 77; 5. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 75; 6. (tie) Bo Casper, Fort Scott, Kan., and Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho, 74. Average leaders: 1. Tyson Thompson, Bradley, Calif., 156 points on two head; 2. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 155; 3. Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho, 154; 4. Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., 153; 5. Bo Casper, Fort Scott, Kan., 149; 6. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash., 145; 7. Wyatt Hancock, Taylor, Ariz., 144; 8. Troy Vaira, Richey, Mont., 137

Steer wrestling: 1. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 4.4 seconds; 2. Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D., 4.6; 3. JBD Davis, Argyle, Texas, 4.8; 4. Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 4.9; 5. Juan Alcazar Jr, Kissimmee, Fla., 5.4; 6. Shane Henderson, Winfield, Kan., 5.6 Average leaders: 1. Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D., 9.0 seconds on two head; 2. Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 9.1; 3. Shane Henderson, Winfield, Kan., 10.2; 4. Juan Alcazar Jr, Kissimmee, Fla., 10.4; 5. JBD Davis, Argyle, Texas, 10.8; 6. Ethen Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., 18.5; 7. Adam Strahan, Vonfield, Ill., 19.0 8. Clayton Tuchscherer, Dona Ana, N.M., 19.6

Tie-down roping: 1.     Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., 8.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., and Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 9.0; 4. Nate Baldwin, Blackfoot, Idaho, 9.2; 5. Brad Hartt, Sebring, Fla., 12.6; 6. Tim Naylor, Hancock, Md., 14.7 Average leaders: 1. Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., 18.4 seconds on two head; 2. Nate Baldwin, Blackfoot, Idaho, 18.6; 3. Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., 19.6; 4. Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 21.0; 5. Brad Hartt, Sebring, Fla., 21.8; 6. Tim Naylor, Hancock, Md., 30.0; 7. Seth Hall, Albuquerque, N.M., 8.9 on one; 8. Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 9.0

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, Mont., 81.0 points on Western Rodeos’ Hippy; 2. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 80; 3. (tie) Doug Aldridge, Carthage, Mo., and Ryan MacKenzie, Jordan Valley, Ore., 78; 5. Jess Williams, Paso Robles, Calif., 77; 6. (tie) Justin Browning, Sulphur, La., Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 75, Lyle Welling, Crawford, Neb., 75. Average leaders: 1. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 157 points on two head

2. Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 154; 3. Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, S.D., 153; 4. (tie) Justin Browning, Sulphur, La., and Sam Spreadborough, Snyder, Texas, 150; 6. Doug Aldridge, Carthage, Mo., 135; 7. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 82 on one; 8. (tie) Travis Sheets, Hyannis, Neb., and Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, Mont., 81

Team roping: 1.Cody Graham, Everton, Mo./Jason Thompson, Ozark, Mo., 4.8 seconds; 2. Blaine Linaweaver, Leavenworth, Kan./Jake Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., 5.0; 3. Miles Kobold, Shepherd, Mont./Matt Robertson, Augusta, Mont., 5.2; 4. Tyler Schnaufer, Pueblo, Colo./Cole Cooper, Grand Junction, Colo., 7.3; 5. Kaden Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, 10.3; 6. Nathan McWhorter, Telephone, Texas/York Gill, Memphis, Tenn., 11.1. Average leaders: 1.Tyler Schnaufer, Pueblo, Colo./Cole Cooper, Grand Junction, Colo., 12.3 seconds on two head; 2. Blaine Linaweaver, Leavenworth, Kan./Jake Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., 13.8; 3. Kaden Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, 15.9; 4. Manny Egusquiza Jr., Madison, Ga./Clint Summers, Lake City, Fla., 17.3; 5. Cody Graham, Everton, Mo./Jason Thompson, Ozark, Mo., 19.8; 6. Nathan McWhorter, Telephone, Texas/York Gill, Memphis, Tenn., 21.0; 7. Preston Billadeau, Parshall, N.D./Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, Neb., 5.1 on one; 8. Miles Kobold, Shepherd, Mont./Matt Robertson, Augusta, Mont., 5.2

Barrel racing: 1. (tie) Sabra O’Quinn, Ocala, Fla., and     Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 15.39 seconds; 3. Theresa Walter, Billings, Mont., 15.52; 4. Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 15.55; 5. Briana Reynolds, Ellsinore, Mo., 15.70; 6. Linda Vick, Hesperia, Calif., 15.75. Average leaders: 1. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 30.82 seconds on two runs; 2. Sabra O’Quinn, Ocala, Fla., 30.92; 3. Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 30.93; 4. Linda Vick, Hesperia, Calif., 31.28; 5. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 31.63; 6. Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah, 35.85; 7. Theresa Walter, Billings, Mont., 36.17; 8. Jeanne Anderson, White City, Kan., 36.58

Bull riding: 1. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., 82 points on Burns Rodeo’s Break Dance; 2. Dustin Hall, Republic, Mo., 77; 3. Sunshine Schwartz, Anoka, Minn., 76; 4. A.J. Hamre, Chico, Calif., 75. Average leaders: 1. Sunshine Schwartz, Anoka, Minn., 157 points on two head; 2. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., 82 on one; 3. Dustin Hall, Republic, Mo., 77; 4. A.J. Hamre, Chico, Calif., 75; 5. Paul Coppini, Kuna, Idaho, 68.

postheadericon Third-perf results so far at the RNCFR

Bareback riding: 1. Tyson Thompson, Bradley, Calif., 82 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Big Lights; 2. Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo., 81; 3. Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., 78; 4. Troy Vaira, Richey, Mont., 77; 5. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 75; 6. (tie) Bo Casper, Fort Scott, Kan., and Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho, 74. Average leaders: 1. Tyson Thompson, Bradley, Calif., 156 points on two head; 2. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 155; 3. Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho, 154; 4. Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., 153; 5. Bo Casper, Fort Scott, Kan., 149; 6. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash., 145; 7. Wyatt Hancock, Taylor, Ariz., 144; 8. Troy Vaira, Richey, Mont., 137

Steer wrestling: 1. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 4.4 seconds; 2. Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D., 4.6; 3. JBD Davis, Argyle, Texas, 4.8; 4. Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 4.9; 5. Juan Alcazar Jr, Kissimmee, Fla., 5.4; 6. Shane Henderson, Winfield, Kan., 5.6 Average leaders: 1. Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D., 9.0 seconds on two head; 2. Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 9.1; 3. Shane Henderson, Winfield, Kan., 10.2; 4. Juan Alcazar Jr, Kissimmee, Fla., 10.4; 5. JBD Davis, Argyle, Texas, 10.8; 6. Ethen Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., 18.5; 7. Adam Strahan, Vonfield, Ill., 19.0 8. Clayton Tuchscherer, Dona Ana, N.M., 19.6

postheadericon Cooper carries winning legacy in OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY – The nostalgia of rodeo in this city was a major motivator for the reigning world champion tie-down roper.

Tuf Cooper

Tuf Cooper

You see, Tuf Cooper wasn’t even born yet when his father, legendary roper Roy Cooper, won the first of eight ProRodeo world championships inside Jim Norick Arena during the 1976 National Finals Rodeo. Now this fabulous arena is home to another great championship, the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, and Tuf Cooper is glad to be part of it.

“Tonight was a special night for me because it was the first time that I’ve ever roped a calf in this arena, this historic arena,” said Cooper, 22, of Decatur, Texas, a four-time NFR qualifier himself. “This is the arena my dad won all his championship buckles in. This is the arena where he made a name for himself.”

Tuf Cooper is making his own name, from winning the coveted Montana Silversmiths gold buckle this past December, to tying down his calf in 9.0 seconds during the second performance of ProRodeo’s National Championship on Friday night. It was the fastest run of the night, but it is second best in the opening round – New Mexico roper Seth Hall was one-tenth of a second faster during Thursday’s opening performance and earned the lion’s share of the money, $4,515, while Cooper pocketed $3,428.

“It was special for me to come out here tonight and win the performance,” he said.

Roy Cooper was on hand to watch his youngest son compete Friday night, just 35 years after he sent notice to the rodeo world inside the State Fair Arena.

“He goes to a lot of the big ones, like this is one of them that is really hard to qualify for,” said Tuf Cooper, noting that this is just the second year the championship has taken place in the Sooner State after a 24-year reign in Pocatello, Idaho. “Once it moved to Oklahoma City, he really motivated me.

“We’re off to a good start, so we’ll pull our hats down and keep after it.”

Contestants qualify for this event by how well they did during the 2011 season in their respective regions. The year-end and circuit finals average winners in each event from the 12 ProRodeo regions qualify for the RNCFR. In order to make the logistics work, 12 competitors (or teams in team roping) compete in each of the four preliminary performances.

Each will compete in two go-rounds – the opening go-round was split between Thursday and Friday’s performances. The second round will be in the two shows, set for 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The top eight in the two-run aggregate qualify for the semifinals, which will kick-start the 1 p.m. Sunday performance.

“My friend, Shane Hanchey, and I were talking that this event is harder to qualify for than the NFR,” he said. “In calf roping, some say it’s tougher to win the Texas Circuit than it is to win the world championship. I won the world championship before I won the Texas Circuit.”

postheadericon Updated results at RNCFR

Bareback riding: 1.(tie) Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., on J-J Rodeo’s Freckled Doll, and Brian Bain, Culver, Ore., on J-J Rodeo’s Bar Bandit, 81 points, $3,976 each; 3. (tie) Luke Creasy, Brownfield, Alberta, Kaycee Feild, Payson, Utah, 80.0, Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, and Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho, 80.0, $1,440 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., and Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 4.2 seconds, $3,977 each; 3. Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla., 4.3, $2,468; 4. Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D., 4.4, $1,645; 5. Shane Henderson, Winfield, Kan., 4.6, $960; 6. (tie) Tom Farrelly, Cayuga, N.Y., and Ethen Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., 4.7, $343 each.

Tie-down roping: 1. Seth Hall, Albuquerque, N.M., 8.9 seconds, $4,525; 2. Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 9.0, $3,428; 3. Brad Hartt, Sebring, Fla., 9.2, $2,468; 4. Jerome Schneeberger, Ponca City, Okla., 9.3, $1,645; 5. (tie) Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., and Nate Baldwin, Blackfoot, Idaho, 9.4, $823 each.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 82.0 points on J-J’s Sweatin Bullets, $4,525; 2. Travis Sheets, Hyannis, Neb., 81.0, $3,428; 3. (tie) Jacobs Crawley, College Station, Texas, Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, Sam Spreadborough, Snyder, Texas, and Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, S.D., 79.0, $1,440 each.

postheadericon Night 2 about to start at the RNCFR

We’re just moments away from bucking the first bareback horse at the second performance of the 2012 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City.

This will conclude the first round, and I’ll plan on updating information as I can get it and as time allows. At the end of the night, we’ll have the first-round payouts in the results.

postheadericon Champs rule opening night of RNCFR

OKLAHOMA CITY – The world champions proved their gold buckle talent on the opening night of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Of the seven events that are part of the competition, three were won contestants who have won multiple titles in their respective disciplines – three-time steer wrestling world champion Luke Branquinho, three-time barrel racing world champion Sherry Cervi and two time saddle bronc riding world champion Cody Wright.

Cody Wright

Cody Wright

“It’s really important to get off to a good start,” said Wright, of Milford, Utah, who rode the J-Bar-J Rodeo horse Sweatin Bullets for 82 points to take the first-round lead in bronc riding. “It seems like the more momentum you get built up throughout the rodeo, the better you do.”

That works quite well in the RNCFR’s format. Each competitor will compete in two go-rounds – only half the field performed Thursday, so the others will ride during the second performance, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday. The second round will take place over two performances on Saturday, beginning at 1 and 7:30 p.m. The top eight in the two-run aggregate in each event qualify for the semifinals, which will open the final performance, set for 1 p.m. Sunday.

Luke Branquinho

Luke Branquinho

At that point, the scores are thrown away, and the top four from the semifinals round advance to the championship round. The scores are removed again, and the best score or time in the final round will be crowned the national champion. Branquinho knows the format quite well; he won the title before on his main horse, Spiderman.

“I won the 2010 Ram finals on him,” said Branquinho, of Los Alamos, Calif., who posted a 4.2-run to take the top honor in steer wrestling. “I brought him back here in Oklahoma City to hopefully win another title on him.”

Branquinho actually made two runs Thursday night. On his first, his steer sprinted out of the chute and put up a good fight with the big California cowboy before falling to the ground; but Branquinho suffered a foul in the chute area, so he was awarded a re-run.

“The second steer was slow and stopped hard and was pretty good on the ground, so I went from  one extreme of the pen to another,” he said, noting the difference between the two animals.

Sherry Cervi

Sherry Cervi

Sometimes a world champion has to call upon his or her experiences to make the best of things. Sherry Cervi has had that in her 10-year-old palomino mare, Stingray. The two posted the fastest barrel racing run, a 15.46.

“This is a good barrel race,” Cervi said. “There are a lot of tough horses here.”

That’s true. Of the top six leaders in barrel racing, four competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this past December. Carlee Pierce of Stephenville, Texas, sits second with a 15.52, while Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., is fourth in 15.58 and Christina Richman of Glendora, Calif., is sixth with 15.61.

“There are a lot of horse functions here,” Cervi said. “Oklahoma City is a horse community. There’s a lot of horse people in Oklahoma. It is fun to be back here running barrels and competing in Oklahoma City.”

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