RUSSELL CARDOZA, Terrebonne, Ore.
Russell Cardoza watched his lead in the 2012 Timed Event Championship slip away on his seventh run.
Cardoza’s 58.6-second opening go-round set the standard for a wild run to the 27th “Ironman,” but he suffered a 60-second tie-down roping run in the second round, and the bottom dropped out. But Cardoza didn’t sit in the well. In fact, he rebounded by the time the second round was complete and kept climbing out of the hole.
When the race ended, Cardoza was the runner-up, finishing less than 16 seconds behind K.C. Jones. Cardoza also placed twice in the top six fastest rounds, finishing the three-day competition with $32,000. But let’s face it; we’ve come to expect that with this cowboy, who has competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo three times in the last four years.
From the first time he walked into these hallowed halls four years ago, Cardoza has improved every March – from 11th to sixth to second. In the progression that is the Timed Event, there’s only one more rung on the ladder, and it’s one of the most coveted gold buckles an all-around cowboy can achieve.