postheadericon Champion shooting for Roundup title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Richie Champion is just 21 years old, and he has won nearly $1.2 million riding bucking horses over the last five months.

It’s been so hectic, he took a few days off the ProRodeo trail and ventured to his home in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. He needed to handle the personal matters that come with earning that much money over a short course of time.

Richie Champion

Richie Champion

He returned to work night at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo and promptly took care of his business. Champion matched moves with Harry Vold Rodeo’s Pine Cone for 84 points inside Roundup Arena to finish third in the first round in bareback riding, earning $1,489 for the feat.

More importantly, he qualifies for the championship round, which will feature the top 12 contestants in each event and crown this year’s Roundup champions beginning at 7:45 p.m. Sunday.

“This is a huge rodeo for us all, but this is where I made the first short round ever,” said Champion, the No. 4 bareback rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association with nearly $67,000 in earnings this season. “I came into the short go in the bottom of the field then. Now to be within striking distance coming into tomorrow and the caliber of horses they’ll have tomorrow, it should be pretty cool.”

Champion is closing in on his first qualification to the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s year-end championship that takes each December in Las Vegas. Of course, a lot of it comes down to confidence. A week ago, he posted a 91-point ride in the short round to win the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo. He also won the rodeo in Spanish Fork, Utah, so he earned about $17,000 a week ago alone.

“I was confident that in my career I would reach this point; I just didn’t think it would be right now,” he said. “I’m going to be grateful and thankful and humble.

“Right now, I’m just trying to stay humble and have fun.”

Of course, it helps to have fun when he gets on some of the best animal athletes in the world. In Cheyenne, his high marking was on Dirty Jacket, which has been named one of the top three bareback horses in the PRCA each of the past two years. He knows Sunday’s ride will be on another amazing animal.

“I saw a lot of those horses at Cheyenne, and they were all outstanding,” Champion said. “There’s nothing in there that’s going to be a day off. You don’t come thinking you have a day off. Those are going to be great bareback horses, and that’s why I ride bucking horses.”

He’s pretty good at it, too.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Bareback riding and short-round qualifier:
1. Casey Colletti, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Coast, and Casey Breuer, on Vold’s Hot Valley, 85 points, $2,320 each; 3. Richmond Champion, 84, $1,489; 4. Jared Smith, 83. $963; 5. (tie) Orin Larsen and Steven Dent, 81, $525 each; 7. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Tanner Phipps, 80, $306 each; 9.Tilden Hooper, 78; 10. (tie) Winn Ratliff and Taylor Price, 77.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds, $2,611; 2. Tom Lewis, 4.3, $2,271; 3. Brandon Volker, 4.4, $1,930; 4. (tie) Casey Martin and Tom Duvall, 4.5, $1,419 each; 6. (tie) Jeff Miller, Timmy Sparing and Richy Coats, 4.6, $568 each. Second round: 1. Ty Lang, 3.9 seconds, $2,611; 2. K.C. Jones, 4.0, $2,271; 3. Tooter Silver, 4.1, $1,930; 4. Gabe Burrows, 4.2, $1,590; 5. Tie) Rowdy Parrott, Sean Santucci and Jeff Miller, $908, 4.3; 8. (tie) Timmy Sparing and Stewart Gulager, 4.4, $114. Average leaders and short-round qualifier: 1. Jeff Miller, 8.9 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Bray Armes and Timmy Sparing, 9.0; 4. K.C. Jones, 9.1; 5. Tyler Waguespack, 9.9; 6. Casey Martin, 10.1; 7. Sean Santucci, 10.3; 8. Tommy Cook, 10.7; 9. Tom Lewis, 10.9; 10. Tait Kvistad, 11.1; 11. Christian Pettigrew, 11.6.

Team roping: First round:1. Arky Rogers/Travis Woodard, 5.0 seconds, $2,577 each; 2. (tie) Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton and Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 5.1, $2,073 each; 4. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.4, $1,569; 5. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.5, $1,233; 6. (tie) Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman and Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.6, $728 each; 8. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7, $224. Second round: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 4.5 seconds, $2,577; 2. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 4.9, $2,241; 3. Dustin Bird/Paul Eaves, 5.0, $1,905; 4. (tie) Keven Daniel/York Gill, Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers and David Key/Kory Koontz, 5.2 each, $1,233 each; 7. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 5.3, $560; 8. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 5.4, $244. Average leaders and short-round qualifier: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 10.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Joshua Torres/ Jonathan Torres, 11.2; 3. (tie) Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto and Adam Rose/Billy Saebens, 12.0; 4. 5. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 12.1; 6. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 12.5; 7. Jeol Bach/Allen Bach, 13.5; 8. Cory Kidd/AdamPlyer, 14.2; 9. Arky Rogers/Travis Woodard, 15.3; 10. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 16.5; 11. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 17.0; 12. Jake Orman/Zack Bocco, 17.2.

Saddle bronc riding and short-round qualifier: 1. (tie) Sterling Crawley, on Frontier Rodeo’s Short Stop, and Heith DeMoss, on Frontier Rodeo’s Midnight Delight, 87 points, $2,034 each; 3. Cody Wright, 85, $1,305; 4. (tie) Jesse Wright and Jacobs Crawley, 83, $691 each; 6. (tie) Taos Muncy and Isaac Diaz, 82, $345; 8. (tie) Troy Crowser, Wade Sundell and Ty Thompson, 81, $77; 11. (tie) Doug Aldridge and Steven Dent, 79.

Tie-down roping: First round:1. Scott Kormos, 9.2 seconds, $2,300; 2. Caddo Lewallen, 11.3, $2,000; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8, $1,700; 4. Cody Ohl, 12.0, $1,400; 5. Ace Slone, 12.7, $1,100; 6. EJ Roberts, 13.0, $800; 7. Reese Riemer, 13.4, $500; 8. (tie) Jake Pratt and Thomas Merritt, 13.5, $100 each. Second round: 1. Justin Macha, 9.0 seconds, $2,300; 2. (tie) L.D. Meier and Marshall Leonard, 9.2, $1,850 each; 4. Marcos Costa, 10.2, $1,400; 5. Ace Slone, 10.3, $1,100; 6. Trent Creager, 10.9, $800; 4. (tie) Cody Ohl and Sterling Smith, 11.0, $350. Average leaders and short-round qualifier: 1. Cody Ohl, 23.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Ace Sloan, 23.0; 3. (tie) Marshall Leonard and Caddo Lewallen, 23.5; 5. Reese Reimer, 24.5; 6. Ryan Watkins, 26.7; 7. Adam Gray, 27.7; 8. Sean O’Neil, 30.4; 9. L.D. Meier, 30.9; 10. Thomas Merritt, 31.1; 11. Marcos Costa, 33.5; 12. Cory Solomon, 34.7.

Barrel racing: First round:1. Christine Laughlin, 17.24 seconds, $2,117; 2. Mary Walker, 17.53, $1,815; 3. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.57, $1,512; 4. Jeanne Anderson, 17.58, $1,311; 5. Kaley Bass, 17.68, $1,008; 6. Taylor Jacob, 17.72, $807; 7. Shada Brazile, 17.87, $605; 8. Lynette Landis, 17.88, $403; 9. Jean Winters, 17.92, $302; 10. Jessi Fish, 17.96, $202. Second round: 1. Carlee Pierce, 16.92 seconds, $2,117; 2. Kaley Bass, 17.14, $1,815; 3. Christy Loflin, 17.25, $1,512; 4. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.32, $1,311; 5. Christine Laughlin, 17.41, $1,008; 6. Shelby Frasier, 17.50, $807; 4. Lacinda Rose, 17.67, $605; 8. Jeanne Anderson, 17.76, $403; 9. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.78, $302; 10. (tie) Jessi Meadand Lynette Landis, 17.89, $101. Average leaders and short-round qualifiers: 1. Christine Laughlin, 34.65 on two runs; 2. Kaley Bass, 34.82; 3. Cheyenne Shipps, 34.89; 4. Jeanne Anderson, 35.34; 5. Shelby Frasier, 35.52; 6. Lynette Landis, 35.77; 7. Lacinda Rose, 36.00; 8 Jill Beaty, 36.04; 9. Gretchen Benbenek, 36.20; 10. Jessi Mead, 36.29; 11. Jessi Fish, 36.48; 12. Jordan Taton, 36.50.

Bull riding and short-round qualifier: 1. Bart Miller, 85 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Sweet Tater, $2,599; 2. Tyler Smith, 84, $1,992; 3. (tie) J.W. Harris and Jacob O’Mara, 83, $$1,213 each; 5. (tie) Clayton Foltyn, Wes Wahlert and Corey Navarre, 81, $462; 8. Sage Kimzey, 80, $260; 9. Josh Koschel, 76; 10. (tie) Dillon Tyler, Lane Wilhelm and Dustin Bowen, 75.

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