postheadericon Skelton recovering with fast times

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Nick Sartain and Rich Skelton had a solid winter and were enjoying a nice spring.

As of the second week of May, they were both fifth in their respective team roping world standings, having earned $26,000. Things changed in a hurry.

Rich Skelton

Rich Skelton

Skelton, an eight-time world champion, suffered serious injuries May 15 when he was on the wrong end of a chain-reaction wreck near his Llano, Texas, home. A pickup pulling a livestock trailer slammed into a passenger vehicle, which crashed into the eight-time world champion’s tractor. Skelton and the driver of the passenger vehicle were airlifted to an Austin, Texas, hospital.

He returned to rodeo action in late June. On Friday night, he and Sartain stopped the clock in 5.3 seconds during the third performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Combined with their 5.5-second first-round run, they lead the two-run aggregate heading into the final two days of Kansas’ richest rodeo.

“When I got hurt, I’d only been to 12 rodeos,” said Skelton, who, with Sartain, has pocketed more than $16,000 in a few weeks to move back up into the top 20 in the world standings. “We get to go to 75, so we’re playing catch-up.”

Nick Sartain

Nick Sartain

They’re doing it quite well in western Kansas. They are placing in both go-rounds with one day remaining in the preliminary rounds and will return for Sunday’s championship round. Skelton has claimed the coveted Roundup buckle two other times with world champion ropers Tee Woolman and Speed Williams; he’d like to add a third with Sartain.

“It’s been a good partnership,” Skelton said of heeling behind Sartain, the 2009 heading world champ. “We’ve struggled the past couple of weeks.

“Everything’s good, but we’re hoping this will get us kick-started and get us rolling.”

Just two months remain in ProRodeo’s regular season. Only the top 15 contestants in each event qualify for the year-end championship, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which takes place each December in Las Vegas. Doing well in Dodge City will be a great momentum boost. He’d love to return to the Nevada desert for the 22nd time in his storied career.

“I’m pretty fortunate to rope with Nick,” said Skelton, who won all of his gold buckles roping with Williams from 1997-2004. “When I was roping with Speedy, Nick used to come down and practice with us. He knows how I like steers handled, and he’s worked at handling steers like Speed.

“That’s one of the reasons we wanted to rope together.”

It’s working in Dodge City.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 29-Aug. 2
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Matt Bright, 83 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Showdown; 2. Kash Wilson, 80; 3. (tie) Tanner Aus and Seth Hardwick, 78; 5. (tie) Colt Kitaif and Frank Morton, 76; 7. Clint Cannon, 75; 8. Kyle Charley, 74; 9. (tie) Clayton Jon Biglow, Trenton Montero and Will Lowe, 71 each; 12. Casey Breuer, 66.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Ryan Swayze, 3.8; 2. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Ricky Riley, 3.9 seconds; 4. Kyle Irwin, 4.1; 5. (tie) Logan Rudd and Ryan Bothum, 4.3; 7. (tie) Orrin Fontenot, Jule Hazen, Stockton Graves, Cody Pratt and Stewart Gullager, 4.4. Second round leaders: 1. Kyle Whitaker, 3.3 seconds; 2. Jason Lahr, 3.5; 3. (tie) Levi Rudd, Tyler Waguespack and Wade Suptmer, 3.6; 6. (tie) Matt Reeves and Josh Clark, 3.8; 8. (tie) Matt Uttermark and J.D. Struxness, 4.0. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Rowdy Parrott, 8.3; 3. Kyle Irwin, 8.4; 4. Stockton Graves, 8.7; 5. Ryan Swayze, 8.8; 6. J.D. Struxness, 9.0; 7. Orrin Fontenot, 9.2; 8. Seth Brockman, 9.3; 9. Bray Armes, 9.5; 10. Ryan Bothum, 9.8; 11. Clay Mindemann, 9.9; Wade Sumpter, 10.1.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.4 seconds; 2. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 4.7; 3. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.9; 4. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2; 5. Monty Wood/Boogie Ray, 5.3; 6. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.5; 7. David Key/Martin Lucero, 5.6; 8. Dylan Gordon/Gage Williams, 5.9. Second round leaders: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 5.1; 3. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.3; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 5.4; 5. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 5.8; 6. David Key/Martin Lucero, 6.0; 7. (tie) J.D. Yates/Trey Yates and Nick Becker/Toby Mentzer, 6.3. Average leaders: 1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 10.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 11.5; 3. David Key/Martin Lucero, 11.6; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 11.7; 5. (tie) Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper and Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 11.8; 7. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 12.6; 8. Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster, 12.9; 8. Nick Becker/Toby Mentzer, 13.9; 10. Jered Hunter/Trew Cates, 15.1; 11. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 15.5; 12. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 15.5.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Rusty Wright, 81 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Jerry’s Delight; 2. (tie) Isaac Diaz, Cody Wright and Chad Ferley, 80; 5. Will Smith, 79; 6. Tyrel Larsen, 78; 7. Taos Muncy, 77; 8. (tie) Spencer Wright and Dalton Davis, 76; 10. (tie) Doug Aldridge, Taygen Schuelke and Dawson Jandreau, 75.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 8.2 seconds; 2. Caleb Smidt, 8.8; 3. (tie) Blair Burk and Landyn Duncan, 8.9; 5. (tie) Justin Maass and Monty Lewis, 9.0; 7. Tanner Stec and Rhett Ridling, 9.3. Second round leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 7.7 seconds; 2. Tyson Durfey, 8.0; 3. 3. Cole Bailey, 8.1; 4. Tyler Milligan, 8.5 seconds; 5. (tie) Trent Creager, Dennis Luetge and Stran Smith, 8.6; 8. Caleb Smidt, 9.0. Average leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 16.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Caleb Smidt, 17.8; 3. Blair Burk, 18.6; 4. Justin Maass, 18.7; 5. Timber Moore, 18.8; 6. GlennJackson Glasper, 19.6; 7. Landyn Duncan, 19.9; 8. Trent Creager, 20.3; 9. Tanner Stec, 20.7; 10. Quay Howard, 21.3; 11. Jesse Clark, 21.5; 12. Dennis Luetge, 24.1.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.09 seconds; 2. Jackie Ganter, 17.10; 3. Abby Searcy, 17.20; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.23; 5. Tillar Murray, 17.26; 6. (tie) Laura Lambert, Mary Burger and Meghan Johnson, 17.28, 17.28; 9. Christine Laughlin, 17.34; 10. Catherine Asmussen, 17.35. Second round leaders: 1. Tillar Murray, 17.02 seconds; 2. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.06; 3. Carley Richardson, 17.06; 4. Laura Kennedy, 17.07; 5. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.11; 6. Bailee Snow, 17.15; 7. Stevi Hillman, 17.16; 8. Calyssa Thomas, 17.17; 9. Christy Loflin, 17.18; 10. Abby Searcy, 17.22. Average leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 34.20 seconds on two runs; 2. Tillar Murray, 34.28; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 34.29; 4. Abby Searcy, 34.42; 5. Jackie Ganter, 34.51; 6. Meghan Johnson, 34.52; 7. Carley Richaardson, 34.53; 8. Mary Burger, 34.57; 9. Stevi Hillman, 34.61; 10. Kim Couch, 34.62; 11. Victoria Williams, 34.67; 12. Ivy Hurtst, 34.73.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Scottie Knapp, 89 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Spanish Moss; 2. Aaron Pass, 88; 3. Rocky McDonald, 86; 4. Trevor Kastner, 85; 5. Tanner Bothwell, 84; 6. Hondo Flores, 83; 8. Zeb Lanham, 82; 8. (tie) Trenton Montero and Caleb Sanderson, 81; 10. Cole Echols, 80; 11. Sage Kimzey, 77; 12. Joe Frost, 76.

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