postheadericon Bronc busters ride to the top

Sterling Crawley rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Miss Molly for 82 points Friday to sit in a tie for third place with his good friend and traveling partner, Dean Wadsworth. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

Sterling Crawley rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly for 82 points Friday to sit in a tie for third place with his good friend and traveling partner, Dean Wadsworth. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – To make a living riding bucking horses, it takes talent, passion and a lot of miles on the rodeo trail.

Dean Wadsworth, Sterling Crawley and 2015 world champion saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley do it together and have for a number of years. While the Crawleys are brothers by blood, Wadsworth is just as much family.

On Friday night during the third performance of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, Sterling Crawley and Wadsworth moved into the top four in the saddle bronc riding standings with a pair of 82-point rides.

“That’s a good horse I had,” Sterling Crawley said of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly, his mount on Friday. “I’m always excited to have her, because you feel like you always have a chance to win on her.

“I’ve had a rough start to the week, and that one makes everything feel a little bit better.”

Sterling Crawley won the Pecos, Texas, rodeo in June with an 85.5-point ride on the red roan mare and is in good position to catch another nice payday in Lovington. Wadsworth matched moves with Carr’s Deuces Wild, a veteran bucking horse that has been consistent for many years.

“That horse has been around since I’ve been going,” he said. “That’s the first time I’ve actually been on him, but I’ve been wanting to get on him for a long time. He’s everything I’d hoped he’d be.”

After a few years away from Lea County, Wadsworth has returned to town the last two years, and he’s found it to his liking. He finished in a tie for third place a year ago; now he will have to wait through Saturday’s final performance to see where he and Sterling Crawley finish in 2017.

“This is a great rodeo,” Sterling Crawley said. “The bucking stock is outstanding. When you go to a Pete Carr rodeo, everybody’s got a chance to win.

“This is a good time of year, this rodeo has a lot of money and the crowd is always good. That’s hard to pass up.”

There aren’t many rodeos the trio passes up. After all, riding broncs is how they pay their bills. Picking up checks along the way important to the business. Jacobs Crawley leads the world standings and has much of the season, while Sterling Crawley is 10th; Wadsworth isn’t listed among the top 50 cowboys, but he’ll get there soon enough.

The key for him is being able to do something he loves with partners who make it even more enjoyable.

“Traveling with them is an absolute blast,” Wadsworth said. “I’ve traveled with several people, and I’ve never had as much fun in my life than I have while going with these two guys. Just the positivity in that van is incredible.”

Part of it is the general attitudes of all three cowboys, but they have a genuine friendship. When Jacobs Crawley won the gold buckle two seasons ago, there was plenty of excitement to go around. It was the culmination of all their dreams combined in a season of wonders.

“I don’t know how excited Jacobs was, but it was going to be tough competition to be as excited as I was,” Wadsworth said.

Now the trio will continue down the path the rodeo trail takes them. Jacobs Crawley is locked in for his seventh Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Sterling Crawley would like to cash in a little more if he returns to Las Vegas a fourth time. But he’s going in the right direction.

“The season has been great,” he said. “Things really turned around later in the season. Usually the winter is a good friend of mine. This year the summer has been good to me, so I’m just trying to keep the momentum going and keep my foot on the gas.”

There’s no better way to close out a solid season.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 9-12
Bareback riding leaders:
1. J.R. Vezain, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Painted River; 2. Anthony Thomas, 83.5; 3. Evan Jayne, 82; 4. (tie) Jordan Pelton and Richmond Champion, 81; 6. David Peebles, 80.5; 7. Grant Denny, 78; 8. (tie) Ty Breuer and Tanner Phipps, 75.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Cody Cabral, 3.5 seconds; 2. K.C. Jones, 3.7; 3. Matt Reeves, 3.8; 4. (tie) Billy Bugenig and Wyatt Lindsay, 4.1; 6. Jule Hazen, 4.2; 7. (tie) Chance Howard and Blair Jones, 4.3. Second round leaders: 1. Jule Hazen, 3.8 seconds; 2. Tanner Brunner, 3.9; 3. (tie) Mike McGinn and Chance Howard, 4.0; 5. Matt Reeves, 4.1; 6. Jacob Shofner, 4.3; 7. (tie) Wyatt Lindsay and Stockton Graves, 4.4. Average leaders: 1. Matt Reeves, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Cody Cabral, 8.0; 3. Jule Hazen, 8.0; 4. Chance Howard, 8.3; 5. Wyatt Lindsay, 8.5; 6. Jacob Shofner, 8.7; 7. J.D. Struxness, 9.1; 8. Cody Moore, 9.2.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Shank Edwards and Chase Edwards, 8.4 seconds; 3. Cory Solomon, 8.7; 4. Tuf Cooper, 9.0; 5. Ryan Jarrett, 9.3; 6. Clay McCuistion, 9.4; 7. Catfish Brown, 9.5; 8. Tyler Milligan, 9.6. Second round leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 7.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Timber Moore and Cory Solomon, 7.6; 4. Justin Smith, 8.1; 5. Marcos Costa, 8.8; 6. (tie) Ryan Jarrett and Bubba Flores, 8.8; 8. J.D. McCuistion, 9.0. Average leaders: 1. Cory Solomon, 16.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Ryan Jarrett, 18.1; 3. Caleb Smidt, 18.2; 4. Shank Edwards, 18.4; 5. J.D. McCuistion, 19.5; 6. Timber Moore, 19.6; 7. Tristan Mahoney, 19.7; 8. Chase Williams, 20.2.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Isaac Diaz, 83.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hometown Girl; 2. Hardy Braden, 82.5; 3. (tie) Dean Wadsworth and Sterling Crawley, 82; 5. Dylan Henson, 81.5; 6. (tie) Brody Cress, Kobyn Williams and Leon Fountain, 81.5.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Bryce Davis, 9.1 seconds; 2. Brian Garr, 10.8; 3. Rocky Patterson, 11.2; 4. Leo Campbell, 11.3; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 11.4; 6. Mike Chase, 11.5. Second round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 9.6 seconds; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2; 3. (tie) Cody Lee, Tuf Cooper, Chet Herren and Mike Chase, 10.5 seconds. Third round leaders: 1. J.P Wickett, 8.9 seconds; 2. Marty Jones, 9.3; 3. Trevor Brazile, 9.4; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, 10.1; 5. Rocky Patteron, 10.4; 6. Billy Good, 10.5. Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 33.2 seconds on three runs; 2. Chet Herren, 33.3; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 33.7; 4. Trevor Brazile, 34.9; 5. Brian Garr, 35.3; 6. Mike Chase, 35.8.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.3 seconds; 2. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 5.5; 3. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 5.7; 4. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 5.8; 5. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.8; 6. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.9. Second round leaders: 1. Mike Orman/Will Woodfin, 4.7 seconds; 2. (tie) Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn and Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 4.9; 4. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.2; 5. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.3; 6. Caleb Smidt/Tyler McKnight, 5.4. Average leaders: 1. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 10.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 10.8; 3. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 11.1; 4. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 12.1; 5. Jake Cooper/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 12.6; 6. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 12.9.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Taci Bettis, 17.28 seconds; 2. Dena Kirkpatrick, 17.31; 3. Katelyn Scott, 17.39; 4. Kelly Bruner, 17.44; 5. Tammy Fischer, 17.54; 6. Morgan Breaux, 17.55; 7. Jana Bean, 17.56; 8. Cindy Smith, 17.66; 9. Davie King, 17.70; 10. Nalynn Cline, 17.71; 11. Sydni Blanchard, 17.77; 12. Delani Wood, 17.80; 13. (tie) Aimee Kay and Jasarra Baca, 17.83; 15. Tillar Murray, 17.84.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Koby Radley, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Half Nutz; 2. Brennon Eldred, 86; 3. Elliott Jacoby, 85; 4. Scottie Knapp, 84; 5. Tim Bingham, 72; no qualified rides.

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