postheadericon Blanchard speeds to Rooftop lead

Sydni Blanchard and her horse, Heart, round the second barrel en route to their arena-record 17.21-second run Monday night at Rooftop Rodeo. (PHOTO BY GREG WESTFALL)

Sydni Blanchard and her horse, Heart, round the second barrel en route to their arena-record 17.21-second run Monday night at Rooftop Rodeo. (PHOTO BY GREG WESTFALL)

ESTES PARK, Colo. – On the first barrel racing run Monday night, Shali Lord set a new Rooftop Rodeo record with a 17.33 seconds.

Just moments later, Sydni Blanchard set a newer one in 17.21. Now she owns the lead heading into the final night of the annual rodeo at Granny May Arena on the Estes Park Fairgrounds.

“My horse decided to beat it,” Blanchard said of the record. “This is big for both of us since it’s in both our circuit. Just the breeding and horsepower that we have (in the region) has far surpassed what it’s been in the past.”

That’s a strong indicator to the talented horses that reside in the Mountain States Circuit, made up of rodeos and contestants primarily in Colorado and Wyoming. With Blanchard being from Pueblo, Colo., and Lord from Lamar, Colo., Rooftop Rodeo is a big stop for both. In between, though, Kathy Grimes of Medical Lake, Wash., moved into second place with a 17.26 eight runs later.

“I haven’t had the best year,” said Blanchard, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “This mare was out at the beginning of this year, and my other horse broke his leg at Houston. I came back for the Fourth of July, and my saddle tree broke, slid under her and had a terrible wreck in Livingston (Mont.). This is my first rodeo back.”

It looks like luck is changing for Blanchard and her mount, Famous Heartbreaker, an 8-year-old mare she calls Heart.

“She tries no matter what,” she said. “She is really gritty. I don’t think she cares who her jockey is, but she’s going out there and try to win first.”

Now she holds the lead at the reigning Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s Medium Rodeo of the Year.

“The footing this year is absolutely phenomenal,” Blanchard said. “My horse broke his leg at Houston this year because of that ground, so I appreciate when the committees come together for us and make it the best possible ground.”

Rooftop Rodeo
Estes Park, Colo.
July 5-10, 2018
Leaders through fifth performance
Bareback riding:
1. J.C. Hester Jr., 86.5 points on Cervi Championship’s Dream Machine; 2. Steven Peebles, 86; 3. (tie) Jake Brown and Kaycee Feild, 85; 5. Lane McGehee, 83; 6. (tie) Tilden Hooper and Mason Clements, 82; 8. Paden Hurst, 81.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Sam Williams, 3.6 seconds, $1,363; 2. Will Lummus, 3.8, $1,128; 3. Laine Herl, 4.2, $893; 4. (tie) Tom Littell and Cody Devers, 4.3, $541 each; 6. (tie) Trever Nelson and Gary Gilbert, 4.4, $118 each. Second round: 1. Will Lummus, 3.2 seconds; 2. Hunter Cure, 3.7; 3. Cole McNamee, 4.0 seconds; Blake Mindemann, 4.5; 5. Laine Herl, 4.6; 6. Heath Thompson, 4.9. Average: 1. Will Lummus, 7.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Laine Herl, 8.8; 3. Hunter Cure, 9.1; 4. Sam Williams, 10.0; 5. Tom Littell, 10.6; 6. Blake Mindemann, 11.6.

Team roping: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.4 seconds; 2. (tie) Jake Barnes/Rich Skelton and Lightning Aguilera/Brady Norman, 4.6; 2. Paul Beckett/Chad Wahlert, 4.7; 3. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.2; 4. Jake Cooper/Logan Medlin, 5.3; 5. Brock Hanson/Ryan Motes, 5.5; 6. (tie) Rhett Anderson/Coleby Payne and Robert Reed/T.W. Wilson, 5.7.

Saddle bronc riding 1. Wyatt Hageman, 86 points on Cervi Brothers’ Hell’s Fire Hostage; 2. Tyrel Larsen, 84.5; 3. (tie) Hardy Braden and Sterling Crawley, 83; 5. (tie) Troy Crowser and Chase Brooks, 82.5; 7. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Clayton Brum, 82.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Reno Gonzales, 8.4 seconds, $1,176; 2. Jesse Clark, 9.4, $973; 3. Scott Kormos, 10.2, $771; 4. Anthony Jordan, 10.6, $568; 5. Joey Dickens, 10.7, $365; 6. Caleb Smidt, 10.9, $203. Second round: 1. Bryson Sechrist, 8.8 seconds; 2. Brice Ingo, 9.0; 3. Sterling Smith, 9.6; 4. (tie) Anthony Jordan and Seth Cooke, 10.2; 6. Cimarron Boardman, 10.9. Average: 1. Bryson Sechrist, 20.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Anthony Jordan, 20.8; 3. Jesse Clark, 21.2; 4. Sterling Smith, 21.4; 5. Joey Dickens, 22.1; 6. Cimarron Boardman, 22.3.

Barrel racing: 1. Sydni Blanchard, 17.21 seconds; 2. Kathy Grimes, 17.26; 3. Shali Lord, 17.33; 4. Lacinda Rose, 17.39; 5. Leia Bluemer, 17.43; 6. (tie) Heidi Tillard and Kelley Carrington, 17.47; 8. Sammi Bessert, 17.49; 9. (tie) Jaime Merrill and Kristi Steffes, 17.53.

Bull riding: 1. Callum Miller, on 4L and Diamond S Ranch’s Living After Midnight, and Scottie Knapp, on 4L and Diamond S Ranch’s Monte Walsh, 89 points each; 3. Clayton Savage, 88; 4. Kyle Gardner, 85; 5. Reid Barker, 84.5; 6. Tim Bingham, 84; 7. Jimy Marten, 82.5; 8. Moody McCoy, 77.

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