Archive for August, 2018

postheadericon Building toward its future

One of the original buildings at the Waller County Fairgrounds, the remade Wagon Wheel has become the perfect place to relax for those attending the Waller County Fair and Rodeo in October.

One of the original buildings at the Waller County Fairgrounds, the remade Wagon Wheel has become the perfect place to relax for those attending the Waller County Fair and Rodeo in October.

Original structure a key piece of Waller County Fair and Rodeo

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – A few years ago, members of the Waller County Fair Board weren’t quite sure what to do with one of the original buildings on the fairgrounds.

For years, it had been a show building, where exhibitors showed a variety of animals. Until recently, it had been a place for storage. But something needed to be done with the structure, initially erected in the 1950s. Now it’s the Wagon Wheel, a place to celebrate all that’s part of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo.

“I said, ‘Let’s make it like a Gruene Hall,’ ” said Toya Talbott, the entertainment committee chairwoman for the fair board. “The rodeo committee came in, cleaned it out and dressed it up. It had shade, and we added a heater and a bar. It’s a place to go drink beer or wine and have fun.

“We have live entertainment on the main nights of the fair. We have local bands and other things. It’s just a nice, comfortable environment.”

It’s become a wonderful gathering place for fairgoers. There will be an Elvis impersonator the opening weekend of the fair, which runs Friday, Sept. 28-Sunday, Oct. 7. The fair board is also having a piano bar night, for which special tickets have been made for the Wednesday, Oct. 3.

“We actually have it almost booked now because everybody wanted to have something new,” said Talbott, now in her fourth year on the fair board. “I think it’s going to be a big hit, but you have to have a ticket to get into that.”

It’s just another big step for the classic building. The first year of the Wagon Wheel, only beer was available. Now there’s a wine side to it, with soft lighting to make it a more intimate affair. It’s still in proximity to all the fun and fair favorites, like the carnival and the nightly concerts on the main stage. This year’s lineup features:

  • Saturday, Sept. 29: Johnny Lee at 9 p.m., followed by Sam Riggs at 11 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 4: Texas Unlimited Band at 9 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 5: Cody Wayne at 8:30 p.m., followed by Cory Morrow at 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 6: Glen Templeton at 9 p.m., followed by Steve Wariner at 11 p.m.

“On our first Saturday night, we got Johnny Lee, which will give our older group, who loves to come and dance, a chance to enjoy the early show,” she said. “We brought in Sam Riggs for the younger group, and they’ll finish it up, but the great thing about our younger group, is they love the older music. They might enjoy the whole night.

“We got a lot of feedback that everybody loves the acts we have coming, and that’s why we’ve booked them.”

Whether it’s the main stage or the Wagon Wheel, there are numerous entertainment opportunities for fairgoers planning on their experiences in Hempstead.

“We have really utilized the Wagon Wheel since we’ve redone it,” Talbott said. “We use it for our Barnyard Buddies, which happens on Wednesday of the fair. Our Barnyard Buddies program is a place for everyone, including children with special needs. The mission of the Waller County Fair Association with our Barnyard Buddies’ program is to promote a wholesome and productive lifestyle for our youth.”

The project originated in 2015 with 140 special-needs students and has grown to more than 250 in 2017. The special-needs children are paired with volunteers from various organizations on the high school level: FFA, 4-H, National Honor Society and rodeo clubs, to name a few. Volunteers provide each child activities such as petting zoo, photo booth, first responder interaction and special appearance by cowboys and cowgirls that are competing in the rodeo, carnival rides, lunch and backpacks filled with merchandise for those who would otherwise miss out on the joys of a county fair.

“We’re also excited about the local entertainers we’ll have in there throughout the fair,” Talbott said. “It’s really nice to have one of the original structures that we can still use. There is an old tree that’s grown into the building. I’m so glad the fair board saved the building and made it to what it is now.”

postheadericon Rutkowski gains ground in Sikeston

Weston Rutkowski won both rounds and the overall title at the Bullfighters Only Wrangler Bullfights Tour stop in Sikeston, Mo. By doing so, he moved to within $108 of leader Toby Inman in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings. (PHOTO BY TODD BREWER)

Weston Rutkowski won both rounds and the overall title at the Bullfighters Only Wrangler Bullfights Tour stop in Sikeston, Mo. By doing so, he moved to within $108 of leader Toby Inman in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings. (PHOTO BY TODD BREWER)

SIKESTON, Mo. – Weston Rutkowski knew he needed a break, a chance to heal his wounds and refocus his attention, but he had to take care of business first.

He did that Thursday and Friday by winning both rounds and the overall championship at the Bullfighters Only Wrangler Bullfights Tour stop at the Sikeston Bootheel Jaycee Rodeo.

Rutkowski posted the highest-marked fight in the opening round, matching moves with Knox and Cross Dunn’s King Kong for 87 points. He then followed that with a second round-winning 83 to take the crown.

“It’s been a pretty long summer, so this was good,” said Rutkowski, the reigning two-time world champion from Haskell, Texas. “I started off pretty hot, then things kind of fell apart for me. I didn’t pick up the wins like I needed to, then I got banged up in Salinas (Calif.).

With the victory, he earned $4,200 and moved up to second place in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings. Rutkowski sits only $108 behind Toby Inman of Davis Junction, Ill.

“That’s all fine and dandy, but that’s not the focus,” Rutkowski said. “As long as you’re within tracking distance when we get to Vegas, you’ve got a shot.”

The world champion will be crowned at the conclusion of the Las Vegas Championship, held annually at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino and featuring the biggest prize money in the game.

“It’s nice to sneak away with a win when you’re still not fully healthy,” he said. “That was a good one to win; no matter the outcome, I was going to take some time off and heal up.”

Rukowski will take the next month and a half off to get his body back in shape for BFO’s upcoming battles.

“It’s that time of year when your body is just beat up and worn out,” he said. “You have to stick through it, grind it out and hope you can pick up a few dollars here and there.”

 

SIKESTON RESULTS
1. Weston Rutkowski, 170 points on two fights; 2. Tucker Lane, 164; 3. Beau Schueth, 160; 4. Schell Apple, 156; 5. Toby Inman, 86 points on one fight; 6. Kris Furr, 78.

postheadericon Tutor crosses $100,000 threshold

Bill Tutor rides Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie for 87.5 points Saturday night to win the bareback riding championship at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

Bill Tutor rides Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie for 87.5 points Saturday night to win the bareback riding championship at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Bill Tutor now has 5,000 more reasons to love the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

On Saturday night, he matched moves with Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie for 87.5 points to win the bareback riding title at Jake McClure Arena in Lovington. On top of that, he pushed his 2018 earnings to more than $100,000.

“Last year, I was close to making $100,000, so I made it my goal to get there this year,” said Tutor, a 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Huntsville, Texas. “I’m going to rodeo my tail off for the rest of the year. I want to go into the finals in the best position I can.”

He sits No. 3 in the world standings and trails the leaders, Caleb Bennett and Tim O’Connell, by tens of thousands of dollars, but there’s still a month and a half left in the season. Once they all get to Las Vegas, they’ll battle for the highest pay in the game.

A year ago, Tutor earned $70,359 in Las Vegas. He’s taken the lessons learned over those 10 December nights and parlayed them into a fantastic 2018 season.

“I gained so much confidence from the finals, knowing that I can ride at that level and to expect more out of myself,” said Tutor, who finished second at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in 2014. “I thought it was a fantastic finals.”

He should, but he’s had a pretty strong season this year, too. He’s earned a dozen victories and has big hopes for the final few weeks of the campaign.

“This is a great rodeo, and it’s one of my favorites of the whole year,” he said. “There’s always great horses. It’s a tough rodeo to win, because there are a lot of great competitors as well.”

While Tutor is closing in on his second NFR, Good Time Charlie is a veteran of ProRodeo’s grand championship. In fact, the talented sorrel bucking machine should be in the Nevada desert for the 11th time this coming December.

“I’ve never been on that horse, but I’ve seen him a bunch of times,” said Tutor, 26. “I remember watching him when I first came on the scene, and I’ve always wanted to get on him.”

He proved just why in Lovington.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 8-11
All-around cowboy: Marcus Theriot, $6,374 in team roping and steer wrestling.
Bareback riding:
1. Bill Tutor, 87.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie, $5,337; 2. Steven Dent, 87, $4,092; 3. Casey Colletti, 86.5, $3,024; 4. (tie) Orin Larsen and Tilden Hooper, 86, $1,601 each; 6. Tim O’Connell, 83.5, $890; 7. Luke Creasy, 80.5, $712; 8. Trenton Montero, 80, $534.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Tanner Brunner, 3.8 seconds, $1,622; 2. Marcus Theriot, 3.9, $1,410; 3. (tie) Cody Devers and Bridger Anderson, 4.0, $1,093 each; 5. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Brady Dallin Reneau, 4.1, $670 each; 7. Cody Harmon, 4.2, $353; 8. Wyatt Jurney, 4.4, $141. Second round: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack, Cody Devers, Riley Duvall and Jacob Edler, 3.6 seconds, $1,304 each; 5. (tie) Hunter Cure and Bridger Anderson, 3.8, $670 each; 7. Cody Moore, 3.9, $353; 8. Shayde Tree Etherton, 4.0, $141. Average: 1. Cody Devers, 7.6 seconds on two runs, $2,432; 2. Bridger Anderson, 7.8, $2,115; 3. (tie) Blake Knowles, Rowdy Parrott and Hunter Cure, 8.7, $1,481 each; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 9.0, $846; 7. Tanner Brunner, 9.1, $529; 8. Jule Hazen, 9.5, $212.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Hudson Wallace, 8.3 seconds, $2,219; 2. (tie) Cooper Martin and Ryan Jarrett, 9.0, $1,785 each; 4. Reese Reimer, 9.1, $1,351; 5. (tie) Dane Kissack and Pryce Harris, 9.3, $917; 7. Cimarron Boardman, 9.4, $482; 8. Cody McCartney, 9.6, $193. Second round: 1. Jesse Clark, 7.4 seconds, $2,219; 2. Caleb Smidt, 7.8, $1,930; 3. Timber Moore, 8.1, $1,640; 4. (tie) Ty Baker, 9.7, $1,351; 5. Kody Mahaffey, 8.4, $1,061; 6. Scott Kormos, 8.6, $772; 7. Ryle Smith, 9.1, $482; 8. Tyler Prcin, 9.2, $193. Average: 1. Hudson Wallace, 17.7 seconds on two runs, $3,329; 2. Reese Riemer, 19.0, $2,895; 3. Kody Mahaffey, 19.1, $2,460; 4. Caleb Smidt, 19.4, $2,026; 5. Ty Harris, 20.1, $1,592; 6. Scott Kormos, 20.3, $1,158; 7. Ty Baker, 20.5, $724; 8. Randall Carlisle, 20.7, $289.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Taos Muncy, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Drama Queen, $4,710; 2. Dean Wadsworth, 84.5, $3,611; 3. (tie) Bradley Harter and Jacobs Crawley, 84, $2,198 each; 5. Tyler Corrington, 83.5, $1,099; 6. (tie) Joey Sonnier III and Blaise Freeman, 81.5, $706; 8. Isaac Diaz, 81, $471.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Landon McClaugherty, 10.8 seconds, $1,648; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 11.3, $1,433; 3. John E. Bland, 11.6, $1,218; 4. Tuf Cooper, 11.9, $1,003; 5. Marty Jones, 13.2, $788; 6. (tie) Tony Reina and Will Gasperson, 13.7, $466 each; 8. Scott Snedecor, 14.4, $143. Second round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 8.3 seconds, $1,648; 2. Scott Snedecor, 10.9, $1,433; 3. Bryce Davis, 11.4, $1,218; 4. (tie) Darin Suit and Kim Ziegelgruber, 11.7, $896 each; 6. (tie) Jim Locke and Jarrett Blessing, 12.1, $466 each; 8. J. Tom Fisher, 12.6, $143. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.0 seconds, $1,648; 2. Billy Good, 12.0, $1,433; 3. Jason Evans, 12.2, $1,218; 4. Bryce Davis, 12.4, $1,003; 5. Shay Good, 12.7, $788; 6. Roger Branch, 13.2, $573; 7. Van Hale, 14.1, $358; 8. Trey Wallace, 15.4, $143. Average: 1. Bryce Davis, 44.4 seconds on three runs, $2,472; 2. Will Gasperson, 45.2, $2,150; 3. Trey Wallace, 46.6, $1,827; 4. Chance Gasperson, 48.8, $1,505; 5. Roger Branch, 50.4, $1,182; 6. Dane Noyce, 52.1, $860; 7. Corey Ross, 56.3, $537; 8. Scott Snedecor, 25.3 seconds on two runs, $215.
Team roping: First round: 1. Tanner Green/Forrest Fisher, 4.8 seconds, $1,872; 2. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.2, $1,628; 3. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.4, $1,383; 4. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.5, $1,139; 5. Josh Siggins/Victor Aros, 5.6, $895; 6. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 5.7, $651; 7. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8, $407; 8. (tie) Jeff Flenniken,/Jake Minor and Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.9, $81 each. Second round: 1. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 3.9 seconds, $1,872; 2. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira and Tanner Baldwin/Seth Hall, 4.6, $1,506 each; 4. Bubba Buckaloo/Tyler Worley, 4.7, $1,139; 5. Lee Kiehne/Tyler Getzwiller, 5.2, $895; 6. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.3, $529 each; 8. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.4, $163. Average: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 10.5 seconds on two runs, $2,808; 2. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 10.9, $2,441; 3. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 11.3, $1,892; 5. Josh Siggins/Victor Aros, 14.0, $1,343; 6. Tanner Green/Forrest Fisher, 14.9, $977; 7. Clay Tryan/Gravis Graves, 15.9, $610; 8. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 16.4, $244.
Barrel racing: 1. Andrea Busby, 17.61 seconds, $3,934; 2. Nicole DeMers, 17.69, $3,147; 3. Leia Pluemer, 17.92, $2,557; 4. Kaylin Beeman, 17.94, $1,967; 5. Ilyssa Glass, 18.01, $1,574; 6. (tie) Meghan Johnson and Cindy Smith, 18.13, $1,082 each; 8. Jessica Frost, 18.17, $885; 9. Katelyn Scott, 18.35, $787; 10. Billie Ann Harmon, 18.37, $688; 11. Raylene Cox, 18.55, $590; 12. Tyra Kane, 18.64, $491; 13. Brandy Sanchez, 18.65, $393; 14. Lisa Ogden, 18.66, $295; 15. Jymmy Kay Cox, 18.72, $197.
Bull riding: 1. J.W. Harris, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cat Scat, $5,161; 2. Elliot Jacoby, 87, $3,957; 3. Jesse Petri, 86, $2,924; 4. Jeston Mead, 83.5, $1,892; 5. (tie) Parker Breding and Kenan Isbell, 82.5, $1,032 each; 7. Braden Richardson, 82, $688; 8. Reid Barker, 81, $516.

postheadericon Dent rides through mud to the lead

Steven Dent rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hired Gun through the mud and muck for 87 points Friday night to take the bareback riding at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

Steven Dent rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hired Gun through the mud and muck for 87 points Friday night to take the bareback riding at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Mud was the featured act during Friday’s third performance of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, but the stars still shined through the slop.

After his original bareback horse laid down in the bucking chute, Steven Dent took the option of riding a Pete Carr Pro Rodeo horse named Hired Gun. The powerful gray horse and Dent matched moves in the mud for 87 points, and he leads the bareback riding with one performance left at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

“That worked out really good,” said Dent, an eight-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Mullen, Neb. “Pete said the other one was better, so I got on her.

“If she stays hooked like that every time, hoof-tuh, that’s a handful. Whether it was the mud or something else that got her shortened up, I don’t know, but it was good. She was trying to buck me off in the mud puddle.”

It didn’t work, and Dent continued to thrive this week on the ProRodeo trail. Heading into this week’s competition, he was seventh in the bareback riding world standings. He also competed in saddle bronc riding, finishing with a 74.5-point ride and out of the money. He leads both events in Hermiston, Ore., so he has a chance to make a big payday this week.

“Hopefully after this week, I’ll be in the top five,” said Dent, who last won Lovington’s rodeo a decade ago. “Any rodeo you can win is good. I’m at the age that I don’t go to very many of them if they don’t count for you to win them.”

He’s 32 years old and plans to retire after next season. But he has some things he wants to accomplish first.

“My boy will be turning 7 after next year, and I’ll have a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old,” he said. “It’s time to go home and help my wife on the ranch and help raise my kids. Not many people get better after they turn 34. I want to make 10 NFRs.  I’m going to give myself two more chances to win the gold buckles. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

“I want to go to the finals in both events next year and win the all-around (world title), and either this year or next year, win the bareback riding world title.”

Those are big dreams for a talented cowboy, but he’s been living them since he was a kid running around the sandhills of Nebraska. He has every reason to give himself every chance possible.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 8-11
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Steven Dent, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hired Gun; 2. Casey Colletti, 86.5; 3. Tim O’Connell, 83.5; 4. Luke Creasy, 80.5; 5. Trenton Montero, 80; 6. (tie) J.R. Vezain and Tanner Aus, 79; 8. Tony Barrington, 78.5.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot, 3.9 seconds; 2. Cody Devers, 4.0; 3. Rowdy Parrott, 4.1; 4. Cody Harmon, 4.2; 5. J.D. Struxness, 4.5; 6. Blake Knowles, 4.6; 7. Cutter Parsons, 4.7; 8. (tie) K.C. Jones and Hunter Cure, 4.9. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Cody Devers, 3.6 seconds; 3. Hunter Cure, 3.8; 4. Cody Moore, 3.9; 5. Blake Knowles, 4.1; 6. Cody Doescher, 4.4; 7. (tie) Nick Guy, Cody Cabral and Will Lummus, 4.5. Average leaders: 1. Cody Devers, 7.6 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Blake Knowles and Rowdy Parrott, 8.7; 5. Tyler Waguespack, 9.0; 6. Nick Guy, 9.6; 7. Will Lummus, 10.5; 8. Kodie Jang, 10.7.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Hudson Wallace, 8.3 seconds; 2. Cooper Martin, 9.0; 3. Reese Reimer, 9.1; 4. (tie) Dane Kissack and Pryce Harris, 9.3; 6. Cimarron Boardman, 9.4; 7. Cody McCartney, 9.6; 8. (tie) Ty Harris, 9.7. Second round leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 7.8 seconds; 2. Timber Moore, 8.1; 3. (tie) Ty Baker, 9.7; 4. Kody Mahaffey, 8.4; 5. Scott Kormos, 8.6; 6. Tyler Prcin, 9.2; 7. (tie) Hudson Wallace and Cory Solomon, 9.4. Average leaders: 1. Hudson Wallace, 17.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Reese Riemer, 19.0; 3. Kody Mahaffey, 19.1; 4. Caleb Smidt, 19.4; 5. Ty Harris, 20.1; 6. Scott Kormos, 20.3; 7. Ty Baker, 20.5; 8. Randall Carlisle, 20.7.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Taos Muncy, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Drama Queen; 2. Dean Wadsworth, 84.5; 3. (tie) Bradley Harter and Jacobs Crawley, 84; 5. Tyler Corrington, 83.5; 6. Joey Sonnier III, 81.5; 7. Isaac Diaz, 81; 8. Clay Elliott.
Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Landon McClaugherty, 10.8 seconds; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 11.3; 3. John E. Bland, 11.6; 4. Tuf Cooper, 11.9; 5. Marty Jones, 13.2; 6. Tony Reina, 13.7; 7. Scott Snedecor, 14.4; 8. Brodie Poppino, 14.7; 5. Corey Ross, 14.8; 6. Brian Garr, 15.3; 7. Kelton McMillen, 15.5; 8. J. Tom Fisher, 15.7. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 8.3 seconds; 2. Scott Snedecor, 10.9; 3. Bryce Davis, 11.4; 4. (tie) Darin Suit and Kim Ziegelgruber, 11.7; 6. Jim Locke, 12.1; 7. J. Tom Fisher, 12.6; 8. Dane Noyce, 12.9. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.0 seconds; 2. Billy Good, 12.0; 3. Jason Evans, 12.2; 4. Bryce Davis, 12.4; 5. Shay Good, 12.7; 6. Roger Branch, 13.2; 7. Van Hale, 14.1; 8. Trey Wallace, 15.4. Average leaders: 1. Bryce Davis, 44.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Trey Wallace, 46.6; 3. Roger Branch, 50.4; 4. Dane Noyce, 52.1; 5. Corey Ross, 56.3; 6. Scott Snedecor, 25.3 seconds on two runs; 7. Darin Suit, 27.8; 8. J. Tom Fisher, 28.3.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Tanner Green/Forrest Fisher, 4.8 seconds; 2. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.2; 3. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.4; 4. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.5; 5. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 5.7; 6. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8; 7. (tie) Jeff Flenniken,/Jake Minor and Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.9. Second round leaders: 1. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 3.9 seconds; 2. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira and Tanner Baldwin/Seth Hall, 4.6; 4. Bubba Buckaloo/Tyler Worley, 4.7; 5. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.3; 7. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.4; 8. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.9. Average leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 10.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 10.9; 3. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 11.3; 5. Tanner Green/Forrest Fisher, 14.9; 6. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 16.4; 7. Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 30.1; 8. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 39.2.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Andrea Busby, 17.61 seconds; 2. Nicole DeMers, 17.69; 3. Leia Pluemer, 17.92; 4. Kaylin Beeman, 17.94; 5. Ilyssa Glass, 18.01; 6. (tie) Meghan Johnson and Cindy Smith, 18.13; 8. Jessica Frost, 18.17; 9. Billie Ann Harmon, 18.37; 10. Raylene Cox, 18.55; 11. Brandy Sanchez, 18.65; 12. Lisa Ogden, 18.66; 13. Jymmy Kay cox, 18.72; 14. Loryn Danley, 18.73; 15. Morgan Breaux, 18.87.
Bull riding leaders: 1. J.W. Harris, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cat Scat; 2. Elliot Jacoby, 87; 3. Jesse Petri, 86; 4. (tie) Parker Breding and Kenan Isbell, 82.5; 6. Braden Richardson, 82; 7. Reid Barker, 81; 8. Trevor Reiste, 79.5.

postheadericon Smidt races for Lovington cash

Caleb Smidt ropes his calf Thursday night, and stops the clock in 7.8 seconds to take the second-round lead in tie-down roping at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. He also sits fourth in the aggregate race. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

Caleb Smidt ropes his calf Thursday night, and stops the clock in 7.8 seconds to take the second-round lead in tie-down roping at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. He also sits fourth in the aggregate race. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Caleb Smidt knew he needed to be fast Thursday night if he has any chance of pulling any money out of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

He roped and tied his calf in 7.8 seconds to take the second-round lead in tie-down roping at Jake McClure Arena and moved into fourth place in the average race with two performances remaining in this year’s event.

“The round’s actually pretty tough here,” said Smidt, the 2015 tie-down roping world champion from Bellville, Texas. “I had a decent calf tonight and got a decent start. It’s only the second run on these calves, and they were fresh the first time. It was a little tricky, but I had a good go at her.”

“Fresh” refers to the calves that haven’t been put through the chute system and haven’t been roped and tied before entering this week of competition. That makes it difficult to know just how each animal might leave the chute and how fast it might run. After holding on for an 11.6-second run in the first round Thursday afternoon, he made his second run spectacular.

Caleb Smidt

Caleb Smidt

It’s all in an effort to pad his pocketbook. In rodeo, dollars equal points, and only the top 15 contestants on the money list in each event at the conclusion of the regular season advance to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Smidt is a four-time qualifier.

“It’s important, because that’s where we make our money,” he said of ProRodeo’s grand finale, which will pay go-round winners more than $26,000 for 10 straight nights. “I’ve already done pretty well as far as money. I placed at Salt Lake and placed at Calgary, and those rodeos pay a lot. They don’t count for the world standings, but I rodeo for a living, not to make the finals.

“Still, it’s always good to make the finals, because there’s a lot of money up for grabs.”

Should he remain in his position through the final two nights of Lovington’s rodeo, Smidt could add another $4,000. He sits ninth in the world standings with just less than $70,000, do anything he can add to it would be gravy. He just pocketed more than $7,200 for winning the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo for the second time.

“This is a new week,” he said. “This is my first check of this week. We’ve got Hermiston (Ore.) on Saturday. Maybe we can go up there and get a couple checks and have a decent week.”

At least he’s got a good start in Lovington.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 8-11
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Casey Colletti, 86.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket; 2. Tim O’Connell, 83.5; 3. Tony Barrington, 78.5; 4. Kaycee Field, 76.5; 5. Caleb Bennett, 76; 6. Mat David Turner, 71; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot, 3.9 seconds; 2. Rowdy Parrott, 4.1; 3. J.D. Struxness, 4.5; 4. Blake Knowles, 4.6; 5. Cutter Parsons, 4.7; 6. K.C. Jones, 4.9; 7. Nick Guy, 5.1; 8. (tie) Tyler Waguespack, Tristan Martin and Kodie Jang, 5.4. Second round leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 3.6 seconds; 2. Blake Knowles, 4.1; 3. Cody Doescher, 4.4; 4. (tie) Nick Guy, Cody Cabral and Will Lummus, 4.5; 7. Rowdy Parrott, 4.6; 9. Mike McGinn, 4.7. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Blake Knowles and Rowdy Parrott, 8.7 seconds on two runs; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 9.0; 4. Nick Guy, 9.6; 5. Will Lummus, 10.5; 6. Kodie Jang, 10.7; 7. Tristan Martin, 10.8; 8. Cody Doescher, 14.3.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Hudson Wallace, 8.3 seconds; 2. Cooper Martin, 9.0; 3. Reese Reimer, 9.1; 4. Dane Kissack, 9.3; 5. Cimarron Boardman, 9.4; 6. Cody McCartney, 9.6; 7. Ty Harris, 9.7; 8. Trevor Brazile, 10.0. Second round leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 7.8 seconds; 2. Timber Moore, 8.1; 3. (tie) Ty Baker, 9.7; 4. Kody Mahaffey, 8.4; 5. Scott Kormos, 8.6; 6. Tyler Prcin, 9.2; 7. (tie) Hudson Wallace and Cory Solomon, 9.4. Average leaders: 1. Hudson Wallace, 17.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Reese Riemer, 19.0; 3. Kody Mahaffey, 19.1; 4. Caleb Smidt, 19.4; 5. Ty Harris, 20.1; 6. Scott Kormos, 20.3; 7. Ty Baker, 20.5; 8. Randall Carlisle, 20.7.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Taos Muncy, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Drama Queen; 2. Isaac Diaz, 81; 3. Clay Elliott, 79; 4. Shane Proctor, 78.5; 5. Jacob Lewis, 78; 6. Jade Blackwell, 76; 7. J.J. Elshere, 75; 8. Preston Burr, 74.5.
Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Landon McClaugherty, 10.8 seconds; 2. Tuf Cooper, 11.9; 3. Tony Reina, 13.7; 4. Brodie Poppino, 14.7; 5. Corey Ross, 14.8; 6. Brian Garr, 15.3; 7. Kelton McMillen, 15.5; 8. J. Tom Fisher, 15.7. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 8.3 seconds; 2. Bryce Davis, 11.4; 3. (tie) Darin Suit and Kim Ziegelgruber, 11.7; 5. J. Tom Fisher, 12.6; 6. Dane Noyce, 12.9; 7. Ralph Williams, 13.3; 8. Mike Chase, 13.9. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.0 seconds; 2. Billy Good, 12.0; 3. Jason Evans, 12.2; 4. Bryce Davis, 12.4; 5. Roger Branch, 13.2; 6. Van Hale, 14.1; 7. Trey Wallace, 15.4; 8. Dane Noyce, 15.5. Average leaders: 1. Bryce Davis, 44.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Trey Wallace, 46.6; 3. Roger Branch, 50.4; 4. Dane Noyce, 52.1; 5. Corey Ross, 56.3; 6. Darin Suit, 27.8 seconds on two runs; 47. J. Tom Fisher, 28.3; 8. Trevor Brazile, 28.6.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Tanner Green/Forrest Fisher, 4.8 seconds; 2. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.2; 3. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.4; 4. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.5; 5. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 5.7; 6. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8; 7. Jeff Flenniken,/Jake Minor, 5.9; 8. Erich Rogers/Clint Summers, 6.0. Second round leaders: 1. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 3.9 seconds; 2. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira and Tanner Baldwin/Seth Hall, 4.6; 4. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.3; 6. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.4; 7. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.9; 8. Tanner Green/Forrest Fisher, 10.1. Average leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 10.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 10.9; 3. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 11.3; 5. Tanner Green/Forrest Fisher, 14.9; 6. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 39.2; 7. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 3.9 seconds on one run; 8. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira and Tanner Baldwin/Seth Hall, 4.6.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Andrea Busby, 17.61 seconds; 2. Leia Pluemer, 17.92; 3. Meghan Johnson, 18.13; 4. Jessica Frost, 18.17; 5. Raylene Cox, 18.55; 6. Brandy Sanchez, 18.65; 7. Lisa Ogden, 18.66; 8. Loryn Danley, 18.73; 9. Amanda White, 19.22; 10. Shyann Haddock-Seng, 20.07.
Bull riding leaders: 1. J.W. Harris, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cat Scat; 2. Elliot Jacoby, 87; 3. (tie) Parker Breding and Kenan Isbell, 82.5; 5. Braden Richardson, 82; 6. Reid Barker, 81; 7. Trevor Reiste, 79.5; 8. Sage Kimzey, 75.

postheadericon Theriot, Doescher finding success

Marcus Theriot, right, secures his loop on the steer as Cody Doescher prepares to heel during Wednesday’s first performance of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. They lead the first round with a 5.2-second run and have the aggregate lead with a two-run cumulative time of 10.5 seconds. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

Marcus Theriot, right, secures his loop on the steer as Cody Doescher prepares to heel during Wednesday’s first performance of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. They lead the first round with a 5.2-second run and have the aggregate lead with a two-run cumulative time of 10.5 seconds. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – With just a little more than a month and a half left in ProRodeo’s regular season, Marcus Theriot and Cody Doescher are finally heading in the right direction.

“Our summer’s been kind of tough,” said Theriot, a 21-year-old all-around cowboy from Poplarville, Miss. “We haven’t done very well at all, but we’re turning it around this week.”

He and Doescher are partners in team roping and also help one another in steer wrestling. In fact, they lead the first go-round in team roping (5.2 seconds) at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo and also have the aggregate lead (10.5 seconds on two runs) after the first day of competition at Jake McClure Arena – Theriot also has the first-round lead in bulldogging, a 3.8-second run.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been to Lovington,” Theriot said. “It’s a great rodeo and now one of my favorites. I drew really good today and was able to have some luck.

“This rodeo really wasn’t on our route this week, but it’s such a great rodeo that you’ve got to be at it. Rodeos like this are worth the drive, because you can cover so much ground if you do good at them.”

He is the son of 1994 tie-down roping world champion Herbert Theriot, who also was a contender for the all-around championship multiple times. He’s carrying on the family tradition quite well. He won the 2016 college titles in both tie-down roping and the all-around, and he was just a freshman. Now he is chasing big dreams on the ProRodeo trail.

For now, though, he’s 41st in the heading world standings, while Doescher is 39th in heeling. That’s problematic, since only the top 15 contestants in each at the conclusion of the regular season advance to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale that takes place each December in Las Vegas.

“The goal is always to make the finals,” said Doescher, 28, of Oklahoma City. “This summer has been so rough that this week we made another goal: We had to win a certain amount of money this week before we go to the Northwest. This has been a good week. We’ve got to finish up strong in Lawton (Okla.) tomorrow.”

Still, a slump is a slump, but the cowboys understand that it’s part of the game. They take it in stride. While competing on his second bulldogging steer, Theriot failed to get the animal on its side and was saddled with a no-time. He just shrugged it off and made a solid run about 50 minutes later in team roping.

“Marcus has been raised by a world champion,” Doescher said. “He knows how the mental game works.”

That comes in handy as both cowboys continue to chase their own gold buckle dreams.

“I would love to win the world title,” Theriot said. “I think that’s every guy’s dream. With hard work and determination, we’ll get it done one day.”

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 8-11
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Casey Colletti, 86.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket; 2. Tim O’Connell, 83.5; 3. Tony Barrington, 78.5; 4. Caleb Bennett, 76; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot, 3.9 seconds; 2. Rowdy Parrott, 4.1; 3. J.D. Struxness, 4.5; 4. Blake Knowles, 4.6; 5. Nick Guy, 5.1; 6. (tie) Tyler Waguespack, Tristan Martin and Kodie Jang, 5.4. Second round leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 3.6 seconds; 2. Blake Knowles, 4.1; 3. Cody Doescher, 4.4; 4. Nick Guy, 4.5; 5. Rowdy Parrott, 4.66. Mike McGinn, 4.7; 7. Jesse Brown, 5.1; 8. Kodie Jang, 5.3. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Blake Knowles and Rowdy Parrott, 8.7 seconds on two runs; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 9.0; 4. Nick Guy, 9.6; 5. Kodie Jang, 10.7; 6. Tristan Martin, 10.8; 7. Cody Doescher, 14.3; 8. J.D. Struxness, 18.5.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Hudson Wallace, 8.3 seconds; 2. Cooper Martin, 9.0; 3. Reese Reimer, 9.1; 4. Dane Kissack, 9.3; 5. Cimarron Boardman, 9.4; 6. Cody McCartney, 9.6; 7. Ty Harris, 9.7; 8. Trevor Brazile, 10.0. Second round leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 8.1 seconds; 2. Ty Baker, 8.3; 3. Tyler Prcin, 9.2; 4. (tie) Hudson Wallace and Cory Solomon, 9.4; 6. Randall Carlisle, 9.5; 7. Reese Riemer, 9.9; 8. J.D. Kibbe, 10.2. Average leaders: 1. Hudson Wallace, 17.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Reese Riemer, 19.0; 3. Ty Harris, 20.1; 4. Ty Baker, 20.5; 5. Randall Carlisle, 20.7; 6. Cody McCartney, 21.3; 7. Cory Solomon, 23.7; 8. Trevor Brazile, 24.0.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Isaac Diaz, 81 points on Big Rafter Rodeo’s Wild Strawberry; 2. Shane Proctor, 78.5; 3. Shorty Garrett, 71.5; 4. Clayton Brum, 59.5; no other qualified rides.
Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Landon McClaugherty, 10.8 seconds; 2. Tuf Cooper, 11.9; 3. Tony Reina, 13.7; 4. Corey Ross, 14.8; 5. Brian Garr, 15.3; 6. Trey Wallace, 16.4; 7. Martin Poindexter, 17.0; 8. Chad Mathis, 17.1. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 8.3 seconds; 2. Ralph Williams, 13.3; 3. Trey Wallace, 14.8; 4. Corey Ross, 21.0; 5. Tuf Cooper, 26.1; 6. Brian Garr, 29.6; no other qualified times. Third round: 1. Trey Wallace, 15.4 seconds; 2. Trevor Brazile, 20.3; 3. Corey Ross, 20.5; 4. Tony Reina, 20.6; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Trey Wallace, 46.6 seconds on three runs; 2. Corey Ross, 56.3; 3. Trevor Brazile, 28.6 seconds on two runs; 4. Tony Reina, 34.3; 5. Tuf Cooper, 38.0; 6. Brian Garr, 44.9; 7. Landon McClaugherty, 10.8 seconds on one run; 8. Ralph Williams, 13.3.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.2 seconds; 2. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.4; 3. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.5; 4. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8; 5. Jeff Flenniken, 5.9; 6. Erich Rogers, 6.0; 7. Jake Cooper/Clint Summers, 6.0; 8. Garrett Tonozzi/Joe Mattern, 7.9. Second round leaders: 1. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 3.9 seconds; 2. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.6; 3. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.3; 5. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 5.4; 6. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.9; 7. Brock Hanson/Ryan Motes, 13.7; 8. Lane Ivy/Blaine Vick, 14.3. Average leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 10.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Kellan Johnson/Brady Norman, 10.9; 3. (tie) Erich Rogers/Clint Summers and Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 11.3; 5. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 39.2; 6. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 3.9 seconds on one run; 7. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.6; 8. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Andrea Busby, 17.61 seconds; 2. Leia Pluemer, 17.92; 3. Meghan Johnson, 18.13; 4. Reaylene Cos, 18.55; 5. Brandy Sanchez, 18.65; 6. Lisa Ogden, 18.66; no other qualified times.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Elliot Jacoby, 87 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Snotty Scotty; 2. Parker Breding, 82.5; 3. Braden Richardson, 82; 4. Reid Barker, 81; 5. Trevor Reiste, 79.5; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Spears earns Xtreme Bulls crown

Jordan Spears rides Pete Carr's Smash Mouth for 90 points during the championship round of the Lea County Xtreme Bulls at Jake McClure in Lovington, N.M. Spears earned $9,231 for the win and moved into the top 20 in the world standings. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

Jordan Spears rides Pete Carr’s Smash Mouth for 90 points during the championship round of the Lea County Xtreme Bulls at Jake McClure in Lovington, N.M. Spears earned $9,231 for the win and moved into the top 20 in the world standings. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – The first two times Jordan Spears rodeo the bull Smash Mouth, he learned a few lessons.

They paid off Tuesday night when he captured the Lea County Xtreme Bulls title and a payday worth $9,231. While he’s had great success in Lovington over the years, this marked his first big victory.

“A win’s important any time, and it doesn’t matter what time of year,” said Spears, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Redding, Calif. “Over the years, I seem to draw good bulls, and I seem to ride good. It feels good to get a win at a big Xtreme Bulls event like this.”

Spears earned his chance to ride Smash Mouth, a Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo bull that’s been to the NFR himself, by placing seventh in the first go-round. He rode Stace Smith ProRodeo’s JoJo for 79 points.

Then in the championship round, he and the big black bull matched moves for 90 points. It was the third time the two gladiators had been matched up, and it showed. The first occurred last December at the NFR, and Smash Mouth won the war. Then two months later during the in San Angelo, Texas.

“I drew him again this year in San Angelo short round,” he said. “I rode him for 88.5 points. I felt like tonight’s ride was about the exact same trip. He looks a lot nicer than he feels. He’s definitely you can win on if you can ride him.”

Heading into this week, Spears sat 21st in the world standings. His earnings in Lovington have already moved him to 16th, so he’s closing in on that sweet spot – only the top 15 contestants in each event at the conclusion of the regular season advance to the NFR.

“Everybody’s goal is to win as much money as they can,” he said. ‘You set a goal at the beginning of the year to win the world title. You’ve got to make your way to the finals to give yourself a shot at that.

“This is a great boost, but really it’s more money to keep me going down the road. I’ll keep entering, trucking down that road, riding my best and getting on everything I can get on to make the finals. Whatever’s going to happen will happen. I just have a positive mindset, nod my head and hope for the best every time.”

Lea County Xtreme Bulls
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 7, 2018
First round:
1. Roscoe Jarboe, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Butter Bean, $3,405; 2. (tie) Reid Barker and Dustin Boquet, 85.5, $2,270; 4. Joseph McConnel, 85, $1,249; 5. Tyler Bingham, 84.5, $795; 6. Koby Radley, 82, $568; 7. Jordan Spears, 79, $454; 8. Dalan Duncan, 78, $341. Championship round: 1. Jordan Spears, 90 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Smash Mouth, $3,102; 2. Brody Yeary, 88, $2,497; 3. Boudreaux Campbell, 84, $1,967; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Jordan Spears, 169 points on two rides, $5,675; 2. Brody Yeary, 164, $4,351; 3. Roscoe Jarboe, 86, $3,216; 4. (tie) Dustin Boquet and Reid Barker, 85.5, $1,703; 6. Tyler Bingham, 84.5, $946; 7. Boudreaux Campbell, 84, $757; 8. Koby Radley, 82, $568.

postheadericon Teenager wins Roundup title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Less than two months ago, Bridger Anderson was competing at the College National Finals Rodeo for the first time in his young college career.

He is a sophomore-to-be at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, and he’s traveling the ProRodeo trail with his coach, Stockton Graves, a seven-time steer wrestling qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Anderson is taking to his education quite well. On Sunday night, he did so with an explanation point, downing his steer in 3.8 seconds to win the championship round and the overall championship at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

Bridger Anderson

Bridger Anderson

“This is my first ProRodeo win ever,” said Anderson, a smiling teenager from Carrington, N.D. “I was pretty nervous earlier in the day, but I wasn’t too bad when I got in the box.”

It showed. Anderson also placed in the first round and finished his week of work in southwest Kansas with $6,607 earned.

“It’s very important to win Dodge City at 19 years old,” said Graves, who won the Roundup buckle multiple times over his career. “I think I was 30-something when I first won it. That’ll help with his circuit standings, so that’s really good.”

Because he’s attending college in Oklahoma, Anderson is competing in the Prairie Circuit, which is made up of rodeos and contestants primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. The money he earned in Dodge City will move him into the top 10 in the region – only the top 12 on the money list at the conclusion of the regular season advance to the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in October.

So why did a cowboy from North Dakota choose to attend college in Alva?

“It’s the Bulldogging Capital of College Rodeo, so it’s really the only place to go for steer wrestlers,” he said. “Stockton has taught me a lot of little things. We focus less on steer wrestling and more on winning, and I think that’s a good way to go.”

It doesn’t hurt to travel with a cowboy like that either.

“He knows everything about this game,” Anderson said. “It’s really cool to be able to learn from him and pick up all the tips.”

It was also an important night to seal his first big victory. His coach, meanwhile, finished fourth overall

“I was awfully proud of Bridger,” Graves said. “He’s been struggling a bit, so he’s been needing that. He did a great job scoring and made a great run.

“He did what he’s supposed to do.”

Spoken like a true coach.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 1-5
All-around cowboy:
Paul David Tierney, $9,236 in tie-down roping and team roping.
Bareback riding:
1. Tim O’Connell, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Time’s Up, $2,958; 2. (tie) Seth Harwick and Wyatt Denny, 84, $1,972 each; 4. (tie) Clayton Biglow and Steven Dent, 83, $887 each; 6. Jesse Pope, 82, $493; 7. Zach Hibler, 78.5, $394; 8. (tie) Will Martin and Bill Tutor, 78, $148 each. Final round: 1. Seth Hardwick, 90 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Gunfire, $1,650; 2. (tie) Steven Dent and Tim O’Connell, 86.5, $1,075 each; 4. (tie) Bill Tutor and Clayton Biglow, 85, $475 each; 6. (tie) Will Martin and Wyatt Denny, 83, $125 each. Average: 1. Seth Hardwick, 174 points on two rides, $2,958; 2. Tim O’Connell, 173.5, $2,268; 3. Steven Dent, 169.5, $1,676; 4. Clayton Biglow, 168, $1,085; 5. Wyatt Denny, 167, $690; 6. Bill Tutor, 163, $493; 7. Will Martin, 161, $394; 8. Paden Hurst, 156.5, $296.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. (tie) Tanner Bruner and Cody Pratt, 3.8 seconds, $2,560 each; 3. (tie) Tom Littell and Cameron Morman, 3.9, $1,846 each; 5. Bridger Anderson, 4.2, $1,310; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.3, $953; 7. Tom Lewis, 4.4, $595; 8. (tie) Cimarron Thompson and Riley Duvall, 4.5, $119 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Tyler Pearson and Blake Mindemann, 3.7 seconds, $2,560 each; 3. (tie) Chancey Larson and Will Lummus, 3.8, $1,846 each; 5. K.C. Jones, 3.9, $1,310; 6. Aaron Vosler, 4.0, $953; 7. Chase Crane, 4.1, 595; 8. Nick Guy, 4.2, $238. Final round: 1. Bridger Andersen, 3.8 seconds, $1,189; 2. Will Lummus, 4.1, $984; 3. Cody Pratt, 4.3, $779; 4. Riley Duvall, 4.6, $574; 5. (tie) Blake Knowles, Tom Littell and Stockton Graves, 4.8, $191 each. Average: 1. Bridger Anderson, 12.3 seconds on three runs, $4,108; 2. (tie) Riley Duvall and Tyler Waguespack, 13.6, $3,304 each; 4. Stockton Graves, 13.9, $2,501; 5. Will Lummus, 14.0, $1,965; 6. Cody Pratt, 14.2, $1,429; 7. Tom Littell, 14.3, $893; 8. Blake Knowles, 14.9, $357.
Team roping: First round: 1. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 4.7 seconds, $2,692; 2. Paul David Tierney/Danner Braden, 5.0, $2,341; 3. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 5.2, $1,990; 4. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 5.4, $1,639; 5. Tanner Baldwdin/Seth Hall, 5.5, $1,288; 6. Steven Duby/Evan Arnold, 5.6, $936; 7. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 6.2, $585; 8. (tie) Matt Sherwood/Buddy Hawkins II and Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 6.4, $117 each. Second round: 1. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 4.8; 2. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.0; 3. Casey Hicks/Justin Fox, 5.1; 4. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 5.2; 5. JoJo LeMond/J.D. Yates, 5.4; 6. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 5.5; 7. Jake Barnes/Rich Skelton, 5.9; 8. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 6.1, $234. Final round: 1. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 5.2 seconds, $986; 2. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.6, $816; 3. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 6.2, $646; 4. Lane Ivy/Blaine Vick, 6.4, $476; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 6.5, $306; 6. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 6.6, $170. Average: 1. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 16.8 seconds on three runs, $4,038; 3. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, $3,552; 3. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 18.2, $2,984; 4. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 19.1, $2,458; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 19.3, $1,931; 6. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 21.4, $1,405; 7. Lane Ivy/Blaine Vick, 31.9, $878; 8. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 10.2 seconds on two runs, $351.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jake Wright, 87.56 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Bordertown, $2,789; 2. Taos Muncy, 85.5, $2,138; 3. Joe Lufkin, 85, $1,580; 4. (tie) Spencer Wright and Bradley Harter, 83.5, $837 each; 6. (tie) Rusty Wright and Mitch Pollock, 82.5, $418 each; 8. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw and Shade Etbauer, 82, $139 each. Final round: 1. Bradley Harter, 88.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Yellowstone, $1,650; 2. Spencer Wright, 87, $1,250; 3. Taos Muncy, 86, $900; 4. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw, Mitch Pollock and Jake Wright, 84, $400 each. Average: 1. Bradley Harter, 172 points on two rides; $2,789; 2. (tie) Taos Muncy and Jake Wright, 171.5, $1,859 each; 4. Spencer Wright, 1271, $1,023; 5. Joe Lufkin, 168, $651; 6. Mitch Pollock, 167, $465; 7. CoBurn Bradshaw, 166, $372; 8. Ross Griffin, 163, $279.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Chance Oftedahl, 8.5 seconds, $2,757; 2. Paul David Tierney, 8.8, $2,398; 3. Cody Huber, 8.9, $2,038; 4. (tie) Weldon Watson and Cooper Martin, 9.1, $1,498 each; 6. Marty Yates, 9.3, $959; 7. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Blake Ash, 9.4, $420 each; 8. (tie) Ty Baker and Charlie Gibson, 9.6. Second round: 1. Caddo Lewallen, 8.1 seconds, $2,757; 2. Cory Solomon, 8.3, $2,398; 3. Caleb Smidt, 8.6, $2,038; 4. Hudson Wallace, 8.8, $1,678; 5. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tanner Green, 8.9, $1,139 each; 7. Cheyenne Harper, 9.4, $599; 8. Dennis Luetge, 9.6, $240. Final round: 1. (tie) Blake Ash and Caleb Smidt, 9.4 seconds, $1,100 each; 3. Ty Baker, 9.6, $789; 4. Clint Cooper, 9.7, $581; 5. Cheyenne Harper, 9.9, $374; 6. Bryson Sechrist, 10.0, $208. Average: 1. Caleb Smidt, 28.1 seconds on three runs, $4,136; 2. Ty Baker, 29.2, $3,596; 3. Blake Ash, 29.8, $3,067; 4. Tanner  Green, 29.9, $2,517; 5. Bryson Sechrist, 32.0, $1,978; 6. Clint Cooper, 32.1, $1,439; 7. Cheyenne Harper, 33.0, $899; 8. Randall Carlisle, 35, $360.
Barrel racing: First round: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.15 seconds, $2,363; 2. Shali Lord, 17.16, $2,025; 3. Jimmie Smith, 17.18, $1,688; 4. Lori Todd, 17.20, $1,463; 5. Leia Pluemer, 17.22, $1,125; 6. Cierra Chapman, 17.41, $900; 7. (tie) Ali Armstrong and Monica McClung, 17.43, $563 each; 9. Jana Bean, 17.47, $338; 10. Kynzie McNeill, 17.50, $225. Second round: 1. Michelle Darling, 17.05, $2,363; 2. Emily Miller, 17.11, $2,025; 3. Jessic Routier, 17.21, $1,688; 4. Kylie Weast, 17.26, $1,463; 5. (tie) Carley Richardson and Ari-Anna Flynn, 17.31, $1,013 each; 7. Shali Lord, 17.32, $675; 8. (tie) Jana Bean and Sissy Winn, 17.34, $394 each; 10. Skyla Whitters, 17.38, $225. Final round: 1. Shali Lord, 17.28 seconds, $1,750; 2. Kylie Weast, 17.35, $1,313; 3. Jana Bean, 17.37, $875; 4. Emily Miller, 17.42, $438. Average: 1. Shali Lord, 51.76, $3,544; 2. Jana Bean, 52.18, $3,038; 3. Kylie Weast, 52.23, $2,532; 4. Monica McClung, 52.32, $2,194; 5. Leia Pluemer, 52.36, $1,688; 6. Jimmie Smith, 52.48, $1,350; 7. Emily Miller 52.50, $1,013; 8. Cierra Chapman, 52.67, $675; 9. Kynzie McNeill, 52.69, $506; 10. Michelle Darling, 52.76, $338.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 10.5 seconds, $1,863; 2. Scott Snedecor, 10.7, $1,542; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 11.0, $1,220; 4. Brady Garten, 11.5, $899; 5. Rod Hartness, 11.8, $578; 6. Roger Branch, 12.2, $321. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 9.4 seconds, $1,863; 2. (tie) Ralph Williamsand Jarrett Blessing, 9.8, $1,381 each; 4. Chris Glover, 11.0, $899; 5. Cody Lee, 10.3, $578; 6. Brent Lewis, 10.5, $321. Third round: 1. Tuf Cooper, 9.3 seconds, $1,863; 2. Blake Deckard, 9.6, $1,541; 3. Brady Garten, 9.9, $1,220; 4. (tie) Tony Reina and Ty Herd, 10.2, $739 each; 6. Marty Jones, 10.3, $321. Average: 1. Roger Branch, 35.1 seconds on three runs, $2,794; 2. Brady Garten, 35.3, $2,312; 3. Trevor Brazile, 37.2, $1,831; 4. Marty Jones, 37.8, $1,349; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 38.9, $867; 6. Ryan Willberg, 39.4, $482.
Bull riding: 1. J.W. Harris, 88 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Kooty Crazy, $2,987; 2. Aaron Williams, 86, $2,290; 3. Laramie Mosley, 85; 4. (tie) Ruger Piva, Jesse Petri and Tristan Mize, 84, $763 each; 7. Tim Bingham, 83.5, $398; 8. (tie) Callum Miller and Clayton Sellers, 81.5, $149 each. Final round: 1. Jessi Petri, 90 points on Frontier Rodeo’s After All, $2,050; 2. Tyler Bingham, 88, $1,650; 3. Tim Bingham, 80, $1,300; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Jessi Petri, 174 points on two rides, $2,987; 2. Tyler Bingham, 169, $2,290; 3. Tim Bingham, 164, $1,692; 4. J.W. Harris, 88 points on one ride, $1,095; 5. Aaron Williams, 867, $697; 6. Laramie Mosely, 85, $498; 7. Ruger Piva, 85, $398; 8. Tristan Mize, 84, $299.

postheadericon Graves seeks 2nd Roundup title

Travis Graves, a nine-time NFR qualifier from Jay, Okla., secures his heel loop Saturday night to help he and his partner qualify for Championship Sunday at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (PHOTO BY DAVID SEYMORE)

Travis Graves, a nine-time NFR qualifier from Jay, Okla., secures his heel loop Saturday night to help he and his partner qualify for Championship Sunday at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (PHOTO BY DAVID SEYMORE)

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Five years ago, Travis Graves left Roundup Arena with one of his greatest possessions: The Dodge City Roundup Rodeo championship buckle.

On Saturday night during the fourth performance of this year’s event at Roundup Arena, Graves and his partner, three-time world champion header Clay Tryan, gave themselves a chance at the 2018 Roundup buckle. They stopped the clock in 7.7 seconds to qualify for Championship Sunday.

“I didn’t do a very good job at the start,” said Tryan of Billings, Mont. “I just didn’t do a very good job, but the rodeo’s kind of easy (in team roping this year). Once you know you’re not going to be fast, you don’t want to mess it up once you’ve run your steer that far down the arena.”

The tandem put together a 5.2-second run on Saturday morning to finish third in the opening go-round. Their second-round time gave them a 12.9-second time on the two-run aggregate. They are sixth heading into the short go-round.

“The steers here are fresher, meaning they haven’t been run much,” said Graves of Jay, Okla. “Our steer tonight didn’t go anywhere, then he took off and went hard right into me, and that made it hard on Clay.”

Nonetheless, the duo is in the top half of the field for the finale; only the top 12 contestants (or teams) in each event advance to the short round, so that’s a big step in having a chance to collect the lion’s share of the money and claiming that Roundup buckle.

“This is one of my favorite rodeos,” said Graves, a nine-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier now sitting 12th in the 2018 world standings. “This week, you have Dodge City, Phillipsburg and Abilene. Being from Oklahoma, the Prairie Circuit is where I grew up. I always look forward to coming here.”

This season marks the second time Tryan and Graves and teamed together. They roped together from 2010-12 and made the NFR each of those seasons.

“We’ve been doing alright, just winning a little bit here and there,” Tryan said. “We’ve only been to half the rodeos we’re going to, so if we can finish the season out strong, we should work our way on top.”

The key is being among the top 15 in the world standings at the conclusion of the regular season, because those are the cowboys and cowgirls that advance to ProRodeo’s grand finale in Las Vegas. Once there, the payout is so big that anything can happen. In rodeo, dollars equal championship points, so the contestants with the most money won in each event will be crowned world champions.

“The regular season is important, but whoever does the best in Vegas is your champ,” Graves said. “You want to go in there toward the top of the standings and give yourself a chance, then you have to have a good finals.”

Tryan and Graves are at least giving themselves a chance.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 1-5
Bareback riding:
1. Tim O’Connell, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Time’s Up, $2,958; 2. (tie) Seth Harwick and Wyatt Denny, 84, $1,972 each; 4. (tie) Clayton Biglow and Steven Dent, 83, $887 each; 6. Jesse Pope, 82, $493; 7. Zach Hibler, 78.5, $394; 8. (tie) Will Martin and Bill Tutor, 78, $148 each; 10. Paden Hurst, 76.5; 11. J.C. Hester, 76; 12. Cody Kiser, 75.5.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. (tie) Tanner Bruner and Cody Pratt, 3.8 seconds, $2,560 each; 3. (tie) Tom Littell and Cameron Morman, 3.9, $1,846 each; 5. Bridger Anderson, 4.2, $1,310; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.3, $953; 7. Tom Lewis, 4.4, $595; 8. (tie) Cimarron Thompson and Riley Duvall, 4.5, $119 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Tyler Pearson and Blake Mindemann, 3.7 seconds, $2,560 each; 3. (tie) Chancey Larson and Will Lummus, 3.8, $1,846 each; 5. K.C. Jones, 3.9, $1,310; 6. Aaron Vosler, 4.0, $953; 7. Chase Crane, 4.1, 595; 8. Nick Guy, 4.2, $238.  Average leaders: 1. Bridger Anderson, 8.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Tanner Bruner, 8.6; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 8.7; 4. Riley Duvall, 9.0; 5. Stockton Graves, 9.1; 6. Tom Littell, 9.5; 7. Gabe Soileau, 9.7; 8. (tie) Heath Thomas, Will Lummus and Cody Pratt, 9.9; 11. Blake Knowles, 10.1; 12. Kyle Irwin, 10.3.
Team roping: First round: 1. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 4.7 seconds, $2,692; 2. Paul David Tierney/Danner Braden, 5.0, $2,341; 3. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 5.2, $1,990; 4. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 5.4, $1,639; 5. Tanner Baldwdin/Seth Hall, 5.5, $1,288; 6. Steven Duby/Evan Arnold, 5.6, $936; 7. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 6.2, $585; 8. (tie) Matt Sherwood/Buddy Hawkins II and Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 6.4, $117 each. Second round: 1. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 4.8; 2. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.0; 3. Casey Hicks/Justin Fox, 5.1; 4. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 5.2; 5. JoJo LeMond/J.D. Yates, 5.4; 6. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 5.5; 7. Jake Barnes/Rich Skelton, 5.9; 8. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 6.1, $234. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight and Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 10.2 seconds on two runs; 3. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 12.4; 4. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 12.6; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 12.9; 6. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 12.9; 7. Cale Markham/Jake Clay, 13.5; 8. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 14.3; 9. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 16.2; 10. Billy Peters/Rio Esquibel, 17.6; 11. JoJo LeMond/J.D. Yates, 21.1; 12. Dylan Gordon/Gage Williams, 22.1.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jake Wright, 87.56 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Bordertown, $2,789; 2. Taos Muncy, 85.5, $2,138; 3. Joe Lufkin, 85, $1,580; 4. (tie) Spencer Wright and Bradley Harter, 83.5, $837 each; 6. (tie) Rusty Wright and Mitch Pollock, 82.5, $418 each; 8. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw and Shade Etbauer, 82, $139 each; 10. (tie) Dawson Hay and Ross Griffin, 81.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Chance Oftedahl, 8.5 seconds, $2,757; 2. Paul David Tierney, 8.8, $2,398; 3. Cody Huber, 8.9, $2,038; 4. (tie) Weldon Watson and Cooper Martin, 9.1, $1,498 each; 6. Marty Yates, 9.3, $959; 7. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Blake Ash, 9.4, $420 each; 8. (tie) Ty Baker and Charlie Gibson, 9.6. Second round: 1. Caddo Lewallen, 8.1 seconds, $2,757; 2. Cory Solomon, 8.3, $2,398; 3. Caleb Smidt, 8.6, $2,038; 4. Hudson Wallace, 8.8, $1,678; 5. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tanner Green, 8.9, $1,139 each; 7. Cheyenne Harper, 9.4, $599; 8. Dennis Luetge, 9.6, $240. Average: 1. Caleb Smidt, 18.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Tanner Green, 18.9; 3. Ty Baker, 19.6; 4. Weldon Watson, 20.1; 5. Cody Quaney, 20.3; 6. Blake Ash, 20.4; 7. Bryson Sechrist, 22.0; 8. Clint Cooper, 22.4; 9. Cheyenne Harper, 23.1; 10. Trell Etbauer, 23.2; 11. Randall Carlisle, 23.6; 12. Cooper Martin 25.0.
Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.15 seconds, $2,363; 2. Shali Lord, 17.16, $2,025; 3. Jimmie Smith, 17.18, $1,688; 4. Lori Todd, 17.20, $1,463; 5. Leia Pluemer, 17.22, $1,125; 6. Cierra Chapman, 17.41, $900; 7. (tie) Ali Armstrong and Monica McClung, 17.43, $563 each; 9. Jana Bean, 17.47, $338; 10. Kynzie McNeill, 17.50, $225. Second round leaders: 1. Michelle Darling, 17.05, $2,363; 2. Emily Miller, 17.11, $2,025; 3. Jessic Routier, 17.21, $1,688; 4. Kylie Weast, 17.26, $1,463; 5. (tie) Carley Richardson and Ari-Anna Flynn, 17.31, $1,013 each; 7. Shali Lord, 17.32, $675; 8. (tie) Jana Bean and Sissy Winn, 17.34, $394 each; 10. Skyla Whitters, 17.38, $225. Average leaders: 1. Shali Lord, 34.48 seconds on two runs; 2. Michelle Darling, 34.68; 3. (tie) Cierra Chapman and Leia Pluemer, 34.80; 5. Jana Bean, 34.81; 6. Monica McClung, $34.82; 7. Kylie Weast, 34.88; 8. Jimmie Smith and Kynzie McNeill, 34.93; 10. Ari-Anna Flynn, 34.98; 11. Sissy Winn, 34.93; 12. Emily Miller, 35.08.
Bull riding leaders: 1. J.W. Harris, 88 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Kooty Crazy, $2,987; 2. Aaron Williams, 86, $2,290; 3. Laramie Mosley, 85; 4. (tie) Ruger Piva, Jesse Petri and Tristan Mize, 84, $763 each; 7. Tim Bingham, 83.5, $398; 8. (tie) Callum Miller and Clayton Sellers, 81.5, $149 each; 10. Tyler Bingham, 81; 11. (tie) Fulton Rutland and Brady Portenier, 80.5.

postheadericon O’Connell spurs to Dodge lead

Two-time reigning world champion Tim O'Connell rides Frontier Rodeo's Times Up for 87 points Friday to take the bareback riding lead at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (PHOTO BY DAVID SEYMORE)

Two-time reigning world champion Tim O’Connell rides Frontier Rodeo’s Times Up for 87 points Friday to take the bareback riding lead at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (PHOTO BY DAVID SEYMORE)

DODGE CITY, Kan. – A great deal has happened in Tim O’Connell’s life the last nine months.

He earned his second straight bareback riding world championship last December, clinching it at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Three months later, his wife, Sami, gave birth to their first child, a son named Hazen.

He had the best Cowboy Christmas of his career during the lucrative series of rodeos spread out over the Fourth of July holiday. Now he sits second in the world standings, less than $3,000 behind the leader, Caleb Bennett.

On Friday night during the third performance of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, he matched moves with Frontier Rodeo’s Times Up for 87 points to take the bareback riding lead. He will return as one of the top 12 guys in each event competing Championship Sunday at Roundup Arena.

“My summer got hot,” said O’Connell, who has doubled his money in late June, with more than $30,000 coming over the Fourth of July. “I got my ‘father life taken care of, learning how to be a dad and a cowboy. Mentally, I just wasn’t there mentally in the winter, wondering all the time if I was going to be at a rodeo and get a phone call that my wife was in labor.

Tim O'Connell

Tim O’Connell

“It messed me up more than I wanted to admit, so I had an unsatisfactory winter. My son was born, I was there for it and my wife handled it like a champ. Now five months into it, my game turned on.”

Heading into April, he was 13th on the money list. He hit the learning curve, and things picked up immediately. By April 9, he was third in the standings. He’s been at the top ever since.

But a week ago, he took another hit when his horse fell over on him at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo. He suffered a “bucket-handle” tear in his meniscus that likely will require surgery. Earlier this week, however, doctors gave him a shot that has eased the pain.

“It’s a numbing agent, a dulled-down version of cortisone,” he said. “It takes the inflammation out of my knee. After a few days, the inflammation left.”

He’s trying to stave off the potential surgery, though.

“We’re just in the heart of the season,” said O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa. “I needed to come here and see what I could do not babying it. If I could not perform to the best of my abilities tonight, then I was going under the knife next week to get it taken care of.”

It comes down to having himself ready to battle for a third straight gold buckle when he arrives in Las Vegas in December.

“How I want to be mentally, physically and spiritually is that when I show up to the NFR, I don’t want to have any doubts on what I need to do,” he said. “People don’t understand that the NFR is an animal itself. It’s the most grueling 10 days you’ll put your body through. If you show up with a Band-Aid, they’re going to tear it into an open wound by Round 7. You have to be ready for it.

“It’s part of the game, getting on that caliber of horses day in and day out. I look down the road at that more than I do the next six weeks go close out the season.”

And rightfully so. For now, though, he’d like to win Roundup Rodeo for the second time in three years.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 1-5
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Tim O’Connell, 87 points on Fronteir Rodeo’s Time’s Up; 2. (tie) Seth Harwick and Wyatt Denny, 84; 4. (tie) Clayton Biglow and Steven Dent, 83; 6. Jesse Pope, 82; 7. Will Martin 78; 8. J.C. Hester, 76; 9. (tie) Will Lowe, Kyule Charley and Tilden Hooper, 75; 12. (tie) Kenny Haworth and Tony Barrington, 73.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Tanner Bruner and Cody Pratt, 3.8 seconds; 3. (tie) Tom Littell and Cameron Morman, 3.9; 5. Bridger Anderson, 4.2; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.3; 7. Tom Lewis, 4.4; 8. (tie) Kyle Irwin and Heath Thomas, 4.6. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Pearson and Blake Mindemann, 3.7 seconds; 3. Chancey Larson, 3.8; 4. Aaron Vosler, 4.0; 5. Nick Guy, 4.2; 6. (tie) Stockton Graves and Bridger Anderson, 4.3; 8. (tie) Blake Knowles and Tyler Waguespack, 4.4.  Average leaders: 1. Bridger Anderson, 8.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Tanner Bruner, 8.6; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 8.7; 4. Stockton Graves, 9.1; 5. Tom Littell, 9.5; 6. (tie) Heath Thomas and Cody Pratt, 9.9; 8. Blake Knowles, 10.1; 9. Kyle Irwin, 10.3; 10. (tie) Levi Rudd and Kyle Whitaker, 10.4; 12. Shane Frey, 10.7.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 4.7 seconds; 2. Paul David Tierney/Danner Braden, 5.0; 3. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 5.4; 4. Tanner Baldwdin/Seth Hall, 5.5; 5. Steven Duby/Evan Arnold, 5.6; 6. Matt Sherwood/Buddy Hawkins II, 6.4; 7. Cale Markham/Jake Clay, 6.6; 8. Joe Hub Baker/Jake Cobb, 6.8. Second round leaders: 1. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 4.8; 2. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.0; 3. Casey Hicks/Justin Fox, 5.1; 4. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 5.2; 5. JoJo LeMond/J.D. Yates, 5.4; 6. Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 5.5; 7. Jake Barnes/Rich Skelton, 5.9; 8. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 6.5. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight and Jr. Dees/Cody Cowden, 10.2 seconds on two runs; 3. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 12.4; 4. Cale Markham/Jake Clay, 13.5; 5. Cory Kidd V/Caleb Anderson, 14.3; 6. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 16.2; 7. Billy Peters/Rio Esquibel, 17.6; 8. JoJo LeMond/J.D. Yates, 21.1; 9. Dylan Gordon/Gage Williams, 22.1; 10. Wheston Jones/Jett Hillman, 22.2; 11. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 25.4; 12. Lane Ivy/Blaine Vick, 25.5.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jake Wright, 87.56 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Bordertown; 2. Taos Muncy, 85.5; 3.  Joe Lufkin, 85; 4. (tie) Spencer Wright and Bradley Harter, 83.5; 6. (tie) Rusty Wright and Mitch Pollock, 82.5; 8. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw and Shade Etbauer, 82; 10. Dawson Hay, 81; 11. Wyatt Casper and Clay Elliott, 80.5.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Chance Oftedahl, 8.5 seconds; 2. Paul David Tierney, 8.8; 3. (tie) Weldon Watson and Cooper Martin, 9.1; 5. Marty Yates, 9.3; 6. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Blake Ash, 9.4; 8. (tie) Ty Baker and Charlie Gibson, 9.6. Second round leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 9.6 seconds; 2. Hudson Wallace, 8.8; 3. (tie) Scott Kormos and Tanner Green, 8.9; 5. 5. Cheyenne Harper, 9.4; 6. Dennis Luetge, 9.6; 7. Reese Reimer, 9.7; 8. Trell Etbauer. 9.9. Average leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 18.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Tanner Green, 18.9; 3. Ty Baker, 19.6; 4. Weldon Watson, 20.1; 5. Blake Ash, 20.4; 6. Bryson Sechrist, 22.0; 7. Cheyenne Harper, 23.1; 8. Trell Etbauer, 23.2; 9. (tie) Charlie Gibson and Cooper Martin 25.0; 11. Tyler Milligan, 25.3; 12. Royce Lynch, 25.6.
Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.15 seconds; 2. Shali Lord, 17.16; 3. Jimmie Smith, 117.18; 4. Lori Todd, 17.20; 5. Leia Pluemer, 17.22; 6. Cierra Chapman, 17.41; 7. (tie) Ali Armstrong and Monica McClung, 17.43; 9. Jana Bean, 17.47; 10. Christine Laughlin, 17.58. Second round leaders: 1. Kylie Weast, 17.26 seconds; 2. Carley Richardson, 17.31; 3. Shali Lord, 17.32; 4. (tie) Jana Bean and Sissy Winn, 17.34; 6. Skyla Whitters, 17.38; 7. (tie) Cierra Chapman and Monica McClung, 17.39; 9. Molly Childers, 17.57; 10. Leia Pluemer, 17.58. Average leaders: 1. Shali Lord, 34.48 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Cierra Chapman and Leia Pluemer, 34.80; 4. Jana Bean, 34.81; 5. Monica McClung, $34.82; 6. Kylie Weast, 34.88 ; 7. Jimmie Smith, 34.93; 8. Sissy Winn, 34.93; 9. Christine Laughlin, 35.29; 10. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 35.30; 11. Haley Wolfe, 35.31; 12. Tyra Kane, 35.33.
Bull riding leaders: 1. J.W. Harris, 88 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Kooty Crazy; 2. Aaron Williams, 86; 3. Laramie Mosley, 85; 4. (tie) Ruger Piva and Jesse Petri, 84; 6. Tim Bingham, 83.5; 7. Callum Miller and Clayton Sellers, 81.5; 9. Tyler Bingham, 81; 10. Fulton Rutland, 80.5; 11. Chase Dougherty, 78; 12. Trevor Kastner, 76.5.

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