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postheadericon Furr is on fire

HERMISTON, Ore. – Kris Furr made the most of a week of Bullfighters Only competition.

After winning the championship at BFO-Sidney, Iowa, the North Carolina man followed it in a dominating fashion, claiming the BFO-Hermiston championship through the two-day competition last week. He’s now No. 5 in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings.

“It feels great to win both those events,” Furr said. “The one thing I wanted to do was be consistent. I don’t want to be just the middle of the pack. I want people to know I’m a competitor and that I’m there to win.”

He did just that at the event held in association with the Farm-City ProRodeo. Furr won both go-rounds to walk away with the overall championship. In all, he walked away with $3,500 in Hermiston, which shot him up the standings.

He won the first round with an 84-point fight against WAR Fighting Bulls’ War Party, then maneuvered around WAR’s Wolverine for 85 points to earn the second-round victory.

“I’ve been dying to get in front of WAR’s bulls,” Furr said. “I’ve seen a bunch of videos of those bulls, and they just look fun to get around. I was glad I got a shot and came out on top.”

In his few days off between Sidney and Hermiston, Furr found some time to work on his game.

“I met (fellow bullfighter) Dayton Spiel in South Dakota, and we went to the gym while we were there,” he said. “I figured out what I was messing up on jumping those bulls in Sidney, and I fixed that.”

It paid off.

“My first bull was one bullfighters would love to have every day,” Furr said. “I had to drag all the points out of my second bull that I could, but it worked out for me.

The goal is winning the BFO world championship, and while No. 1 man Weston Rutkowski has a big lead in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings, at least Furr has a shot.

That’s all he can hope for as a first-year bullfighter in the BFO.

HERMISTON RESULTS
First round: 1. Kris Furr, 84 points on WAR Fighting Bulls’ War Party; 2. Justin Josey, 74; 3. Dayton Spiel, 74.
Second round: 1. Kris Furr, 85 points on WAR Fighting Bulls’ Wolverine; 2. Dayton Spiel, 78; 3. Justin Josey, 74.
Average: 1. Kris Furr, 169 points on two fights; 2. Dayton Spiel, 152; 3. Justin Josey, 150.

postheadericon Larsen scores 90 for the win

Orin Larsen rides Pete Carr's Classic Pro Rodeo's Scarlets Web for 90 points Saturday night to win bareback riding at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

Orin Larsen rides Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlets Web for 90 points Saturday night to win bareback riding at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Bareback rider Orin Larsen has played on ProRodeo’s grandest stage each of the past two years.

He’s hoping to return to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the third straight time, but he’s got some ground in the final month and a half in the regular season. Heading into this week’s Lea County Fair and Rodeo, he sits 18th in the world standings with $53,414.

Only the top 15 contestants in each event advance to Las Vegas in December.

“Any win like this, big or small, is huge for me at this point,” said Larsen, who rode Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlets Web for 90 points to win the title and $5,351. “That’s just a great horse that I’ve wanted to get on for a long time.

“It was pretty cool to get on her here.”

That’s because Lovington’s rodeo is a big-money event, featuring a purse of more than $200,000.

“This is one of the best $10,000-added rodeos all year,” he said, referring to the amount of money the rodeo committee puts into the pot that’s mixed with contestants’ fees to make the overall purse. “It’s definitely one we want to go to, especially during a busy week like this.”

This is a busy time of year for ProRodeo’s biggest stars. This week alone, there are 30 ProRodeos that have taken place. The money and the horse were reason enough for the Manitoba cowboy to make the trip to southeastern New Mexico.

“I just know she was a big, fat, awesome, fun horse,” Larsen said of Scarlets Web, with which he was matched via random draw. “When I got here, everyone thought I was cheating because I’d drawn her so that was a good thing.”

He’s actually feeling strong and healthy, which is important when competing on bucking animals of that caliber. In fact, a nagging rib injury didn’t affect his ride Saturday night.

“It actually felt really good,” he said. “It started in Calgary (Alberta) a few weeks ago. I had to take two weeks of the busiest part of the summer off, so that really hurt me. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully go to Vegas.

“It’s a good thing my fiancé is a nurse, because she’s been taking care of me.”

That’s just one of his goals. He is also in the running for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, so he’d like a shot at the championship in his home country while also chasing his dreams of winning a world championship.

“It’s easy to make the finals when you draw good ride good and are consistently doing well,” Larsen said. “I’ve been missing one or two of those throughout the year. It’s going to be tough to make it, but we’re just going to have to rodeo hard and make the finals up there, too.”

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 9-12
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Orin Larsen, 90 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlets Web, $5,351; 2. J.R. Vezain, 87, $4,103; 3. Will Lowe, 84, $3,032; 4. Anthony Thomas, 83.5, $1,962; 5. (tie) Seth Hardwick and Tilden Hooper, 83, $1,070; 7. Evan Jayne, 82, $713; 8. Jake Brown, 81.5, $535.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Cody Cabral, 3.5 seconds, $1,637; 2. K.C. Jones, 3.7, $1,423; 3. Matt Reeves, 3.8, $1,210; 4. Casey Martin, $996; 5. (tie) Billy Bugenig, Wyatt Lindsay and Clayton Tuchscherer, 4.1, $569 each; 8. Jule Hazen, Tristan Martin and Jacob Edler, 4.2, $47 each. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Jule Hazen and Kyle Irwin, 3.8 seconds, $1,530; 3. Tanner Brunner, 3.9, $1,210; 4. (tie) Mike McGinn, Chance Howard, Ryan Swayze, Tanner Robinson, Tyler Pearson and Trevor Duhon, 4.0, $474 each. Average leaders: 1. Matt Reeves, 7.9 seconds on two runs, $2,456; 2. (tie) Cody Cabral and Jule Hazen, 8.0, $1,975 each; 4. (tie) Chance Howard and Kyle Irwin, 8.3, $1,335; 6. Tristan Martin, 8.4, $854; 7. (tie) Wyatt Lindsay and Jacob Edler, 8.5, $374 each.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Shank Edwards and Chase Williams, 8.4 seconds, $2,092 each; 3. Cory Solomon, 8.7, $1,654; 4. Tuf Cooper, 9.0, $1,362; 5. Cade Swor, 9.2, $1,070; 6. Ryan Jarrett, 9.3, $778; 7. (tie) Clay McCuistion and Ty Baker, 9.4, $341 each. Second round leaders: 1. Marty Yates, 7.2 seconds, $2,238; 2. Caleb Smidt, 7.5, $1,946; 3. (tie) Timber Moore and Cory Solomon, 7.6, $1,508; 5. Justin Smith, 8.1, $1,070; 5. Marcos Costa, 8.8, $778; 7. (tie) Ryan Jarrett and Bubba Flores, 8.8, $341. Average leaders: 1. Cory Solomon, 16.3 seconds on two runs, $3,357; 2. Ryan Jarrett, 18.1, $2,920; 3. (tie) Caleb Smidt and Marty Yates, 18.2, $2,262 each; 5. Shank Edwards, 18.4, $1,605; 6. Kody Mahaffey, 19.2, $1,168; 7. (tie) J.D. McCuistion and Ty Baker, 19.5, $511 each.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Heith DeMoss, 84.5 points on Big Rafter Rodeo’s Who Knows, $4,597; 2. Isaac Diaz, 83.5, $3,524; 3. Hardy Braden, 82.5, $2,605; 4. (tie) Dean Wadsworth and Sterling Crawley, 82, $1,379 each; 6. Dylan Henson and Brody Cress, 81.5, $689 each; 8. (tie) Kobyn Williams and Leon Fountain, 81.5, $230 each.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Bryce Davis, 9.1 seconds, $1,920; 2. (tie) Brian Garr and Jason Evans, 10.8, $1,424 each; 4. Roger Branch, $927; 5. Rocky Patterson, 11.2, $596; 6. Leo Campbell, 11.3, $331. Second round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 9.6 seconds, $1,920; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2, $1,589; 3. (tie) Cody Lee, Tuf Cooper, Chet Herren and Mike Chase, 10.5, $778 each. Third round leaders: 1. J.P Wickett, 8.9 seconds, $1,920; 2. Marty Jones, 9.3, $1,589; 3. Trevor Brazile, 9.4, $1,258; 4. Cash Myers, 9.7, $927; 5. Kim Ziegelgruber, 10.1, $596; 6. Rocky Patterson, 10.4, $331. Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 33.2 seconds on three runs, $2,881; 2. Chet Herren, 33.3, $2,384; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 33.7, $1,887; 4. Trevor Brazile, 34.9, $1,391; 5. Brian Garr, 35.3, $894; 6. Mike Chase, 35.8, $497.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Shay Carroll/Nano Garza and Tanner Baldwin/Cody Pearson, 5.2 seconds, $1,849 each; 3. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.3, $1,326; 4. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 5.5, $977; 5. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 5.7, $628; 6. (tie) Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith and Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.8, $174 each. Second round leaders: 1. Mike Orman/Will Woodfin, 4.7 seconds, $2,023 each; 2. (tie) Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, Travis Whitlow/Tyler Getzwiller and Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 4.9, $1,326 each; 5. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.2, $628; 6. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.3, $349. Average leaders: 1. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 10.0 seconds on two runs, $3,035 each; 2. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill and Tanner Baldwin/Cody Pearson, 10.8, $2,250; 4. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 11.1, $1,465; 5. Jake Barnes/Tyler Worley, 11.6, $942; 6. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 12.1, $523.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Taci Bettis, 17.28 seconds, $3,949; 2. Dena Kirkpatrick, 17.31, $3,159; 3. Katelyn Scott, 17.39, $2,567; 4. Kelly Bruner, 17.44, $1,975; 5. Jane Fambro, 17.52, $1,580; 6. Tammy Fischer, 17.54, $1,185; 7. Morgan Breaux, 17.55, $987; 8. (tie) Jana Bean and Jill Tanner, 17.56, $839 each; 10. Cindy Smith, 17.66, $691; 11. Davie King, 17.70, $592; 12. Nalynn Cline, 17.71, $494; 13. Stefanie Logan, 17.73, $395; 14. Sydni Blanchard, 17.77, $296; 15. Delani Wood, 17.80, $197.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Koby Radley, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Half Nutz, $5,034; 2. Brennon Eldred, 86, $3,876; 3. Elliott Jacoby, 85, $2,994; 4. Ramon Curley, 84.5, $1,891; 5. Scottie Knapp, 84, $1,229; 6. Trevor Kastner, 83, $898; 7. Tim Bingham, 72, $733; no qualified rides.

postheadericon Inman crowned Sikeston champ

Toby Inman does a back flip over his first-round bull in his victory at BFO-Sikeston. (AVID VISUAL IMAGERY PHOTO)

Toby Inman does a back flip over his first-round bull in his victory at BFO-Sikeston. (AVID VISUAL IMAGERY PHOTO)

SIKESTON, Mo. – Toby Inman has his sights set on the biggest prize in freestyle bullfighting, the Bullfighters Only world championship.

“I’m nipping at Weston’s heels,” Inman said, referring to the BFO Pendleton Whisky World Standings leader and reigning BFO world champ, Weston Rutkowski. “I think he can feel me breathing down his neck.”

Toby Inman

Toby Inman

The two talented bullfighters matched their skills Thursday and Friday during BFO-Sikeston in conjunction with the Sikeston Jaycees Bootheel Rodeo, and Inman claimed the championship belt. The Davis Junction, Ill., man won the opening round with an 86.5-point bout, then followed it Friday with a solid 83. His two-fight cumulative score of 169.5 points was enough to edge Rutkowski by half a point.

“I thought Weston stole it from me Friday night,” Inman said, referring to the Texan’s 90-point fight to win the second round. “Thankfully I was able to pull enough out.”

It marked his third victory in less than a month. More importantly, it pushed him into the No. 2 position in the standings. A key, he said, was being able to remain calm even when the bulls he battled in Sikeston got a little too close and got Inman on the ground.

“In bullfighting, you’re going to get run over, but you’ve got to pop right back up and get back in the fight,” he said. “I’m getting better with each fight, and I’m still having fun.”  

It’s easy to have fun when he’s winning, but there were other aspects of BFO-Sikeston that made for an overall amazing experience.

“The place was packed,” Inman said. “They were loud and excited, and that’s how you want every crowd. Whether I was getting hooked or Weston was making some nice rounds, they were extra loud.

“Because of the great committee and the fans, it was a great bullfight. Anytime you can have fans excited and want you there, it makes your job as a bullfighter that much more pleasant.”

SIKESTON RESULTS
First round: 1. Toby Inman, 86.5 points; 2. Tanner Zarnetski, 84.5; 3. Schell Apple, 83; 4. Beau Schueth, 80; 5. Toby Inman, 79.

Second round: 1. Toby Inman, 90 points; 2. (tie) Tanner Zarnetski and Beau Schueth, 84; 4. Toby Inman, 83; 5. Schell Apple, 0.
Average: 1. Toby Inman, 169.5 points on two fights; 2. Weston Rutkowski, 169; 3. Tanner Zarnetski, 168.5; 4. Beau Schueth, 164; 5. Schell Apple, 83 points on one fight.

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.

postheadericon Reeves riding high in Lea County

Matt Reeves wrestles his first-round steer in 3.8 seconds with the help of his hazer, Quinn Campbell. Reeves has a two-run cumulative time of 7.9 seconds and leads the lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

Matt Reeves wrestles his first-round steer in 3.8 seconds with the help of his hazer, Quinn Campbell. Reeves has a two-run cumulative time of 7.9 seconds and leads the lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Matt Reeves knows as well as anyone how vital it is to compete at ProRodeo’s grand finale, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

He’s been there six times. This past December, he arrived in Las Vegas No. 12 in the steer wrestling world standings with $62,402. Ten nights later, he added $164,141 after placing in seven of 10 go-rounds and finishing third in the all-important average race.

As the curtain fell on the 2016 season, Reeves was the No. 2 man. It was his best season yet and, by far, his greatest NFR. Now he hopes to return for the seventh time in his 14-year career, but he’s got some work to do. He sits 14th in the world standings with a little more than a month and a half left in the season.

“I should’ve been doing better,” said Reeves of Cross Plains, Texas. “This horse has been doing good. This is the first year he’s been the main horse.”

He was talking about Roy, a 9-year-old sorrel gelding, which guided him to the bulldogging lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo on Thursday. Reeves posted a 3.8-second first-round run in the morning, then followed that with a 4.1 during the second performance that evening. His 7.9 seconds on two runs is just a 10th better than the runner-up, Hawaiian Cody Cabral.

“I’ve done well here quite a few times,” Reeves said. “It means a lot to me right now. I only went to two rodeos last week and had some stuff to do at home. All that went well, so now we’re ready to go back at it.”

He also enlisted the help of Alabama steer wrestler Quinn Campbell to serve as Reeves’ hazer for a bit – the hazer’s main duty is to keep the steer going in a good line so the steer wrestler can make a good transition from his horse and set up a solid run.

“It’s been a good week,” Reeves said. “We’ve made three good runs. I haven’t had three good looks at three steers in a row, and now I’ve had the same look three times.

“We had a practice session Tuesday, and Quinn knocked some rust off me while he was knocking some rust off himself. The last two that day were right down the middle. I was having a lot of steers move off to the right and stop right out in front, but Quinn is a little more aggressive at the start and gives me the look I need.”

That kind of teamwork is important, and it’s the same type of comfort he has found in Roy. The gelding’s dam is a barrel racing horse, while his sire is Ote, which has been a solid bulldogging horse for a while. In fact, Reeves once owned Ote before selling the palomino stallion.

“The mare was why we bought him, but it’s a great cross for this kind of horse,” he said. “I hauled him around as a backup and rode him some last year. This is the fourth horse I’ve made that I’ve rodeoed on. He’s cool and fun.”

Now he’s hoping Roy carries him back to Las Vegas, and finishing well in Lovington will go a long way into securing his spot to be there.

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. Kenny Haworth, 72.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Cody Cabral, 3.5 seconds; 2. K.C. Jones, 3.7; 3. Matt Reeves, 3.8; 4. Billy Bugenig, 4.1; 5. Chance Howard, 4.3; 6. Jacob Shofner, 4.4; 7. (tie) Christian Pettigrew and Cody Moore, 4.7. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Mike McGinn and Chance Howard, 4.0 seconds; 3. Matt Reeves, 4.1; 4. Jacob Shofner, 4.3; 5. (tie) Cody Cabral Cody Moore, 4.5; 7. Ryle Smith and Miguel Garcia, 4.8. Average leaders: 1. Matt Reeves, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Cody Cabral, 8.0; 3. Chance Howard, 8.3; 4. Jacob Shofner, 8.7; 5. Cody Moore, 9.2; Miguel Garcia, 9.7; 7. Blake Knowles, 10.5; 8. Ryle Smith.

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. Catfish Brown, 9.5; 7. Tyler Milligan, 9.6; 8. Matt Kenney, 10.3s. Second round leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 7.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Timber Moore and Cory Solomon, 7.6; 4. Ryan Jarrett, 8.8; 5. J.D. McCuistion, 9.0; 6. Josh Peek, 9.6; 7. Cody Jordan, 9.9; 8. Shank Edwards, 10.0. 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. Chase Williams, 20.2; 8. Tyler Milligan, 20.3.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Isaac Diaz, 83.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hometown Girl; 2. Hardy Braden, 82.5; 3. Brody Cress, 81.5; 4. (tie) Will Smith and Jake Finlay, 80; 6. Cameron Messier, 78; 7. Corey LeFebre, 74; Telden McLain, 68.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Brian Garr, 10.8 seconds; 2. Leo Campbell, 11.3; 3. Trevor Brazile, 12.1; 4. Tuf Cooper, 12.4; 5. Kelton McMillen, 12.8; 6. Kenyon Burns, 13.8. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Cody Lee and Tuf Cooper, 10.5 seconds; 3. Brian Garr, 11.3; 4. Leo Campbell, 11.3; 5. Chance Kelton, 12.0; 6. Trevor Brazile, 13.4. Third round leaders: 1. Marty Jones, 9.3 seconds; 2. Trevor Brazile, 9.4; 3. Billy Good, 10.5; 4. Kelton McMillen, 10.9; 5. Cody Lee, 11.2; 6. Brent Lewis, 11.3. Average leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 34.9 seconds on three runs; 2. Brian Garr, 35.3; 3. Leo Campbell, 42.2; 4. Kelton McMillen, 44.6; 5. Cody Lee, 21.7; 6. Tuf Cooper, 22.9.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 5.5 seconds; 2. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 5.8; 3. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.8; 4. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 6.0; 5. Jake Cooper/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 6.4; 6. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 6.5. Second round leaders: 1. Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 4.9 seconds; 2. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.3; 3. Caleb Smidt/Tyler McKnight, 5.4; 4. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 5.6; 5. Jake Cooper/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 6.2; 6. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 6.3. Average leaders: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 11.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 12.1; 3. Jake Cooper/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 12.6; 4. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 13.5; 5. Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 4.9 seconds on one run; 6. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.3.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Taci Bettis, 17.28 seconds; 2. Tammy Fischer, 17.54; 3. Jana Bean, 17.56; 4. Davie King, 17.70; 5. Nalynn Cline, 17.71; 6. Delani Wood, 17.80; 7. (tie) Aimee Kay and Jasarra Baca, 17.83; 9. Tillar Murray, 17.84; 10. Bridget Carr, 18.02; 11. Lori Todd, 18.62; 12. Allison Resor, 18.79; 13. Jamie Wilson, 22.50; 14. Holly Wright, 22.57; 15. Carley Richardson, 22.61.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Brennon Eldred, 86 points on Salt River Rodeo’s 419; 2. Elliott Jacoby, 85; 3. Scottie Knapp, 84; 4. Tim Bingham, 72; no qualified rides.

postheadericon Vezain finds success in Lea County

J.R. Vezain, the No. 8-ranked bareback rider in ProRodeo, rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Painted River for 87 points to take the lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

J.R. Vezain, the No. 8-ranked bareback rider in ProRodeo, rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Painted River for 87 points to take the lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – There’s something about Jake McClure Arena that draws Wyoming cowboy J.R. Vezain back to town every year.

Maybe it’s the Pete Carr bucking horses. Maybe there’s something that’s in the water. Nonetheless, Vezain has found his share of success at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, and the 2017 edition seems to follow the same pattern.

“I always seem to do good this week every year,” said Vezain, who rodeo Carr’s Painted River for 87 points to take the lead in bareback riding. “I always seem to have good luck here. I always draw good. I feel like I’m riding good, so I just need to keep it rolling through the summer.”

He sits seventh in the world standings and is making his way to his fifth qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. In addition, he sits No. 2 in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association standings, so he’s in line to make both finales.

“This is as good as I’ve ever ridden in my whole career,” said Vezain, has placed four times in Lovington since 2011, including winning the championship in 2014. “I just keep learning little tricks as I go along. I broke my back in 2015, and that humbled me quite a bit and made me readjust my goals and start working a little harder.

“I’m here to use this platform to glorify God, and He’s blessed me with the tools and talents to be one of the best and ready to get that gold buckle. I started working at it, and I feel like I’m inching my way there.”

A key piece of his success has come in the horses he has been riding. By drawing top-flight animals, he’s been able to showcase his strong spurring motion; that, in turn, shows the judges just how well he’s handling his business, and the points turn into big-time dollars.

That’s exactly what he’s hoping for with his experience on Painted River, an 8-year-old mare that was raised on the Carr ranch in Athens, Texas.

“That’s one of Pete’s better horses, and the proof’s in the pudding,” he said. “She’s flashy and one you can win on. I didn’t want to get off after the buzzer. She was fun to be on.”

Electric horses are bareback riders’ dreams. They jump high in the air and allow the cowboys to show their spurring motions.

“We work hard from the beginning of the year to the end of the year to make the finals,” Vezain said. “I believe luck is where preparation and opportunity meet. When you have an opportunity like that horse, it gives you the ability to capitalize. That’s the horses that’s going to give you the opportunity to do that all day long.”

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. Evan Jayne, 82; 3. (tie) Jordan Pelton and Richmond Champion, 81; 5. Grant Denny, 78; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Cody Cabral, 3.5 seconds; 2. K.C. Jones, 3.7; 3. Billy Bugenig, 4.1; 4. Jacob Shofner, 4.4; 5. Blake Knowles, 4.9; 6. Josh Peek, 5.3; Second round leaders: 1. Mike McGinn, 4.0 seconds; 2. Jacob Shofner, 4.3; 3. Cody Cabral, 4.5; 4. Jesse Brown, 5.0; 5. Blake Knowles, 5.6; 6. Billy Bugenig, 11.6. Average leaders: 1. Cody Cabral, 8.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Jacob Shofner, 8.7; 3. Blake Knowles, 10.5; 4. Jesse Brown, 15.5; 5. Billy Bugenig, 15.7; 6. Josh Peek, 20.1.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Shank Edwards, 8.4 seconds; 2. Tuf Cooper, 9.0; 3. Tyler Milligan, 9.6; 4. Matt Kenney, 10.3; 5. J.D. McCuistion, 10.5; 6. Josh Peek, 10.8. Second round leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 7.6 seconds; 2. J.D. McCuistion, 9.0; 3. Josh Peek, 9.6; 4. Cody Jordan, 9.9; 5. Shank Edwards, 10.0; 6. Tyler Milligan, 10.7. Average leaders: 1. Shank Edwards, 18.4 seconds on two runs; 2. J.D. McCuistion, 19.5; 3. Timber Moore, 19.6; 4. Tyler Milligan, 20.3; 5. Josh Peek, 20.4; 6. Tuf Cooper, 21.1.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Hardy Braden, 82.5 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Gold Coast; 2. Will Smith, 80; 3. Cameron Misser, 78; 4. Cooper DeWitt, 60; no other qualified rides.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Brian Garr, 10.8 seconds; 2. Trevor Brazile, 12.1; 3. Tuf Cooper, 12.4; 4. Chad Mathis, 17.9; 5. Chance Kelton, 18.6; 6. Quay Howard, 23.7. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Cody Lee and Tuf Cooper, 10.5 seconds; 3. Brian Garr, 11.3; 4. Chance Kelton, 12.0; 5. Trevor Brazile, 13.4; 6. Brent Lewis, 15.1. Third round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 9.4 seconds; 2. Cody Lee, 11.2; 3. Brent Lewis, 11.3; 4. Brian Garr, 13.2; 5. Chad Mathis, 21.1; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 34.9 seconds on three runs; 2. Brian Garr, 35.3; 3. Cody Lee, 21.7 seconds on two runs; 4. Tuf Cooper, 22.9; 5. Brent Lewis, 26.4; 6. Chance Kelton, 30.8.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 5.5 seconds; 2. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 5.8; 3. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 7.0; 4. Bobby Boyd/Bubba Paul, 7.9; 5. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 10.5; 6. Ryan Hutton/Chase Hansen, 12.4. Second round leaders: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 5.6 seconds; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 6.5; 3. Chase Massengill/Daylan Frost, 14.3 seconds; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 11.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 13.5; 3. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 5.8 seconds on one run; 4. Bobby Boyd/Bubba Paul, 7.9; 5. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 10.5; 6. Ryne Hutton/Chase Hansen, 12.4.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Jana Bean, 17.56 seconds; 2. Delani Wood, 17.80; 3. (tie) Aimee Kay and Jasarra Baca, 17.83; 5. Tillar Murray, 17.84; 6. Blyth Beshears, 22.71; 7. Jean Winters, 24.41; no other qualified runs.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Brennon Eldred, 86 points on Salt River Rodeo’s 419; 2. Elliott Jacoby, 85; 3. Tim Bingham, 72; no qualified rides.

postheadericon BFO a hit at big rodeos

Top bullfighters will be featured in Sikeston, Mo., and Hermiston, Ore.

Beau Schueth needs no extra motivation when it comes to fighting bulls, but he’ll take it.

This week, he returns to the Sikeston (Mo.) Jaycees Bootheel Rodeo to defend his Bullfighters Only title, and he knows he’ll get all the help he needs from the knowledgeable fans.

“It’s just an awesome atmosphere, and the crowd really gets into it,” said Schueth, the No. 4 man in the BFO Pendleton Whisky World Standings from O’Neill, Neb. “When the crowd’s into it, that makes me want to do something crazier and fight harder for them.

Beau Schueth jumped his way to the Bullfighters Only-Sikeston title a year ago, and he hopes to defend that championship this week. (AVID VISUAL IMAGERY PHOTO)

Beau Schueth jumped his way to the Bullfighters Only-Sikeston title a year ago, and he hopes to defend that championship this week. (AVID VISUAL IMAGERY PHOTO)

“They love the bullfights. They pack that place every night and definitely gets your motor running when that many people are cheering you on.”

BFO-Sikeston takes place Thursday and Friday right after the rodeo performance. BFO-Hermiston at the Farm-City ProRodeo in northern Oregon, takes place Wednesday and Thursday.

In both events, the bullfighters will compete both nights, and the man with the best two-fight cumulative score will be crowned champion at each location.

“The reason we do the bullfights is that it’s an event you don’t see everywhere,” said Jeremiah Quick, now in his third year as a director of Bootheel Rodeo. “It’s old school man vs. beast, and you’ve got the rankest bulls in this part of the country and the top bullfighters in the world with BFO.

“For us, the fans love it, and Bullfighters Only puts on the best bullfights you can get right now.”

Of the five men competing in Sikeston, four are ranked among the top five in the standings. That includes the No. 1 man, Weston Rutkowski, the reigning BFO world champion from Haskell, Texas.

“This is my third time to Sikeston, and I haven’t won it yet,” he said. “I was second my first time, and last year I was third. This is another one of those rodeos that I really want to win. I come to every bullfight with the mindset to win it. Hopefully I can put all the pieces together and cross this one off the list.”

He’ll have to defeat a very talented group of bullfighters to earn that coveted BFO-Sikeston title; in addition to Schueth, the event will also feature No. 3 Toby Inman, No. 5 Schell Apple and Tanner Zarnetski, the 12th-ranked man in the standings.

“It means a lot that I won it last year and that I’m coming back to defend my title,” Schueth said. “It’s an awesome rodeo and a great bullfight.”

This will be the first year for Bullfighters Only to be in Hermiston, but the excitement level is just the same. The three men in the field – Kris Furr, Justin Josey and Dayton Spiel – have a ton of talent and will be showcasing it in front of a big crowd in a new stadium.

Josey has returned to the game after taking some time away, and Spiel has burst onto the bullfighting scene this year. Furr is coming off his first victory this past weekend in Sidney, Iowa.

SIKESTON CONTESTANTS
Weston Rutkowski
Schell Apple
Beau Schueth
Toby Inman
Tanner Zarnetski

HERMISTON CONTESTANTS
Justin Josey
Kris Furr
Dayton Spiel

postheadericon Kimzey corrals Lea County Xtreme title

Three-time world champion Sage Kimzey rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Black Gold in the championship round Tuesday night to win his first Lea County Xtreme Bulls title. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

Three-time world champion Sage Kimzey rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Black Gold in the championship round Tuesday night to win his first Lea County Xtreme Bulls title. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Three-time world champion Sage Kimzey knows no lead in the regular season is big enough when the top cowboys get to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The No. 1 bull rider in the world wants to keep padding his lead as the 2017 campaign winds to a close. He did that by $11,987 on Tuesday night by winning both rounds and the average championship at Lea County Xtreme Bulls at Jake McClure Arena.

“You need as much money going into the finals as you can have,” said Kimzey, who pushed his ProRodeo earnings to $199,353. “A guy that wins the Xtreme Bulls (year-end) title has a pretty good shot of coming into the NFR pretty high.”

Besides being the No. 1 man in the world standings, the Strong City, Okla., man also is the top dog in the Xtreme Bulls money list. Of his season earnings, $58,560 has come on the stand-alone bull riding tour.

In Lovington, he rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tin Cup for 89 points to win the first go-round. He followed that with an 87-point ride on Carr’s Black Gold.

“The first one just felt good,” said Kimzey, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday later this month. “He was just a good spinner to the left and was really smooth and had a lot of timing to him. The second bull was the opposite. He’s one of those that’s tough to get by. (Fellow bull rider) Tyler Bingham said he’s a tough bull to get by and bucks pretty high.

“It just cranks the RPMs a little higher. There’s something about getting on an 1,800-pound athlete; if you mess up, he can hurt you, and that really gets your motor running and gets your adrenaline going that much more.”

While he owns a lead of more than $40,000 over the No. 2 man, Garrett Smith, Kimzey knows that advantage can be swallowed up once the top 15 get to Las Vegas in December. With go-round winners earning $26,262 per night, Garrett could catch Kimzey before the start of Round 3. That’s why winning a big event like Lea County Xtreme Bulls is big.

“There are only a few of the top-notch events that I haven’t had the pleasure of winning event, and Lovington Xtreme was one of them,” he said. “Coming out to Lea County, I had one thing on my mind.”

In rodeo, Kimzey has made it known that one of his biggest goals is to win nine world championships to beat the record set by Donnie Gay, who rode in the 1970s and ’80s. Being healthy is important, but winning is just as vital.

“It’s important to be on a roll,” he said. “Confidence is important in bull riding. You can see the same bull riders ride 20 in a row then fall off 10 in a row. To have the ball rolling like it’s moving into the later part of the season is definitely a good feeling.”

Lea County Xtreme Bulls
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 8, 2017
First round:
1. Sage Kimzey, 89 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tin Cup, $3,447; 2. (tie) Trey Benton and Elliot Jacoby, 86, $2,298 each; 4. Dustin Bowen, 84.5, $1,264; 5. Brady Portenier, 83.5, $804; 6. Trevor Kastner, 83, $575; 7. Nate Perry, 82.5, $460; 8. (tie) Nolan Steen and Cole Melancon, 81, $172.
Championship round: 1. Sage Kimzey, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Black Gold, $2,605; 2. Chase Dougherty, 86, $1,992; 3. Cole Melancon, 85.5, $1,456; 4. (tie) Trevor Kastner and Elliot Jacoby, 84.5, $804 each.
Average: 1. Sage Kimzey, 176 points on two rides, $4,746; 2. Elliot Jacoby, 170.5, $4,405; 3. Trevor Kastner, 167.5, $3,256; 4. Cole Melancon, 166.5, $2,107; 5. Chase Dougherty, 162, $1,341; 6. Trey Benton, 86 points on one ride, $958; 7. Dustin Bowen, 84.5, $766; 8. Brady Portenier, 83.5, $575.

postheadericon Furr wraps up Sidney title

Kris Furr cross-jumps Double S Bulls' Teen Spirit en route to his first Bullfighters Only victory. (AVID VISUAL IMAGERY PHOTO)

Kris Furr cross-jumps Double S Bulls’ Teen Spirit en route to his first Bullfighters Only victory. (AVID VISUAL IMAGERY PHOTO)

SIDNEY, Iowa – When Kris Furr cross-jumped his bull Saturday night, he put a nice polish on his first Bullfighters Only title on the final night of Iowa’s Championship Rodeo.

“I had a good bull, and he was a lot of fun,” said Furr, 26, of Hamptonville, N.C. “He wasn’t extremely aggressive, so I decided to keep him close to me. I made a few rounds, then I’d square back up with him and get some fakes on him. I knew I had to keep him hooked, keep him interested.”

Furr posted an 86-point bullfight while matched with Double S Bulls’ Teen Spirit. By making rounds with the bull, he kept the little red animal close on his heels. As soon as Teen Spirit would run through the fake, Furr would gather the bull back in tight.

“The first win is unreal. I guess I’m doing something right.”

It was a simple game plan that worked well, and he remains firmly in the top 10 in the Bullfighters Only Pendleton Whisky World Standings.

“It’s pretty crazy to think that I can be in the top 10 with all those great guys like Weston Rutkowski, Toby Inman and Dusty Tuckness,” he said. “It’s pretty surreal for a little guy from North Carolina.

“It’s awesome to be part of the BFO. I remember last year watching everybody going to them, and I just wanted to be there. Now that I’m part of it, it’s amazing. Every week I’m getting to compete against the best guys in the world. That’s what I like more than anything.”

That’s part of what Bullfighters Only brings to fans at every stop. Furr earned his championship by being the best of a 12-man field, which featured a preliminary round of four three-man bullfights. The winners from the first four days of competition advanced to Saturday’s championship round.

Furr was joined in the finale by Dakota Knight, Cody Greer and Justin Josey, and the North Carolinian came out on top.

“I just want to keep winning,” he said. “I’m laying one brick at a time and hopefully build that wall by the end of the year. If I can keep doing well and go to Las Vegas, then I think I can finish pretty well.”

postheadericon Etbauer claims Roundup title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Two decades ago, an Etbauer was the winner of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo saddle bronc riding more often than not.

Brothers Robert, Billy and Dan Etbauer have been recognized as one of the greatest set of siblings to ever compete in ProRodeo. Combined they have dozens of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications; Robert is a two-time world champion, and Billy owns five gold buckles.

Shade Etbauer

Shade Etbauer

Now the next generation is taking over the scene. On Sunday night during Roundup’s championship round, Shade Etbauer rode Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine Woman for 86.5 points to win his first Dodge City buckle.

“It’s just awesome to be here and make the short round,” said Etbauer, 23, of Goodwell, Okla.. “To be able to win that means a lot to me It’s a pretty close rodeo, almost like my hometown rodeo in a way.”

And he rode one of the most decorated broncs in ProRodeo today. Medicine Woman has been named Saddle Bronc of the Year four times, including the last three in a row. The Roundup Arena record was set on the big bay mare in 2015, when four-time NFR qualifier Isaac Diaz scored 93 points on her back.

“That was one of the coolest feelings to get on a horse of that caliber,” Etbauer said. “That the first time I’ve ever got on her, and to be able to get on horses like that is just awesome.”

Sunday’s field of finalists featured three world champions: reigning titlist Zeke Thurston, 2015 winner Jacobs Crawley and two-time champ Cody Wright. Etbauer – who placed fourth in the first round with an 93.5-point ride – beat them all and was a point better than the runner-up, seven-time NFR qualifier and 2014 Roundup champion Wade Sundell.

This marks the second time the young Oklahoman has qualified for the Dodge City championship. He played on the biggest stage in the region a year ago when he was riding on his permit – contestants must first earn the right to compete as card-carrying members of ProRodeo through the permit system.

Now Etbauer leads the saddle bronc riding Rookie of the Year standings with more than $40,000 in season earnings.

“Last year I got lucky and made it to the short round and finished fifth,” said Etbauer, the youngest of three children born to Robert and Sue Etbauer. “This is my third year coming to Dodge City, and it’s always tough competition and the top guys in the world. To be able to compete against them is incredible.”

But being around the greatest in the game is nothing new to Etbauer. He grew up around it, and he has had plenty of good bronc riding educators in the game. He’s taken great strides every year and now sits in the top 25 in the world standings. He needs to move up 10 spots to be among the top 15 in order to qualify for this year’s NFR.

“My goal is to win the rookie title,” he said. “I’ve got a way to go to go to make the finals, but I’m going to try to make it. I’m going to work my hardest to get there.”

Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis

Etbauer wasn’t the only cowboy in the field thinking about his family. Steer wrestler Tom Lewis of Lehi, Utah, helped his mother celebrate her 66th birthday by winning the Roundup championship.

“She was diagnosed with lung and bladder cancer,” Lewis said. “They say we might have her for eight to nine months, maybe a year, God willing, but you never know for sure.

“I’m a momma’s boy, and I’m here because she wants me to be here. She pushes us, she loves us and she keeps our whole family together. She’s the first lady I call when I’m done. Today’s important for my mom.”

And there’s nobody prouder of Tom Lewis than her.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 2-6
Bareback riding: First round:
1. Tilden Hooper, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Night Fist, $3,149; 2. Tim O’Connell, 86.5, $2,414; 3. Shane O’Connell, 85.5, $1,784; 4. Clayton Biglow, 84.5, $1,155; 5. (tie) Mason Clements and Orin Larsen, 84, $630 each; 7. Wyatt Denny, 83, $420; 8. J.R. Vezain, 81.5, $315. Final round: 1. Clayton Biglow, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Gun Fire, $1,650; 2. Orin Larsen, 86.5, $1,250; 3. (tie) Steven Dent and Tilden Hooper, 86, $750 each; 5. Wyatt Denny, 85, $350; 6. J.R. Vezain, 82.5, $350. Average: 1. Tilden Hooper, 173 points on two rides, $3,149; 2. Clayton Biglow, 172, $2,414; 3. Orin Larsen, 171, $1,784; 4. (tie) Wyatt Denny and Tim O’Connell, 168, $945 each; 6. (tie) Steven Dent and Shane O’Connell, 165, $472; 8. J.R. Vezain, 164, $315.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Trever Nelson, 3.6 seconds, $2,886; 2. Riley Duvall, 3.7, $2,509; 3. Clay Mindemann, 3.8, $2,133; 4. (tie) Tyler Pearson and T.J. Hall, 3.9, $1,568 each; 6. (tie) Tom Lewis and Joby Allen, 4.1, $815 each; 8. (tie) Levi Rudd, Cody Charmasson and Ryan Swayze, 4.3, $63 each. Second round: 1. Jon Ragatz, 3.3 seconds, $2,886; 2. Ryle Smith, 3.7, $2,509; 3. Tom Lewis, 3.8, $2,133; 4. (tie) Kyle Whitaker, Walt Arnold and Will Lummus, 4.1, $1,380 each; 7. Tyler Waguespack, 4.2, $627; 8. (tie) Kyle Eike and Josh Peek, 4.3, $125 each. Final round: 1. Tyler Pearson, 4.0 seconds, $1,305; 2. Tom Lewis, 4.3, $1,080; 3. Joby Allen, 4.7, $855; 4. Levi Rudd, 4.8, $630; 5. (tie) Nick Guy and Tyler Waguespack, 5.2, $315 each. Average: 1. Tom Lewis, 12.2 seconds on three runs, $4,328; 2. Tyler Pearson, 12.8, $3,764; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 13.9, $3,199; 4. Joby Allen, 14.3, $2,635; 5. Levi Rudd, 14.5, $2,070; 6. Nick Guy, 15.6, $1,505; 7. Jacob Talley, 14.8, $941; 8. Josh Peek, 15.1, $376.

Team roping: First round: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 4.6 seconds, $2,532 each; 2. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins, 4.7, $2,201; 3. (tie) Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison and Colby Lovell/James Arnold, 5.1, $1,541 each; 6. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.2, $881; 7. Nelson Wyatt/Trace Porter, 5.5, $550; 8. Hayes Smith/Justin Davis, 5.6, $220. Second round: 1. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 4.4 seconds, $2,532 each; 2. Paul David Tiereney/Levi Tyan, 4.5, $2,201; 3. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.6, $1,871; 4. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.7, $1,541; 5. (tie) Jesse Stipes/Jake Clay and Curry Kirchner/Derrick Jantzen, 5.1, $1,046 each; 7. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.3, $550; 8. (tie) Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold and Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.4, $110 each. Final round: 1. Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 5.0 seconds, $877 each; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 5.1, $726; 3. (tie) Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher and Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 6.9, $449 each; 5. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 8.5, $272; 6. Jake Pancost/David Hinman, 11.7, $151. Average: 1. Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 15.5 seconds on three runs, $3,797; 2. Chad Masters/Travis Grves, 18.3, $3,302; 3. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 18.7, $2,807; 4. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 20.3, $2,311; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 20.7, $1,816; 6. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins, 22.6, $1,321; 7. Jake Pancost/David Hinman, 24.4, $825; 8. Troy Boone/Chase Boekhaus, 26.6, $330.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Rooster, $2,690; 2. Hardy Braden, 86.5, $2,063; 3. Brody Cress, 84, $1,525; 4. Shade Etbauer, 83.5, $986; 5. Dean Wadsworth, 82.5, $628; 6. Cody Wright, 81.5, $448; 7. Wade Sundell, 81, $359; 8. (tie) Dylan Henson, Zeke Thurston and Joey Sonnier III, 79.5, $90 each. Final round: 1. Wade Sundell, 88 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Happy Valley, $1,650; 2. Shade Etbauer, 86.5, $1,250; 3. Cody DeMoss, 83, $900; 4. (tie) Zeke Thurston and Jacobs Crawley, 82, $475 each; 6. Cody Wright, 81.5, $250. Average: 1. Shade Etbauer, 170 points on two rides, $2,690; 2. (tie) Wade Sundell and Jacobs Crawley, 169, $1,794; 4. Hardy Braden, 166, $986; 5. (tie) Cody Wright and Brody Cress, 163, $534 each; 7. (tie) Cody DeMoss and Zeke Thurston, 162, $314 each.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Riley Pruitt, 8.0 seconds, $2,702; 2. Scott Kormos, 9.1, $2,350; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 9.6, $1,997; 4. Tuf Cooper, 9.7, $1,645; 5. Timber Moore, 9.8, $1,292; 6. Ty Baker, 9.9, $940; 7. Stran Smith, 10.0, $587; 8. (tie) Bryson Sechrist and Blair Burk, 10.1, $117 each. Second round: 1. Caddo Lewallen, 7.4 seconds, $2,702; 2. Randall Carlisle, 7.9, $2,350; 3. Kelsey Garrison, 8.2, $1,997; 4. (tie) Ryan Jarrett and Lane Livingston, 8.8, $1,469; 6. Paul David Tierney, 8.9, $940; 7. (tie) Cory Solomon and Blane Cox, 9.1, $117 each. Final round: 1. Riley Pruitt, 9.0 seconds, $1,160; 2. Blane Cos, 9.1, $960; 3. Timber Moore, 9.2, $760; 4. Josh Peek, 9.3, $560; 5. Trent Creager, 9.5, $360; 6. Jerome Schneeberger, 10.3, $200. Average: 1. Timber Moore, 28.2 seconds on three runs, $4,053; 2. Blane Cox, 28.8, $3,525; 3. Riley Pruitt, 29.5, $2,996; 4. Josh Peek, 31.1, $2,467; 5. Trent Creager, 31.9, $1,939; 6. Thomas Merritt, 32.7, $1,410; 7. Jerome Schneebergrer, 32.8, $881; 8. J.D. McCuistrion, 33.8, $352.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Jane Melby, 17.27 seconds, $2,348; 2. (tie) Dona Kay Rule and Christine Laughlin, 17.35, $1,845 each; 4. Emily Miller, 17.42, $1,453; 5. (tie) Lacinda Rose and Laura Kennedy, 17.43, $1,006 each; 7. Sidney Forrest, 17.45, $671; 8. Sydni Blanchard, 17.46, $447; 9. Jacie Etbauer, 17.47, $335; 10. (tie) Elizabeth Broussard and Bonnie Baughman, 17.50, $112 each. Second round: 1. Michelle Darling, 17.16 seconds, $2,348; 2. Jean Winters, 17.17, $2,012; 3. Kelly Bruner, 17.25, $1,667; 4. Ivy Hurst, 17.27, $1,453; 5. Danielle Collier, 17.33, $1,118; 6. Sydni Blanchard, 17.38, $894; 7. (tie) Sandy McElreath and Sidney Forrest, 17.46, $559 each; 9. (tie) Holly Wright and Hollie Etbauer, 17.48, $280 each. Final round: 1. Sindey Forrest, 17.41 seconds, $1,739; 2. Laura Lambert, 17.45, $1,304; 3. Paige Wiseman, 17.51, $870; 4. Lacinda Rose, 17.54, $435. Average: 1. Sidney Forrest, 52.32 seconds on three runs, $3,522; 2. Lacinda Rose, 52.54, $3,019; 3. Christine Laughlin, 52.61, $2,516; 4. (tie) Laura Lambert, Jean Winters and Paige Wiseman, 52.63, $1,733 each; 7. Sandy McElreath, 52.832, $1,006; 8. Bonnie Baughman, 52.99, $671; 9. Danielle Collier, 54.72, $503; 10. Ivy Hurst, 57.11, $335.

Steer roping: First round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.9 seconds, $1,842; 2. Jarrett Blessing, 11.1, $1,524; 3. Tony Reina, 11.2, $1,207; 4. (tie) Rocky Patterson and John Bland, 11.5, $730 each; 6. Reo Lohse, 11.8, $318. Second round: 1. Chet Herren, 9.7 seconds, $1,842; 2. (tie) Trevor Brazile, Cody Scheck and Travis Mills, 10.6, $1,207 each; 5. Scott Snedecor, 10.7, $572; 6. Cody Lee, 11.0, $318. Third round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 10.0, $1,842; 2. Jeff Whellis, 10.6, $1,524; 3. (tie) Bryce Davis and Vin Fisher Jr., 11.0, $1,048 each; 5. (tie) JoJo LeMond and Thomas Smith, 12.1, $445 each. Average: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 26.7 seconds on three runs, $2,762; 2. Cody Scheck, 40.4, $2,286; 3. Kim Ziegelgruber, 42.1, $1,810; 4. Will Gasperson, 44.9, $1,334; 5. Corey Ross, 45.5, $857; 6. Travis Mills, 46.0, $476.

Bull riding: First round: 1. (tie) Tyler Hessman, on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Foolish Dreams, on Jeston Mead, on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Living, 87 points, $2,688 each; 3. Shane Proctor, 85.5, $1,724; 3. (tie) Joseph McConnel and Ednei Caminhas, 84.5, $913 each; 6. Guthrie Murray, 84, $507; 7. (tie) Sage Kimzey and Koby Radley, $355 each. Final round: 1. Koby Radley, 84 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Highway man, $2,050; 2. Shane Proctor, 83, $1,650; 3. Ednei Caminhas, 71.5, $1,300. Average: 1. Shane Proctor, 168.5 points on two rides, $3,043; 2. Koby Radley, 166.5, $2,333; 3. Ednei Caminhas, 156, $1,724; 4. (tie) Tyler Hessman and Jeston Mead, 87 points on one ride, $913 each; 6. Joseph McConnel, 84.5, $507; 7. Guthrie Murray, 84, $406; 8. Sage Kimzey, 82.5, $304.