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postheadericon Pharr ropes tie-down lead in Guymon

GUYMON, Okla. – There was a time in Tim Pharr’s life that the most important part of his rodeo career was trying to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Now at 39, priorities have changed. For Pharr, those involve his two sons, but he still loves to compete. He’s done pretty well so far this week at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo and leads tie-down roping with two performances remaining in the 2018 championship.

“Guymon has been pretty good to me,” said Pharr of Resaca, Ga. “(The lead) is pretty comforting. There are a lot of guys that are really tough coming behind me. I don’t foresee me winning first, but I feel like I’ll get a good check.”

That’s important. In rodeo, money not only helps pay bills, but dollars equal championship points. Only the top 15 on the money list in each event at the conclusion of the regular season advance to the NFR. And with purses available in the sport today, anything can happen on any given day.

“I would really like to stay where I’m at in the average, because I haven’t won anything so far,” he said, referring to the payouts in each go-round. “Every time you show up to run a chance, you have a chance for a lot of money. Just one week could get you back in the middle of it.

Pharr has been close to earning a spot in Las Vegas for ProRodeo’s grand finale, finishing among the top 25 three times in the 2000s. Now he plans his rodeo schedule around his boys.

“It really depends on what they want to do,” he said with a smile. “When I was a kid, I really tried hard (to make the NFR) and fell short. Last year I had a great start out of the winter and fell short again. It’s a Cinderella story if I get it done, because my main goal is being a father. If it all fits in, it would make me the proudest guy on the planet.”

 

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 30-May 6
Results through the first performance

Bareback riding leaders: 1. Tilden Hooper, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo; 2. Leighton Berry, 75.5; 3. Will Martin, 75; 4. Jamie Howlett, 72; 5. (tie) Levi Nicholson and Mike Fred, 62; 7. Willie McKinney, 56.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 5.8 seconds; 2. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 6.4; 3. Ryan Jarrett/Tadd Sheets, 7.6; 4. Jason Thorstenson/Levi Lord, 8.9; 5. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 9.0; 6. Caleb Smidt/Mickey Gomez, 12.1; 7. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 24.3; no other qualified runs. Aggregate leaders: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 24.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 29.9; 3. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 41.4; 4. Ryan Jarrett/Tad Sheets, 14.8 seconds on two runs; 5. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 16.7; 6. Laramie Allen/Rosh Ashford, 17.3; 7. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 17.7; 8. Jason Thorstenson/Levi Lord, 17.8.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Rowdy Parrott, 3.8 seconds; 2. 2. Jace Melvin, 4.09; 3. Dru Melvin, 4.2; 4. (tie) Marcus Theriot Wyatt Jurney and Cody Pratt, 4.3. Aggregate leaders: 1. Jace Melvin, 14.1 seconds on three runs; 2. (tie) Cody Pratt and Cody Devers, 14.4; 4. Aaron Vosler, 14.7; 5. Will Lummus, 15.1; 6. Clayton Hass, 15.2.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jake Wright, 84.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s YoYo; 2. Ross Griffin, 84; 3. CoBurn Bradshaw, 81; 4. Jesse Wright, 80.5; 5. Cole Elshere, 79.5; 6. (tie) Shorty Garrett, Tyler Corrington and Dawson Jandreau, 79.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. (tie) Jake Pratt and Caleb Smidt, 9.5 seconds; 3. Anthony Jordan, 10.7; 4. Clint Cooper, 10.9; 5. Timber Moore, 11.2; 6. Dakota Felton, 12.0; 7. Tim Pharr, 12.8; 8. Jace Melvin 15.2. Aggregate leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 35.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Jake Pratt, 35.9; 3. Anthony Jordan, 44.5; 4. Tyler Prcin, 53.3; 5. Cory Rowland, 69.2; 6. Caleb Smidt, 18.6 seconds on two runs; 7. Reese Reimer, 19.6; 8. Tim Pharr, 20.6.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Cierra Chapman, 17.46 seconds; 2. Sidney Forrest, 17.47; 3. Kylie Weast, 17.49; 4. Dona Kay Rule, 17.58; Ericka Nelson, 17.59; 6. (tie) Kelley Carrington, Cassidy Kruse and Tiany Schuster, 17.61; 9. Tammy Fischer, 17.62; 10. Kinsey Chandler, 17.64. Aggregate leaders: 1. Kylie Weast, 34.81 seconds on two runs; 2. Sidney Forrest, 35.10; 3. (tie) Cassidy Kruse and Tiany Schuster, 35.53; 5. Kinsey Chandler, 35.57; 6. Ericka Nelson, 35.60; 7. Ari-Anna Flynn, 35.62; 8. Tammy Fischer, 35.63; 9. Dona Kay Rule, 35.69; 10. Kelley Carrington, 35.73.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Cole Melancon, 89 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Chigger; 2. (tie) Trey Benton III and Laramie Mosley, 86.5; 4. Joe Frost, 86; 5. Corey Atwell, 83; 6. Dillon Tyler, 79.5; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Wright finds fun in No Man’s Land

Jake Wright walks back to the chutes after his 84.5-point ride on Pete Carr’s YoYo to take the lead Friday night at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo.

GUYMON, Okla. – Jake Wright is hoping his luck has changed.

“I’ve never done any good here,” said Wright, a six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo saddle bronc riding qualifier from Milford, Utah.

That could easily change after his 84.5-point ride Friday to take the early lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. He matched moves with Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s YoYo, a powerful paint horse that has bucked at the NFR, to earn the top score on the rodeo’s opening night.

“He was good,” Wright said of the horse, which he’d never tried to ride before. “Heck, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him. I just held my feet on my mark-out and tried to set him up, and he worked out really good.”

The mark-out sets up the ride for bronc riders and bareback riders. Cowboys start the ride with the heels their boots over the front of the animal’s shoulders, then spur the horse in rhythm with its bucking motion. That’s what opens the door for high scores and big money.

Now he has the biggest score of them all, but the leaderboard is pretty familiar to him. He is followed by his brother-in-law, CoBurn Bradshaw, and his twin brother, Jesse.

“That’s the way we like it; we’ll just keep it in the truck,” Jake Wright said. “That’s a good way to start it off.

“Now we’ve got an all-nighter to Bakersfield, Calif., then we’ll go to Stonyford (Calif.).”

That’s the life of a rodeo cowboy. Oklahoma one day, California the next. But it’s a life the Wrights have enjoyed nearly all their lives. They’re pretty good at it. The family owns five Montana Silversmiths world championship gold buckles: Cody has two, and Jesse, Spencer and Cody’s son, Ryder, each have one.

“We grew up ranching,” Jake Wright said. “Cody really set the bar for rodeoing. We’ve all really enjoyed it. Dad just said, ‘If you’re going to do it, you might as well be the bet, so work hard now and reap the benefits later.’

“Growing up when everybody would go dinking off, we’d haul butt from baseball practice or whatever and load four or five horses so we could get on before it would get dark.”

Jake Wright is reaping the rewards so far.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 30-May 6
Results through the first performance

Bareback riding leaders: 1. Tilden Hooper, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo; 2. Leighton Berry, 75.5; 3. Will Martin, 75; 4. Jamie Howlett, 72; 5. Levi Nicholson, 62; no other qualified rides.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 5.8 seconds; 2. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 6.4; 3. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 9.0; 4. Caleb Smidt/Mickey Gomez, 12.1; 5. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 24.3; no other qualified runs. Aggregate leaders: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 24.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 29.9; 3. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 41.4; 4. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 16.7 seconds on two runs; 5. Laramie Allen/Rosh Ashford, 17.3; 6. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 17.7; 7. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 18.6; 8. Matt Sherwood/Walt Woodard, 21.0.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Rowdy Parrott, 3.8 seconds; 2. Marcus Theriot, 4.3; 3. Will Lummus, 4.9; 4. Blake Mindemann, 5.3; 5. Tristan Martin, 14.6; no other qualified runs. Aggregate leaders: 1. Will Lummus, 15.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Blake Mindemann, 16.2; 3. Rowdy Parrott, 17.9; 4. Marcus Theriot, 17.9; 5. Tristan Martin, 24.5; 6. Hunter Cure, 7.9 seconds on two runs.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jake Wright, 84.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s YoYo; 2. CoBurn Bradshaw, 81; 3. Jesse Wright, 80.5; 4. Dalton Davis, 77; 5. Alex Wright, 76; 6. Jade Blackwell, 75.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. (tie) Jake Pratt and Caleb Smidt, 9.5 seconds; 3. Anthony Jordan, 10.7; 4. Timber Moore, 11.2; 5. Dakota Felton, 12.0; 6. Tyler Prcin, 15.6; 7. Cory Rowland, 16.4; 8. Rhen Richard, 19.6. Aggregate leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 35.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Jake Pratt, 35.9; 3. Anthony Jordan, 44.5; 4. Tyler Prcin, 53.3; 5. Cory Rowland, 69.2; 6. Caleb Smidt, 18.6 seconds on two runs; 7. Reese Reimer, 19.6; 8. Tim Pharr, 20.6.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Cierra Chapman, 17.46 seconds; 2. Sidney Forrest, 17.47; 3. Dona Kay Rule, 17.58; 4. (tie) Kelley Carrington and Tiany Schuster, 17.61; 6. Stevi Hillman, 17.65; 7. Emily Miller, 17.70; 8. Sally Conway, 17.74; 9. (tie) Carolyn Ulher, Kelly Bruner and Taci Bettis, 17.78. Aggregate leaders: 1. Sidney Forrest, 35.10 seconds on two runs; 2. Tiany Schuster, 35.53; 3. Dona Kay Rule, 35.69; 4. Kelley Carrington, 35.73; 5. Emily Miller, 35.78; 6. Kelly Bruner, 35.82; 7. Carolyn Uhler, 35.84; 8. Taci Bettis, 35.94; 9. Sally Conway, 35.95; 10. Bailee Snow, 36.01.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Cole Melancon, 89 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Chigger; 2. Joe Frost, 86; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon First round of barrel racing in Guymon

Kylie Weast

Kylie Weast

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 30-May 6
First round results

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Kylie Weast, 17.32, $1,782; 2. Sidney Forrest, 17.63, $1,527; 3. Shali Lord, 17.70, $1,273; 4. Kelly Yates, 17.77, $1,273; 5. Cheryl Wallace, 17.78, $1,103; 6. (tie) Amanda Harris and Kynzie McNeill, 17.83, $594 each; 8. (tie) Katelyn Scott, Erin Williams and Jessica Routier, 17.84, $255 each.

postheadericon Guymon timed event results through 2 rounds

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 30-May 6
Through two rounds

Hunter Cure

Hunter Cure

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Tanner Bruner, 3.4 seconds, $1,963; 2. (tie) Gary Gilbert and Hunter Cure, 3.8, $1,455 each; 4. (tie) Ty Erickson and Michael Bates Jr., 4.0, $778 each; 6. Denver Berry, 4.1, $338. Second round: 1. Matt Reeves, 3.5 seconds, $1,963; 2. Jace Melvin, 3.6, $1,624; 3. Shayde Tree Etherton, 3.7, $1,286; 4. Cameron Morman, 4.0, $948; 5. (tie) Hunter Cure, Chancey Larson. Tom Reeves and Trell Etbauer, 4.1, $237 each. Average leaders: 1. Hunter Cure, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Gary Gilvert, 8.2; 3. (tie) Shayde Tree Etherton, Ty Erickson and Tanner Bruner, 8.4; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 8.8.

Team roping: First round: 1. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 7.1 seconds, $1,734; 2. Ty Blasingame/Levi Tyan, 7.7, $1,508; 3. Logan Olson/Matt Kasner, 7.8, $1,282; 4. Travis Bounds/Kyon Kreutzer, 8.0, $1,056; 5. Curry Kirchner/Chase Boekhaus, 8.3, $830; 6. Colby Lovell/Clint Summers, 8.4, $603; 7. (tie) Brett Stuart/Paden Bray and Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 8.5, $264. Second round: 1. Gavin Foster/Christian Dewbre, 6.4 seconds, $1,734; 2. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 6.6, $1,508; 3. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 6.8, $1,282; 4. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 6.9, $1,056; 5. Billy Bob Brown/Hunter Koch, 7.0, $830; 6. Cory Clark/B.J. Dugger, 7.1, $603; 7. (tie) Jr. Dees/Matt Zancanella and Ryan Jarrett/Tad Sheets, 7.2, $264 each. Average leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 16.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 17.1; 3. Laramie Allen/Ross Ashford, 17.3; 4. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 17.7; 5. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 18.3; 6. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koonts, 20.9; 7. Matt Sherwood/Walt Woodard, 21.0; 8. Cale Markham/Britt Bockius.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Caleb Smidt, 9.1 seconds, $1,744; 2. Cody Quaney, 9.5, $1,517; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 9.6, $1,289; 4. Paul David Tierney, 9.7, $1,062; 5. (tie) Will Howell and Travis Reimer, 10.0, $720 each; 7. Sterling Jameson, 10.1, $379; 8. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Bailey Thurston, 10.3, $76 each. Second round: 1. Reese Reimer, 8.7 seconds, $1,744; 2. Tuf Cooper, 8.9, $1,517; 3. Clayton Collmorgen, 9.1, $1,289; 4. (tie) Dakota Felton and Rhen Richard, 9.2, $948 each; 6. Luke Potter, 9.3, $607; 7. Cooper Martin, 9.6, $379; 8. Shane Smith, 9.7, $152. Average leader: 1. Reese Riemer, 19.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Tim Pharr, 20.6; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 21.1; 4. (tie) Bryson Sechrist and Cody Quaney, 22.2; 6. Joey Dickens, 22.4; 7. Shane Smith, 22.7; 8. Timber Moore, 23.9.

postheadericon Guymon 2018 timed events first round

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 30-May 6
First round results

Travis Graves

Travis Graves

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Tanner Bruner, 3.4 seconds, $1,963; 2. (tie) Gary Gilbert and Hunter Cure, 3.8, $1,455 each; 4. (tie) Ty Erickson and Michael Bates Jr., 4.0, $778 each; 6. Denver Berry, 4.1, $338.

Team roping: First round: 1. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 7.1 seconds, $1,734; 2. Ty Blasingame/Levi Tyan, 7.7, $1,508; 3. Logan Olson/Matt Kasner, 7.8, $1,282; 4. Travis Bounds/Kyon Kreutzer, 8.0, $1,056; 5. Curry Kirchner/Chase Boekhaus, 8.3, $830; 6. Colby Lovell/Clint Summers, 8.4, $603; 7. (tie) Brett Stuart/Paden Bray and Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 8.5, $264.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Caleb Smidt, 9.1 seconds, $1,744; 2. Cody Quaney, 9.5, $1,516; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 9.6, $1,289; 4. Paul David Tierney, 9.7, $1,062; 5. (tie) Will Howell and Travis Reimer, 10.0, $720 each; 7. Sterling Jameson, 10.1, $379; 8. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Bailey Thurston, 10.3, $76 each.

postheadericon Patterson, Reina share Guymon title

For the third time in his career, four-time world champion Rocky Patterson has won at least a share of the steer roping title at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo.

Four-time world champion Rocky Patterson, seen in this photo from Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo a few years ago, won the steer roping title for the third time in his career, sharing the 2018 title with Tony Reina.  (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Four-time world champion Rocky Patterson, seen in this photo from Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo a few years ago, won the steer roping title for the third time in his career, sharing the 2018 title with Tony Reina. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Back in his old stomping grounds near Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Patterson tied Tony Reina for the four-run aggregate championship by stopping he clock in a cumulative time of 49.6 seconds. Both men earned $3,637 for winning the average.

But Patterson earned more money by placing in three go-rounds. In all, he pocketed just shy of $5,800 in No Man’s Land money. With that, he will add a third Pioneer Days trophy belt to his wardrobe, which matches quite well with stash of gold buckles.

First round: 1. Tuf Cooper, 10.6 seconds, $1,990; 2. Brady Garten, 11.1, $1,647; 3. Ralph Williams, 11.2, $1,304; 4. Trenton Johnson, 11.5, $961; 5. Kenyon Burnes, 12.4, $618; 6. (tie) Scott Snedecor and Rocky Patterson, 12.5, $172 each. Second round: 1. Jarrett Blessing, 9.6 seconds, $1,990; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.4, $1,647; 3. Tuf Cooper, 10.7, $1,304; 4. K.W. Lauer, 11.1, $961; 5. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and Mike Chase, 11.4, $480 each. Third round: 1. Brady Garten, 9.8 seconds, $1,990; 2. Rocky Patterson, 10.4, $1,647; 3. K.W. Lauer, 10.6, $1,304; 4. (tie) Chet Herren and Brent Lewis, 10.9, $789 each; 6. Will Gasperson, 11.1, $343. Fourth round: 1. Chet Herren, 10.0, $1,990; 2. Jim Locke, 10.2, $1,647; 3. Jarrett Blessing, 10.5, $1,304; 4. Will Gasperson, 10.6, $961; 5. Shay Good, 10.7, $618; 6. Rocky Patterson, 10.8, $343. Average: 1. (tie) Rocky Patterson and Tony Reina, 49.6 seconds on four runs, $3,637 each; 3. Trenton Johnson, 50.5, $2,608; 4. Jim Locke, 51.6, $1,921; 5. Dee Kyler Jr., 54.6, $1,325; 6. Trey Wallace, 58.7, $686.

postheadericon Both Rangers teams finish 2nd

ALVA, Okla. – If success is measured in depth of talent, the Northwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo teams have it.

Through the rigors of the 2017-18 Central Plains Region season, both Rangers teams finished second overall and have earned the right to take full teams to the College National Finals Rodeo, set for next month in Casper, Wyo.

“It’s a big accomplishment for us,” coach Stockton Graves said. “That was one of our goals at the beginning of the year, and we accomplished that. It’s a step in the right season. It’s a good season for both the men and the women.”

The 10-event campaign came to an end this past Saturday at the Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo in Guymon, Okla., and Northwestern put a nice bow on a season package. There were five region titlists and four other contestants who finished second.

Jenny Massing

Jenny Massing

The biggest praise coming out of the Panhandle State event was Jenny Massing of Ponoka, Alberta, who clinched the region’s all-around title after winning goat-tying and placing in barrel racing. She ended the season No. 2 in the goat-tying standings but had an insurmountable lead in the all-around after securing enough points in barrel racing.

“It was really cool that I could finish out my senior year at Northwestern by winning the biggest award you can win,” said Massing, who was awarded her first championship saddle on Saturday night. “What really changed my senior year was the mentality. Believing in myself and my confidence really changed.”

She also had a hand in her success. Just before the season began last fall, she acquired a solid barrel racing horse, a mare she calls Playa.

“That was really the driving force in barrel racing,” she said. “We just automatically clicked. I didn’t have her three months, and we went to winning, which is unusual. In goat-tying, I finally convinced myself that I could win. I practiced my butt off. I knew my horse (Cooper) would always be faithful and run the same every time.”

Horsepower is key in rodeo, and Massing has it. Now she will have both horses with her as she battles for the coveted titles that are available at the college finals. The women will field a full team of four ladies, and they will compete in five events. The men will feature six cowboys competing in seven events. That’s a huge drawing card for the Rangers as they chase the elusive team titles.

“By having 10 going, it ups our chances of scoring points, and that’s always a plus,” Graves said. “That’s a good deal.”

Besides Massing, the Rangers women feature Sara Bynum of Beggs, Okla., who won the region’s barrel racing, and Taylor Munsell of Arnett, Okla., had a second-place finish in breakaway roping. The men were led by the team-roping tandem of Maverick Harper of Stephenville, Texas, and Tanner Nall of Colcord, Okla., who won the region. Steer wrestler Talon Roseland of Marshalltown, Iowa, won the regional crown, while Cody Devers of Perryton, Texas, was the reserve champ.

“I was very proud of them,” Graves said. “On the men’s side, we had competitive teams before, but they fell off in the mid-spring, and we would always get passed up. I told the guys this year there wasn’t room for a lot of error; we can’t have a bad rodeo, and we didn’t. Midway through, we were actually winning the region.

“I thought they fought hard and tried hard. A lot of kids accomplished a lot of goals this year.”

In Guymon, Harper and Nall won the team roping crown to clinch their regional title, while header Cole Patterson of Pratt, Kan., won the first round with his partner, Jace Steenhock of Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. Ethan Price of Leedey, Okla, finished second in tie-down roping, while Wylee Nelson of Faith, S.D., placed in the first round but failed to score a time in the short round.

Roseland won the first round and finished third overall in steer wrestling, while Riley Westhaver of High River, Alberta, placed fifth and Riley Wakefield of O’Neill, Neb., ended up sixth.

Massing led the women with her first-place finish in goat-tying and sixth-place run in barrel racing. In goat-tying, she was joined by Ashton Jonson of Benton, Iowa, who placed in both rounds to finish second overall. Meghan Corr of Hermosa, S.D., made the final round by finishing third in the opening round.

Massing was joined in the barrel racing short round by Alyssa Gabrielson of Perham, Minn., who finished second in the first round. In breakaway roping, Brandi Hollenbeck of Hutchinson, Kan., won the title with a two-run cumulative time of 5.5 seconds. Baillie Wiseman of Aztec, N.M., placed in a tie for second. Taylor Munsell of Arnett, Okla., won the opening round in 2.3 seconds, while Brittany Cudworth of Warwick, N.D., was second.

“The girls team has been strong,” Massing said. “After Colby (the first event of the season), we lost Katy Miller, which was a hard hit for our team. A lot of the girls have really stepped it up. We’re taking a great team to the college finals this year, so I’m exited for our success this year.”

postheadericon BFO heading to Woodward

Toby Inman leads the Bullfighters Only Pendleton Whisky World Standings and is expected to be one of 15 men competing at the BFO Fiesta de Toros this Saturday in Woodward, Okla. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Toby Inman leads the Bullfighters Only Pendleton Whisky World Standings and is expected to be one of 15 men competing at the BFO Fiesta de Toros this Saturday in Woodward, Okla. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

WOODWARD, Okla. – The Cinco de Mayo celebration dates back more than 150 years and is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

On May 5, 2018, northwest Oklahoma will play host to a battle of different sorts. The Bullfighters Only Fiesta de Toros is set for Saturday night at Crystal Beach Stadium in Woodward. It will be a display of amazing athleticism as 15 men battle during this stand-alone freestyle bullfight while matching their talents with agile and aggressive Spanish fighting bulls.

“This is our first time to host a bullfight in that part of Oklahoma,” said Luke Kaufman, Bullfighters Only’s production manager. “There are a ton of freestyle bullfighting fans in that region. This is our chance to show them just what the BFO is about.”

Bullfighters Only was developed three years ago by the bullfighters themselves. Since then, the sport has been showcased all across North America and has become a fan-favorite.

The element of danger comes in the nearly 1,500 pounds of Spanish fighting bull that is just half of the equation in each bout. They’ve been bred to use their horns, their heads and their hooves as tools of destruction.

In the other corner is the bullfighter, whose goal is to maneuver around and jump over the animal. The idea is to get within a breath the danger and escape unharmed. But the bulls have the upper-hand, and wrecks can happen quickly.

“The BFO is really good about bringing top-of-the-line stock contractors, keeping the standard as high as it can be,” said Schell Apple of Fay, Okla. “With these Rockin’ B & Magnifica, we’re getting the best of the best bulls.”

It’s just another flavor added to the mix that helps make Bullfighters Only the premier organization in the sport.

postheadericon Cooper leads steer roping in Guymon

Tuf Cooper

Tuf Cooper

First round: 1. Tuf Cooper, 10.6 seconds, $1,990; 2. Brady Garten, 11.1, $1,647; 3. Ralph Williams, 11.2, $1,304; 4. Trenton Johnson, 11.5, $961; 5. Kenyon Burnes, 12.4, $618; 6. (tie) Scott Snedecor and Rocky Patterson, 12.5, $172 each.

Second round: 1. Jarrett Blessing, 9.6, $1,990; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.4, $1,647; 3. Tuf Cooper, 10.7, $1,304; 4. K.W. Lauer, 11.1, $961; 5. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and Mike Chase, 11.4, $480 each.

Aggregate leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 21.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Ralph Williams, 23.1; 3. (tie) Trenton Johnson, Coy Thompson and Mike Chase, 24.7; 6. Vin Fisher Jr., 25.9.

postheadericon Bynum wins in Hays, leads region

Sara Bynum of Beggs, Okla., leads the barrel racing standings in the Central Plains Region with one event left. She won in Hays, Kan., this past weekend. (SAMI McGUIRE PHOTO)

Sara Bynum of Beggs, Okla., leads the barrel racing standings in the Central Plains Region with one event left. She won in Hays, Kan., this past weekend. (SAMI McGUIRE PHOTO)

ALVA, Okla. – Sara Bynum can see the finish line to her college rodeo career.

She leads the Central Plains Region’s barrel racing standings by 135 points with one event left on the regular season. She is guaranteed her spot to compete for the national championship at the College National Finals Rodeo in June. Now she just wants to finish business this coming weekend in Guymon, Okla.

“It would mean the world if that’s how we left it,” said Bynum, a senior at Northwestern Oklahoma State University from Beggs, Okla.

This will mark the third straight year she has competed at the CNFR, and she moved even closer this past weekend by winning the Fort Hays (Kan.) State University rodeo. She placed third in the opening round with a 17.86-second run, then won the championship round in 18.26.

Sara Bynum

Sara Bynum

What’s more impressive is that she’s done so much on her 8-year-old paint mare, Loretta, a horse her family acquired four years ago off an add on Craigslist.

When the tandem arrived in Alva four years ago, both were green to the college rodeo life. They’ve grown together and, now, they’re on the verge of a regional title.

“I’ve had to learn a lot in college,” Bynum said. “I had to learn how to season her and season myself.”

The training has worked this season. She and Loretta have been one of the driving forces for the Northwestern women’s team, which is battling Southeastern Oklahoma State University for the regional title. The Northwestern women finished second behind their rivals in Hays, getting a little bit of assistance from goat-tier Jenny Massing of Ponoka, Alberta; she finished in at least a tie for third in both go-rounds and earned third-place points in the average. Breakaway roper Cassey Woodward of Dupree, S.D., placed in the first round but was saddled with a no-time in the short round to fall out of the average.

The Rangers men also finished second in Hays, led by the all-around champion Maverick Harper, who earned his second such title in as many weeks. He won the tie-down roping and finished third in steer wrestling. Grayson Allred of Kanarraville, Utah, also scored points in both those events, finishing third in tie-down roping and fifth in bulldogging.

Cole Patterson of Pratt, Kan., placed in the opening round of tie-down roping but failed to earn a time in the short round. In steer wrestling, Talon Roseland of Marshalltown, Minn., placed second, while Cody Devers of Perryton, Texas, finished fourth; Devers leads the region standings by 95 points over Roseland. Bridger Anderson of Carrington, N.D., won the first round but didn’t place in the average.

Team ropers Logan Wood of Prescott, Iowa, and Edgar Fierro of Hennessey, Okla., placed in both rounds and finished second in the average. Heeler Sage Lamunyon of Enid, Okla., placed third in the opening round, but he and his partner, Layton Little of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, failed to secure a time in the short round.

Both the Rangers men and women have a virtual lock on qualifying for the college finals as teams. The men are a solid second place, with a 1,477-point lead over the No. 3 team. Only the top two teams and the top three finishers in each event advance to the CNFR, set for June 10-16 in Casper, Wyo.

Bynum has held onto the barrel racing lead for much of the region season, but she has no plans to back down now. She’s learned too much over her four-year campaign to slow down heading into the final regular-season event of her career.

“I had never really had a horse like Loretta,” she said. “In the back of your mind, you want to prove to everybody how good your horse is. Our region is super tough.

“Now we just go run barrels and let it fall where it should.”

That mindset has been beneficial to the young cowgirl, who is a veteran in the eyes of college rodeo. But she and Loretta have grown up together and grown on each other.

“Loretta is pretty free running,” Bynum said. “I had to rein her down on her first (barrel), or she’d go past it. At 4 years old, I had to be more of a jockey for her. Now I know I can just send her, and she’s going to look for a barrel. I’ve ridden smarter this year.

“I had to ride the horse she was at the time and not the horse she was going to be.”

Though the school side of college rodeo has been tough on Bynum, she’s stuck with it. She plans to graduate in December, and she knows her ride through college rodeo has been the key.

“I’m going to get my bachelor’s (degree), and I have that paint mare to thank for it,” she said.

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