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postheadericon McIntyre doing well at his side job

Payden McIntyre wrestles his steer to the ground in 4.3 seconds to win the bulldogging title at this year's Cattlemen's Days PRCA Rodeo. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

Payden McIntyre wrestles his steer to the ground in 4.3 seconds to win the bulldogging title at this year’s Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

GUNNISON, Colo. – Like any rodeo cowboy, Peydon McIntyre would love to take his shot at making the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

For now, though, other priorities don’t make that possible. He operates an information technology business in Douglas, Wyo., and he must take care of his clients before he can focus on his side job, a steer wrestler in ProRodeo.

“I’m in a position in life where rodeoing full time isn’t really an option for me,” said McIntyre, a five-time qualifier to the RAM Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo. “The circuit system has been great for us cowboys that maybe want to rodeo hard for one month out of the year. If you win the circuit finals, you could go to Florida for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo and maybe be able to ride for the National Finals next year.”

That’s why Saturday night’s 4.3-second run on the final performance of the Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo. He won the steer wrestling title, $1,745 and a $200 bonus from the rodeo committee.

“It’s pretty awesome for a committee to go above and beyond for us cowboys,” he said. “It’s been a real slow seek, so it’s real nice to come down here and have a lot of people appreciate when you do well.”

McIntyre has been to Cattlemen’s Days a handful of times in his rodeo career, but 2018 marks his first championship.

“This is an awesome community, and it’s a good place to relax and hang out,” he said. “The hospitality has been great, and they’ve taken care of us. We haven’t won a lot of money the last few weeks, so if somebody will feed you for free, you can’t complain about that.”

He travels with Coltin Hill and Stetson Jorgensen of Blackfoot, Idaho, and Coltin Hill of Browning, Mont., and they share expenses to make sure the rodeo trail pays off as much as possible. They also work with one another, and Jorgensen helps by hazing for McIntyre, helping keep the steer running straight to give the bulldogger the best chance to win.

“He’s hazed for me all winter and quite a bit this summer,” McIntyre said. “You get a guy on a good horse that knows what he’s doing, and you get in sync together. It’s like a quarterback and a receiver working together.

“This is a circuit rodeo for me, so it will make competing in the circuit a little easier for me.”

Cattlemen’s Days
Gunnison, Colo.
July 12-14
All-around cowboy:
Wyatt Imus, $1,130 in tie-down roping and team roping.

Bareback riding leaders: 1. Craig Wisehart, 85 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Kicking Feathers, $1,480; 2. Casey Colletti, 83, $1,121; 3. Jake Springer, 78.5, $807; 4. (tie) Tyler Ferguson and J.C. Hester, 77, $426; 6. Hunter Brasfield, 73, $224.

Steer wrestling: 1. Payden McIntyre, 4.3 seconds, $1,745; 2. Tom Littell, 4.6, $1,444; 3. Riley Krassin, 5.2, $1,143; 4. Trevion Fox, 5.7, $842; 5. Chisum Docheff, 6.4, $541; 6. (tie) Trey Jackson and Laine Herl, 7.7, $150 each.

Team roping: 1. Brye Crites/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.9 seconds, $2,162; 2. Bubba Buckaloo/Tyler Worley, 5.0, $1,880; 3. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.2, $1,598; 4. Brit Ellerman/Marcus Banister, 5.6, $1,316; 5. Tyler Shnaufer/Trevor Schnaufer, 5.7, $1,034; 6. (tie) Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis and Lee Kiehne/Tyler Getzwiller, 5.8, $611 each; 8. (tie) Wyatt Imus/Reno Gonzalez and Wade Kreutzer/Clancey Kruetzer, 5.9, $94 each.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Mitch Pollock, 84 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Jet Trails, $1,718; 2. Joaquin Real, 81.5, $1,302; 3. Lefty Holman, 79, $937; 4. Trayson Antonick, 78, $625; 5. Parker Kempfer, 75.5, $365; 6. (tie) Dean Wadsworth and Tyler Turco, 73.5, $130 each.

Tie-down roping: 1. Bo Pickett, 10.9 seconds, $1,581; 2. Ryan Belew, 12.7, $1,308; 3. Wyatt Imus, 20.1, $1,036; 4. Reno Gonzales, 20.6, $763; 5. Colton Farquer, 21.0, $491; 6. Wes Mack, 21.4, $273.

Barrel racing: 1. Nicole Waggoner, 17.64 seconds, $1,518; 2. Brittany Fellows, 17.90, $1,301; 3. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.91, $1,084; 4. Taryn Boxleitner, 17.97, $940; 5. Kelly Yates, 17.98, $723; 6. Chris Gibson, 18.03, $434; 7. Dolli Lautaret, 18.08, $434; 8. Kari Boxleitner, 18.09; 9. Jolee Lautaret-Jordan, 18.17, $217; 10. Ronnie Will, 18.20, $145.

Bull riding: 1. Brody Yeary, 82 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Little Party, $4,474; 2. Jimy Marten, 79.5, $3,691; 3. Eli Vastbinder, 73, $3,021; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon New partners move to Gunnison lead

Buddy Hawkins II closes his  4.9-second run with partner Brye Crites on Friday night to take the team roping lead at the Cattlemen's Days PRCA Rodeo. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

Buddy Hawkins II closes his 4.9-second run with partner Brye Crites on Friday night to take the team roping lead at the Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

GUNNISON, Colo. – Brye Crites and Buddy Hawkins have roped together many times over the years. That happens when team ropers live close to one another.

Now they’re on the rodeo trail together and finding their ways to the pay window. On Friday night, the two stopped the clock in 4.9 seconds to take the team roping lead at the Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo.

“I had to stay home for a couple of weeks to deal with some family matters,” said Hawkins, a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Columbus, Kan., who had been roping with Lane Ivy of Dublin, Texas, for a couple of years. “It was the toughest time to leave a guy hanging or look for a new partner.

“Brye and I practice together quite a bit. He lives about 50 or 60 miles from me and ropes real good. I asked if he was interested in going, and he was happy to come out here with me. He is a rooking, doing a real good job for me.”

That he is. Not only are they winning in Gunnison, but they are secured a spot in Saturday’s championship round in Casper, Wyo. They will remain partners for another two weeks.

“It’s been a heck of an opportunity,” Crites said. “A lot of guys don’t get this opportunity to know every time you turn a steer, he’s going to catch two feet.”

That’s what happens with a heeler as talented as Hawkins.

“Matt Sherwood and I are going to start roping together in Dodge City, and we plan on roping together indefinitely,” Hawkins said of the two-time world champion from Pima, Ariz.

This was both cowboys’ first time to compete in the Fred Field Western Center in Gunnison.

“This is a super neat facility,” he said. “I’ve been to 44 rodeos this year, and when we got here, they gave us hay and helped us park and were as friendly as they could be. It couldn’t be any better, and they gave us a cash bonus for winning the performance.

“That money will help us get to Casper’s short round tomorrow night.”

It all comes in handy. Hawkins is 21st in the world standings and has hopes of moving up the money list. Sure, returning to the NFR would be great, but he ropes to help make ends meet.

“I like paying bills, with or without the finals.”

Cattlemen’s Days
Gunnison, Colo.
July 12-14
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Craig Wisehart, 85 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Kicking Feathers; 2. Casey Colletti, 83; 3. Jake Springer, 78.5; 4. Tyler Ferguson, 77; 5. Bryton John Buyert, 70; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. Riley Krassin, 5.2 seconds; 2. Chisum Docheff, 6.4; 3. Miguel Garcia, 14.4; 4. Brian Snell, 15.5; 5. Brady Buum, 20.1; no other qualified runs.

Team roping: 1. Brye Crites/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.9 seconds; 2. Bubba Buckaloo/Tyler Worley, 5.0; 3. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.2; 4. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8; 5. Wyatt Imus/Reno Gonzalez, 5.9; 6. Garrett Tonozzi/Joe Mattern, 7.1.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Joaquin Real, 81.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Hoppin’ Tom; 2. Trayson Antonick, 78; 3. Parker Kempfer, 75.5; 5. Dean Wadsworth, 73.5; 5. Dalton Davis, 73; 6. Justin Lawrence, 72.

Tie-down roping: 1. Bo Pickett, 10.9 seconds; 2. Ryan Belew, 12.7; 3. Wyatt Imus, 20.1; 4. Reno Gonzaels, 20.6; no other qualified runs.

Barrel racing: 1. Nicole Waggoner, 17.64 seconds; 2. Brittany Fellows, 17.90; 3. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.91; 4. Kelly Yates, 17.98; 5. Chris Gibson, 18.03; 6. Dolli Lautaret, 18.08; 7. Jolee Lautaret-Jordan, 18.17; 8. Ronnie Will, 18.20; 9. MacKenzie Scott, 18,21; 10. Kathryn Hawkins, 18.27.

Bull riding: 1. Jimy Marten, 79.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Gunsmoke; 2. Eli Vastbinder, 73; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Artists enjoy giving back

Easton Corbin, Dean Dillon and James Otto perform during the Gunnison Cattlemen's Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink Songwriter Concert and Auction on July 10. The evening produced more than $340,000 in fundraising. (PHOTO BY ALLAN IVY)

Easton Corbin, Dean Dillon and James Otto perform during the Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink Songwriter Concert and Auction on July 10. The evening produced more than $340,000 in fundraising. (PHOTO BY ALLAN IVY)

Otto, Corbin were part of TETWP concert, auction that raised more than $340k

GUNNISON, Colo. – The Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign has provided an impact on the local community, but it touches people well beyond the Gunnison Valley.

“I think they do amazing work,” said James Otto, one of the artists who was part of the TETWP Songwriter Concert and Auction on Tuesday, July 10, in Mt. Crested Butte. “They are giving back in a way to find a way to help folks who are going through the toughest points in their lives.

“I’m honored to be part of it.”

Otto shared the stage with legendary songwriter Dean Dillon, who serves on the TETWP board and helps organize the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, and Easton Corbin, a last-minute replacement for an ill Tyler Farr.

“It was a great event,” Corbin said. “My buddy, Tyler Far, got sick. Our manager called me and told me what the event was, so I was happy to come.

“In some way, shape or form, everybody’s been affected by cancer. They’re taking that money and putting it in the local hospital and taking that money and using it locally. It’s being used for what it’s for.”

This year’s concert and auction raised more than $340,000, said Heidi Sherratt Bogart, executive director of Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink. Over the 13 years the organization has been in existence, it has raised more than $2.6 million, all of which is used locally.

That made it fairly easy for the country artists to join Dillon on stage.

“My family has a long history with breast cancer,” Otto said. “My grandmother had breast cancer and ended up passing away after battling it for a long time. My mom has been through breast cancer; she is a survivor. My mother-in-law just this last year went through stage 3 breast cancer. It’s something that means a lot to me.

“If I can help raise funds or raise awareness in any way, then that’s what I want to do.”

That mindset, along with the giving of so many special donors that take part in the concert and auction every year, has been big for the local TETWP community.

“You make friends and connections out here,” Corbin said. “You meet people who have personal ties to this, and it solidifies why you’re here. It makes you feel good, because you’re going to help impact people’s lives.”

postheadericon Roundup featuring Jr.NFR qualifier

9-year-old Brazos Heck is interviewed during the 2017 Jr.NFR in Las Vegas.(COURTESY PHOTO)a

9-year-old Brazos Heck is interviewed during the 2017 Jr.NFR in Las Vegas.(COURTESY PHOTO)a

DODGE CITY, Kan. – The greatest cowboys and cowgirls in a given season battle throughout the year to compete in Las Vegas in December.

What has worked for decades for professional rodeo has been passed down to the next few generations of ropers, bulldoggers, barrel racers, bull riders and bronc riders with the development of the Jr.NFR, which takes place in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo has always been a huge stopping point for NFR qualifiers, and this year it will be a qualifying stop for those hoping to compete at the Jr.NFR. The event takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28, and Sunday, July 29, at Roundup Arena.

“This will be a direct qualifier to the Central Region Finals that take place in September in Liberal (Kan.),” said Jeff Louderback, a livestock producer and event organizer from Liberal. “From there, the top kids will go to the Jr.NFR.”

There will be four age groups for the competitors: 8-under, 9-11, 12-14 and novice, which is for youth ages 15-18. For the event at Roundup Arena, the competition will feature youth in bareback riding and saddle bronc riding. Louderback will be providing the bucking stock, which includes animals of various sizes to be matched with each age division.

“I love these kids events,” said Joel Redman, vice president of the Roundup Rodeo committee. “I feel good seeing how excited these kids get and their determination to compete.”

That’s exactly why Louderback got involved in producing events nearly eight years ago.

“I used to ride broncs, and we enjoy working with kids,” he said. “This will be our third year being associated with the Jr.NFR.”

That’s because the championship in Las Vegas was created in 2016. While the Dodge City event will focus on youngsters riding bucking horses, the Jr.NFR will feature all other rodeo events.

“We’re going to have kids coming to Dodge City from all over the nation to try to qualify for the Jr.NFR,” Louderback said. “This is really a cool way for us to look at tomorrow’s champions.

“To say you get to see them now and could very well see them at the NFR one of these days is pretty special.”

postheadericon Wisehart winning wise in pink

Craig Wisehart of Kersey, Colo., not only took the bareback riding lead at the Gunnison Cattlemen's Days PRCA Rodeo, but also he earned $1,500 for wearing pink and having the high-point ride in bareback riding. With the help of sponsors, a local donation and $250 per event from Wrangler, the committee was able to give out $7,500 Thursday night. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

Craig Wisehart of Kersey, Colo., not only took the bareback riding lead at the Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo, but also he earned $1,500 for wearing pink and having the high-point ride in bareback riding. With the help of sponsors, a local donation and $250 per event from Wrangler, the committee was able to give out $7,500 Thursday night. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

GUNNISON, Colo. – When Craig Wisehart left his Texas home, he left a few things, including his pink shirt.

That was a bit unhandy Thursday night during the Tough Enough to Wear Pink performance of Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo, which offered a $1,500 bonus to the highest scores and fastest times in each event.

“My buddy, Tyler Ferguson, told me there was a pretty good bonus for wearing a pink tonight,” said Wisehart, who lives in Stephenville, Texas, but still calls Kersey, Colo., home. “I told him, ‘I was silly and left all my pink shirts in Texas.’ He told me there was a Tough Enough to Wear Pink booth on the other side of the arena and to get one.

“I ran over there, and they fit me with one, and here we are.”

He then put on a magical 85-point ride on Smith, Harper & Margan’s Kicking Feathers to take the lead in bareback riding and earning the $1,500 – $250 from Wrangler, $250 from a local sponsor and $1,000 from a local donor who is part of the Cattlemen’s Days TETWP program.

“I knew it was a colt, but we can call a bunch of people who know what it is or have been on that horse,” said Wisehart, the assistant rodeo coach at Tarleton State University. “A good buddy of mine, Jake Brown, knows horses like nobody’s business. When Jake says he’s a hopper, I take it.”

A “hopper” is considered a horse that makes a straight motion as it jumps and kicks with few moves in between.

“When I showed up here tonight, everybody told me I was going to love it,” he said. “It was reassuring.”

Because of his coaching schedule, Wisehart focuses on the rodeos he knows and likes. He’s qualified eight times for the RAM Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo, where he has won the average twice and won the outright circuit title once. Part of that is familiarity, but another is having a strong rodeo legacy at a lot of rodeos in the region made up of stops in Colorado and Wyoming.

“It’s just the atmosphere,” he said. “The rodeo heritage, and the guys in Colorado and Wyoming are true rodeo cowboys. I was born and raised here in Colorado, so I’ve seen all these kinds of rodeos all my life.

“I love this rodeo. The hospitality and the committee is great, and the stock is amazing. Just driving in, you see the black cows out in the pasture and know this is cowboy country.”

The pink program also paid off for barrel racer Chris Gibson of Windsor, Colo. She posted an 18.03-second run to earn the $1,500, then donated $300 back to the Cattlemen’s Days TETWP committee.

“That’s one thing I love about this rodeo, and I’ve wanted to do that,” she said. “After I came here the first time, I knew I didn’t want to miss this rodeo again because of their pink campaign.”

Cattlemen’s Days
Gunnison, Colo.
July 12-14
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Craig Wisehart, 85 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Kicking Feathers; 2. Tyler Ferguson, 77; 3. Bryton John Buyert, 70; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. Riley Krassin, 15.6 seconds; 2. Miguel Garcia, 14.4; no other qualified runs.

Team roping: 1. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.2 seconds; 2. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8; 3. Garrett Tonozzi/Joe Mattern, 7.1; 4. Robert Reed/TW Wilson, 11.2; 5. Garett Chick/J.W. Borrego, 15.2; 6. Corey Whinnery/Robert Murphy, 15.6.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Trayson Antonick, 78 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Deep Water; 2. Parker Kempfer, 75.5; 3. Dean Wadsworth, 73.5; 4. Dalton Davis, 73; no other qualified rides.

Tie-down roping: No qualified runs.

Barrel racing: 1. Chris Gibson, 18.03 seconds; 2. Emily Dudley, 18.33; 3. Amy Smith, 18.98; 4. Trixie Carlstrom, 19.45; 5. Amanda Devencenty, 27.96; 6. Shali Lord, 44.83.

Bull riding: 1. Eli Vastbinder, 73 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s bull 410; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Pete Carr team finds comfort in Eagle

John Gwatney is one of many team members from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo who has worked the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo for many years, so he understands what makes the Eagle rodeo so special.

John Gwatney is one of many team members from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo who has worked the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo for many years, so he understands what makes the Eagle rodeo so special.

EAGLE, Colo. – There’s so much beauty that surrounds this town of just 6,700, the Eagle County’s seat and home of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo.

That just adds to the flavor of this Rocky Mountain community and the reason hundreds of thousands of visitors make their way to the picturesque location. It’s also an attractive piece of the puzzle for the talented team from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo.

“There’s no other rodeo setting like Eagle, tucked among the mountains with the Eagle River right behind it,” said Clay Heger, a bullfighter who has been in the middle of the action for several years at the rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 25-Saturday, July 28, at Johnette Phillips Arena on the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

“That time of year makes everyone and every animal feel great waking up on a cool 60 or 70 degrees in the middle of the summer is amazing.”

Heger is just one of a couple dozen Carr staff that will make the trip from the firm’s east Texas ranch. The Eagle County Fair and Rodeo has been a big stop for the team for the last decade.

“We’ve been on the rodeo trail all year, and we’ve been to some beautiful places,” said John Gwatney, the livestock superintendent for Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “We just got done with Big Spring (Texas) and Pecos (Texas), which are two fantastic rodeos, but there’s a lot of heat.

“To go from there to the beautiful setting of the mountains and a crowd that is so captive and responsive is amazing and makes Eagle a wonderful rodeo.”

How wonderful? All four performances are typically sold out, and the crowd of several thousand fans is usually loud and boisterous, making for a great experience for all involved.

In fact, the members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association think so much of the Eagle event that they nominated it for Medium Rodeo of the Year in 2017. It was the first time it has received an honor – with the nomination, Eagle was recognized as one of the top 20 rodeos in North America, and the PRCA has more than 650 annually.

“We have a lot of great history in Eagle,” said Pete Carr, president and CEO of the livestock firm, which has five straight nominations for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year. “The horses and bulls love it up there, and the mountain climate adds to that. There are usually a lot of high scores and great rides in Eagle because of that.”

In fact, Carr bucking horse Grass Dancer was part of a world record-tying 94-point ride when she matched moves with bareback rider Ryan Gray in 2009. There have been numerous other high-scoring rides inside the arena that sits just beneath the mountains.

“I think one of the keys to making the rides so memorable is the crowd,” Gwatney said. “The energy of the crowd electrifies the whole place. The night that record ride was made, there was lightning in the background, and the crowd was just as into it as if there wasn’t weather around us. That’s the electricity that place brings.”

And that atmosphere is why the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo is one of the best in the game.

postheadericon Wade, McKnight set Rooftop standard

ESTES PARK, Colo. – It’s been a week of record-breaking performances at the 2018 Rooftop Rodeo, and that theme played through the final performance Tuesday night.

Team ropers Tyler Wade of Terrell, Texas, and Tyler McKnight of Wells, Texas, stopped the clock in 4.0 seconds to win the Rooftop Rodeo title, $4,440 and a pair of spurs each. That beat the record of 4.1 that was shared by three other teams, and the last time it was shared was in 2016 by Clint Summers and Dustin Egusquiza.

Tyler McKnight

Tyler McKnight

“Before we roped, he had done a little research on the steer, and they told us it loped, went dead straight and that he was really good,” said McKnight, the heeler. “I tried not to overhaze him, that way we were in the middle of the arena and could come tight faster, and he did an awesome job and made it easy.”

The header starts a team roping run by roping the horns, while the heeler runs along side the steer to keep it straight, which is called hazing. Putting too much emphasis on hazing the steer would force the animal left, thereby making it more difficult to stop the clock by taking the slack out of the ropes and having both horses facing one another.

It turned out to be not only the fastest run of the rodeo but the fastest run ever inside Granny May Arena at the Estes Park Fairgrounds.

“We’ve roped for several years together on and off, whenever we could,” Wade said of the partnership.

The tandem live just a couple of hours away from another, so they’ve competed together much of their lives. They seem to make it work well. But they had some motivation to close out their Cowboy Christmas, a series of lucrative rodeos that are around the Fourth of July holiday – Rooftop Rodeo is the final event of this year’s Cowboy Christmas.

Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade

“We needed that run and that paycheck,” Wade said. “I flew out of St. Paul (Ore.) five days ago and made him drive the rig all the way here so I could see my 2-week-old baby. He got his 2-month-old kid here tonight, so that may have been our good-luck charm.

“I hadn’t swung a rope in five days, so I was a little nervous on where my rope was going to fit.”

While Weston Cash Wade didn’t make the trip to the mountains, Curtis Jay McKnight did, and both cowboys were happy to have it. Both have been regulars at Rooftop Rodeo for years.

“I love it over here,” Wade said. “The mountains are awesome. There are a lot of committees that don’t take care of their contestants quite as good as I think they should, but they do here. We appreciate every bit of it.”

Ari-Anna Flynn

Ari-Anna Flynn

Wade and McKnight were joined as record-breakers in Estes Park by steer wrestler Will Lummus, who tied the arena record of 3.2 seconds Friday night, and barrel racer Ari-Anna Flynn, who set a new standard of 17.04 seconds Tuesday. She was one of six cowgirls who bested the previous record of 17.36, set last year.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Brody Cress of Hillsdale, Wyo., won the saddle bronc riding with an 87.5-point ride on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Bath Bubbles, pocketing $7,057. With that, he pushed his season earnings to $88,754 and moved to No. 2 in the world standings.

Rooftop Rodeo
Estes Park, Colo.
July 5-10, 2018
Bareback riding:
1. J.C. Hester Jr., 86.5 points on Cervi Championship’s Dream Machine, $6,021; 2. Steven Peebles, 86, $4,615; 3. (tie) Jake Brown and Kaycee Feild, 85, $2,810 each; 5. (tie) Lane McGehee and Bill Tutor, 83, $1,204 each; 7. (tie) Tilden Hooper and Mason Clements, 82, $702 each.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Sam Williams, 3.6 seconds, $1,363; 2. Will Lummus, 3.8, $1,128; 3. Laine Herl, 4.2, $893; 4. (tie) Tom Littell and Cody Devers, 4.3, $541 each; 6. (tie) Trever Nelson and Gary Gilbert, 4.4, $118 each. Second round: 1. Will Lummus, 3.2 seconds, $1,363; 2. Hunter Cure, 3.7, $1,128; 3. Cole McNamee, 4.0, $893; Blake Mindemann, 4.5, $658; 5. Laine Herl, 4.6, $423; 6. (tie) Heath Thompson and Riley Krassin, 4.9, $118 each. Average: 1. Will Lummus, 7.0 seconds on two runs, $2,045; 2. Laine Herl, 8.8, $1,692; 3. Hunter Cure, 9.1, $1,340; 4. Sam Williams, 10.0, $987; 5. Tom Littell, 10.6, $635; 6. Blake Mindemann, 11.6, $353.

Team roping: 1. Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight, 4.0 seconds, $4,440; 2. Quisto Lopez/Joel Galvin Jr., 4.3, $3,973; 3. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.4, $3,506; 4. Billy Bob Brown/Hunter Koch, 4.5, $3,038; 5. (tie) Jake Barnes/Rich Skelton and Lightning Aguilera/Brady Norman, 4.6, $2,337 each; 7. (tie) Paul Beckett/Chad Wahlert and Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 4.7, $1,402; 9. Rhen Richard/Quinn Kesler, 5.1; 10. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.2, $234.

Saddle bronc riding 1. Brody Cress, 87.5 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Bath Bubbles, $7,057; 2. Wyatt Hageman, 86, $5,410; 2. Tyrel Larsen, 84.5, $3,999; 4. (tie) Hardy Braden and Sterling Crawley, 83, $2,117 each; 6. (tie) Troy Crowser and Chase Brooks, 82.5, $1,059; 7. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Clayton Brum, 82, $353.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Reno Gonzales, 8.4 seconds, $1,176; 2. Jesse Clark, 9.4, $973; 3. Scott Kormos, 10.2, $771; 4. Anthony Jordan, 10.6, $568; 5. Joey Dickens, 10.7, $365; 6. Caleb Smidt, 10.9, $203. Second round: 1. Bryson Sechrist, 8.8 seconds, $1,176; 2. Brice Ingo, 9.0, $973; 3. Caleb Smidt, 9.1, $771; 4. Sterling Smith, 9.6, $568; 5. Trell Etbauer, 9.7, $265; 6. (tie) Anthony Jordan and Seth Cooke, 10.2, $101 each. Average: 1. Caleb Smidt, 20.0 seconds on two runs, $1,764; 2. Bryson Sechrist, 20.4, $1,460; 3. Anthony Jordan, 20.8, $1,156; 4. Jesse Clark, 21.2, $852; 5. Sterling Smith, 21.4, $547; 5. Joey Dickens, 22.1, $304.

Barrel racing: 1. Ari-Anna Flynn, 17.04 seconds, $4,028; 2. Brittney Barnett, 17.20, $3,231; 3. Sydni Blanchard, 17.21, $2,625; 4. Kathy Grimes, 17.26, $2,019; 5. Tracy Nowlin, 17.31, $1,615; 6. Shali Lord, 17.33, $1,211; 7. (tie) Sabrina Ketcham, Tillar Murray and Lacinda Rose, 17.39, $909 each; 10. Laura Lambert, 17.41, $707; 11. Leia Bluemer and Dolli Lauteret, 17.43, $555; 13. Shelby Janssen, 17.44, $404; 14. (tie) Heidi Tillard and Kelley Carrington, 17.47, $252.

Bull riding: 1. Callum Miller, on 4L and Diamond S Ranch’s Living After Midnight, and Scottie Knapp, on 4L and Diamond S Ranch’s Monte Walsh, 89 points, $3,487 each; 3. (tie) Clayton Savage and Logan Hunter, 88, $1,842 each; 5. Kyle Gardner, 85, $921; 6. Reid Barker, 84.5, $658; 7. Tim Bingham, 84, $526; 8. Riker Carter, 83.5, $395.

postheadericon History stands tall with Eagle fair

A crowd packs into the stands at Johnette Phillips Arena at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. The Eagle County Fair and Rodeo has a grand history, now eight decades in the making.

A crowd packs into the stands at Johnette Phillips Arena at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. The Eagle County Fair and Rodeo has a grand history, now eight decades in the making.

EAGLE, Colo. – There’s so much beauty that surrounds this town of just 6,700, the Eagle County’s seat and home of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo.

That just adds to the flavor of this Rocky Mountain community and the reason hundreds of thousands of visitors make their way to the picturesque location. It’s also an attractive piece of the puzzle for the talented team from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo.

“There’s no other rodeo setting like Eagle, tucked among the mountains with the Eagle River right behind it,” said Clay Heger, a bullfighter who has been in the middle of the action for several years at the rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 25-Saturday, July 28, at Johnette Phillips Arena on the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

“That time of year makes everyone and every animal feel great waking up on a cool 60 or 70 degrees in the middle of the summer is amazing.”

Heger is just one of a couple dozen Carr staff that will make the trip from the firm’s east Texas ranch. The Eagle County Fair and Rodeo has been a big stop for the team for the last decade.

“We’ve been on the rodeo trail all year, and we’ve been to some beautiful places,” said John Gwatney, the livestock superintendent for Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “We just got done with Big Spring (Texas) and Pecos (Texas), which are two fantastic rodeos, but there’s a lot of heat.

“To go from there to the beautiful setting of the mountains and a crowd that is so captive and responsive is amazing and makes Eagle a wonderful rodeo.”

How wonderful? All four performances are typically sold out, and the crowd of several thousand fans is usually loud and boisterous, making for a great experience for all involved.

In fact, the members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association think so much of the Eagle event that they nominated it for Medium Rodeo of the Year in 2017. It was the first time it has received an honor – with the nomination, Eagle was recognized as one of the top 20 rodeos in North America, and the PRCA has more than 650 annually.

“We have a lot of great history in Eagle,” said Pete Carr, president and CEO of the livestock firm, which has five straight nominations for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year. “The horses and bulls love it up there, and the mountain climate adds to that. There are usually a lot of high scores and great rides in Eagle because of that.”

In fact, Carr bucking horse Grass Dancer was part of a world record-tying 94-point ride when she matched moves with bareback rider Ryan Gray in 2009. There have been numerous other high-scoring rides inside the arena that sits just beneath the mountains.

“I think one of the keys to making the rides so memorable is the crowd,” Gwatney said. “The energy of the crowd electrifies the whole place. The night that record ride was made, there was lightning in the background, and the crowd was just as into it as if there wasn’t weather around us. That’s the electricity that place brings.”

And that atmosphere is why the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo is one of the best in the game.

postheadericon Blanchard speeds to Rooftop lead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

postheadericon Pink crusade supports cancer patients

Volunteers man the Tough Enough to Wear Pink booth to help raise money for the Circle of Hope during the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (WEBSITE PHOTO)

Volunteers man the Tough Enough to Wear Pink booth to help raise money for the Circle of Hope during the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (WEBSITE PHOTO)

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Since its inception more than a decade ago, the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign has raised more than $200,000.

That’s saying something, but there’s so much more. All of that money raised has gone to Circle of Hope, a self-help non-profit group for all types of cancer patients and their caregivers. The group hopes to just keep adding to it during this year’s event.

“We typically raise about $20,000 a year for the Circle of Hope,” said Mary Trotter, who has been associated with TETWP since its founding. “The fact that it stays in southwest Kansas is why it stays as it is. What we do is pass the hats for the first four nights of the rodeo and have a pink booth at the rodeo.

“Passing the hat seems to have been the most successful for us. Of course, we really have a big push on the Saturday night of the rodeo, which is our pink night.”

Roundup Rodeo is set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1-Sunday, Aug. 5, at Roundup Arena. That means there are ample opportunities for the TETWP to raise more money for the regional charity, which has been assisting patients and caregivers through their cancer journey since 1993. The support group encourages hope, strength and positive attitude.

“Cancer is just plain scary,” said Trotter, the wife of the longtime president of Roundup, Dr. R.C. Trotter. “You never know what’s lurking in your body.”

The national Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign was created by breast cancer survivor Bonnie Wheatley, the mother of team roper Wade Wheatley, along with Karl Stressman, who was with Wrangler at the time and went on to be commissioner of the PRCA. The plan was to allow rodeo and the Western community to rally against breast cancer.

Hundreds of rodeos across the country take part in the campaign, and not all are focused on breast cancer. That is the case with the Dodge City group. In 2016, the local TETWP campaign raised $27,000 and was among the top 15 in the country. It remains one of the biggest fundraisers in the country each year.

“We have a lot of the same sponsors that we did when we started,” Trotter said. “I think this is important because it shows that Roundup is giving back to the community and not just entertaining the fans that come to the rodeo.”

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