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postheadericon Kimzey chasing Roundup cash

Reigning three-time world champion Sage Kimzey rides 4L and Diamond S Rodeo's Lost Highway for 82.5 points on Saturday night at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. He finished tied for seventh in the first round and will compete in Sunday's short round.

Reigning three-time world champion Sage Kimzey rides 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Lost Highway for 82.5 points on Saturday night at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. He finished tied for seventh in the first round and will compete in Sunday’s short round.

DODGE CITY, Kan. – In ProRodeo, Sage Kimzey has earned $184,631.

In reality, the reigning three-time world champion bull rider has collected a lot more than that. His biggest payday so far in 2017 was for $433,000 for winning The American in Arlington, Texas, in March, but he’s been collecting big paychecks all along the way.

A month ago, he pocketed $270,000 in just nine days of riding bulls. First he won the Calgary Stampede’s $100,000 first-place check, then followed that with $50,000 at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City and a $100,000 bonus for winning the Championship Bull Riding world championship.

In that stretch, the Salt Lake City victory and a few big checks at lucrative rodeos around the Fourth of July were all that count toward his race for a fourth straight gold buckle. All the other is just icing on the cake.

“July was a really good month for me,” said Kimzey of Strong City, Okla. “Winning the Calgary Stampede again is just awesome.”

Whether they count for the PRCA world standings or not, every dollar is important for men who ride bucking beasts for a living. On Saturday night, gave himself a shot to earn more and the coveted Dodge City Roundup Rodeo title when he rode 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Lost Highway for 82.5 points.

He finished tied for seventh place in the opening round, pocketing $355. Most importantly, though, is he qualifies for Sunday night’s championship round and a chance to earn one of the most cherished buckles in ProRodeo.

“I didn’t know much about him,” he said of the bull. “He’s a quick, little, athletic bull. You can feel when you’re on them whether they’re going to change leads or whether they’re really committed to the spin, and I could tell the whole time that he might do something else.

“I just tried to stay centered and not set any traps for him, because I knew at any time he could change it up.”

The bull did, but it wasn’t quite as spectacular as other rides during the first four nights of the competition. Dodge City-born Tyler Hessman and Jeston Mead of Holcomb, Kan., both scored 87 to win the opening round.

But Kimzey owns a $43,000 lead over the No. 2 man in the standings, Garrett Smith of Rexburg, Idaho. He’d like to keep padding that if he can in Dodge City. The rodeo life is like that of a gypsy, which means traveling thousands of miles a year in order to compete in the sport they love. How does a bull rider stay at the top of the game like the Oklahoman.

“We get on so many bulls through the summer that we don’t have any time to do much else,” Kimzey said. “You definitely have to stay in shape, whether it’s jumping rope or running the bleachers at the rodeo grounds. You have to be in shape and stay healthy.

“When I’m home, and sometimes when I’m on the road, I watch a lot of video. I think about it all the time, and I have since I was a little kid. I think the mental side of the tame is more important than anything.”

His goal is to top the record set by Donnie Gay, the only bull rider with eight world titles. He hopes to do that by remaining technically sound with his bull riding.

“It helps me stay on,” he said. “It also helps me stay healthy. I don’t put myself in a lot of compromising situations. That’s a key to this sport, too. If you’re not healthy, you can’t win any money.”

Kimzey is proof of that.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 2-6
Bareback riding leaders:
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; 9. Austin Foss, 80; 10. (tie) Anthony Thomas, Steven Dent and Justin McDaniel, 79.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 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 leaders: 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. Average leaders: 1. Tom Lewis, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Ryle Smith, 8.5; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 8.7; 4. (tie) Tyler Pearson and Riley Duvall, 8.8; 6. Josh Peek, 9.3; 7. (tie) Nick Guy and Jacob Talley, 9.4; 9. T.J. Hall, 9.5; 10. Joby Allen, 9.6; 11. Levi Rudd, 9.7; 12. Clay Mindemann, 9.8.

Team roping: First round leaders: 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 leaders: 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. Average leaders: 1. 2. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins, 10.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 10.5; 3. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 11.4; 4. (tie) Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward and Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 11.8; 6. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 12.4; 7. Jake Pancost/David Hinman, 12.7; 8. Troy Boone/Chase Boekhaus, 13.1; 9. Cale Markham/Austin Rogers, 13.6; 10. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 14.8; 11. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 15.5; 12. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 15.6.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 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; 11. Cody DeMoss, 79; 12. (tie) Jace Lane and Leon Fountain, 77.5. (Because of the tie at 12th place, only the top 11 return for the short round)

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 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 leaders: 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. Average leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 19.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Blane Cox, 19.7; 3. Riley Pruitt, 20.5; 4. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Thomas Merritt, 21.3; Josh Peek, 21.8; 7. Trent Creager, 22.4; 8. (tie) Paul David Tierney, J.D. McCuistion and Jerome Schneeberger, 22.5; 11. Ace Slone, 22.8. (Because of the tie at 12th place, only the top 11 return for the short round)

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 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 leaders: 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. Average leaders: 1. Ivy Hurst, 34.82 seconds on two runs; 2. Sydni Blanchard, 34.84; 3. Dona Kay Rule, 34.87; 4. Christine Laughlin, 34.88; 5. (tie) Sidney Forrest and Jean Winters, 34.91; 5. 7. Danielle Collier, 34.98; 8. Lacinda Rose, 35.00; 9. Sandy McElreath, 35.06; 10. Paige Wiseman, 35.12; 11. Bonnie Baughman, 35.16; 12. Laura Lambert, 35.18.

Bull riding leaders: 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. 9. Clayton Sellars, 82; 10. Chris Bechthold, 81.5; 11. Logan Hunter, 80.5.

postheadericon Kansans fair well on Friday

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Every Kansas cowboy has one title they want to own: Dodge City Roundup Rodeo champion.

Buddy Hawkins is no different. Raised 326 miles east of Dodge City in the tiny southeastern Kansas town of Columbus, he has had aspirations of collecting the most prized rodeo trophy in the Sunflower State.

“Being born and raised in Kansas, Dodge was a dream for me,” said Hawkins, a heeler who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2013. “I didn’t even get to watch this rodeo until I was competitive in the PRCA because we couldn’t afford to come over here and buy a ticket.”

Buddy Hawkins

Buddy Hawkins

He can afford to now but is hoping for a nice payback. During Friday’s third performance, he and his header, Lane Ivy of Adrian, Texas, stopped the clock in 5.6 seconds. That, combined with their 4.7-second run in the first round Friday morning, moved them to the top spot in the two-run aggregate heading into the final day of preliminary rounds.

Hawkins wasn’t the only Kansan-born cowboy to do well Friday. Bull rider Tyler Hessman of Beaver, Okla., was born in Dodge City, and he posted an 87-point ride on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Foolish Dreams to take the lead.

They are almost guaranteed a good position at the top of the leaderboard for Sunday’s championship night, which will feature only the top 12 contestants in each event from the weeklong competition.

“We had a really good steer this morning,” Ivy said Friday evening. “We knew we had to put on some sort of 5-second or 6-second run to put ourselves in good position for the short round Sunday. We drew a good steer and made a great run. We’ve got two really good horses and are drawing good steers.”

It’s been working well. The tandem has earned four key victories over the last month and a half, including three during the Fourth of July run of lucrative rodeos. Ivy sits 15th in the heading world standings with $42,778, while Hawkins is 14th in heeling with $54,298.

Now they will wait out Saturday’s competition to see if they’ll hold down the No. 1 spot heading into the final night of Roundup.

“Everybody that’s out here rodeoing this time of year has done great, but the odds are that we’ll make it back to the short round in good position,” said Hawkins, who earlier this year won the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, the national championship.

“This rodeo counts for the Prairie Circuit, which is more important now that the All-American Finals, the circuit finals and the RAM finals all count toward the world standings.”

Now 30, he’s the veteran in the rig and has the NFR experience to boot.

“Buddy just makes your job a whole lot easier,” Ivy said. “He’s an outstanding heeler and an even better person.”

Now they stand a chance to win the biggest rodeo in Hawkins’ home state and one of the most prestigious trophy buckles in the game.

“Of the top five rodeos I’d like to win, it’s definitely going to be on that list,” Hawkins said. “I’ve won a few big rodeos in my career, but it would be a big thing for a Kansas kid to win a big Kansas rodeo.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 2-6
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Tilden Hooper, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Night Fist; 2. Tim O’Connell, 86.5; 3. Shane O’Connell, 85.5; 4. Clayton Biglow, 84.5; 5. Mason Clements, 84; 6. Wyatt Denny, 83; 7. J.R. Vezain, 81.65; 8. Austin Foss, 80; 9. (tie) Anthony Thomas, Steven Dent and Justin McDaniel, 79; 12. Luke Creasy, 77.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Clay Mindemann, 3.8 seconds; 2. (tie) Tom Lewis and Levi Rudd, 4.1; 4. (tie) Levi Rudd, Cody Charmasson and Ryan Swayze, 4.3; 7. Jacob Talley, 4.4; 8. (tie) Richard Coats and Blair Jones, 4.7. Second round leaders: 1. Ryle Smith, 3.7 seconds; 2. Tom Lewis, 3.8; 3. Kyle Whitaker, 4.1; 4. Kyle Eike, 4.3; 5. (tie) Riley Krassin and Aaron Vosler, 4.4; 7. Tristan Martin, 4.5; 8. (tie) Blake Mindemann, Cody Doescher, J.D. Struxness, 4.6. Average leaders: 1. Tom Lewis, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Ryle Smith, 8.5; 3. (tie) Nick Guy and Jacob Talley, 9.4; 5. Levi Rudd, 9.7; 5. Laine Herl, 10.1; 7. Kyle Whitaker, 10.1; 8. Tristan Martin, 10.3; 9. Riley Krassin, 10.6; 10. Richard Coats, 10.7; 11. J.D. Struxness, 10.8; 12. Cody Doescher, 11.0.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 4.6 seocnds; 2. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins, 4.7; 3. (tie) Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher and Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 5.1; 5. Hayes Smith/Justin Davis, 5.6; 6. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 6.1; 7. Jake Pancost/David Hinman,6.2; 8. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 6.4. Second round leaders: 1. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 4.4 seconds; 2. Paul David Tiereney/Levi Tyan, 4.5; 3. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.7; 4. Jesse Stipes/Jake Clay, 5.1; 5. Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 5.4; 6. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins, 5.6; 7. Dylan Gordon/Hunter Koch, 6.1; 8. Jake Pancost/David Hinman, 6.5; 9. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 6.7; 10. Cale Markham/Austin Rogers, 7.1. Average leaders: 1. 2. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins, 10.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 10.5; 3. (tie) Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward and Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 11.8; 5. Jake Pancost/David Hinman, 12.7; 6. Cale Markham/Austin Rogers, 13.6; 7. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 15.5; 8. Jesse Stipes/Jake Clay, 16.5; 9. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 16.5; 10. Thompson Berryhill/Cody Heflin, 18.2; 11. Brit Ellerman/J.D. Yates, 18.5; 12. Will Clark/Tanner Ward, 24.9

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Rooster; 2. Brody Cress, 84; 3. Shade Etbauer, 83.5; 4. Dean Wadsworth, 82.5; 5. Wade Sundell, 81; 6. (tie) Dylan Henson and Zeke Thurston, 79.5; 8. Cody DeMoss, 79; 9. (tie) Jace Lane and Leon Fountain, 77.5; 11. Jake Wright, 77; 12. CoBurn Bradshaw, 76.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Riley Pruitt, 8.0 seconds; 2. Scott Kormos, 9.1; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 9.6; 4. Tuf Cooper, 9.7; 5. Timber Moore, 9.8; 6. Ty Baker, 9.9; 7. Stran Smith, 10.0; 8. Bryson Sechrist, 10.1. Second round leaders: 1. Caddo Lewallen, 7.4 seconds; 2. Randall Carlisle, 7.9; 3. Kelsey Garrison, 8.2; 4. Paul David Tierney, 8.9; 5. (tie) Cory Solomon and Blane Cox, 9.1; 7. Timber Moore, 9.2; 8. Ross Tucker, 9.3. Average leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 19.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Blane Cox, 19.7; 3. Riley Pruitt, 20.5; 4. Tuf Cooper, 21.3; 5. Trent Creager, 22.4; 6. (tie) Paul David Tierney, J.D. McCuistion and Jerome Schneeberger, 22.5; 9. Ace Slone, 22.8; 10. (tie) Kelsey Garrison and Trell Etbauer, 23.2; 12. Ty Baker, 23.8.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Dona Kay Rule and Christine Laughlin, 17.35 seconds; 3. Emily Miller, 17.42; 4. Laura Kennedy, 17.43; 5. Sidney Forrest, 17.45; 6. Jacie Etbauer, 17.47; 7. (tie) Elizabeth Broussard and Bonnie Baughman, 17.50; 9. (tie) Kristin Shoppa and Ivy Hurst, 17.55. Second round leaders: 1. Michelle Darling, 17.16 seconds; 2. Jean Winters, 17.17; 3. Kelly Bruner, 17.25; 4. Ivy Hurst, 17.27; 5. (tie) Sandy McElreath and Sidney Forrest, 17.46; 7. (tie) Holly Wright and Hollie Etbauer, 17.48; 9. Deb Cox, 17.49; 10. (tie) Dona Kay Rule and Laura Lambert, 17.52; 12. (tie) Morgan Breaux, Paige Wiseman and Christine Laughlin, 17.53; 9. Kortney Kizer, 17.55; 10. Jane Fambro, 17.56. Average leaders: 1. Ivy Hurst, 34.82 seconds on two runs; 2. Dona Kay Riule, 34.87; 3. Christine Laughlin, 34.88; 4. (tie) Sidney Forrest and Jean Winters, 34.91; 6. Sandy McElreath, 35.06; 7. Paige Wiseman, 35.12; 8. Bonnie Baughman, 35.16; 9. Laura Lambert, 35.18; 10. Laura Kennedy, 35.27; 11. (tie) Morgan Breaux and Jane Fambro, 35.32.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Tyler Hessman, 87 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Foolish Dreams; 2. Shane Proctor, 85.5; 3. (tie) Joseph McConnel and Ednei Caminhas, 84.5; 5. Clayton Sellars, 82; 6. Chris Bechthold, 81.5; 7. Logan Hunter, 80.5; 8. (tie) Kyle Zeigler and Jordan Wacey Spears, 79; 10. Lon Danley, 78; 11. (tie) Fultan Rutland and Nate Perry, 77.5.

postheadericon Hooper fighting for another title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – One of the most coveted buckles to win in ProRodeo is the one handed out to Dodge City Roundup Rodeo champions each year.

Bareback rider Tilden Hooper owns one, earned earlier this decade. He’s been back many times since with hopes of earning that crowning achievement again. On Thursday night during the second performance of this year’s rodeo, he set the wheels in motion with an 87-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Night Fist to take the first-round lead.

“I was on that horse earlier this year and was 86 or 87 points,” said Hooper, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Carthage, Texas. “That’s a really fun horse. When they jump way high in the air like that, it really gives us a chance to show off, and it’s real fun for us.”

The high-leaping buckskin allowed the Texan to showcase his spur stroke in a dramatic fashion. With scoring based on a 100-point scale, Hooper knows how important it is to have a solid mount beneath him.

Mason Clements rides Frontier Rodeo's Lizzard Medicine for 84 points Thursday and is third in bareback riding at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

Mason Clements rides Frontier Rodeo’s Lizzard Medicine for 84 points Thursday and is third in bareback riding at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

He’s been there many times before. In fact, Hooper is one of four men who owns a share of the world record after posting a 94-point ride on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Big Tex in 2010, the same year the animal was named Bareback Horse of the Year. Like Night Fist, Big Tex was an electric horse to be matched with but was still fairly rider-friendly.

With Thursday’s score, Hooper has secured his spot in Sunday’s championship, which will feature only the top 12 contestants from the preliminary rounds. That’s when the bareback riders will face some of the rankest bucking horses in the business in order to claim the coveted championship.

“I hope I get matched back up with Show Stomper,” he said of the Frontier Rodeo horse that’s bucked several times at the NFR and is considered one of the greatest on the rodeo trail today. “I had him at Spanish Fork (Utah) the other day, and he bucked me off. I’d like to have another chance at him Sunday.”

The two danced across the Roundup Arena floor three years ago for 87 points. Hooper, who had qualified for the short round in ninth place, finished just one point behind the 2014 Roundup winner, Richmond Champion.

“This is a great rodeo” he said. “It’s one of my favorites to come to every year, and I’ve always had good luck here.”

Hooper sits 26th in the world standings with $37,527 in earnings. He needs to move up at least 11 spots on the money list if he intends to advance to the NFR for a fifth time.

“I think there’s still time, but you have to win at some of the big rodeos like this,” Hooper said. “If you can’t win at these big rodeos, then I guess you shouldn’t be going to the finals anyway.

“I figure I’ve got to earn another $30,000 to $40,000 to make it, but I’m going to go after it.”

Qualifying for Vegas is vital to cowboys that rodeo full time. The NFR features 10 days of action, and go-round winners will pocket more than $26,000 each night. It’s an amazing opportunity to cash in while in the Nevada desert.

“The stock and the money added at a lot of these rodeos has really increased a lot,” he said. “it’s a great time for us to be rodeo cowboys. It’s fun and the best job in the world.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 2-6
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Tilden Hooper, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Night Fist; 2. Tim O’Connell, 86.5; 3. Shane O’Connell, 85.5; 4. Mason Clements, 84; 5. Luke Creasy, 77; 6. Logan Corbett, 75; 7. Cody Kiser, 72; 8. Casey Colletti, 71; 9. Kaycee Feild, 70; 10. Trenten Montero, 68.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Tom Lewis, 4.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Levi Rudd and Cody Charmasson, 4.3; 4. Jacob Talley, 4.4; 5. Richard Coats, 4.7; 6. (tie) Stockton Graves, Nick Guy and Ryle Smith, 4.8. Second round leaders: 1. Ryle Smith, 3.7 seconds; 2. Tom Lewis, 3.8; 3. Kyle Whitaker, 4.1; 4. Kyle Eike, 4.3; 5. (tie) Riley Krassin and Aaron Vosler, 4.4; 7. Tristan Martin, 4.5; 8. (tie)

Blake Mindemann, Cody Doescher, J.D. Struxness, 4.6. Average leaders: 1. Tom Lewis, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Ryle Smith, 8.5; 3. (tie) Nick Guy and Jacob Talley, 9.4; 5. Levi Rudd, 9.7; 5. Laine Herl, 10.1; 7. Kyle Whitaker, 10.1; 8. Tristan Martin, 10.3; 9. Riley Krassin, 10.6; 10. Richard Coats, 10.7; 11. J.D. Struxness, 10.8; 12. Cody Doescher, 11.0.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher and Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 5.1 seconds; 3. Hayes Smith/Justin Davis, 5.6; 4. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 6.1; 5. Jake Pancost/David Hinman,6.2; 6. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 6.4; 7. Cale Markham/Austin Rogers, 6.5; 8. Brenten Hall/Casey Stipes, 6.7. Second round leaders: 1. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 4.4 seconds; 2. Paul David Tiereney/Levi Tyan, 4.5; 3. Jesse Stipes/Jake Clay, 5.1; 4. Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 5.4; 5. Dylan Gordon/Hunter Koch, 6.1; 6. Jake Pancost/David Hinman, 6.5; 7. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 6.7; 8. Cale Markham/Austin Rogers, 7.1. Average leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Ty Arnold, 10.5 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward and Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 11.8; 4. Jake Pancost/David Hinman, 12.7; 5. Cale Markham/Austin Rogers, 13.6; 6. Jesse Stipes/Jake Clay, 16.5; 7. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 16.5; 8. Brit Ellerman/J.D. Yates, 18.5; 9. Will Clark/Tanner Ward, 24.9; 10. Paul David Tierney/Levi Tyan, 4.5 seconds on one run; 11. Hayes Smith/Justin Davis, 5.6; 12. (tie) Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss and Dylan Gordon/Hunter Koch, 6.1.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Rooster; 2. Shade Etbauer, 83.5; 3. Dean Wadsworth, 82.5; 4. Wade Sundell, 81; 5. Dylan Henson, 79.5; 6. (tie) Jace Lane and Leon Fountain, 77.5; 8. Bradley Harter, 75; 9. Colt Gordon, 74.5; 10. (tie) Jake Finlay and Jake Watson, 74; 12. (tie) Weston Pierschbacher and Logan Allen, 69.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Riley Pruitt, 8.0 seconds; 2. Scott Kormos, 9.1; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 9.6; 4. Tuf Cooper, 9.7; 5. Stran Smith, 10.0; 6. Treg Schack, 10.3; 7. (tie) Trent Creager and Ike Fontenot, 10.5. Second round leaders: 1. Caddo Lewallen, 7.4 seconds; 2. Kelsey Garrison, 8.2; 3. Paul David Tierney, 8.9; 4. Jayce Johnson, 9.6; 5. Chase Williams, 9.9; 6. Trell Etbauer, 10.2; 7. Reno Gonzales 10.5; 8. (tie) J.D. McCuistion and Ace Slone, 10.7. Average leaders: 1. Riley Pruitt, 20.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Tuf Cooper, 21.3; 3. Trent Creager, 22.4; 4. (tie) Paul David Tierney, J.D. McCuistion and Jerome Schneeberger, 22.5; 8. (tie) Kelsey Garrison and Trell Etbauer, 23.2; 10. Cimarron Boardman, 24.0; 11. Stran Smith, 24.2; 12. Michael Otero, 29.4; 6. Russell Schilling, 47.3; 7. Scott Kormos, 9.1 seconds on one run; 8. Chase Williams, 11.9.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Dona Kay Rule, 17.35 seconds; 2. (tie) Elizabeth Broussard and Bonnie Baughman, 17.50; 4. Paige Wiseman, 17.59; 5. Sandy McElreath, 17.60; 6. Shelby Janssen, 17.65; 7. Laura Lambert, 17.66; 8. Jane Fambro, 17.76; 9. (tie) Amy Wilson and Morgan Breaux, 17.79. Second round leaders: 1. Michelle Darling, 17.16 seconds; 2. Sandy McElreath, 17.46; 3. Holly Wright, 17.48; 4. Deb Cox, 17.49; 5. (tie) Dona Kay Rule and Laura Lambert, 17.52; 7. (tie) Morgan Breaux and Paige Wiseman, 17.53; 9. Kortney Kizer, 17.55; 10. Jane Fambro, 17.56. Average leaders: 1. Dona Kay Riule, 34.87; 2. Sandy McElreath, 35.06; 3. Paige Wiseman, 35.12; 4. Bonnie Baughman, 35.16; 5. Laura Lambert, 35.18; 6. (tie) Morgan Breaux and Jane Fambro, 35.32; 8. Amy Wilson, 35.37; 9. Kortney Kizer, 35.42; 10. Kassidy Lovell, 35.57; 11. Monica McClung, 35.60; 12. (tie) Keyla Polizello and Marsha Neilson, 36.08.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Shane Proctor, 85.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Footloose; 2. (tie) Joseph McConnel and Ednei Caminhas, 84.5; 4. Clayton Sellars, 82; 5. Chris Bechthold, 81.5; 6. Logan Hunter, 80.5; 7. Lon Danley, 78; 8. (tie) Fultan Rutland and Nate Perry, 77.5; 10. Markus Mariluch, 72.5; 11. Colten Jesse, 64.

postheadericon Lewis chasing dreams and NFR

DODGE CITY, Kan. – It’s been six years since Tom Lewis has played on ProRodeo’s grandest stage, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

He’s trying to make his second trip in 2017. As of Wednesday night, he was 33rd in the steer wrestling world standings with $32,731, but he’s only $17,000 away from that magical No. 15 spot. What’s better yet is that he still has two months to make up that kind of ground and earn another qualification to Las Vegas.

Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis

On Wednesday’s opening night of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, Lewis wrestled his steer to the ground in 3.8 seconds to lead the second go-round. What’s more is that his 4.1-second post Wednesday morning also sits No. 1, as does his two-run cumulative time of 7.09 seconds.

“Right now, we’re just chasing points,” he said, noting that dollars equal points in ProRodeo, and only the top 15 on the money list at the end of the regular season advance to the NFR. “I’ve only been here once, and I made the short round and won some money.”

He’s virtually locked into Sunday’s championship with his aggregate time. What’s more important to the Lehi, Utah, cowboy is his opportunity to make nearly $10,000 in this southwest Kansas community.

“I’m on the bubble for making the NFR, but at this time of year, I guess I’m just a fourth-quarter guy,” he said. “I don’t like to be, but at this point, I have to go at them.”

How does he do that? He travels across the country taking advantage of any bulldogging paycheck he can find, and he rides a trusty stead named Maverick, a 12-year-old sorrel that Lewis has raised and trained.

“Maverick is working good,” he said of the stout gelding that he owns with his parents, Stan and Peggy. “He backs in the box and is so strong. He’s the most willing horse I’ve ever made, and he loves to win.”

It showed Wednesday. Now Lewis and his traveling partners, Levi Rudd and Jarrett New, will head west to a couple of other rodeos before returning to Dodge City for Sunday’s short round.

“It’s really good here,” Lewis said. “There’s a great rodeo in Great Falls, Mont., that we usually go to, and we decided to come down here and chase this one. The hospitality is good, and the committee is good. We appreciate them. It’s nice driving this far, exposing ourselves and making it pay off.”

Obviously squeaking into the top 15 at season’s end is critical. The biggest pay in the game is in Las Vegas every December,

“I finished 16th a couple of years ago, and it broke my heart,” he said. “But I have realized that at my age, if I make the finals or not, I’m doing what I love, and I get to take Maverick with me. That’s pretty special.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 2-6
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Tim O’Connell, 86.5 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Angel Face; 2. Shane O’Connell, 85.5; 3. Luke Creasy, 77; 4. Logan Corbett, 75; 5. Cody Kiser, 72; 6. Casey Colletti, 71; 7. Trenten Montero, 68; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Tom Lewis, 4.1 seconds; 2. Levi Rudd, 4.3; 3. Stockton Graves, 4.8; 4. Tristan Martin, 5.8; 5. J.D. Struxness, 6.2; 6. (tie) Jarek VanPatten and Cody Doescher, 6.4. Second round leaders: 1. Tom Lewis, 3.8 seconds; 2. Aaron Vosler, 4.4; 3. Tristan Martin, 4.5; 45. (tie) Blake Mindemann, Cody Doescher and J.D. Struxness, 4.6; 7. Cody Pratt, 4.9; 8. (tie) Jake Johnson, 5.3. Average leaders: 1. Tom Lewis, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Levi Rudd, 9.7; 3. Tristan Martin, 10.3; 4. J.D. Struxness, 10.8; 5. Cody Doescher, 11.0; 6. Jerek VanPetten, 11.7; 7. Shawn Musil, 17.0; 8. Aaron Vosler, 21.2.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 5.1 seconds; 2. Hayes Smith/Justin Davis, 5.6; 3. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 6.1; 4. Brenten Hall/Casey Stipes, 6.7; 5. (tie) Bryce Crites/Tanner Braden and Britt Ellerman/J.D. Yates, 7.4. Second round leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 6.7 seconds; 2. Britt Ellerman/J.D. Yates, 11.1; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 11.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Britt Ellerman/J.D. Yates, 18.5; 3. Hayes Smith/Justin Davis, 5.6 seconds on one run; 4. Brett Stuart/Wesley Moss, 6.1; 5. Brenten Hall/Casey Stipes, 6.7; 7. Brice Crites/Tanner Brade, 7.4; no other qualified times.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Shade Etbauer, 83.5 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Bear; 2. Wade Sundell, 81; 3. Jace Lane, 77.5; 4. Colt Gordon, 74.5; 5. (tie) Jake Finlay and Jake Watson, 74; no other qualified rides.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Riley Pruitt, 8.0 seconds; 2. Scott Kormos, 9.1; 3. Trent Creager, 10.5; 4. J.D. McCuistion, 11.8; 5. Michael Otero, 12.8; 6. Chris McCuistion, 13.4. Second round leaders: 1. Kelsey Garrison, 8.2 seconds; 2. Chase Williams, 9.9; 3. Reno Gonzales 10.5; 4. J.D. McCuistion, 10.7; 5. Lane Jeffrey, 11.1; 6. Trent Creager, 11.9; 7. Riley Pruitt, 12.5; 8. Braden Buckley, 13.9. Average leaders: 1. Riley Pruitt, 20.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Trent Creager, 22.4; 3. J.D. McCuistion, 22.5; 4. Kelsey Garrison, 23.2; 5. Michael Otero, 29.4; 6. Russell Schilling, 47.3; 7. Scott Kormos, 9.1 seconds on one run; 8. Chase Williams, 11.9.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Dona Kay Rule, 17.35 seconds; 2. Elizabeth Broussard, 17.50; 3. Amy Wilson, 17.79; 4. Monica McClung, 17.89; 5. Jenna Beaver, 17.96; 6. Marsha Nelson, 17.97. Second round leaders: 1. Michelle Darling, 17.16 seconds; 2. Deb Cox, 17.49; 3. Dona Kay Rule, 17.52; 4. Amy Wilson, 17.58; 5. Peyton Glenn, 17.60; 6. Lynn K. Brown, 17.69; 7. Monica McClung, 17.69; 8. Keyla Polizello, 17.88; 9. Alishea Broussard, 17.98; 10. Marsha Nelson, 18.11. Average leaders: 1. Dona Kay Riule, 34.87; 2. Amy Wilson, 35.37; 3. Monica McClung, 35.60; 4. (tie) Keyla Polizello and Marsha Neilson, 36.08; 6. Alishea Broussard, 36.12; 7. Lynn Brown, 38.24; 8. Michelle Darling, 39.42; 9. Deb Cox, 40.29; 10. Peyton Glenn, 40.57; 11. Jordan Moore, 41.06; 12. Jenna Beaver, 41.40.

Bull riding leaders: 1. (tie) Ednei Caminhas, on Frontier Rodeo’s Flat Broke, and Joseph McConnel, on Frontier Rodeo’s Blackhawk, 84.5 points; 3. Clayton Sellars, 82; 4. Chris Bechthold, 81.5; 5. Logan Hunter, 80.5; 6. Lon Danley, 78; 7. Fulton Rutland, 77.5; 8. Colten Jesse, 64.

postheadericon Worst to first

Weston Rutkowski makes a move with the Rockin’ B and Magnifica bull called Manchada during Tuesday night's bout. Rutkowski scored 86.5 points to win the Bullfighters Only-Dodge City title.

Weston Rutkowski makes a move with the Rockin’ B and Magnifica bull called Manchada during Tuesday night’s bout. Rutkowski scored 86.5 points to win the Bullfighters Only-Dodge City title.

Rutkowski finds the Dodge City winner’s circle after finishing last in 2016

DODGE CITY, Kan. – About halfway through his 60-second fight Tuesday night, Weston Rutkowski was flipped to the ground hard by a Rockin’ B and Magnifica bull called Manchada.

Bullfighters Only’s reigning world champion was down, but he wasn’t there for long.

“I got caught throwing too many left fakes, but he kept putting me in that shoulder, so I had to,” he said of his bull’s advances. “He cut me off and flipped me, but I was able to catch my whereabouts and figure out where I was.”

It was a solid rebound that led to his 86.5-point and a BFO-Dodge City victory. He sealed the title by cross-jumping the bull at the end of his bout.

“I got to prove to the people in Dodge that I know how to fight a bull,” he said with a laugh, pointing out that he finished in last place a year ago during the BFO’s inaugural visit to the western Kansas town.

“When you’ve got guys like Zach Call and Cody Greer after you, you better finish it with a bang or else you’ll go home second.”

Of the five men in the fight, Rutkowski was the third to go. Schell Apple of Fay, Okla., had posted a 77-point fight, which was followed by an 81 from Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Neb.

Call’s bull, Dueno de Nada, tested the Mullen, Neb., man, but faded toward the end of the bout. Greer, of Chelsea, Okla., started off a solid fight, but the bull got the better of him in a couple of situations towards the end of his 60 seconds.

Rutkowski utilized a strong bull, even though the Haskell, Texas, bullfighter had to be the aggressor in several instances throughout the match.

“I finally drew pretty good,” he said. “You have to take advantage of the good ones. Every bullfight is important, and it’s good to win this one. Now we move forward and get ready for Sikeston (Mo.).”

RESULTS
1. Weston Rutkowski, 86.5 points; 2. Zach Call, 84; 3. Beau Schueth, 81; 4. Cody Greer, 80.5; 5. Schell Apple, 77.

postheadericon Woolsey, Campbell split the win

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Boudreaux Campbell is just 18 years old, but he proved he has plenty of talent to earn a trip to Las Vegas in December for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Steve Woolsey is a veteran at 31 years old, and he’s eager to return to ProRodeo’s grand championship. Both men made the moves necessary Tuesday night by sharing the victory at the Dodge City Roundup’s Xtreme Bulls competition.

Chase Dougherty rides Frontier Rodeo's Long Nights for 81 points Tuesday night during the Xtreme Bulls in Dodge City. Dougherty failed to place among the top eight.

Chase Dougherty rides Frontier Rodeo’s Long Nights for 81 points Tuesday night during the Xtreme Bulls in Dodge City. Dougherty failed to place among the top eight.

“I’m happy to finally be No. 1 and split it with Boudreaux,” said Woolsey, a six-time NFR qualifier from Payson, Utah. “That was a good little bull that I didn’t know anything about. I talked to Sage (Kimzey) before the bull riding, and he said he’s pretty sweet. He was.”

The bull was JK Rodeo’s Reaper, and Woolsey knows a lot more about him after scoring 87 points to tie Campbell, who rode 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s House of Pain. Both cowboys earned $4,459.

“I didn’t know that bull at all, but everybody else said he was good,” said Campbell of Crockett, Texas. “He fit me, and it all worked out.

“This is my first year. I grew up watching some of Steve’s tapes, so it’s awesome to split the win in Dodge City with him.”

He is on the verge of earning that trip to Vegas. Heading into Tuesday’s event, he was 20th in the world standings. The money he earned in Dodge City will shoot his season earnings to more than $55,000. As it stands, he is already up to 16th – only the top 15 contestants in each event at the conclusion of the regular season advance to the NFR.

“Making the NFR was my goal coming into this year,” Campbell said. “If I could make the NFR this year as a rookie, then I could make my dream come true.”

Woolsey has lived that dream half a dozen times in his career. He’s not ranked among the top 50 bull riders as of Aug. 1, but he knows there are plenty of opportunities to move up.

“It’s been a pretty slow year,” he said. I’ve been healthy and felt good, but I’ve been riding a lot for 7.5 seconds. I’ve just not been breaking over that hump. I finally feel like I’ve got it figured out and got my old mojo back.”

Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 1, 2017
1. (tie) Boudreaux Campbell, on 4L and Diamond S’s House of Pain, and Steve Woolsey, on JK Rodeo’s Reaper, 87 points, $4,459 each; 3. (tie) Jeston Mead and Trevor Reiste, 86.5, $2,356 each; 5. (tie) Jordan Wacey Spears and Eli Vastbinder, 84, $1,010 each; 7. (tie) Dustin Boquet and Chase Hamlin, 83.5, $589 each.

postheadericon Fisher wins Roundup title

Vin Fisher Jr.

Vin Fisher Jr.

Vin Fisher Jr., a 13-time Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping qualifier from Andrews, Texas, earned the first Dodge City Roundup Rodeo title Tuesday afternoon.

Andrews placed in just one round – he tied for third in the third go-round – but roped and tied three steers in a cumulative time of 36.7 seconds to win the crown. He earned $3,810. Cody Scheck, a four-time NFSR qualifier from Dighton, Kan., finished second with a three-run cumulative time of 40.4 seconds.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Steer Roping
Aug. 1, 2017
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., 36.7 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.

postheadericon Double the fun

Zach Call will join Cody Greer while competing at both Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo and Iowa's Championship Rodeo in Sidney this week. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Zach Call will join Cody Greer while competing at both Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo and Iowa’s Championship Rodeo in Sidney this week. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Bullfighters Only’s top stars to battle for titles in Dodge City, Sidney

Zach Call and Cody Greer understand they are behind the eight ball when it comes to the race for the Bullfighters Only world championship.

“I have a lot of ground to make up,” said Call of Mullen, Neb., the ninth-ranked bullfighter in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings.

Both bullfighters will get twice the opportunities this week in Dodge City, Kan., and Sidney, Iowa. Call and Greer will be part of a five-man battle Tuesday during Dodge City Roundup Rodeo’s Xtreme Bulls Tour/Bullfighters Only competition.

“I used to go to college there, so it’s like a homecoming,” said Call, who attended Dodge City Community College from 2012-13. “I’m excited to go back, and it should be a really good bullfight.”

He and Greer will be joined by reigning world champion Weston Rutkowski, Beau Schueth and Schell Apple. Greer – who is just returning from six weeks off due to an injury sustained in early June – will then make the 400-mile drive to Sidney in Iowa’s southwest corner to compete Wednesday.

The competition there will feature four three-man bouts set for Tuesday-Friday. The winners of each night will advance to Saturday’s championship round. Call is scheduled to compete Thursday and hopes to return for the final performance. Call would love to make it three big bullfights in a five-day span by earning a trip to Sidney’s short round.

“A lot of it depends on how the first bullfight goes,” Call said. “If you win your round, most of the time it’s pretty smooth.”

Things haven’t gone so smoothly for the Nebraska man as of late. He’d like to change that around this week.

“Right now, I’m not really happy with how the last two events have gone,” said Call, who finished third last weekend at the BFO stop in Burlington, Colo. “I like winning.”

There’s nothing better than having multiple opportunities to clean up a few things in one man’s game. Take his last bout in eastern Colorado; since then, he’s gone over the video multiple times and dissected every second of it.

“I look at my weak points and try to focus on them and make them strong points,” Call said. “You can look at what you did right and pat yourself on the back, but it’s the things that you did wrong that are keeping you from winning.”

There were very few hiccups in Rutkowski’s run to the world title in 2016, but he always points to his run in Dodge City last year as the struggle he hopes to avoid.

“That was the first time I’d ever taken last place at any bullfight I’d ever been in,” said Rutkowski, the No. 2 man in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings. “I got a piece of humble pie.

“It’s a great rodeo, and we will have great bulls coming from Brett Hall. It’s another one on the list that I want to cross off, and I want to prove to those people that I can fight one.”

It’s that kind of mentality that makes Bullfighters Only a big-time draw, whether it’s one night in southwest Kansas or five nights at Iowa’s Championship Rodeo.

DODGE CITY CONTESTANTS
Weston Rutkowski
Beau Schueth
Zach Call
Cody Greer
Schell Apple

SIDNEY CONTESTANTS
Evan Allard
Dakota Knight
Ray Carlson
Dayton Spiel
Cody Greer
Ely Sharkey
Tate Rhoads
Kris Furr
Zach Call
Jimmy Essary
Justin Josey
Tanner Zarnetski

postheadericon Lovington is a cowboy’s paradise

Marcos Costa ropes his first-round calf during the 2016 Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Costa finished second in the two-run aggregate.

Marcos Costa ropes his first-round calf during the 2016 Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Costa finished second in the two-run aggregate.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – The rodeo history in southeastern New Mexico is as rich as the rugged terrain that makes up Lea County.

It’s proven in the men who laid the foundation for the rich rodeo tradition, men like Jake McClure, Troy Fort, Sonny Davis, Roy Cooper and Jimmie Cooper. It reappears every summer when this community hosts the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9-Saturday, Aug. 12, at Jake McClure Arena; that also includes Lea County Xtreme Bulls, which is Tuesday, Aug. 8.

“One thing I look at is that we’re off the beaten path to be this big of a rodeo,” said Trey Kerby, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board’s rodeo committee. “A lot of people have to drive a long way to get here. That says a lot about something that’s been around for 82 years.”

Rodeo’s greatest stars converge on this community of about 11,000 over the course of the five performances. Every winner from the 2016 rodeo has already competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which is a tell-tale sign of the greatness that happens inside the fairgrounds’ arena.

“This is always a big rodeo that everybody wants to win,” said Cody Rostockyj, last year’s winner from Lorena, Texas.

Over the years, Lovington’s rodeo has been recognized as one of the best large events in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. That’s no small task; the Lea County Fair and Rodeo has been listed with rodeos like the Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup and Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days.

“It’s something special to be down in the middle of our rodeo,” said Kerby, who grew up in Lea County and has been around his hometown rodeo all his life. “A lot of the contestants come straight from Sikeston (Mo.) just to compete here. It says we’re doing something right for them to come all that way to be here.

“We pay good, and we make it a good rodeo with good livestock. I think that’s attractive to the cowboys who come here.”

It’s also something that helps attract fans from all over the region to Lovington; they know where the top cowboys will be in early August every year.

“We don’t just draw from Lea County,” Kerby said. “We have many people come from west Texas, up north in New Mexico … pretty much all over. There aren’t a lot of things here but ranches and people who know rodeo, so it means a lot to me that they make their way here.”

What is it that makes the Lea County Fair and Rodeo so special to those rodeo fans and the hundreds of contestants that area part of the annual event?

“It’s an accumulation of everything: the world-class stock and the world-class athletes that come to do it,” he said. “If anybody follows rodeo, they know just about everybody that shows up here.”

postheadericon Albertan wins bronc match

Layton Green riding into world-title contention with victory in Pollockville

POLLOCKVILLE, Alberta – Every young cowboy has dreamed of being one of the very best in the field.

Layton Green is living out his dreams one bucking horse at a time, and he’s doing everything he can to make them happen in 2017.

“This has been outstanding,” said Green, who on Saturday night scored 91 points on Calgary Stampede’s Stampede Warrior in the championship round to win the inaugural Hardgrass Bronc Match in Pollockville. “I’ve been dreaming of making the National Finals Rodeo all my life, and this will make it one step easier.

Layton Green

Layton Green

“To win the first-ever Hardgrass Bronc Match is awesome.”

It should be. It’s the first event of its kind; the stand-alone bronc riding was co-sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. That means money won will count toward contestants’ qualifications for bot the NFR and the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Heading into this weekend’s event, Green was No. 1 in the CPRA standings with $33,703 and fifth in the PRCA with $76,073. He will pad those standings with the $7,061 he earned Saturday night.

“That was the third time I’ve had Stampede Warrior this month,” said Green, 23, of Meeting Creek, Alberta. “I won the short round in Ponoka (Alberta), and I was 91.5 points on him to win the first round in Calgary.”

Green shared the first-round victory with Nebraskan Cort Scheer; both cowboys were 87 points – Scheer spurred Calgary’s Weekend Departure, while Green matched moves with Calgary’s Yesterday’s Delivery. By winning the opening round, Scheer and Green were the first two to select from the pen of short-round horses.

“Cort picked Wild Cherry, which I was also 91.5 in Calgary, too, in the four-man round,” Green said. “It was unreal. There was a pile of people here in the crowd, and everybody rodeo really good. It came down to whoever spurred the best, whoever rode the best, was going to win it.

“Because of the horses they had here, everybody had a chance to win it.”

That’s true. Green didn’t even post the highest score of the night. That honor belonged to Clay Elliott of Nanton, Alberta, who spurred Calgary’s Tiger Warrior for 92 points to win the short go-round. With Green finishing second, he earned the highest two-ride cumulative score to win the championship.

“Everybody had fun,” he said. “It was probably one of the best bronc matches I’ve ever been to.”

The leaderboard proved it. Of the top five in the final score, only Green hasn’t been to the NFR.

“Rodeoing with your idols is great,” he said. “I’ve looked up to guys like Cort Scheer and Tyler Corrington for a while now, and to be able to ride at that level and to be able to ride against guys like that is awesome.”

If he keeps it up, he’ll be doing so at the CFR in Edmonton, Alberta, in November and again at the NFR in Las Vegas in December.

Hardgrass Bronc Match
Pollockville, Alberta
July 29, 2017
First round: 1. (tie) Cort Scheer, on Calgary Stampede’s Weekend Departure, and Layton Green, on Calgary Stampede’s Yesterday’s Delivery, 87 points, $2,543 each; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 85, $1,795; 4. Jake Watson, 84, $1,297; 5. (tie) Clay Elliott and Colton Miller, 83.5, $648 each; 7. (tie) Lane Watt and Justin Berg, 83, $249. Short round: Clay Elliott, 92 points on Calgary Stampede’s Tiger Warrior, $2,100; 2; Layton Green, 91.5, $1,725; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 89.5, $1,350; 4. Jake Watson, 88, $950; 5. Cort Scheer, 87, $600; 6. Justin Berg, 85, $375; 7. Colton Miller, 83, $225. Average: 1. Layton Green, 178.5 points on two rides, $2,792; 2. Clay Elliott, 175.5, $2,294; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 174.5, $1,795; 4. Cort Scheer, 174, $1,297; 5. Jake Watson, 172, $798; 6. Justin Berg, 168, $499; 7. Colton Miller, 166, $299; 8. Lane Watt, 83 points on one ride, $199.