postheadericon Champion shooting for Roundup title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Richie Champion is just 21 years old, and he has won nearly $1.2 million riding bucking horses over the last five months.

It’s been so hectic, he took a few days off the ProRodeo trail and ventured to his home in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. He needed to handle the personal matters that come with earning that much money over a short course of time.

Richie Champion

Richie Champion

He returned to work night at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo and promptly took care of his business. Champion matched moves with Harry Vold Rodeo’s Pine Cone for 84 points inside Roundup Arena to finish third in the first round in bareback riding, earning $1,489 for the feat.

More importantly, he qualifies for the championship round, which will feature the top 12 contestants in each event and crown this year’s Roundup champions beginning at 7:45 p.m. Sunday.

“This is a huge rodeo for us all, but this is where I made the first short round ever,” said Champion, the No. 4 bareback rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association with nearly $67,000 in earnings this season. “I came into the short go in the bottom of the field then. Now to be within striking distance coming into tomorrow and the caliber of horses they’ll have tomorrow, it should be pretty cool.”

Champion is closing in on his first qualification to the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s year-end championship that takes each December in Las Vegas. Of course, a lot of it comes down to confidence. A week ago, he posted a 91-point ride in the short round to win the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo. He also won the rodeo in Spanish Fork, Utah, so he earned about $17,000 a week ago alone.

“I was confident that in my career I would reach this point; I just didn’t think it would be right now,” he said. “I’m going to be grateful and thankful and humble.

“Right now, I’m just trying to stay humble and have fun.”

Of course, it helps to have fun when he gets on some of the best animal athletes in the world. In Cheyenne, his high marking was on Dirty Jacket, which has been named one of the top three bareback horses in the PRCA each of the past two years. He knows Sunday’s ride will be on another amazing animal.

“I saw a lot of those horses at Cheyenne, and they were all outstanding,” Champion said. “There’s nothing in there that’s going to be a day off. You don’t come thinking you have a day off. Those are going to be great bareback horses, and that’s why I ride bucking horses.”

He’s pretty good at it, too.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Bareback riding and short-round qualifier:
1. Casey Colletti, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Coast, and Casey Breuer, on Vold’s Hot Valley, 85 points, $2,320 each; 3. Richmond Champion, 84, $1,489; 4. Jared Smith, 83. $963; 5. (tie) Orin Larsen and Steven Dent, 81, $525 each; 7. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Tanner Phipps, 80, $306 each; 9.Tilden Hooper, 78; 10. (tie) Winn Ratliff and Taylor Price, 77.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds, $2,611; 2. Tom Lewis, 4.3, $2,271; 3. Brandon Volker, 4.4, $1,930; 4. (tie) Casey Martin and Tom Duvall, 4.5, $1,419 each; 6. (tie) Jeff Miller, Timmy Sparing and Richy Coats, 4.6, $568 each. Second round: 1. Ty Lang, 3.9 seconds, $2,611; 2. K.C. Jones, 4.0, $2,271; 3. Tooter Silver, 4.1, $1,930; 4. Gabe Burrows, 4.2, $1,590; 5. Tie) Rowdy Parrott, Sean Santucci and Jeff Miller, $908, 4.3; 8. (tie) Timmy Sparing and Stewart Gulager, 4.4, $114. Average leaders and short-round qualifier: 1. Jeff Miller, 8.9 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Bray Armes and Timmy Sparing, 9.0; 4. K.C. Jones, 9.1; 5. Tyler Waguespack, 9.9; 6. Casey Martin, 10.1; 7. Sean Santucci, 10.3; 8. Tommy Cook, 10.7; 9. Tom Lewis, 10.9; 10. Tait Kvistad, 11.1; 11. Christian Pettigrew, 11.6.

Team roping: First round:1. Arky Rogers/Travis Woodard, 5.0 seconds, $2,577 each; 2. (tie) Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton and Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 5.1, $2,073 each; 4. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.4, $1,569; 5. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.5, $1,233; 6. (tie) Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman and Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.6, $728 each; 8. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7, $224. Second round: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 4.5 seconds, $2,577; 2. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 4.9, $2,241; 3. Dustin Bird/Paul Eaves, 5.0, $1,905; 4. (tie) Keven Daniel/York Gill, Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers and David Key/Kory Koontz, 5.2 each, $1,233 each; 7. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 5.3, $560; 8. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 5.4, $244. Average leaders and short-round qualifier: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 10.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Joshua Torres/ Jonathan Torres, 11.2; 3. (tie) Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto and Adam Rose/Billy Saebens, 12.0; 4. 5. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 12.1; 6. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 12.5; 7. Jeol Bach/Allen Bach, 13.5; 8. Cory Kidd/AdamPlyer, 14.2; 9. Arky Rogers/Travis Woodard, 15.3; 10. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 16.5; 11. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 17.0; 12. Jake Orman/Zack Bocco, 17.2.

Saddle bronc riding and short-round qualifier: 1. (tie) Sterling Crawley, on Frontier Rodeo’s Short Stop, and Heith DeMoss, on Frontier Rodeo’s Midnight Delight, 87 points, $2,034 each; 3. Cody Wright, 85, $1,305; 4. (tie) Jesse Wright and Jacobs Crawley, 83, $691 each; 6. (tie) Taos Muncy and Isaac Diaz, 82, $345; 8. (tie) Troy Crowser, Wade Sundell and Ty Thompson, 81, $77; 11. (tie) Doug Aldridge and Steven Dent, 79.

Tie-down roping: First round:1. Scott Kormos, 9.2 seconds, $2,300; 2. Caddo Lewallen, 11.3, $2,000; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8, $1,700; 4. Cody Ohl, 12.0, $1,400; 5. Ace Slone, 12.7, $1,100; 6. EJ Roberts, 13.0, $800; 7. Reese Riemer, 13.4, $500; 8. (tie) Jake Pratt and Thomas Merritt, 13.5, $100 each. Second round: 1. Justin Macha, 9.0 seconds, $2,300; 2. (tie) L.D. Meier and Marshall Leonard, 9.2, $1,850 each; 4. Marcos Costa, 10.2, $1,400; 5. Ace Slone, 10.3, $1,100; 6. Trent Creager, 10.9, $800; 4. (tie) Cody Ohl and Sterling Smith, 11.0, $350. Average leaders and short-round qualifier: 1. Cody Ohl, 23.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Ace Sloan, 23.0; 3. (tie) Marshall Leonard and Caddo Lewallen, 23.5; 5. Reese Reimer, 24.5; 6. Ryan Watkins, 26.7; 7. Adam Gray, 27.7; 8. Sean O’Neil, 30.4; 9. L.D. Meier, 30.9; 10. Thomas Merritt, 31.1; 11. Marcos Costa, 33.5; 12. Cory Solomon, 34.7.

Barrel racing: First round:1. Christine Laughlin, 17.24 seconds, $2,117; 2. Mary Walker, 17.53, $1,815; 3. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.57, $1,512; 4. Jeanne Anderson, 17.58, $1,311; 5. Kaley Bass, 17.68, $1,008; 6. Taylor Jacob, 17.72, $807; 7. Shada Brazile, 17.87, $605; 8. Lynette Landis, 17.88, $403; 9. Jean Winters, 17.92, $302; 10. Jessi Fish, 17.96, $202. Second round: 1. Carlee Pierce, 16.92 seconds, $2,117; 2. Kaley Bass, 17.14, $1,815; 3. Christy Loflin, 17.25, $1,512; 4. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.32, $1,311; 5. Christine Laughlin, 17.41, $1,008; 6. Shelby Frasier, 17.50, $807; 4. Lacinda Rose, 17.67, $605; 8. Jeanne Anderson, 17.76, $403; 9. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.78, $302; 10. (tie) Jessi Meadand Lynette Landis, 17.89, $101. Average leaders and short-round qualifiers: 1. Christine Laughlin, 34.65 on two runs; 2. Kaley Bass, 34.82; 3. Cheyenne Shipps, 34.89; 4. Jeanne Anderson, 35.34; 5. Shelby Frasier, 35.52; 6. Lynette Landis, 35.77; 7. Lacinda Rose, 36.00; 8 Jill Beaty, 36.04; 9. Gretchen Benbenek, 36.20; 10. Jessi Mead, 36.29; 11. Jessi Fish, 36.48; 12. Jordan Taton, 36.50.

Bull riding and short-round qualifier: 1. Bart Miller, 85 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Sweet Tater, $2,599; 2. Tyler Smith, 84, $1,992; 3. (tie) J.W. Harris and Jacob O’Mara, 83, $$1,213 each; 5. (tie) Clayton Foltyn, Wes Wahlert and Corey Navarre, 81, $462; 8. Sage Kimzey, 80, $260; 9. Josh Koschel, 76; 10. (tie) Dillon Tyler, Lane Wilhelm and Dustin Bowen, 75.

postheadericon Dodge City photos updated

We’re down to the final two nights of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Tonight is the final preliminary round, and we will know the 12 qualifiers for Sunday’s short round. Freelance photographer Fran Ruchalski provided some outstanding photos. You can see more HERE. As a teaser, chick this one out:

Heith DeMoss rides Frontier Rodeo's Midnight Delight for 87 points Friday night to share the first-round lead in the bronc riding at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (FRAN RUCHALSKI PHOTO)

Heith DeMoss rides Frontier Rodeo’s Midnight Delight for 87 points Friday night to share the first-round lead in the bronc riding at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. (FRAN RUCHALSKI PHOTO)

 

 

postheadericon First round complete in Dodge City

Bray Armes

Bray Armes

The first round of timed events are complete at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Here are the payouts:

Steer wrestling: 1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds, $2,611; 2. Tom Lewis, 4.3, $2,271; 3. Brandon Volker, 4.4, $1,930; 4. (tie) Casey Martin and Tom Duvall, 4.5, $1,419 each; 6. (tie) Jeff Miller, Timmy Sparing and Richy Coats, 4.6, $568 each.

Team roping: 1. Arky Rogers/Travis Woodard, 5.0 seconds, $2,577 each; 2. (tie) Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton and Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 5.1, $2,073 each; 4. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.4, $1,569; 5. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.5, $1,233; 6. (tie) Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman and Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.6, $728 each; 8. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7, $224.

Tie-down roping: 1. Scott Kormos, 9.2 seconds, $2,300; 2. Caddo Lewallen, 11.3, $2,000; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8, $1,700; 4. Cody Ohl, 12.0, $1,400; 5. Ace Slone, 12.7, $1,100; 6. EJ Roberts, 13.0, $800; 7. Reese Riemer, 13.4, $500; 8. (tie) Jake Pratt and Thomas Merritt, 13.5, $100 each.

Barrel racing: 1. Christine Laughlin, 17.24 seconds, $2,117; 2. Mary Walker, 17.53, $1,815; 3. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.57, $1,512; 4. Jeanne Anderson, 17.58, $1,311; 5. Kaley Bass, 17.68, $1,008; 6. Taylor Jacob, 17.72, $807; 7. Shada Brazile, 17.87, $605; 8. Lynette Landis, 17.88, $403; 9. Jean Winters, 17.92, $302; 10. Jessi Fish, 17.96, $202.

postheadericon Ropers hope slump ends in Dodge

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Patrick Smith is not one to mince his words.

“I’m not one to whine or griper or complain, but it’s been a little while since we’ve just drawn some good ones in a row,” said Smith, a two-time world champion heeler from Lipan, Texas. “We’ve been on a bit of a slow streak, and I’m not going to blame it just on the draw.

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith

“Our roping has been poor; we’ve been taking our turns screwing up. It’s like a friend of mine says, it’s just our turn in the barrel. Hopefully we’re crawling out of the barrel here.”

That’s the difference a single day makes in the life of a rodeo cowboy. Smith, who ropes with Kaleb Driggers of Albany, Ga., scored two round-placing runs Friday at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo and own the lead in the two-run aggregate with 10.7 seconds, half a second better than the tandem of Joshua and Jonathan Torrez.

Driggers and Smith sit tied for second place in the opening round after a 5.1-second run Friday morning, then returned in the evening for a 5.6 – that has them in seventh place in the second round. But they are a virtual lock to return Sunday for Roundup’s championship round, which features only the top 12 times and scores from the preliminary rounds.

“We had two really good steers,” said Smith, who just began his partnership with Driggers this season; Driggers is the reigning Roundup heading champion, winning the 2013 title with Travis Graves.

Kaleb Driggers

Kaleb Driggers

“Kaleb did an outstanding job on both steers. That steer tonight was really tough to head; he had really small horns and was a little bit low-headed, and Kaleb did a really great job turning both of them. I was able to get both of them caught. Hopefully this will turn it around for us.”

The tandem has earned $41,191 this season; Driggers is 15th in the heading world standings, and Smith is 12th in heeling. They want to remain among the top 15 in order to return to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. Smith is a 10-time NFR qualifier who won gold buckles in 2005 and 2010; Driggers has earned the right to compete in ProRodeo’s grand finale each of the past three seasons.

“This is huge for us,” Smith said. “This is the last third of the season. If we can finish this off with a good run Sunday, it will sure help our cause out a lot.

“This is a great rodeo. They add good money, and they’re very good to the contestants. It’s hard to beat the hospitality and the town. I love coming here. This year was particularly nice because it wasn’t 110 degrees. They kept the weather cool for us.”

Roundup has experienced unseasonably mild temperatures this week, but Driggers and Smith bean turning up the heat Friday night. They’ll await the outcome of the final day of preliminary rounds Saturday to see their position for Sunday’s final round.

By then, they hope to be on fire.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Bareback riding:
1. Casey Colletti, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Coast, and Casey Breuer, on Vold’s Hot Valley, 85 points; 3. Jared Smith, 83; 4. (tie) Orin Larsen and Steven Dent, 81; 6. Tim O’Connell, 80; 7. Tilden Hooper, 78; 8. Winn Ratliff, 77; 8. (tie) Kyle Brennecke and Joel Schlegel, 76.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders:1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds; 2. Brandon Volker, 4.4; 3. Casey Martin, 4.5; 4. (tie) Richy Coats and Timmy Sparing, 4.6 each; 6. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and K.C. Jones, 5.1 each; 8. Shane Frey, 5.4. Second round leaders: 1. Ty Lang, 3.9 seconds; 2. K.C. Jones, 4.0; 3. Tooter Silver, 4.1; 4. Gabe Burrows, 4.2; 5. Timmy Sparing, 4.4; 6. Levi Rudd, 4.5; 7. (tie) Chance Howard and Tyler Waguespack, 4.8 each. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Bray Armes and Timmy Sparing, 9.0 seconds on two runs; 3. K.C. Jones, 9.1; 4. Tyler Waguespack, 9.9; 5. Casey Martin, 10.1; 6. Tait Kvistad, 11.1; 7. Denver Berry,12.9; 8. Brock White, 13.1.

Team roping: First round leaders:1. Arky Rogers/Travis Woodard, 5.0 seconds; 2. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith and Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.1 each; 4. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.4; 5. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.5; 6. (tie) Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward and Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman, 5.6 each; 8. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7. Second round leaders: 1. Dustin Bird/Paul Eaves, 5.0 seconds; 2. (tie) Keven Daniel/York Gill, Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers and David Key/Kory Koontz, 5.2 each; 5. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 5.3; 6. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.5; 7. Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 5.6; 8. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torrez, 5.7. Average leaders: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 10.7; 2. Joshua Torres/ Jonathan Torres, 11.2 seconds on two runs; 3. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 12.0; 4. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 12.5; 5. Cory Kidd/AdamPlyer, 14.2; 6. Arky Rogers/Travis Woodard, 15.3; 7. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 16.5; 8. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 17.0.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Sterling Crawley, on Frontier Rodeo’s Short Stop, and Heith DeMoss, on Frontier Rodeo’s Midnight Delight, 87 points each; 3. Cody Wright, 85; 4. (tie) Jesse Wright and Jacobs Crawley, 83; 6. (tie) Taos Muncy and Isaac Diaz, 82; 8. (tie) Troy Crowser and Ty Thompson, 81.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders:1. Scott Kormos, 9.2 seconds; 2. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8; 3. Cody Ohl, 12.0; 4. EJ Roberts, 13.0; 5. Thomas Merritt, 13.5; 6. Fred Whitfield, 13.8; 7. Perry Dietz, 14.1; 8. (tie) Ryan Watkins and Cade Swor, 14.9 each. Second round leaders: 1. L.D. Meier, 9.2 seconds; 2. Marcos Costa, 10.2; 3. Cody Ohl, 11.0; 4. Ryan Watkins, 11.8; 5. Adam Gray, 12.0; 6. Luke Tkach, 12.9; 7. Tyson Durfey, 13.3; 8. Sean O’Neil, 13.8. Average leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 23.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Ryan Watkins, 26.7; 3. Adam Gray, 27.7; 4. Sean O’Neil, 30.4; 5. L.D. Meier, 30.9; 6. Thomas Merritt, 31.1; 7. Marcos Costa, 33.5; 8. Fred Whitfield, 35.4.

Barrel racing: First round leaders:1. Shada Brazile, 17.87 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 17.96; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.19; 4. Jane Melby, 18.37; 5. (tie) Gretchen Benbenek and Jaime Barrow, 18.42 each; 7. Shelley Morgan, 18.50; 8. Korrina Lynne Hughes, 18.51; 9. Jordan Taton, 18.56; 10. Carol Chesher, 18.57. Second round leaders: 1. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.78 seconds; 2. Jordan Taton, 17.94; 3. Ivy Hurst, 17.97; 4. Kristie Riley, 18.23; 5. Jane Melby, 18.43; 6. Jessi Fish, 18.52; 7. Shelbie Parrish, 18.56; 8. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.61; 9. Lizzy Her, 18.64; 10. (tie) Alissa Burson and Katie Loughran, 18.71 each. Average leaders: 1. Gretchen Benbenek, 36.20 seconds on two runs; 2. Jessi Fish, 36.48; 3. Jordan Taton, 36.50; 4. (tie) Sarah Rose McDonald and Jane Melby, 36.80; 6. Ivy Hurst, 36.93; 7. Kristie Riley, 37.25; 8. Katie Loughran, 37.38; 9. Lizzy Her, 37.58; 10. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 37.72; 6. Shelbie Parrish, 37.75; 7. Alissa Burson, 38.03; 8. Sandi Brandli, 38.14; 9. Angie Thompson, 38.33; 10. Peyton Mentzer, 38.50.

Bull riding: 1. Bart Miller, 85 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Sweet Tater; 2. Tyler Smith, 84; 3. J.W. Harris, 83; 4. Sage Kimzey, 80; 5. (tie) Dillon Tyler, Lane Wilhelm and Dustin Bowen, 75; 8. Tag Elliott, 74.

postheadericon Wright has his mind set on the title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Jesse Wright has a little payback on his mind.

A year ago, the Milford, Utah, cowboy posted a 90-point saddle bronc ride during the championship round of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Moments later, his older brother – two-time world champion Cody Wright – scored 91 points to win the round and the coveted Roundup title. Jesse was the runner-up.

Jesse Wright

Jesse Wright

On Thursday night at Roundup Arena, Jesse matched moves with Frontier Rodeo’s Griz for 83 points for the highest-marked ride of the performance. He’s two points behind Cody and is a virtual lock to return the Sunday short go-round for just the second time in his career, where he knows there will be an opportunity to not only catch his older brother, but surpass him.

“I’m gunning for him, that’s for dang sure,” said Jesse Wright, who won the 2012 world championship. “It’s awesome when you make the short round, because they hold out the buckers. When you make the short round, you know you’ll get the good ones.”

Griz is one of the good ones, and Wright suspects the athletic bay horse may be back in the mix come Sunday night. Only the top 12 contestants from the preliminary rounds qualify for the championship, and roughstock cowboys – bareback riders, bronc riders and bull riders – will be matched with 12 of the best horses in the game. Griz has bucked at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo several times.

“About three years ago, I won Corpus Christi, Texas, on him,” Wright said. “He’s a really good horse, really nice. He takes a lot of rein and is real flashy.”

After winning the gold buckle two seasons ago, Wright returned to the NFR for the fourth straight year this past December, where he earned a little more than $37,000 and finished well off the pace. This season, he sits 16th in the world standings and still needs to move up at least one spot in order to qualify for the NFR for a fifth time.

“It’s tough,” he said about repeating as the world champion. “You’ve got to keep a good, positive mindset. Staying healthy is the main key; when you can stay healthy for 365 days and ride at the top of your game and win a world championship, it’s something. You’ve earned it.”

Doing well in Dodge City will be a big boost to returning to the No. 1 spot at the conclusion of the season.

“It’s important here, because I’m not sitting right where I want to be, and this is a big, good rodeo,” he said, referring to the competition and the purse. “This’ll get me set up to go back to the finals and possible win another world championship. I’ll keep coming back here for dang sure.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Bareback riding:
1. Casey Colletti, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Coast, and Casey Breuer, on Vold’s Hot Valley, 85 points; 3. Jared Smith, 83; 4. Orin Larsen, 81; 5. Tim O’Connell, 80; 6. Tilden Hooper, 78; 75. Winn Ratliff, 77; 8. (tie) Kyle Brennecke and Joel Schlegel, 76.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders:1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds; 2. Brandon Volker, 4.4; 3. Casey Martin, 4.5; 4. Tyler Waguespack, 5.1; 5. Shane Frey, 5.4; 6. (tie) Gary Gilbert and Tait Kvistad, 5.9 each. Second round leaders: 1. Ty Lang, 3.9 seconds; 2. Tooter Silver, 4.1; 3. Levi Rudd, 4.5; 4. (tie) Chance Howard and Tyler Waguespack, 4.8; 6. Bray Armes, 5.0; 7. Kait Kvistad, 5.2; 8. (tie) Ty Talsma and Logan Rudd, 5.3; 7. (tie) Brock White and Casey Martin, 5.6. Average leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 9.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 9.9; 3. Casey Martin, 10.1; 4. Tait Kvistad, 11.1; 5. Denver Berry,12.9; 6. Brock White, 13.1; 7. Orrin Michael Fontenot, 13.9; 8. Brandon Volker, 15.5.

Team roping: First round leaders:1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward and Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman, 5.6 each; 4. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7; 5. Robert Pixley/Joe Mattern, 5.9; 6. (tie) Kyle Linaweaver/Mitch Murray and Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 6.1 each. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Keven Daniel/York Gill and Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers, 5.2 seconds; 3. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 6.0; 4. (tie) Derrick Begay/Will Woodfin and Tavis Walters/Tyler Worley, 9.9; 6. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 10.9; 7. Trey Harmon/Braden Harmon, 14.6; 8. Bull Austin/Corey Hendrick, 14.8. Average leaders: 1. Andrew Ward/Reagan Warad, 16.5 seconds on two runs. 2. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 17.0; 3. Trey Harmon/Braden Harmon, 21.8; 4. (tie) Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman and Bull Austin/Corey Hendrick, 22.8; 6. Tavis Walters/Tyler Worley, 26.4; 7. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.1 seconds on one run; 8. (tie) Keven Daniel/York Gill and Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers, 5.2.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, 85 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Kate’s Hot Sister; 2. Jesse Wright, 83; 3. (tie) Taos Muncy and Isaac Diaz, 82; 5. (tie) Troy Crowser and Ty Thompson, 81; 6. (tie) Brady Nicholes and Sam Spreadborough, 78.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders:1. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8 seconds; 2. Cody Ohl, 12.0; 3. Thomas Merritt, 13.5; 4. Fred Whitfield, 13.8; 5. Perry Dietz, 14.1; 6. Adam Gray, 15.7. Second round leaders: 1. Marcos Costa, 10.2 seconds; 2. Cody Ohl, 11.0; 3. Adam Gray, 12.0; 4. Sean O’Neil, 13.8; 5. Blake Barber, 15.7; 7. Clete Scheer, 17.9; 8. Fred Whitfield, 21.6. Average leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 23.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Adam Gray, 27.7; 3. Sean O’Neil, 30.4; 4. Thomas Merritt, 31.1; 5. Marcos Costa, 33.5; 6. Fred Whitfield, 35.4; 7. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8 seconds on one run; 8. Perry Dietz, 14.1.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Shada Brazile, 17.87 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 17.96; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.19; 4. Jane Melby, 18.37; 5. Jaime Barrow, 18.42; 6. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 18.51. Second round leaders: 1. Jane Melby, 18.43 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 18.52; 3. Shelbie Parrish, 18.56; 4. Sara Rose McDonald, 18.61; 5. (tie) Katie Loughran and Alissa Burson, 18.71; 7. Peyton Mentzer, 18.83; 8. (tie) Callie Gray and Kris Hanson, 18.92; 10. Angie Thompson, 19.07. Average leaders: 1. Jessi Fish, 36.48 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Sarah Rose McDonald and Jane Melby, 36.80; 4. Katie Loughran, 37.38; 5. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 37.72; 6. Shelbie Parrish, 37.75; 7. Alissa Burson, 38.03; 8. Sandi Brandli, 38.14; 9. Angie Thompson, 38.33; 10. Peyton Mentzer, 38.50.

Bull riding: 1. Tyler Smith, 84 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Elise Said What; 2. J.W. Harris, 83; 3. (tie) Dillon Tyler and Dustin Bowen, 75; 5. Tag Elliott, 74; 6. Elijah Mora, 64; 7. Casey Huckabee, 53; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Lea County a great home for rodeo

Hunter Cure, the 2013 world champion steer wrestler, grapples his animal to the ground during last year's Lea County Fair and Rodeo. He is one of numerous world champions who will be part of the Lovington rodeo next week.

Hunter Cure, the 2013 world champion steer wrestler, grapples his animal to the ground during last year’s Lea County Fair and Rodeo. He is one of numerous world champions who will be part of the Lovington rodeo next week.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – There is a certain passion that follows the rodeo trail.

It takes a lot of love to compete in a sport best known for a gypsy lifestyle, where the road not only is a way of transportation but also a place to live.

When full-time cowboys and cowgirls leave their homes in June, they know there is a great chance they won’t return until September. They sleep in vans, motels and specialized horse trailers that are outfitted with elaborate living quarters, and they make a living eight seconds at a time.

They dream of big-money opportunities, and they’ll get it at the Lea County Fair & Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6-Saturday, Aug. 9, at Jake McClure Arena. For four nights, the sport’s brightest stars will make their gypsy homes in Lovington, even if only for a night, in order to compete at one of the largest events in ProRodeo.

“There are several reasons we get so many of the top contestants,” said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. “I think we’re competitive with the added money, and the purse is similar to other tour rodeos going on at the same time.

“You also have to give credit to Pete Carr for bringing good stock. He’s a well-respected stock contractor, and the cowboys know when they get to Lovington, they’ll get on good horses and bulls.”

Carr owns Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which will produce the rodeo and the Lea County Xtreme Bulls, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5. Carr has been a fixture in Lovington for a number of years.

“It’s really a great community with an outstanding board of directors and a ton of committee volunteers,” Carr said. “We appreciate the opportunity to be part their team and together we are trying to improve the event every year. You’ll see the best of the best in Lovington.”

The Carr crew packs quite a punch when it arrives in southeastern New Mexico. Last December, there were 27 Carr animals that were selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association record. In addition, Carr was nominated as the 2013 stock contractor of the year.

“Pete and his staff do an outstanding job with our rodeo every year,” said Greg Massey, chairman of the rodeo committee. “Pete is great to work with, and he does a good job with the stock so that we continue to bet the best cowboys to come to our rodeo.”

Good livestock is critical to a good rodeo, and regular NFR qualifiers know they’ll have a shot at a good paycheck when they arrive in Lovington to compete.

“It’s nice to go to a rodeo and have really good horses out for everybody,” said Jake Wright, a two-time NFR qualifier who earned a share of the saddle bronc riding championship in Lovington last year with his oldest brother, Cody. “The stock contractor here has that kind of caliber that it’s really a riding contest and not a drawing contest.”

Good money and great stock are just two of the many ingredients that go into making Lea County a rodeo hot spot every August.

“I think there’s a lot of history around here with the Cooper family and Guy Allen and all those that have ties to the county,” Helton said. “Those families live here, and that helps bring the cowboys here. But there’s also the cowboy atmosphere that’s here. You can’t say enough about that.

“The committee works very hard to make this an event the contestants want to come to. We have a VIP hospitality area and places for them to shower. These ideas came from the cowboys over the last several years to see what we can do to make it a better experience for them. We do care. We want them to be comfortable here.”

That has translated well. Last year, the Lea County Fair and Rodeo was nominated as the PRCA large outdoor rodeo of the year, which is proof the cowboys love what is done in Lovington each summer.

The fans do, too.

postheadericon Great action key to rodeo’s success

CROSSETT, Ark. – Each of the past two seasons, the Crossett Riding Club PRCA Rodeo has been recognized as one of the very best in the sport.

In 2012-13, the event has been nominated for Medium Size Rodeo of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and stands as one of just five rodeos its size to receive the honor. Organizers will try to surpass those awards during this year’s event, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6-Saturday, Aug. 9, at Cap Gates Arena in Crossett.

PeteCarrsClassicLogo“There are three things that stand out to me on why that rodeo’s so great,” said Scott Grover, now in his sixth year calling the action. “There is a very hard-working committee that’s not afraid to change and that always wants to do something every year to make the rodeo better, whether it’s hiring the best acts or adding more money. They take this rodeo very seriously and the nomination very seriously.

“The committee is striving to win the rodeo of the year title, and having Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo is a big reason to that. Pete Carr is one of the premier stock contractors in the PRCA, and he always brings great stock. The third thing is that they care about hospitality, which is very important. The churches get involved and feed everyone at least twice a day.”

The Carr crew has produced the rodeo for a number of years, and staff members work hand-in-hand with committee members to make sure the event goes off well.

“Crossett is an outstanding rodeo, and we are excited to be part of it,” said Carr, owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm. “The fact that the rodeo has been nominated the past two years shows how much work they put into it.”

From handing out silver dollars to winning performers to having a large grand entry, the local organizers have proven how much they care about the little things that go on inside the arena.

“The rodeo is put on by the Crossett Riding Club, which has a huge tradition in Crossett and the surrounding areas,” Grover said. “This is like families that have been there for years on years on years.”

The great history is just one aspect of what it takes for fans to enjoy the overall rodeo experience. Crossett’s status in ProRodeo is a key reason why many of the sport’s brightest stars make their way to southern Arkansas in July.

But don’t discount the importance of great livestock, which is one reason why Carr was nominated as PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year in 2013.

“The whole rodeo company crew is very production savvy,” Grover said. “They understand what it takes to put on a fast show, an exciting show that fans want to continue to see.

“From top to bottom, what Pete has is solid with National Finals Rodeo and award-winning livestock, and that’s what attracts cowboys to Crossett.”

With great cowboys and top-flight action, the Crossett rodeo is attractive to fans.

postheadericon Lang mud-wrestles into the lead

DODGE CITY, Kan. – About a dozen years ago, Ty Lang decided to try his hand at steer wrestling while attending Dodge City Community College.

“I came to school as a calf roper and a team roper,” said Lang of Montrose, Colo. “A handful of us wanted to start bulldogging.”

The wheels were in motion. On Wednesday night during the first performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, Lang splashed through Roundup Arena and threw his steer in the deep mud in 3.9 seconds to take the early lead in the second round – he suffered a penalty and a 14.4-second run during the first round in the morning and sits well off the pace in the two-run aggregate.

Tyler Smith rides Frontier Rodeo's Elise Said What for 84 points Wednesday night in the mud during the first performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. He has the bull riding lead.

Tyler Smith rides Frontier Rodeo’s Elise Said What for 84 points Wednesday night in the mud during the first performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. He has the bull riding lead.

Still, he is in solid position to cash a nice paycheck in the home of his alma mater.

“A couple of great guys, Mike Greenleaf and Leonard Hampton, helped me along the way to get started in bulldogging,” said Lang, who competes at about 70 rodeos per season. “This was a great place for me to start going to school.

“Mike got us a set of steers, and we started bulldogging.”

This marks just the second time Lang has competed at Roundup Rodeo, but he found it to his liking despite the muddy conditions. Rain fell for almost 12 hours through the morning and into the afternoon. The first round in the timed events took place amidst pouring rain at times, and the arena mud was several inches deep across.

That makes it tough on the competitors and the animals.

“This is one of the best rodeos in the country, so it’s hard to miss,” he said. “That 3.9 makes it a lot more fun than a no-time. It’s something everybody has to fight. It’s a disadvantage, of course, but everybody has the same disadvantage.

“These horses know what they’re doing. When you back in the corner (of the timed-event chute) it doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or 110 degrees or a mud hole out there; you just back in the corner and go do your job.”

Lang’s goals this year are simple: He wants to make enough money to move up in the world standings so that he is eligible to compete at big winter rodeos, which have limits on the number of contestants; only the top contestants get a shot to compete at those big-money events.

“I want to get qualified for the big rodeos next winter so I have a shot to make it to the NFR next year,” he said.

That’s the dream of every ProRodeo contestant, and it’s one that Lang has been chasing since the early 2000s in Dodge City.

“The first time you jump a steer, it’s a total addiction,” Lang said. “It’s the most addictive crack there is.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Bareback riding:
1. Casey Colletti, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Coast, and Casey Breuer, on Vold’s Hot Valley, 85 points; 3. Orin Larsen, 81; 4, Tilden Hooper, 78; 5. Winn Ratliff, 77; 6. (tie) Chris Harris, Seth Hardwick and Justin McDaniel, 74.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders:1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds; 2. Brandon Volker, 4.4; 3. Casey Martin, 4.5; 4. Tait Kvistad, 5.9; 5. Kyle Whitaker, 6.7; 6. Nick Guy, 6.9. Second round leaders: 1. Ty Lang, 3.9 seconds; 2. Levi Rudd, 4.5; 3. Bray Armes, 5.0; 4. Kait Kvistad, 5.2; 5. (tie) Ty Talsma and Logan Rudd, 5.3; 7. (tie) Brock White and Casey Martin, 5.6. Average leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 9.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Casey Martin, 10.1; 3. Kait Kvistad, 11.1; 4. Brock White, 13.1; 5. Brandon Volker, 15.5; 6. Ty Lank, 18.2; 7. Levi Rudd,18.7; 8. Logan Rudd, 19.7.

Team roping: First round leaders:1. Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman, 5.6 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7; 3. Robert Pixley/Joe Mattern, 5.9; 4. Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 6.1; 5. Quisto Lopez/Travis Hobbs, 7.2; 6. Bobby Boyd DVM/Byron Wilkerson, 7.7; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 6.0 seconds; 2. Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twissselman, 7.2; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 17.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman, 22.8; 3. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7 seconds on one run; 4. Robert Pixley, 5.9; 5. Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 6.1; 6. Quisto Lopez/Travis Hobbs, 7.2; 7. Bobby Boyd/Byron Wilkerson, 7.7; 8. Brent Reichmuth/Allan Hughes, 25.2.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, 85 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Kate’s Hot Sister; 2. (tie) Taos Muncy and Isaac Diaz, 82; 4. Brady Nicholes, 78; 5. Cody Taton, 76; 6. Hardy Braden, 72; 7. Joaquin Real, 71; 8. Spencer Wright, 70.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 12.0 seconds; 2. Adam Gray, 15.7; 3. Sean O’Neil, 16.6; 4. Chris Neal, 18.1; 5. Marcos Costa, 23.3; 6. Tanner Stec, 23.4. Second round leaders: 1. Marcos Costa, 10.2 seconds; 2. Cody Ohl, 11.0; 3. Adam Gray, 12.0; 4. Sean O’Neil, 13.8; 5. Clete Scheer, 17.9; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 23.0 seconds on two runs; Adam Gray, 27.7; 3. Sean O’Neil, 30.4; 4. Marcos Costa, 33.5; 5. Clete Sheer, 17.9 seconds on one run; 6. Tanner Stec, 23.4.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Shada Brazile, 17.87 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 17.96; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.19; 4. Jane Melby, 18.37; 5. Jaime Barrow, 18.42; 6. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 18.51. Second round leaders: 1. Jane Melby, 18.43 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 18.52; 3. Shelbie Parrish, 18.56; 4. Sara Rose McDonald, 18.61; 5. Katie Loughran, 18.71; 6. Korinna Lynn Hughes, 19.21; 7. Hannah Ragsdale, 19.33 seconds; 8. Hali Scott, 19.79; 9. Kaela Haddon, 19.88; 10. Jaime Barrow, 23.23; no other qualified runs. . Average leaders: 1. Jessi Fish, 36.48 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Sarah Rose McDonald and Jane Melby, 36.80; 4. Katie Loughran, 37.38; 5. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 37.72; 6. Shelbie Parrish, 37.75; 7. Hali Scott, 38.69; 8. Kaela Haddon, 38.96; 9. Hannah Ragsdale, 40.23; 10. Jaime Barrow, 41.65.

Bull riding: 1. Tyler Smith, 84 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Elise Said What; 2. J.W. Harris, 83; 3. Dillon Tyler, 75; 4. Tag Elliott, 74; 5. Elijah Mora, 64; 6. Casey Huckabee, 53; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Dodge City photos posted

Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla., the reigning PRCA Steer Roping Rookie of the Year, makes a solid run during the third round of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo steer roping competition Tuesday afternoon. Poppino finished second in the average.

Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla., the reigning PRCA Steer Roping Rookie of the Year, makes a solid run during the third round of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo steer roping competition Tuesday afternoon. Poppino finished second in the average. Look for more photos by clicking HERE.

 

postheadericon Bingham wins Dodge City Xtreme

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Tim Bingham is on pace to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time in his young career.

On Tuesday night, Bingham took another step closer by claiming the championship at the inaugural Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls at Roundup Arena. The Honeyville, Utah, cowboy pocketed $5,261 on Tuesday night, pushing his season earnings to $56,363. Just as importantly, he moved up one spot to seventh in the world standings.

Tim Bingham

Tim Bingham

“I’ve been in a similar position before, but not nearly what I am here,” said Bingham, who finished 20th in the 2012 standings, just five spots out of qualifying for the NFR, the sport’s year-end championship. “It’s pretty much a dream coming true before your eyes, and it’s not even finished yet.”

Bingham won the first round with an 86-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Centerfold, earning more than $1,500 for that. He then came back in the final round with an 85.5 on Frontier’s Swamp Dog; he finished second in the round behind Jordan Spears, who posted the highest marked ride of the night with an 89 on Frontier’s Kojack. Bingham’s two ride total of 171.5 was eight and a half points better than Spears, who had a 74 in the opening round.

“You have to be consistent enough to back up your first ride,” said Bingham, who has victories this season in Spanish Fork, Utah; Clovis, Calif.; San Francisco; Sisters, Ore.; Salt Lake City and Elizabeth, Colo. “That’s where I’ve been struggling. I can get my first ones rode, but I struggle in the short round. Finally I got a short-round bull covered and won.”

The Xtreme Bulls tour is a part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Money won not only counts toward the Xtreme Bulls standings but also the bull riding world standings. His Dodge City winnings will move Bingham from 48th to 23rd. He is in good position to qualify for the Xtreme Bulls Finals, which will take place Labor Day weekend in Ellensburg, Wash.

The bigger picture is the NFR qualification and a shot at the elusive world championship. Bingham knows he must follow a simple cliché of taking advantage of every ride and every opportunity, but he’s placed himself in great position heading into the final two months of the season.

He is scheduled to compete again Friday night during the third performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. A good showing later this week could make all the difference, and he has a pretty good track record in southwest Kansas.

“I’ve only ever been on one bull here and rode it, but I missed the short round,” he said, referring to Sunday night’s championship, which features the top 12 contestants from the preliminary rounds that take place Wednesday-Saturday. “I was one for one here, so now I’m three for three.”

It all adds up quite well inside Roundup Arena.

Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls
Dodge City, Kan.
July 29
First round:
1. Tim Bingham, 68 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Centerfold, $1,508; 2. Tate Stratton, 81.5, $1,182; 3. Triston Boor, 76, $903; 4. Jordan Spears, 74, $624; 5. Ty Wallace, 69, $438; no other qualified rides. Short round: 1. Jordan Spears, 89 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Kojack, $1,875; 2. Tim Bingham, 85.5, $1,427. Average: 1. Tim Bingham, 171.5 points on two rides, $2,326; 2. Jordan Spears, 163, $1,784; 3. Tate Stratton, 81.5, $1,318; 4. Triston Boor, 76, $853; 5. Ty Wallace, 69, $543.