postheadericon Brennecke earns a sloppy lead

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Every dollar matters to bareback rider Kyle Brennecke at this stage of the game.

He set up a nice paycheck Friday night at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo with a wet and wild 85-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Painted River. That pushed him into the No. 1 spot heading into Saturday’s final performance.

“It was really important,” said Brennecke of Stephenville, Texas, the No. 29 cowboy in the bareback riding world standings. “I needed it mentally and just for the rodeo, too. I’m sitting in a spot where I can’t stop going and I need to keep going. Riding good when you draw a good (horse) like that is very important this time of year.”

Kyle Brennecke

Kyle Brennecke

Less than two months remain in the 2016 regular season, and he wants to capitalize at every turn; only the top 15 in the world standings at that point advance to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s premier championship.

“This season has been better,” said Brennecke, now in his seventh season in ProRodeo. “I’ve done some things different this year. I’ve worked a little bit harder at it and took it a little more seriously. Here lately (success) has been on and off. I’ve just been trucking a long, and sometimes you’ve just got to run right through that wall they put in front of you.”

Sometimes the wall is opened in the form of a quality partner. The Missouri-born cowboy found it in Painted River, a 7-year-old mare with a championship lineage – sire Korczak has been to the NFR multiple times, and dam River Boat Annie was the 2007 reserve world champion bareback horse.

“My traveling partner, Tim O’Connell, won the short round at San Antonio on her,” Brennecke said. “He said, ‘She’s a really good horse, and she’s going to try no matter what.’ ”

He was right. O’Connell knows a thing or two about bucking horses. He is the No. 1 bareback rider in the game with nearly $128,000 in earnings and has guaranteed his third straight NFR qualification. O’Connell was 83 points on Carr’s Good Time Charlie and sits in third place.

“We click together pretty good, because we’re both pretty upbeat,” Brennecke said. “Sitting where he’s at and me looking up to that, it’s good to ride against somebody like that every day. It just keeps you stepping up instead of stepping back.

“My goal is to make the finals; it always has been. The guy that’s at the top of his level like Tim is definitely a plus for me. You’re only as good as the people you ride against every day. It’s always good to ride against him every day.”

Iron sharpens iron, and Brennecke hopes to continue his pearcing streak through the final six weeks of the season.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 10-13
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Kyle  Brennecke, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Painted River; 2.; Tim O’Connell, 83; 3. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Teddy Athan, 82; 5. (tie) Troy Vaira and Winn Ratliff, 80; 7. (tie) Joel Schlegel and Richmond Champion, 78.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Shayde Etherton, 3.7 seconds; 2. Wyatt Jurney, 3.9; 3. (tie) Monty Eakin and Matt Reeves, 4.1; 5. (tie) Dean Gorsuch and Juan Alcazar Jr., 4.3; 7. Cody Cabral, 4.5; 8. (tie) Ross Mosher and Clayton Tuchscherer, 4.7. Second round leaders: 1. Josh Peek, 3.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Shayde Etherton and Dirk Tavenner, 3.8; 4. Dean Gorsuch, 3.9; 5. Wyatt Lindsay, 4.3; 6. (tie) Coltin Hill, Ryan Jarrett and Juan Alcazar Jr., 4.4; 6. (tie) Jace Melvin and Jake Rinehart, 4.5; 8. Gary Gilbert, 4.6. Average leaders: 1. Shayde Etherton, 7.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Dean Gorsuch, 8.2; 3. Josh Peek, 8.5; 4. Juan Alcazar Jr., 8.7; 5. Matt Reeves, 9.3; 6. Ross Mosher, 9.8; 7. (tie) Wyatt Lindsay and Blair Jones, 10.2.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Ryle Smith, 8.2 seconds; 2. Westyn Hughes, 8.8; 3. Sterling Smith, 8.9; 4. Kooper Saiz, 9.2; 5. Shank Edwards, 9.3; 6. Ryan Jarrett, 9.6; 7. (tie) Bryson Sechrist and Marcos Costa, 9.7. Second round leaders: 1. Hunter Herrin, 7.6 seconds; 2. Marcos Costa, 8.3; 3. (tie) Shane Hanchey and Connor Hall, 8.7; 5. Reese Riemer, 8.8; 6. Timber Moore 8.9; 7. Sterling Smith, 9.0; 8. Cimarron Boardman, 9.1. Average leaders: 1. Sterling Smith, 17.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Marcos Costa, 18.0; 3. Westyn Hughes, 18.2; 4. Reese Reimer, 18.8; 5. Josh Peek, 19.5; 6. Timber Moore, 20.1; 7. Connor Hall, 20.7; 8. Kooper Saiz, 21.4.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Sam Spreadborough, 86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Runnings; 2. Nat Stratton, 85; 3. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw and Dean Wadsworth, 84; 5. Jacobs Crawley, 80; 6. (tie) Cole Elshere and Cody DeMoss, 79; 8. Doug Aldridge and Leon Fountain, 78.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Bryce Davis and J.P. Wickett, 9.5 seconds; 3. Shay Good, 9.6; 4. (tie) Cody Lee and Jess Tierney, 10.1; 6. Steve Wolf, 10.4. Second round leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 8.7 seconds; 2. J.P. Wickett, 9.6; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Marty Jones, 9.8; 5. Landon McClaugherty, 9.9; 6. Roger Branch, 10.7. Third round leaders: 1. Garrett Hale, 9.1 seconds; 2. JoJo LeMond, 9.8; 3. Chet Herren, 10.2; 4. (tie) J.B. Whatley and Jess Tierney, 10.5; 6. Troy Tillard, 10.6. Average leaders: 1. J.P. Wickett, 32.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Shay Good, 32.8; 3. Jess Tierney, 33.4; 4. Jason Evans, 33.8; 5. Bryce Davis, 34.6; 6. Roger Branch, 37.2.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.4 seconds; 2. Chase Massengill/Daylan Frost, 4.6; 3. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.7; 5. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.8; 6. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin and Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 4.9; 7. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 5.0; 8. Rhen Richard/Cole Davison, 5.2; 7. JoJo LeMond/Kory Koontz, 5.4; 8. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Daniel Braman, 5.5. Second round leaders: 1. Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 4.3 seconds; 2. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4; 3. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.5; 4. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 4.6; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.6; 5. 6.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 4.9; 7. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.1, 8. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.2; 8. (tie) Landon McClaugherty/Joel Galvan Jr. and Casey Gattis/Kirt Jones, 9.3. Average leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 9.9; 3. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 10.1; 4. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 11.5; 5. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 17.1; 6. Robert Ansley/Brian Sullivan, 18.0; 7. Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 4.3 seconds on one run; 8. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.36 seconds; 2. Hailey Kinsel, 17.50; 3. Taylor Homuth, 17.51; 4. Emily Miller, 17.61; 5. Katelyn Scott, 17.90; 6. Sherry Cervi, 17.97; 7. Kortney Cleveland, 18.03; 8. Jana Bean, 18.10; 9. Tierra Gray, 18.10; 10. Brandee Hawkins, 18.12; 11. Candie Miner, 18.20; 12. Aimee Kay, 18.23; 13. Sabra O’Quinn, 18.33; 14. Samantha Smith, 18.40; 15. (tie) Jenna Duhon and Nalynn Cline, 18.45.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Tim Bingham, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Spotted Fever, and Brennon Eldred, on Salt River Rodeo’s Silence Reigns, 87 points; 3. Jordan Wacey Spears, 86; 4. Shane Proctor, 85.5; 5. Cole Melancon, 81; 6. Justin Hendrix, 80.5; 7. (tie) Rocky McDonald and Dylan Vick, 80.

postheadericon Bradshaw rides into the top spot

CoBurn Bradshaw rides Pete Carr's Cowboy Cowtown for 84 points Thursday night to take the lead at the saddle bronc riding lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

CoBurn Bradshaw rides Pete Carr’s Cowboy Cowtown for 84 points Thursday night to take the lead at the saddle bronc riding lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – CoBurn Bradshaw wasn’t exactly born to be a saddle bronc rider, but you can’t tell that by the way he rides.

On Thursday night, he matched moves with Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cowboy Cowtown for 84 points to take the lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. It was a nice change of pace for the cowboy who might finally see some success in this southeastern New Mexico community.

“I’ve been here the last two years and haven’t done any good, so it feels good to be able to have some success here,” said Bradshaw of Beaver, Utah. “I had that horse a few years ago, and he was a little better to ride here than he was in San Angelo (Texas).”

CoBurn Bradshaw

CoBurn Bradshaw

ProRodeo success has come quickly for the 21-year-old cowboy. As a high school star, he finished second at the National High School Finals Rodeo in both 2011 and ’12. A year later, he finished third. As a freshman at Western Texas College in 2014, he earned the national championship.

Last year, he not only earned the Rookie of the Year title but also qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where he earned just shy of $230,000 over 10 nights in Las Vegas. Bradshaw won the second and fifth rounds, placed in four others and finished with the second highest 10-round cumulative score.

Not bad for a cowboy who didn’t start riding broncs until a few years ago, when he was beginning high school. He married into the famed bronc riding family, the Wrights, which consists of two-time world champion Cody Wright and his younger brothers, Jesse (the 2012 titlist) and Spencer (2014). Another brother, Jake, is a four-time NFR qualifier.

Meanwhile Cody’s oldest son, Rusty, earned his first trip to Las Vegas last year with Bradshaw; in 2015, Rusty Wright finished third in the final world standings, while Bradshaw placed fourth.

“I was good friends with Rusty in high school,” Bradshaw said.

In fact, that’s how Bradshaw met his wife, Rebecca; Rusty asked Bradshaw to take his aunt to prom. They were married in 2013.

Now he travels the rodeo trail chasing gold-buckle dreams with his in-laws. So far this season, he has earned more than $90,000 on the backs of bucking horses.

He’d like to add more from the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 10-13
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Caleb Bennett, 82 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Lady Gaga; 2. Troy Vaira, 80; 3. (tie) Jordan Petlon and Caine Riddle, 71; 5. Luke Creasy, 64; 6. John Killian, 62; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Shayde Etherton, 3.7 seconds; 2. Wyatt Jurney, 3.9; 3. (tie) Monty Eakin and Matt Reeves, 4.1; 5. Dean Gorsuch, 4.3; 6. (tie) Mike Garcia and Rowdy Parrott, 4.8; 8. Aaron Vosler, 5.2. Second round leaders: 1. Shayde Etherton, 3.8 seconds; 2. Dean Gorsuch, 3.9; 3. Wyatt Lindsay, 4.3; 4. (tie) Coltin Hill and Ryan Jarrett, 4.4; 6. (tie) Jace Melvin and Jake Rinehart, 4.5; 8. Gary Gilbert, 4.6. Average leaders: 1. Shayde Etherton, 7.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Dean Gorsuch, 8.2; 3. Matt Reeves, 9.3; 4. Wyatt Lindsay, 10.2; 5. Heath Thomas, 10.3; 6. Billy Bugenig, 11.0; 7. Sam Powers, 11.1; 8. (tie) Coltin Hill and Rowdy Parrott, 11.4.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Ryle Smith, 8.2 seconds; 2. Westyn Hughes, 8.8; 3. Sterling Smith, 8.9; 4. Kooper Saiz, 9.2; 5. Shank Edwards, 9.3; 6. Ryan Jarrett, 9.6; 7. (tie) Bryson Sechrist and Marcos Costa, 9.7. Second round leaders: 1. Hunter Herrin, 7.6 seconds; 2. Marcos Costa, 8.3; 3. (tie) Shane Hanchey and Connor Hall, 8.7; 5. Reese Riemer, 8.8; 6. Timber Moore 8.9; 7. Sterling Smith, 9.0; 8. Cimarron Boardman, 9.1. Average leaders: 1. Sterling Smith, 17.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Marcos Costa, 18.0; 3. Westyn Hughes, 18.2; 4. Reese Reimer, 18.8; 5. Timber Moore, 20.1; 6. Connor Hall, 20.7; 7. Kooper Saiz, 21.4; 8. JoJo LeMond, 23.4.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, 84 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cowboy Cowtown; 2. Cole Elshere, 79; 3. Doug Aldridge and Leon Fountain, 78 points; 5. Zeke Thurston, 77; 6. Ryan Mackenzie, 75; 7. Jesse James Kirby, 73; 8. Taos Muncy, 65.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Bryce Davis and J.P. Wickett, 9.5 seconds; 3. Shay Good, 9.6; 4. (tie) Cody Lee and Jess Tierney, 10.1; 6. Steve Wolf, 10.4. Second round leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 8.7 seconds; 2. J.P. Wickett, 9.6; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Marty Jones, 9.8; 5. Landon McClaugherty, 9.9; 6. Roger Branch, 10.7. Third round leaders: 1. Garrett Hale, 9.1 seconds; 2. Chet Herren, 10.2; 3. (tie) J.B. Whatley and Jess Tierney, 10.5; 5. Troy Tillard, 10.6; 6. Brodie Poppino, 11.1. Average leaders: 1. J.P. Wickett, 32.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Shay Good, 32.8; 3. Jess Tierney, 33.4; 4. Jason Evans, 33.8; 5. Bryce Davis, 34.6; 6. Roger Branch, 37.2.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.4 seconds; 2. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.7; 3. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.8; 4. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin4.9; 5. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 5.0; 6. Rhen Richard/Cole Davison, 5.2; 7. JoJo LeMond/Kory Koontz, 5.4; 8. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Daniel Braman, 5.5. Second round leaders: 1. Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 4.3 seconds; 2. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4; 3. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 4.6; 4. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.6; 5. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 4.9; 6. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.1, 7. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.2; 8. (tie) Landon McClaugherty/Joel Galvan Jr. and Casey Gattis/Kirt Jones, 9.3. Average leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 9.9; 3. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 10.1; 4. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 11.5; 5. Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 4.3 seconds on one run; 6. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4; 7. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.7; 8. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 4.9.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.36 seconds; 2. Hailey Kinsel, 17.50; 3. Taylor Homuth, 17.51; 4. Emily Miller, 17.61; 5. Katelyn Scott, 17.90; 6. Sherry Cervi, 17.97; 7. Kortney Cleveland, 18.03; 8. Tierra Gray, 18.10; 9. Brandee Hawkins, 18.12; 10. Candie Miner, 18.20; 11. Aimee Kay, 18.23; 12. Sabra O’Quinn, 18.33; 13. Samantha Smith, 18.40; 14. Jenna Duhon, 18.45; 15. (tie) Shy-Anne Jarrett and Ilyssa Glass, 18.49.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Brennon Eldred, on Salt River Rodeo’s Silence Reigns, and Tim Bingham, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Spotted Fever, 87 points; 3. Jordan Wacey Spears, 86; 4. Shane Proctor, 85.5; 5. Cole Melancon, 81; 6. Justin Hendrix, 80.5; 7. (tie) Rocky McDonald and Dylan Vick, 80.

postheadericon Bullfighters to battle for the title

Bullfighters Only will be featured on opening night of the Caldwell Night Rodeo

 

CALDWELL, Idaho – The life of a bullfighter is sometimes wild, sometimes exciting and all the time consumed by their passion.

It takes a true love affair with the game to look a bull in the eyes and risk everything, escaping danger in the blink of an eye. That’s the reality for the men of Bullfighters Only, who will be part of opening night of the Caldwell Night Rodeo on Aug. 16.

Evan Allard

Evan Allard

Four men will test their athleticism against equally athletic fighting bulls, with the winner claiming the prize at one of the most prestigious rodeos in the country.

“I think it’s a good thing we’ve all done to bring the bullfights back to where they belong,” said Evan Allard, a world champion bullfighter from Vinita, Okla. “It’s taken off because bullfighting is the greatest extreme sport in the world, and we have the best freestyle bullfighters alive all doing it right now.”

With scores based on a 100-point scale, men can earn up to 50 points per fight based on their ability to exhibit control and style while maneuvering around or over an animal; a bull can earn up to 50 points based on its quickness, aggression and willingness to stay with the bullfighter.

Dusty Tuckness

Dusty Tuckness

“We’re trying to grow the sport and bring it back to the main stage,” said Dusty Tuckness, the six-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s bullfighter of the year from Meeteetse, Wyo. “We’ve got a great group of guys and great support. The fan base is growing.

“There’s just so much excitement to freestyle bullfighting. It’s an event that hasn’t had a true world champion since 2000. Bullfighters Only is bringing that back while also keeping an eye out for the young talent. We want the best of the best. The main stage is where it belongs. The energy and the level of excitement are second to none.”

Freestyle bullfighting is not new to rodeo, and the Bullfighters Only has created public demand for the sport. The events feature man vs. beast in a head-to-head battle inside an arena. The bullfighters utilize their tremendous athleticism to try to outwit and outmaneuver the agile bulls.

Chuck Swisher

Chuck Swisher

Now just a little more than a year old, Bullfighters Only is still in its infancy, but it has grown rapidly. The Caldwell Night Rodeo is the 20th stop on the BFO’s inaugural tour.

“It’s crazy to think this is our actual first year and that we have so many events at these historic rodeos,” said Chuck Swisher of Dover, Okla.

The tour is just part of a grand collaboration of the world’s top bullfighters.

“To me, Bullfighters Only is more like a group of brothers,” Swisher said of the top 15 bullfighters in the game that make up the BFO. “We all went in and are part of this team that helps in bringing the freestyle bullfights back in front of the fans. It’s something we’ve always wanted for so long.

“Even before there was even a thought of the BFO, we always stuck together and stuck our necks out for each other. We push each other to get better, and now we put a name on it.”

While the danger and the battles with athletic bovines are part of their makeup, the bullfighters also have a passion for competition.

Cody Webster

Cody Webster

“I want Bullfighters Only to be part of every major event,” said Cody Webster of Wayne, Okla. “Freestyle bullfighting is what put me on the map, and we have a bunch of young bullfighters who have a lot of talent. I want us to get to where we provide an avenue for those young guys.”

That’s happening already, with some amazing young talent who want to be involved in one of the greatest extreme sports.

“The bulls drive me,” said Allard, who has been fighting bulls for 11 years. “Just knowing that you’re able to go head to head with one of the fiercest creatures alive and know that if everything goes right, you’re able to control him.

“It’s the art itself that drives me.”

That passion is what drives the men of Bullfighters Only.

CALDWELL CONTESTANTS
Cody Webster
Nathan Harp
Evan Allard
Dusty Tuckness

postheadericon Gorsuch blasts into Lovington lead

Dean Gorsuch jumps his steer during the first round of steer wrestling Wednesday at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Gorsuch leads the first round with a 4.3, the second round with a 3.9 and the average.

Dean Gorsuch jumps his steer during the first round of steer wrestling Wednesday at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Gorsuch leads the first round with a 4.3, the second round with a 3.9 and the average.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Success has always followed steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch to the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

“This has been a really good rodeo for me,” said Gorsuch, a two-time world champion bulldogger from Gering, a tiny community straight north of Lovington in the Nebraska Panhandle. “I like this rodeo. It’s a really long way from home, but it always feels like home when I’m here. You have those rodeos where you feel good.”

Dean Gorsuch

Dean Gorsuch

That’s the case at Jake McClure Arena on the Lea County Fairgrounds. He won the championship in 2011 and has earned a bucket load of money in Lovington over the course of his career. He has a good chance to continue that trend this year.

Gorsuch put together two quality runs Wednesday during the first day of the rodeo, scoring a 4.3 to lead the opening round, then following that with a 3.9-second run during the performance; he also leads the second round and the average with a two-run cumulative time of 8.2 seconds.

“There are a bunch of good guys to go, and these back-to-back deals are awesome,” he said, referring to the opportunity timed-event cowboys have to make multiple runs in the same day; that allows them to move on to the next rodeo without having to double-back to Lovington, which just adds to the expense of rodeo. “I ran two good steers, and hopefully it’ll win some money.”

He’ll wait through the final three days of competition to see where he sits when the curtain closes Saturday night, but he stands pretty tall so far. He should know; he’s a two-time world champion with eight qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – his two gold buckles came in 2006 and 2010.

Leading into this week’s competition, he was 14th in the world standings with $42,416. He knew he had an opportunity to do well Wednesday evening, mainly because fellow steer wrestler Jace Melvin provided a little background on the steer – Melvin had competed on the same steer during the afternoon session.

“I probably would have missed him if (Jace) hadn’t told me,” he said of the steer. “He was great once you get him.”

Gorsuch gets most of his steers, but that doesn’t come without struggles. Rodeo is a humbling sport, and championships aren’t guaranteed. He hasn’t been to the NFR since 2013, when he was in the race for the world championship until the final round of the season.

“I got hurt two years ago,” Gorsuch said. “I didn’t do very good last year, but I still wasn’t very confident. It felt like it still hurt at times, and I just never let things hang out. It feels like it’s coming together this year.”

If the Lea County Fair and Rodeo is any indication, it certainly has.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 10-13
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Troy Vaira, 80 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s First Kiss; 2. Jordan Petlon, 71; 3. Luke Creasy, 64; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 4.3 seconds; 2. Mike Garcia, 4.8; 3. Aaron Vosler, 5.2; 4. Trevor Knowles, 5.3; 5. Billy Bugenig, 5.4; 6. Seth Brockman 5.9; 7. (tie) Coltin Hill and Mike McGinn, 7.0. Second round leaders: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 3.9 seconds; 2. Coltin Hill, 4.4; 3. (tie) Jace Melvin and Jake Rinehart, 4.5; 5. Garry Gilbert, 4.6; 6. Rusty Hamilton, 4.9; 7. (tie) Billy Bugenig and Koty Rope Kamm, 5.6; 5. Jacob Shofner, 12.0; 6. Ryan Huxtable, 12.3; 7. Michael Bates Jr., 13.0; 8. Average leaders: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Billy Bugenig, 11.0; 3. Coltin Hill, 11.4; 4. Mike Garcia, 13.9; 5. Jake Rinehart, 17.8; 6. Jace Melvin, 4.5 seconds on one run; 2. Gary Gilbert, 4.6; 8. Rusty Hamilton, 4.9.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Ryle Smith, 8.2 seconds; Westyn Hughes, 8.8; 3. Shank Edwards, 9.3; 4. Reese Riemer, 10.0; 5. Cooper Martin, 10.7; 6. Michael Otero, 11.5; 7. Travis Lewis, 11.9; 8. Taylor Santos, 12.8. Second round leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 8.7 seconds; 2. Reese Riemer, 8.8; 3. Westyn Hughes, 9.4; 4. Cody McCartney, 9.6; 5. JoJo LeMond, 9.7; 6. Riley Pruitt, 9.8; 7. Garrett Hale, 10.1; 8. Taylor Santos, 10.8. Average leaders: 1. Westyn Hughes, 18.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Reese Reimer, 18.8; 3. JoJo LeMond, 23.4; 4. Taylor Santos, 23.6; 5. Ryle Smith, 26.3; 6. Cooper Martin, 27.2; 7. Stetson Vest, 33.7; 8. Clint Nyegaard, 34.0.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Doug Aldridge, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hometown Girl, and Leon Fountain, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Corner Guard, 78 points; 3. Zeke Thurston, 77; 4. Jesse James Kirby, 73; 5. Taos Muncy, 65; no other qualified rides.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 9.6 seconds; 2. Steve Wolf, 10.4; 3. Jason Evans, 11.3; 4. John Clark, 11.7; 5. Shank Edwards, 12.6; 6. Martin Poindexter, 12.8; 7. Vin Fisher Jr., 13.4; 8. Roger Branch, 14.8. Second round leaders: 1. Jason Evans, 9.8 seconds; 2. Landon McClaugherty, 9.9; 3. Roger Branch, 10.7; 4. (tie) Shank Edwards and Martin Poindexter, 11.2; 6. Guy Allen, 11.6; 7. Shay Good, 11.8; 8. Dan Fisher, 16.3. Third round leaders: 1. Garrett Hale, 9.1 seconds; 2. Shay Good, 11.4; 3. Roger Branch, 11.7; 4. C.A. Lauer, 12.0; 5. Chance Kelton, 12.2; 6. Jason Evans, 12.7; 7. Guy Allen, 14.0; 8. Shank Edwards, 14.9. Average leaders: 1. Shay Good, 32.8 seconds on three runs; 2. Jason Evans, 33.8; 3. Roger Branch, 37.2; 4. Shank Edwards, 38.7; 5. Martin Poindexter, 24.0 seconds on two runs; 6. Guy Allen, 25.6; 7. Dan Fisher, 35.5; 8. Garrett Hale, 9.1 seconds on one run.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.4 seconds; 2. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.7; 3. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.8; 4. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 5.0; 5. Rhen Richard/Cole Davison, 5.2; 6. JoJo LeMond/Kory Koontz, 5.4; 7. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Daniel Braman, 5.5; 8. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.6. Second round leaders: 1. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4 seconds; 2. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 4.6; 3. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.6; 4. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.1, 5. Landon McClaugherty/Joel Galvan Jr., 9.3; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 9.9; 3. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 11.5; 4. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4 seconds on one run; 5. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.7; 6. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 5.0; 7. Rhen Richard/Cole Davison, 5.2; 8. JoJo LeMond/Kory Koontz, 5.4.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.36 seconds; 2. Hailey Kinsel, 17.50; 3. Taylor Homuth, 17.51; 4. Sherry Cervi, 17.97; 5. Kortney Cleveland, 18.03; 6. Candie Miner, 18.20; 7. Aimee Kay, 18.23; 8. Samantha Smith, 18.40; 9. Diana Wilson, 19.02; 10. Carlee Pierce, 19.65; 11. Sydni Blanchard, 20.93; 12. Dena Milner, 22.44.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Brennon Eldred, 87 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Silence Reigns; 2. Cole Melancon, 81; 3. Justin Hendrix, 80.5; 4. Rocky McDonald, 80; 5. Ednei Caminhas, 79; 6. Sage Kimzey, 76.5; 7; Rorey Maier, 72; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Young gun dominates X Bulls

Colten Jesse of Konawa, Okla., rides Pete Carr's Classic Pro Rodeo's Lone Star for 90 points during the championship round of the Lea County Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday night in Lovington, N.M. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

Colten Jesse of Konawa, Okla., rides Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Lone Star for 90 points during the championship round of the Lea County Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday night in Lovington, N.M. (PEGGY GANDER PHOTO)

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Just 15 minutes after his final ride of the night, Colten Jesse had already strapped his Lea County Xtreme Bulls trophy buckle on his belt.

He earned the right to do that by dominating Tuesday night’s performance at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Jesse won both go-rounds and the average championship to pocket $11,878.

“It means the world, showing these guys what I’ve got,” said Jesse, 19, of Konawa, Okla. “I guess they know what I’m capable of, but it feels really good to show up here and show them that I’m here to get it on.”

The victory pushed his season earnings to $35,600 and moves him into the top 25 in the bull riding world standings. More importantly, he moved into third place in the race for rookie of the year.

“I knew (the rookie race) was going to be tough this year,” he said. “I started off kind of slow, then it started picking up in the summer. I’ve been fighting my head the last couple of weeks; I’ve had some minor injuries. I told myself when I woke up this morning to relax and have fun.”

It worked out. Jesse won the first round with an 88-point ride on Salt River Rodeo’s Silence Reigns. He then matched moves with Lone Star of the Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo outfit for 90 points to win the championship round.

“I felt like I made two good rides,” said Jesse, who was homeschooled and graduated early so he could compete in rodeo. “Drawing a good bull is half your score. You can’t win if you don’t have a good bull underneath you. I drew two really good ones and made the best of it.”

Of course, having been rising through the ranks – from mutton busting to calf riding to steer riding and now competing in ProRodeo – he understands what it takes to find success in the arena.

“I don’t really let those high-pressure situations get to me,” he said. “The competition is stiff; it always is at these Xtreme Bulls.”

Fortunately he mastered the competition and his bulls Tuesday night.

Lea County Xtreme Bulls
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 9
First round:
1. Colten Jesse, 88.5 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Silence Reigns, $3,426; 2. Scottie Knapp, 87.5, $2,627; 3. (tie) Rorey Maier and Roscoe Jarboe, 83, $1,599 each; 5. (tie) Joe Frost and Sage Kimzey, 82, $685 each; 7. Jacob O’Mara, 81, $467; 8. Pistol Robinson, 80.5, $343. Final round: 1. Colten Jessie, 90 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Lone Star, $2,741; 2. Sage Kimzey, 87.5, $2,132; 3. Ardie Maier, 86, $1,599; 4. Tim Bingham, 84, $1,142; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Colten Jessie, 178.5 points on two rides, $5,711; 2. Sage Kimzey, 169.5, $4,379; 3. Ardie Maier, 166, $3,235; 4. Tim Bingham, 162, $2,094; 5. Scottie Knapp, 87.5 points on one ride, $1,332; 6. (tie) Roscoe Jaraboe and Rorey Maier, 83, $857 each; 8. Joe Frost, 82, $571.

postheadericon Burger sets new earnings mark

Mary Burger’s hot streak went has gone into a blistering pace for the 2016 season.

By earning $5,863 last week, the 2006 world champion barrel racer pushed her season earnings to $185,439, surpassing Lindsay Sears’ regular-season earnings record from 2008. She placed in a round in Dodge City, Kan., and finished second in both Sidney, Iowa, and Phillipsburg, Kan.

Mary Burger

Mary Burger

“I never dreamed this would happen, and it is just unbelievable,” Burger told the WPRA. “I just wanted to win a little money this year and have fun with my horse.”

She’s won a lot, including more than $50,000 at RodeoHouston and $122,000 at the Calgary (Alberta) Stampede, of which $72,000 is mixed into her WPRA earnings – only half of the $100,000 prize money for winning the shootout round in Calgary counts for the standings.

With the regular season concluding Sept. 30, she and her 7-year-old gelding, Mo, have more than a month and a half to add to their earnings. Burger owns a $91,005 lead over the No. 2 cowgirl, 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo cowgirl Jackie Ganter.

Burger also is a little more than $138,000 from the year-end mark Sears set eight seasons ago. With more than $26,000 being paid to the winner of each of the 10 go-rounds at the NFR, she stands a strong chance to surpass the Sears’$323,570.

postheadericon O’Connell grabs Roundup title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – The championship round of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo has quite a reputation and being one of the best performances in ProRodeo.

It lived up to it again Sunday, especially for bareback rider Tim O’Connell.

“A lot of guys get nervous when they make the short round here, because this is probably the rankest short round you’ll ever see,” said O’Connell, who matched moves with JK Rodeo’s Molly for 86 points to win the round and clinch the overall title.

Tim O'Connell

Tim O’Connell

The Iowa cowboy posted a 79-point ride in the first round and entered Sunday’s finale tied for 11th overall. He finished with 165 points on two rides to win the championship and pocket $4,551 in the process.

The world standings leader just padded his lead, having pushed his earnings past $120,000 for the season.

“There were guaranteed three horses that were in our E pen last year,” he said of the eliminator pen at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “The heat was out tonight, and I feel very blessed to get Molly for the third short round in a row here. That’s not a day off either. That’s how great the bucking horses that Frontier and Vold’s put here. She gave me the opportunity, the Lord blessed us and it was a great score.

“There’s a trick to that horse, and I think I’ve got that figured out.”

O’Connell has secured his third NFR qualification with an incredible season. The Roundup title marks the 11th championship he’s earned. He earned the national title at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo this past May and finished the 2015 season fourth in the world standings.

But this marks just the first time in his young career that he’s claimed the title in Dodge City.

“This is a great rodeo,” O’Connell said. “I was very blessed to come in the 11th hole. I didn’t know if it would be good enough to pull it through because of the heat that was out, but the good Lord had a plan, and I’m awfully tickled to get that buckle.

“This is a very prestigious rodeo. In the three years that I’ve been here, they break arena records all the time. If you want to be a rank horse rider and be in the 90s, this is the place to be.”

 

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 3-7
All-around cowboy: Cody Doescher, $6,457 in team roping and steer wrestling.

Bareback riding: First round: 1. Wyatt Denny, 83.5 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Frisky Chicken, $2,901; 2. (tie) Evan Jayne and Blake Smith, 83, $1,934 each; 4. (tie) Jordan Pelton, Kyle Brenneke and Clayton Biglow, 82, $741 each; 7. (tie) Grant Denny and Bill Tutor, $338 each. Final round: 1. Tim O’Connell, 86 points on JK Rodeo’s Molly, $1,650; 2. Winn Ratliff, 84.5, $1,250; 3. Richmond Champion, 83, $900; 4. R.C. Landingham, 82.5, $600; 5. Grant Denny, 79.5, $350; 4. Evan Jayne, 78, $250. Average: 1. Tim O’Connell, 165 points on two rides, $2,901; 2. Winn Ratliff, 163.5, $2,224; 3. Richmond Champoin, 163, $1,644; 4. R.C. Landingham, 162.5, $1,064; 5. (tie) Grant Denny and Evan Jayne, 161, $580 each; 7. Blake Smith, 160.5, $387; 8. Clayton Biglow, 158.5, $290.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Ryan Swayze, 3.8 seconds, $2,846; 2. Shane Frey, 4.2, $2,475; 3. (tie) Kyle Whitaker and Chancey Larson, 4.3, $1,918 each; 5. Trever Nelson, 4.5, $1,361; 6. (tie) Aaron Vosler, Jacob Talley and Jace Melvin, 4.6, $619 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Jacob Edler, Ryan Swayze, Joby Allen and Billy Bugenig, 4.2 seconds, $2,289 each; 5. Aaron Vosler, 4.3, $1,361; 6. Shane Henderson, 4.4, $990; 7. Jarret New, 4.5, $619; 8. Marcus Paul Theriot, 4.7, $247. Final round: 1. Jacob Talley, 4.2 seconds, $1,349; 2. Cody Harmon, 4.3, $1,116; 3. Cody Doescher, 4.6, $884; 4. (tie) Jake Johnson and J.D. Struxness, 5.2, $535 each; 6. Shane Frey, 5.7, $233. Average: 1. Jacob GTalley, 13.6 seconds on three runs, $4,269; 2. Aaron Vosler, 14.9, $3,712; 3. Cody Doescher, 15.0, $3,155; 4. Kyle Whitaker, 15.4, $2,598; 5. Shane Frey, 15.6, $2,042; 6. Ryan Swayze, 15.9, $1,485; 7. J.D. Struxness, 16.2, $928; 8. Cody Harmon, 16.7, $371.

Team roping: First round: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds, $2,426; 2. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 4.9, $2,110; 3. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.1, $1,793; 4. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens and Tom Richards/Evan Arnold, 5.3, $1,319 each; 6. (tie) Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll and Joel Bach/Cody Cowden, 5.6, $527 each. Second round: 1. Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 5.1 seconds, $2,426; 2. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens and Brooks Dahozy/Brandon Bates, 5.4, $1,951 each; 4. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.8, $1,477; 5.Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 6.1, $1,160; 6. Bubba Buckaloo/Jake Smith, 6.2, $844; 7. Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 6.3, $527; 8. Justin Davis/Zane Bruce, 6.5, $211. Final round: 1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 5.3 seconds, $870; 2. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 5.7, $720; 3. Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 6.1, $570; 4. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 11.3, $420; 5. Joshual Torres/Jonathan Torres, 11.6, $270; 6. Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, 16.1, $150. Average: 1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves,17.3 seconds on three runs, $3,639; 2. Kolton Schmidt, 18.0, $3,164; 3. Coleman Proctor/Billy Jack Saebens, 22.0, $2,690; 4. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 24.7, $2,215; 5. Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, 28.8, $1,740; 6. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 38.1, $1,266; 7. Brooks Dahoozy/Brandon Bates, 11.5 seconds on two runs, $791; 8. Nick Sartain/Gage Williams, 13.1, $316.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Spencer Wright, 85 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Jerry’s Delight, $2,615; 2. (tie) Chet Johnson and Clay Elliott, 84.5, $1,743 each; 4. (tie) Taos Muncy and Audy Reed, 83.5, $785 each; 6. (tie) Clay Stremler and Sterling Crawley, 82.5, $392 each; 8. Shade Etbauer, 81.5, $262. Final round: 1. Zeke Thurston, 89 points on Frontier Rodeo’s times Up, $1,650; 2. Chet Johnson, 87.5, $1,250; 3. Ryder Wright, 86.5, $900; 4. Spencer Wright, 83, $600; 5. Roper Kiesner, 82.5, $350; 6. Clay Elliott, 82, $250. Average: 1. Chet Johnson, 172 points on two rides, $2,615; 2. Zeke Thurston, 169.5, $2,005; 3. Spencer Wright, 168, $1,482; 4. (tie) Ryder Wright and Clay Elliott, $785 each; 6. Shade Etbauer, 163, $436; 7. Roper Kiesner, 161.5, $349; 8. Clay Stemler, 151, $262.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Marcos Costa, 8.4 seconds, $2,846; 2. Timber Moore, 8.5, $2,475; 3. Trell Etbauer, 8.8, $2,103; 4. Tylen Layton, 9.0, $1,732; 5. (tie) Cheyenne Harper and Blane Cox, 9.2, $1,175 each; 7. Cory Solomon, 9.3, $619; 8. Jerome Schneeberger, 9.4, $247. Second round: 1. Caleb Smidt, 7.7 seconds, $2,846; 2. Cory Solomon, 7.9, $2,475; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0, $2,103; 4. (tie) Sterling Smith and RileyPruitt, 8.2, $1,547 each; 6. (tie) William Whayne Jr. and Seth Hall, 8.4, $804 each; 8. (tie) Clint Cooper and Lane Jeffrey, 8.5, $124 each. Final round: 1. Clint Nyegaard, 7.2 seconds, $1,349; 2. Kelsey Garrison, 8.9, $1,116; 3. L.D. Meier, 9.5, $884; 4. (tie) Timber Moore, 9.9, $535 each; 6. Trell Etbauer, 10.3, $233. Average: 1. Clint Nyegaard, 26.6 seconds on three runs, $4,269; 2. Cory Solomon, 27.1, $3,712; 3. Kelsey Garrison, 27.7, $3,155; 4. Timber Moore, 27.8, $2,598; 5. L.D. Meier, 28.8, $2,042; 6. Trell Etbauer, 29.3, $1,489; 7. Kody Mahaffey, 30.9, $928; 8. Cimarron Boardman, 31.1, $371.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Loni Lester, 17.10 seconds, $2,405; 2. Paige Willis, 17.15, $2,061; 3. Emily Miller, 17.21, $1,718; 4. Sydni Blanchard, 17.23, $1,489; 5. Tara Large, 17.28, $1,145; 6. Tamara Reinhardt, 17.29, $916; 7. Ari-Anna Flynn, 17.32, $687; 8/ Christine Laughlin, 17.33, $458; 9. Jackie Ganter, 17.36, $344; 10. (tie) Jana Griemsman, Tillar Murray and Gretchen Benbenek, 17.40, $76 each. Second round: 1. Tamara Reinhardt, 16.93 seconds, $2,405; 2. Stevi Hillman, 17.02, $2,061; 3. Mary Burger, 17.04, $1,718; 4. Carley Richardson, 17.10, $1,489; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.11, $1,145; 6. Taylor Homuth, 17.16, $916; 7. (tie) Ari-Anna Flynn and Jane Melby, 17.17, $573 each; 9. Cayla Melby, 17.22, $344; 10. (tie) Hailey Kinsel and Layna Kight, 17.25. Final round: 1. Tamara Reinhardt, 17.11 seconds, $1,781; 2. Sydni Blanchard, 17.25, $1,336; 3. Tillar Murray, 17.33, $891; 4. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.37, $445. Average: 1. Tamara Reinhardt, 51.33 seconds on three runs, $3,607; 2. Sydni Blanchard, 51.82, $3,092; 3. Gretchen Benbenek, 51,88, $2,577; 4. Tillar Murray, 52.01, $2,233; 5. Paige Willis, 52.03, $1,718; 6. Loni Lester, 52.15, $1,374; 7. Cayla Melby, 52.21, $1,031; 8. Jana Griemsman, 52.23, $687; 9. Taylor Langdon, 52.30, $515, 10. Carley Richardson, 52.32, $344.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Shay Good, 11.3 seconds, $1,802; 2. Landon McClaugherty, 11.9, $1,491; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 12.0, $1,181; 4. Leo Campbell, 12.3, $870; 5. Roger Branch, 12.4, $559; 6. Jess Tierney, 12.6, $311. Second round: 1. Travis Mills, 9.2 seconds, $1,802; 2. J.P. Wickett, 9.6, $1,491; 3. Rocky Patterson, 10.1, $1,181; 4. Chet Herren, 10.7, $870; 5. K.W. Lauer, 10.9, $559; 6. Tom Smith, 11.1, $311. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 9.8 seconds, $1,802; 2. (tie) Marty Jones and Jason Evans, 10.5, $1,336 each; 4. Chet Herren, 10.6, $870; 5. J. Tom Fisher, 10.7, $559; 6. Quay Howard, 11.2, $311. Average: 1. Chet Herren, 35.4 seconds on three head, $2,703; 2. Shay Good, 35.5, $2,237; 3. Rocky Patterson, 36.7, $1,771; 4. Bryce Davis, 42.4, $1,305; 5. JB Whatley, 43.6, $839; 6. Kelton McMillen, 48.1, $466.

Bull riding: First round: 1. Scottie Knapp, 91 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s 346, $2,883; 2. Chase Hamlin, 86, $2,210; 3. Nate Perry, 85.5, $1,634; 4. Jordan Spears, 84.5, $1,057; 5. Brody Yeary, 84, $673; 6. Tyler Smith, 83, $481; 7. (tie) Jeff Askey and Colten Jesse, 82.5, $336. Final round: No qualified rides. Average: 1. Scottie Knapp, 91 points on one ride, $2,883; 2. Chase Hamlin, 86, $2,210; 3. Nate Perry, 85.5, $1,634; 4. Jordan Spears, 84.5, $1,057; 5. Brody Yeary, 84, $673; 6. Tyler Smith, 83, $481; 7. (tie) Jeff Askey and Colten Jesse, 82.5, $336.

postheadericon Swisher claims Sidney title

Chuck Swisher jumps his Hookin A Ranch bull to begin his fight during the championship round of the Bullfighters Only tour stop in Sidney, Iowa. Swisher scored 85 points to win the title. (PHILLIP AVIONE PHOTO)

Chuck Swisher jumps his Hookin A Ranch bull to begin his fight during the championship round of the Bullfighters Only tour stop in Sidney, Iowa. Swisher scored 85 points to win the title. (PHILLIP AVIONE PHOTO)

SIDNEY, Iowa – One by one, Chuck Swisher watched the three other bullfighters go during the championship round of the Bullfighters Only stop at Sidney Iowa’s Championship Rodeo on Saturday night.

He paid close attention to every move, every counter move and every score. As the last man to challenge his animal, Swisher knew exactly what he needed to do.

“Thankfully I drew a good bull from Hookin A Ranch,” he said. “I actually won the bullfighting in Burlington (Colo.) on him last year.

“I knew I had to capitalize on it. That’s the nice thing about going last; you can see what you have to fight to. I just wanted to beat my bull.”

Chuck Swisher

Chuck Swisher

The fight started bright for the Oklahoma man, who jumped the bull as it burst out of the chute. He made a couple of rounds, then took the bull toward the fence to work some fakes in small spaces. As the two separated, Swisher re-engaged with the animal, threw a fake a little early and was knocked down.

“It doesn’t matter how hard you throw a fake, if you throw it too early, it’s not going to work,” he said. “He got under my vest and knocked the air out of me pretty good. I knew that if I didn’t act hurt, I wouldn’t be hurt, so I just went straight back to the fight.

“Usually a hooking doesn’t help you at all. If you get hooked, it’s going to affect your score in a bad way. So I just made a few more rounds, then jumped the bull from the barrel. I knew I had to do some big things, but I knew that even if I got last place, I wanted to beat my bull. Fortunately it worked to my advantage.”

It was a busy week in southwest Iowa. Since competitor Evan Allard also served as a protection bullfighter during the rodeo and provided the fighting bulls, all nine men who were part of the Bullfighters Only competition pitched in to make sure everything was covered: feeding the bulls and sorting them for each night’s contest.

“It seemed like I was busy all week,” said Swisher of Dover, Okla. “We wanted it to go as smooth as possible, so during the rodeo, I was in the back pens loading and flanking bulls. We all wanted it to be set up since Evan was working the rodeo.

“That’s part of what the BFO is, working together and helping each other. We just had to step up to the plate.”

With his victory, Swisher earned just less than $3,000 and moved up two spots to eighth in the Bullfighters Only standings.

“Any win is a great win, but during the BFO tour, you need to capitalize on it when you can,” he said. “Nate (Jestes) and Weston (Rutkowski) have about $13,000 on me, so I just need to get the ball rolling with some more wins. It’s a great starting point for me in Sidney, and I just want to keep rolling with it.

“It’s awesome, because if there wasn’t such a thing as the BFO tour, I would have spent this week sweating and working my tail off back in Oklahoma. Thankfully I got to fight two bulls and do the best that I could. I also get to take home a check and the buckle.”

The Sidney stop featured three go-rounds with three bullfighters each night. The round winners advanced to Saturday’s short round, while the three men who were runners-up advanced to Friday’s wild card round. Cody Webster of Wayne, Okla., won on opening night, Swisher the second round and Ross Hill of Muscle Shoals, Ala., earned the third-round victory.

Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Neb., earned his spot in the championship round by winning Friday’s bullfight, and the final night of the tour stop was done before a packed crowd at the rodeo that was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame just one year earlier.

“That’s what’s so great about these competitions: even though we weren’t hired for this rodeo, we can still come to town and fight bulls,” Swisher said. “We have a chance to compete together and make some more money.”

It definitely worked out that way for Swisher.

SIDNEY RESULTS
Chuck Swisher, 85 points
Cody Webster, 83
Ross Hill, 80
Beau Schueth, 70

postheadericon Knapp posts 91 to win round

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Scottie Knapp knew nothing about his bull on Saturday night, but that didn’t stop the Albuquerque cowboy.

Knapp matched every move the athletic bovine threw at him and won the first-round of bull riding with a 91-point ride at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

Scottie Knapp

Scottie Knapp

“He doesn’t even have a name,” Knapp said. “Everybody said he was good. He was a little more than good; he was a bucker.”

Scott Pickens with 4L and Diamond S Rodeo said the 3-year-old bull – which now has the name Last Cigarette – was raised on his Weatherford, Texas, ranch. He was fast and had a strong kick, which made for a solid performance for both bull and bull rider.

“I had to keep moving; that’s the name of the game,” said Knapp, the No. 2 bull rider in the world standings with more than $79,000 in earnings. “The bull’s always moving, so you’ve got to keep moving, too. You can never weaken.”

Much like his season, Knapp didn’t. He is well on his way to his first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which features only the top 15 contestants in each event at the conclusion of the regular season. He finished as high as 19th in the standings, but that was three years ago.

Now he’s having the best season of his career, and he’s adding to it at Roundup Rodeo. He will try to win the coveted title – and the prized championship trophy buckle – during Sunday’s championship round.

“I’ll let tomorrow worry about itself,” said Knapp, 25. “I’m just taking in the moment right now. I’m just blessed to be part of this rodeo and be doing what I love.

“This is a real prestigious rodeo. To be 91 points here, you can’t as for much more in this line of work or in our passion for bull riding. It’s truly a blessing and definitely one of my better rides this year, if not my best ride this year.”

He began his love affair with rodeo at age 3, when he first started riding sheep.

“Since then, it’s been my dream to be at the biggest rodeos and bull ridings in the world and going for gold buckles,” he said. “I’m just thankful to do that.”

No matter what has happened or what the future holds, the humble cowboy keeps his mind in the right place. Maybe that’s why his season has been so strong.

“I need to focus on what I came here to do, just keep hustling and trying,” Knapp said. “It would be awesome to win (the Roundup buckle). I’ve got an opportunity, so I’m going to let it all hang out.

“I am just focused on what I’m doing: Riding bulls and having fun. The rest will all work out, and it’s in God’s hands. I can’t worry about that stuff.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 3-7
Bareback riding: First round and short-round qualifiers:
1. Wyatt Denny, 83.5 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Frisky Chicken, $2,901; 2. (tie) Evan Jayne and Blake Smith, 83, $1,934 each; 4. (tie) Jordan Pelton, Kyle Brenneke and Clayton Biglow, 82, $741 each; 7. (tie) Grant Denny and Bill Tutor, $338 each; 9. (tie) R.C. Handingham and Richmond Champion, 80; 11. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Winn Ratliff, 79.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Ryan Swayze, 3.8 seconds, $2,846; 2. Shane Frey, 4.2, $2,475; 3. (tie) Kyle Whitaker and Chancey Larson, 4.3, $1,918 each; 5. Trever Nelson, 4.5, $1,361; 6. (tie) Aaron Vosler, Jacob Talley and Jace Melvin, 4.6, $619 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Jacob Edler, Ryan Swayze, Joby Allen and Billy Bugenig, 4.2 seconds, $2,289 each; 5. Aaron Vosler, 4.3, $1,361; 6. Shane Henderson, 4.4, $990; 7. Jarret New, 4.5, $619; 8. Marcus Paul Theriot, 4.7, $247. Average leaders and short-round qualifiers: 1. Ryan Swayze, 8.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Aaron Vosler, 8.9; 3. Kyle Whitaker, 9.1; 4. Jacob Talley, 9.4; 5. Shane Frey, 9.9; 6. Cody Doescher, 10.5; 7. (tie) J.D. Struxness and Juan Alcazar Jr., 11.1; 9. Marcus Paul Theriot, 11.2; 10. Billy Bugenig, 11.5; 11. Jake Johnson, 12.1; 12. Cody Harmon, 12.4.

Team roping: First round: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds, $2,426; 2. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 4.9, $2,110; 3. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.1, $1,793; 4. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens and Tom Richards/Evan Arnold, 5.3, $1,319 each; 6. (tie) Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll and Joel Bach/Cody Cowden, 5.6, $527 each. Second round: 1. Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 5.1 seconds, $2,426; 2. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens and Brooks Dahozy/Brandon Bates, 5.4, $1,951 each; 4. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.8, $1,477; 5.Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 6.1, $1,160; 6. Bubba Buckaloo/Jake Smith, 6.2, $844; 7. Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 6.3, $527; 8. Justin Davis/Zane Bruce, 6.5, $211. Average leaders and short-round qualifiers: 1. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 10.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Brooks Dahozy/Brandon Bates, 11.5; 3. Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 11.9; 4. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 12.0; 5. Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, 12.7; 6. (tie) Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres and Nick Sartain/Gage Williams, 13.1; 8. Justin Davis/Zane Bruce, 13.7; 9. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 16.5; 10. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 17.1; 11. Bubba Buckaloo/Jake Smith, 18.5; 12. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 32.3.

Saddle bronc riding: First round and short-round qualifiers: 1. Spencer Wright, 85 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Jerry’s Delight, $2,615; 2. (tie) Chet Johnson and Clay Elliott, 84.5, $1,743 each; 4. (tie) Taos Muncy and Audy Reed, 83.5, $785 each; 6. (tie) Clay Stremler and Sterling Crawley, 82.5, $392 each; 8. Shade Etbauer, 81.5, $262; 9. Zeke Thurston, 80.5; 10. Ryder Wright, 80; 11. Roper Kiesner, 79.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Marcos Costa, 8.4 seconds, $2,846; 2. Timber Moore, 8.5, $2,475; 3. Trell Etbauer, 8.8, $2,103; 4. Tylen Layton, 9.0, $1,732; 5. (tie) Cheyenne Harper and Blane Cox, 9.2, $1,175 each; 7. Cory Solomon, 9.3, $619; 8. Jerome Schneeberger, 9.4, $247. Second round: 1. Caleb Smidt, 7.7 seconds, $2,846; 2. Cory Solomon, 7.9, $2,475; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0, $2,103; 4. (tie) Sterling Smith and RileyPruitt, 8.2, $1,547 each; 6. (tie) William Whayne Jr. and Seth Hall, 8.4, $804 each; 8. (tie) Clint Cooper and Lane Jeffrey, 8.5, $124 each. Average leaders and short-round qualifiers:  1. Cory Solomon, 17.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Riley Pruitt, 17.8; 3. Timber Moore, 17.9; 4. Kelsey Garrison, 18.8; 5. Marcos Costa, 18.9; 6. Trell Etbauer, 19.0; 7. Blane Cox, 19.2; 8. (tie) J.D. Kibbe, Kody Mahaffey and L.D. Meier, 19.3; 11. Clint Nyegaard, 19.4; 12. Cimarron Boardman, 19.7.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Loni Lester, 17.10 seconds, $2,405; 2. Paige Willis, 17.15, $2,061; 3. Emily Miller, 17.21, $1,718; 4. Sydni Blanchard, 17.23, $1,489; 5. Tara Large, 17.28, $1,145; 6. Tamara Reinhardt, 17.29, $916; 7. Ari-Anna Flynn, 17.32, $687; 8/ Christine Laughlin, 17.33, $458; 9. Jackie Ganter, 17.36, $344; 10. (tie) Jana Griemsman, Tillar Murray and Gretchen Benbenek, 17.40, $76 each. Second round: 1. Tamara Reinhardt, 16.93 seconds, $2,405; 2. Stevi Hillman, 17.02, $2,061; 3. Mary Burger, 17.04, $1,718; 4. Carley Richardson, 17.10, $1,489; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.11, $1,145; 6. Taylor Homuth, 17.16, $916; 7. (tie) Ari-Anna Flynn and Jane Melby, 17.17, $573 each; 9. Cayla Melby, 17.22, $344; 10. (tie) Hailey Kinsel and Layna Kight, 17.25. Average leaders and short-round qualifiers:  1. Tamara Reinhardt, 34.22 seconds on two runs; 2. Ari-Anna Fly, 34.49; 3. Gretchen Benbenek, 34.51; 4. Mary Burger, 34.52; 5. Carley Richardson, 34.54; 6. Sidnei Blanchard, 34.57; 7. Paige Willis, 34.60; 8. (tie) Cayla Melby and Tillar Murray, 34.68; 10. Loni Lester, 34.70; 11. Taylor Langdon, 34.73; 12. Jana Griemsman, 34.79.

Bull riding: First round and short-round qualifiers: 1. Scottie Knapp, 91 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Last Cigarette, $2,883; 2. Chase Hamlin, 86, $2,210; 3. Nate Perry, 85.5, $1,634; 4. Jordan Spears, 84.5, $1,057; 5. Brody Yeary, 84, $673; 6. Tyler Smith, 83, $481; 7. (tie) Jeff Askey and Colten Jesse, 82.5, $336 each; 9. Cody Rostockyj, 82; 10. (tie) Joe Frost and Dalan Duncan, 81.

postheadericon Swayze dominates bulldogging

DODGE CITY, Kan. – The draw for rodeo cowboys is a life of independence and competing in a sport they love.

The draw is also a big part of the game, as cowboys are matched with their animals by a random draw. Those that draw the best animals sometimes win the most. That was the case for steer wrestler Ryan Swayze on Friday at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

“I did draw two outstanding steers,” said Swayze of Freedom, Okla.

DodgeCityRoundupIt is paying off quite well for the veteran bulldogger, who posted a 3.8-second run Friday morning to lead the opening go-round, then followed it up during Friday’s third performance with a 4.2; the latter is in a three-way tie for first place in the second round with Jacob Edler of State Center, Iowa, and Joby Allen of Alva, Okla.

Swayze’s two-run cumulative time of 8.0 seconds puts him in a nine-tenths of a second lead and has secured his spot in Sunday’s championship round, which features just the top 12 contestants in each event from the preliminary rounds.

“I’ve had some success here,” he said. “It’s my circuit rodeo, so I’ve come here every year for probably 20 years. It’s about 60 miles from where I grew up.

“It’s almost a hometown rodeo.”

It certainly seems like it. Swayze has been a regular fixture at the RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, so doing well in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region is important to his rodeo schedule. Doing well in Dodge City – the largest event in the circuit in terms of overall payout – would be a big boost.

Of course, he’d love to win the title and take home a beautiful championship buckle.

“That would certainly be a career highlight for me,” Swayze said. “I hope I can come back and draw me a good steer on Sunday.

He sits 23rd in the Prairie Circuit standings with nearly $1,700 in season earnings. With the potential for big earnings inside Roundup Arena, he could easily move into the top 10.

“We go to a lot of the other smaller circuit rodeos,” he said. “A good week this week with (Kansas rodeos) Phillipsburg and Abilene going right along with this one, a circuit guy could absolutely make the circuit finals this week.”

Swayze placed in one round a year ago and earned nearly $2,500; the 2015 steer wrestling champ, Stockton Graves, placed only in the short round and won the average title while pocketing more than $5,700. Those earnings helped Graves win the circuit title and earn a trip to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which takes place each April in Kissimmee, Fla.

“The real end prize is going to Florida,” Swayze said. “Winning a good check here and a little more along the way, and I could go in there with a good chance to win the year end title; that would be all that I could ask for.”

He may as well ask for a Roundup buckle while he’s asking.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 3-7
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Evan Jayne, on Frontier Rodeo’s Short Night, and Blake Smith, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Hot Valley, 83 points; 3. (tie) Jordan Pelton and Kyle Brenneke, 82; 5. Tim O’Connell, 79; 6. Joel Schlegel  77; 7. George Gillespie, 75; 8. Kody Lamb, 73; 9. (tie) Colt Kitaif and Teddy Athan, 72; 11. Caine Riddle, 71; 12. Casey Breuer, 70.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Ryan Swayze, 3.8 seconds; 2. Shane Frey, 4.2; 3. (tie) Kyle Whitaker and Chancey Larson, 4.3; 5. Trever Nelson, 4.5; 6. (tie) Aaron Vosler, Jacob Talley and Jace Melvin, 4.6. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Jacob Edler, Ryan Swayze and Joby Allen, 4.2 seconds; 4. Aaron Vosler, 4.3; 5. Shane Henderson, 4.4; 6. (tie) Jacob Talley, Kyle Whitaker, Dan Barner and Matt Reeves, 4.8. Average leaders: 1. Ryan Swayze, 8.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Aaron Vosler, 8.9; 3. Kyle Whitaker, 9.1; 4. Jacob Talley, 9.4; 5. Shane Frey, 9.9; 6. Cody Doescher, 10.5; 7. J.D. Struxness, 11.1; 8. Jake Johnson, 12.1; 9. Cody Harmon, 12.4; 10. Cody Kroul, 12.5; 11. Trever Nelson, 12.6; 12. Tooter Silver, 13.2.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds; 2. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 4.9; 3. Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin, 5.1; 4. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.3; 5. (tie) Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 5.6; 7. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 5.7; 8. Garrett Tonozzi/Wyatt Cox, 5.8. Second round leaders: 1. Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 5.1 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.4; 3. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.8; 4.Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 6.1; 5. Bubba Buckaloo/Jake Smith, 6.2; 6. Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 6.3; 7. Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, 7.1; 8. Nick Sartain/Gage Williams, 7.2. Average leaders: 1. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 10.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 11.9; 3. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 12.0; 4. Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, 12.7; 5. (tie) Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres and Nick Sartain/Gage Williams, 13.1; 7. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 16.5; 8. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 17.1; 9. Bubba Buckaloo/Jake Smith, 18.5; 10. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 32.3; 11. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 4.9 seconds on one run; 12. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Logan Medlin and Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 5.1.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Chet Johnson, on Frontier Rodeo’s Griz, and Clay Elliott, on Frontier Rodeo’s Miss Ellie, 84.5 points; 2. (tie) Taos Muncy and Audy Reed, 83.5; 5. (tie) Clay Stremler and Sterling Crawley, 82.5; 7. Shade Etbauer, 81.5; 8. Zeke Thurston, 80.5; 9. Luke Butterfield, 77.5; 10. (tie) Louie Brunson and Jake Wright, 77; Taygen Schuelke, 75.5.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Marcos Costa, 8.4 seconds; 2. Timber Moore, 8.5; 3. Trell Etbauer, 8.8; 4. Tylen Layton, 9.0; 5. (tie) Cheyenne Harper and Blane Cox, 9.2; 7. Cory Solomon, 9.3; 8. Jerome Schneeberger, 9.4. Second round leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 7.7; 2. Cory Solomon, 7.9; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0; 4. (tie) Sterling Smith and RileyPruitt, 8.2; 6. (tie) William Whayne Jr. and Seth Hall, 8.4; 8. Clint Cooper8.5. Average leaders: 1. Cory Solomon, 17.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Riley Pruitt, 17.8; 3. Timber Moore, 17.9; 4. Kelsey Garrison, 18.8; 5. Marcos Costa, 18.9; 6. Trell Etbauer, 19.0; 7. Blane Cox, 19.2; 8. (tie) J.D. Kibbe, Kody Mahaffey and L.D. Meier, 19.3; 11. Cimarron Boardman, 19.7; 12. Quay Howard, 20.8.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Loni Lester, 17.10 seconds; 2. Paige Willis, 17.15; 3. Emily Miller, 17.21; 4. Tara Large, 17.28; 5. Tamara Reinhardt, 17.29; 6. Ari-Anna Flynn, 17.32; 7. Jackie Ganter, 17.36; 8. (tie) Jana Griemsman and Tillar Murray, 17.40; 10. Nicole Laurence, 17.43. Second round leaders: 1. Tamara Reinhardt, 16.93 seconds; 2. Stevi Hillman, 17.02; 3. Mary Burger, 17.04; 4. Taylor Homuth, 17.16; 6. (tie) Ari-Anna Flynn and Jane Melby, 17.17; 8. Cayla Melby, 17.22; 9. (tie) Hailey Kinsel and Layna Kight, 17.25. Average leaders: 1. Tamara Reinhardt, 34.22 seconds on two runs; 2. Ari-Anna Fly, 34.49; 3. Mary Burger, 34.52; 4. Carley Richardson, 34.54; 5. Paige Willis, 34.60; 6. (tie) Cayla Melby and Tillar Murray, 34.68; 8. Loni Lester, 34.70; 9. Taylor Langdon, 34.73; 10. Jana Griemsman, 34.79; 11. (tie) Layna Kight and Carol Waters, 34.81.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Nate Perry, 85.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Boom Boom; 2. Jordan Spears, 84.5; 3. Brody Yeary, 84; 4. Tyler Smith, 83; 5. Jeff Askey, 82.5; 6. Cody Rostockyj, 82; 7. (tie) Joe Frost and Dalan Duncan, 81; 9. (tie) Rorey Maier and Ethan Lesiak, 80; 11. Rocky McDonald, 76.5; 12. Aaron Russell Williams, 76.