Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
Six bull riders have the chance to move into the overall standings here today. Leader of the pack is Jeff Askey who was 84.5 points yesterday. Right behind him is the 2011 CFD and world champion Shane Proctor who had an 84. So far through two sets of competitors (approximately 60 bull riders) there are only five who have ridden two bulls. The CFD Championship Finals on Sunday will have 16 qualifiers, so unless they ride a lot of bulls through the next three performances, there is likely to be some riders who advance based on one score.
A pair of Cody’s are looking good for today’s saddle bronc riding. Cody DeMoss, who has won this rodeo three times and Cody Wright, who is a two-time world champion. They each had 82-point rides yesterday. While it would be unlikely for them to overtake Zeke Thurston who has a total of 171, they could move into the overall standings and qualify for Sunday’s rodeo.
Cody Wright is 15th in the world standings and DeMoss is 24th . A big win here would certainly help either one of them qualify for the NFR. Wright is the eldest of the eight family members competing in the saddle bronc riding here. He has been riding at CFD since joining the PRCA in 1998. It was about 10 years later when some of his brothers started coming here, but with 25 NFR qualifications and 4 world championships in the family, it is amazing that none of them have ever won a championship from the “Daddy of ‘em All.”
Today’s bareback riders are trying to make up some ground and hoping that a phenomenal second round might put them in Sunday’s finals. The best opportunity goes to Chad Rutherford who was 80.5 points yesterday. Rutherford started riding bareback horses when he graduated from high school in hopes it would help him pay for his education. His skill in the arena have helped pay for a bachelor’s degree in ag science. He is now working on his master’s in environmental and chemical science and plans to graduate next spring. The three-time College National Finals Rodeo qualifier is attending McNeese State University at Lake Charles, La.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing:
Zac Small and Wesley Thorp are making the most of every opportunity to rope together between now and Aug. 8. That is the day that Small has to report to Ewing, Va., to start veterinary medicine school at Lincoln Memorial University. Small is currently 7th in the heading world standings and Thorp, who also won the CNFR in June, is in 5th place in heeling. They had a good winter and set a goal of winning enough to qualify for the NFR before Small had to start school.
Small is following in his father’s footsteps who is a large animal veterinarian. He did his undergraduate studies at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. When he gets his DVM, he plans on going home to Oklahoma and working in his father’s practice.
Adam Rose and Walt Woodard were also successful here yesterday getting a time of 10.7. Woodard is a two-time world champion heeler that won the title here in 2011 roping with Jake Barnes.
Dakota Eldridge is currently 10th in the world standings and has the opportunity to move up after stopping the clock in 8.0 seconds in the steer wrestling yesterday. That moved him to third in the first round. He probably won’t hold on to that position but should remain among the top eight that get a check. More importantly he posted a time, and with another eight second run, he could take the overall lead.
There is a new leader in the tie-down roping. Four-time NFR qualifier Timber Moore stopped the clock in 10.1 seconds and is at the top of the board in the first round. Moore is currently second in the world standings and is making plans to be in Las Vegas next December hoping to leave with his first world championship.
Tillar Murray won second in the first round of barrel racing, so she is favored to take the overall lead here today. She had a first round time of 17.56 and as the second gunner out today is at the top of the ground. Ari-Anna Flynn had the next fastest time at 17.95. Her father Denny Flynn won the bull riding here in 1985. Next in line is two-time cancer survivor Jill Welsh who had a 17.96.