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‘Beach Boy’ Clark Breaks RNCFR Record

by Jim Bainbridge | Mar 28, 2015

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – It took Jesse Clark 24 hours to drive out to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo from his home in Portales, N.M., and that’s a lot of time to think. His only company was Parker, back in the trailer, and the horse isn’t much of a talker. Clark passed the time with a lot of visualization. He’d never been to Florida, so he wanted to be sure he got his first look at an ocean and he wanted to be sure that he “stayed focused and took care of my business” at the $749,316 RNCFR. He daydreamed of a nice balance of fun and work.

Even his most vivid, white-line-fever imaginings couldn’t have prepared Clark for the reality of his Saturday adventures. He drove over to Cocoa Beach in the morning to stick his feet in the sand and get his first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean (“It was chilly, but really cool to be there”), then came back to Silver Spurs Arena to win the second round of the RNCFR with an event-record time of 7.2 seconds, taking a tenth off the mark set by Matt Shiozawa (2008, 2010) and equaled just last night by Jerome Schneeberger.

It allowed Clark to win the RNCFR tie-down roping average with a time of 15.2 seconds on two head and reach the final eight of the RNCFR for the third consecutive year while pushing his winnings to $16,392 – with the even bigger-money rounds to come Saturday night.

“I had no idea what the record was … that was a nice surprise,” Clark said. “I thought I had the best calf in the pen. Rhen Richard was 7.8 on him to win the first round and I figured if I didn’t break the barrier and got a rope on him, it would be a pretty quick run.”

Clark, 22, gives full credit for his rapid rise in the tie-down roping event – he jumped from No. 34 in 2013 to No. 20 last year in the world standings – to Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Sylvester Mayfield of Clovis, N.M., who has been mentoring him for 14 years and lets him use some of the best mounts from his horse-training operation, including the 12-year-old Parker.

Mayfield is a longtime friend of Clark’s dad, Jerry, and he offered to help an 8-year-old Jesse learn the ropes after seeing him at a roping school in New Mexico. Apparently he saw potential.

“Well, either that or he just took pity on me,” Clark said.

Clark was one of five competitors to come through the Saturday matinee to win the two-head average, joining steer wrestler Beau Clark (no relation), who was 9.4 seconds on two head, saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell (168 points), barrel racer Sarah McDonald (32.97 seconds) and bull rider Joe Frost (whose 154 points edged younger brother Josh by two; they were the only riders to cover two bulls).

McDonald and Sundell joined Jesse Clark as the only contestants to win the second round and the average in the Saturday matinee.

Sundell, making his first RNCFR appearance since he won the rodeo in 2009, came away limping after his 85-point ride on Sutton Rodeo’s South Point (“he jammed me into the gate”), but otherwise happy.

“I’ve been wanting to get on that horse for a long time,” Sundell said. “He gives you pretty much the same trip every time out and gives you a chance to be a little showy. It felt good and now I can’t wait to come back tonight and go again. That’s the biggest difference between now and the last time I was at this rodeo: there’s a lot more money.”

The tournament-style RNFCR format determines the national circuit champions in each event. All 24 qualifiers from the 12 circuits compete in the two preliminary rounds of the rodeo, which wrapped up with the Saturday matinee performance. The top eight contestants from each event now advance to the semifinal round Saturday night, with all previous scores and times thrown out. The top four move on to the final round, a sudden‑death competition that determines the national circuit champion in each event.

Because the top four contestants begin that final round with a clean slate, each one has an equal opportunity to claim an RNCFR title.

Event winners each receive a $20,000 voucher toward the purchase of a new RAM Truck and a Polaris RANGER utility vehicle in addition to their winnings.

ProRodeoLive.com will air a live audio webcast tonight and, after the event, highlights from the RNCFR will be televised on CBS Sports Net; see ProRodeo.com/TV for the telecast schedule.

RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo

Kissimmee, Fla., March 25-28

Bareback riding: First round: 1. Tim O’Connell, 83 points on Silver Spurs Club’s Ned Ross, $6,182; 2. Joe Gunderson, 80, $4,683; 3. Jessy Davis, 79, $3,372; 4. (tie) Kaycee Feild, Micky Downare and Austin Foss, 78, $1,499 each. Second round: 1. Kaycee Feild, 84 points on Pete Carr’s Classic ProRodeo’s Sadie’s Gal, $6,182; 2. Casey Breuer, 80, $4,683; 3. (tie) Austin Foss and Jessy Davis, 79, $2,810 each; 5. Bill Tutor, 78, $1,311; 5. (tie) Seth Hardwick and Steven Peebles, 76, $1,124 each. Average: 1. Kaycee Feild, 162 points on two head, $6,182; 2. Tim O’Connell, 159, $4,683; 3. Jessy Davis, 158, $3,372; 4. Austin Foss, 157, $2,248; 5. Joe Gunderson, 154, $1,311; 6. (tie) Seth Hardwick and Steven Peebles, 153, $1,124 each; 8. Micky Downare, 151.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Wade Steffen, 4.5 seconds, $6,182; 2. Beau Clark, 4.6, $4,683; 3. Tooter Silver, 4.9, $3,372; 4. Josh Peek, 5.2, $2,248; 5. Austin Manning, 5.6, $1,311; 6. Aaron Vosler, 5.7, $937. Second round: 1. Stockton Graves, 4.3 seconds, $6,182; 2. Jacob Shofner, 4.6, $4,683; 3. (tie) Sterling Lambert and Aaron Vosler, 4.7, $2,810 each; 5. Beau Clark, 4.8, $1,311; 6. Baylor Roche, 5.2, $937. Average: 1. Beau Clark, 9.4 seconds on two head, $6,182; 2. Aaron Vosler, 10.4, $4,683; 3. Jacob Shofner, 10.9, $3,372; 4. Wade Steffen, 11.0, $2,248; 5. Austin Manning, 11.2, $1,311; 6. Josh Peek, 12.0, $937; 7. Kyle Irwin, 12.7; 8. Eli Lord, 13.6.

Team roping: First round: 1. Rob Webb/Dan Webb, 4.9 seconds, $6,182 each; 2. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Billie Saebens; Rhett Anderson/Cole Wilson, and Jade Stoddard/Ike Folsom, 5.0, $3,434 each; 5. (tie) Zach Kilgus/Justin Yost and Blake Hirdes/Joseph Shawnego, 5.2, $1,124 each. Second round: 1. Garrett Tonozzi/Jared Bilby, 4.2 seconds, $6,182 each; 2. Drew Horner/Buddy Hawkins II, 5.0, $4,683; 3. Quisto Lopez/Joe Mattern, 5.1, $3,372; 4. Clint Gorrell/Levi O’Keeffe, 5.2, $2,248; 5. Rhett Anderson/Cole Wilson, 5.3, $1,311; 6. Blake Hirdes/Joseph Shawnego, 5.8, $937. Average: 1. Rhett Anderson/Cole Wilson, 10.3 seconds on two head, $6,182 each; 2. Drew Horner, Plano/Buddy Hawkins II, 10.4, $4,683; 3. Blake Hirdes/Joseph Shawnego, 11.0, $3,372; 4. Jade Stoddard/Ike Folsom, 11.3, $2,248; 5. Coleman Proctor/Billie Saebens, 11.5, $1,311; 6. Jason Carlson/Sam Levine, 14.2, $937; 7. Garrett Rogers/Brent Falon, 14.5; 8. Garrett Tonozzi/Jared Bilby, 15.2.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 84 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Famous Dave’s, $6,182; 2. Wade Sundell, 83, $4,683; 3. Jeff Willert, 81, $3,372; 4. Jesse Wright and Taos Muncy, 80, $1,780 each; 6. Cody Taton, 79, $937. Second round: 1. Wade Sundell, 85 points on Sutton Rodeo’s South Point, $6,182; 2. Zeke Thurston, 82, $4,683; 3. Jeff Willert, 81, $3,372; 4. Ben Londo, 80, $2,248; 5. (tie) John Redig and Bradley Harter, 78, $1,124 each. Average: 1. Wade Sundell, 168 points on two head, $6,182; 2. Jeff Willert, 162, $4,683; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 161, $3,372; 4. Ben Londo, 156, $2,248; 5. Zeke Thurston, 154, $1,311; 6. (tie) Coburn Bradshaw, Ryan Mackenzie and Heith DeMoss, 152, $312 each.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Rhen Richard, 7.8 seconds, $6,182; 2. (tie) Jesse Clark and Ryan Jarrett, 8.0, $4,028 each; 4. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.3, $2,248; 5. Marty Yates, 8.4, $1,311; 6. Jared Kempker, 8.8, $937. Second round: 1. Jesse Clark, 7.2 seconds (breaks RNCFR record of 7.3 held by Matt Shiozawa, 2008, 2010; Jerome Schneeberger, 2015), $6,182; 2. Jerome Schneeberger, 7.3, $4,683; 3. (tie) Ryle Smith and Blair Burk, 7.9, $2,810 each; 5. Seth Hopper, 8.0, $1,311; 6. Riley Pruitt, 8.4, $937. Average: 1. Jesse Clark, 15.2 seconds on two head, $6,182; 2. Jerome Schneeberger, 15.6, $4,683; 3. Seth Hopper, 16.9, $3,372; 4. (tie) Ryan Jarrett and Marty Yates, 17.3, $1,780 each; 6. Riley Pruitt, 17.4, $937; 7. Jared Kempker, 19.7; 8. Ryle Smith, 20.3.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Lisa Lockhart, 16.44 seconds, $6,182; 2. Lindsay Kruse, 16.45, $4,683; 3. Natalie Foutch, 16.49, $3,372; 4. Nancy Hunter, 16.53, $2,248; 5. Carmel Wright, 16.54, $1,311; 6. Cheyenne Schnelle, 16.59, $937. Second round: 1. Sarah McDonald, 16.27 seconds, $6,182; 2. Pamela Capper, 16.41, $4,683; 3. (tie) Lisa Lockhart, and Nancy Hunter, 16.57, $2,810 each; 5. Kassidy Dennison, 16.59, $1,311; 6. (tie) Lindsay Kruse and Sarah Griffin, 16.71, $468 each. Average: 1. Sarah McDonald, 32.97 seconds on two runs, $6,182; 2. Lisa Lockhart, 33.01, $4,683; 3. Nancy Hunter, 33.10, $3,372; 4. Pamela Capper, 33.15, $2,248; 5. Lindsay Kruse, 33.16, $1,311; 6. Carmel Wright, 33.36, $937; 7. Kassidy Dennison, 33.38; 8. Sarah Griffin, 33.48.

Bull riding: First round: 1. Mike Adams, 84 points on Pete Carr’s Classic ProRodeo’s Footloose, $6,182; 2. Joe Frost, 76, $4,683; 3. Bart Miller, 74, $3,372; 4. Josh Frost, 69, $2,248; no other qualified rides. Second round: 1. Aaron Pass, 85 points on Smith, Harper and Morgan Rodeo Company’s Back Woods Bandit, $6,182; 2. Daniel McAllister, 80, $4,683; 3. Josh Frost, 79, $3,372; 4. (tie) Joe Frost and Parker Breding, 78, $1,779 each; 6. (tie) Dylan Vick Hice and Lon Danley, 72, $468 each. Average: 1. Joe Frost, 154 points on two head, $6,182; 2. Josh Frost, 148, $4,683; 3. Aaron Pass, 85 on one, $3,372; 4. Mike Adams, 84, $2,248; 5. Daniel McAllister, 80, $1,311; 6. Parker Breding, 78, $937. 7. Bart Miller, 74; 8. (tie) Dylan Vick Hice and Lon Danley, 72.

Total payoff: $749,316. Stock contractors: 4L & Diamond S Rodeo, Barnes PRCA Rodeo, Cowtown Rodeo, Klein Brothers Rodeo, Korkow Rodeos, MJM Rodeo, Painted Pony Championship Rodeo, Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, Pete Carr’s Classic ProRodeo, Rafter H Rodeo Livestock, Rocky Mountain Rodeo, Silver Spurs Club, Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo, Stace Smith Pro Rodeo, Sutton Rodeo, Three Hills Rodeo and United ProRodeo. Rodeo secretary: Carole Martinez. Officials: Skip Emmett, George Gibbs, Cliff Overstreet and Glenn Sullivan. Timers: Amy Muller and Mary Borgen. Announcers: Bob Tallman and Roger Mooney. Specialty act: Troy Lerwill. Bullfighters: Lucas Littles and Josh Rivinius. Clown/barrelman: Dennis Halstead. Flankman: Various. Chute boss: Gerry Byrn. Pickup men: Jeremy Willis and Shawn Calhoun. Photographers: James Phifer and Mike Rastelli.

Courtesy of PRCA