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Blake Knowles Wrestles Lead at Cheyenne Frontier Days

By Johna Cravens/ for Cheyenne Frontier Days

CHEYENNE, Wyo., (July 23, 2015) – Oregon cowboy Blake Knowles could secure his third trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) after taking the overall lead in steer wrestling at the sixth performance of the 119th Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

Knowles, who’s currently ranked ninth in the world standings, had a total time of 21.3 seconds on two steers after stopping the clock in 11.7 seconds on Thursday. He is placing fifth in the first round with a 9.6. He is out of the money in the second round, but still stands to win a pile of money. His consistency should put him in good position in Sunday’s final championship round.

The ranch-raised cowboy still works on Healy Ranch near Heppner, Ore., when he’s not traveling across the country with his cousin Trevor Knowles competing in rodeos. Trevor is currently seventh overall at Cheyenne and 11th in the world championship standings.

Neither cowboy has won a championship at Cheyenne. Blake’s father Butch Knowles, the 1987 NFR Champion in saddle bronc riding and a four-time qualifier in that event hasn’t won a Cheyenne championship either. Blake could be the first in his accomplished rodeo family to win a prestigious Cheyenne Frontier Days buckle.

Wyoming cowboy Seth Hardwick took the lead in the second round of bareback riding with a score of 84 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Bar Code. That gave him a total of 163 points and tied him for the overall lead with Minnesota’s Tanner Aus. Hardwick, who lives in Laramie, could be the first Wyoming cowboy in a decade to win the Cheyenne Frontier Days bareback championship.

Hardwick came close to qualifying for his first NFR last year, finishing in the top 25. He’s built on that success and is currently ranked seventh in the world standings and, if he continues to win here, he be competing there this year.

Former world champion Jesse Wright of Milford, Utah, has the overall lead in saddle bronc riding. He added a 77-point ride in the second round and heads into Sunday’s finals with a six-point lead over Steven Dent of Mullen, Nebraska. Dent, who has qualified for seven NFRs in the bareback riding, had an 80-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Pony Man to tie for third in the second round.

“I didn’t know anything about the horse I got on yesterday,” Wright said. “The horse I had today was a nice hopper. I’m pretty happy with the way it worked out.”

Tim Bingham and Marty Yates built on their first-round success in the second round. Bingham, whose 85-point ride yesterday took the lead in the first round of bull riding, scored 79 on Dakota Rodeo’s Deep Waters which put him third in the second round and second overall. Yates’ time of 11.2 put him fifth in the second round and second overall with 21.2 seconds.

Friday’s competition will complete the first round in all of the men’s events. Barrel racers will be competing in the second round. Rodeo action gets underway at 12:15 p.m.

The following are current leaders at Cheyenne Frontier Days:

Bareback riding: (first round) 1, Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 85 points on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Storm Cloud. 2, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 84. 3, George R. Gillespie IV, Hamilton, Mont., 82. 4, (tie) Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D., Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas; Mason Clements, Sandy, Utah; Josi Young, Buhl, Idaho; Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah; Ty Fast Taypotat, Regina, Saskatchewan; Kyle Charley, Lukachukai, Ariz., and Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., 79 each. (second round) 1, Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., 84 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Bar Code. 2, Kaycee Field, Spanish Fork, Utah, 81. 3, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 80 points. 4, (tie) Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., and Jake Vold, Ponoka, Alberta, 79 each. 6, (tie) Jessy Davis, Power, Mont.; Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev.; Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta; Justin Miller, Billings, Mont., and Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah, 78 each. (total on two) 1, (tie)Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., and Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., 163 points each. 3, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 159. 4, Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah, 157. 5, Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., 156. 6, (tie) Mason Clements, Sandy, Utah; George R. Gillespie IV, Hamilton, Mont., and Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta, 155 each.

Tie-down roping: (first round) 1, Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, 10.0 seconds. 2, Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah, 10.4. 3, (tie) Justin Macha, Needville, Texas and Chris Demasas, Boyd, Texas, 10.5 each. 5, (tie) Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., and Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 10.8 each. (second round) 1, Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., 10.2. 2, Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 10.6. 3, (tie) Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla., and Garrett Hale, Snyder, Texas, 10.9. 5, Marcos Costa, Childress, Texas, 11.5. 6, Don Coffell, Iredell, Texas, 11.6. (total on two) 1, Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., 21.0. 2, Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, 21.2, 3, Justin Macha, Needville, Texas, 22.6. 4, Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 22.7. 5, Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 23.3. 6, (tie) Marcos Costa, Childress, Texas, and Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah, 23.6 each. 8, Robert Mathis, Mart, Texas, 23.9.

Saddle bronc riding: (first round) 1, Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 87 points on David Bailey Rodeo’s Spider. 2, Justin Caylor, Sulphur Springs, Texas, 79. 3, (tie) Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, and Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 78 each. 5, (tie) Audy Reed, Spearman, Texas, and Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., 77 each. (second round) 1, (tie) Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas, on Andrews Rodeo’s Tiger Touch and Brad Rudolf, Winnemucca, Nev., on Rocky Mountain Rodeo’s Angel Flight, 83 points each. 3, Tyrel Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, and Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 80. 5. Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla., 79. 6, (tie) Samuel Kelts, Millarville, Alberta; Dawson Jandreau, Kennebec, S.D., and Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., 78 each. (total on two) 1, Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 164 points. 2, Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 158. 3, Brad Rudolf, Winnemucca, Nev., 156 points. 4, Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., 155. 5, (tie) Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla., and Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas, 154 each. 7, Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, S.D., 153. 8, Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, 152.

Steer wrestling: (first round) 1, Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala., 6.3 seconds. 2, J.D. Struxness, Appleton, Wisc., 7.0. 3, Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 8.6. 4, Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 9.0. 5, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 9.6. 6, Stockton Graves, Alva, Okla., 9.7. (second round) 1, Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb., 8.0 seconds. 2, Jacob D. Edler, State Center, Iowa, 9.5. 3, Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo, 9.6. 4, Sean Mulligan, Coleman, Okla., 10.0. 5, Harley Cole, Cochrane, Alberta, 10.1. 6, (tie) Jared Thompson, Alva, Okla., and Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 10.5. (total on two) 1, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 21.3 seconds. 2, Jared Thompson, Alva, Okla., 22.2. 3, Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss., 22.6. 4, Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah, 23.4. 5, (tie) Sean Mulligan, Coleman, Okla., and Jacob D. Edler, State Center, Iowa, 23.5. 7, Mitchell Gardner, Dover, Okla., 25.3. 8, Stockton Graves, Alva, Okla., 25.0.

Rookie saddle bronc riding: (first round) 1, Whit Peterson, Torrington, Wyo., 75 points on Fringe Benefit. 2, Luke Morgan, Australia, 70. 3, Tayte Augustus Clark, Meadow, S.D., 69 points. 4, Benny Maytom, Australia, 67. 5, Jake Finlay, Goodwell, Okla., 66. 6, Josh Davison, Miles City, Mont., 65. (second round) 1, Christian Stremler, Winnemucca, Nev., 67. 2, Mitch Pollock, Winnemucca, Nev., 65 3, (tie) Hawkins Shane Boyce, Malad, Idaho; Nick Shenold, Glencoe, Okla., and Luke Morgan, Australia, 64 points each. 6, Tayte Augustus Clark, Meadow, S.D., 62. (total on two) 1, Luke Morgan, Australia, 134 points. 2, Tayte Augustus Clark, Meadow, S.D., 131. 3, Ty Smith, Australia, 118. 4, Trace Hughston, McBain, Mich., 117. 5, Jace Lane, Morse, Texas, 106. (on one) 6, Whit Peterson, Torrington, Wyo., 75. 7, Christian Stremler, Winnemucca, Nev., and Benny Maytom, Australia, 67.

Team roping: (first round) 1, Trevor and Tyler Schnaufer, Pueblo, Colo., 7.9 seconds. 2, (tie) J.B. Lord and Levi Lord, Sturgis, S.D., and Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, and Patrick Smith, Lipan, Texas, 8.3 seconds each. 4, Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D., and Levi Tyan, Wallace, Neb., 8.8. 5, Zane Dishion, Bishop, Calif., and Tommy Zuniga, Centerville, Texas, 9.0. 6, Walt Woodard, Stephenville, Texas, and Adam Rose, Willard, Mo., 9.1. (second round) 1, Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas, and Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas, 6.8 seconds. 2, Tyrell Moody, Edgemont, S.D., and Rory Brown, Edgemont, S.D., 7.3. 3, (tie) Rhett Anderson, Anabella, Utah, and Cole Wilson, Lake Shore, Utah, and JoJo Lemond, Andrews, Texas, and Dakota Kirchenschlager, Morgan Mill, Texas, 7.6 each. 5, Chris Francis, Las Vegas, N.M., and Cade Passig, Las Vegas, N.M., 8.0. 6, Paul Beckett, Laramie, Wyo., and Cole Cooper, Loma, Colo., 8.1. (total on two) 1, Jay Tittel, Pueblo, Colo., and T.J. Watts, Eads, Colo., 18.0 seconds. 2, Chris Francis, Las Vegas, N.M., and Cade Passig, Las Vegas, N.M., 18.3. 3, Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas, and Kollin Von Ahn, Blanchard, Okla., 18.6. 4, Travis Warren, Mullin, Neb., and Ty Reynolds, Tribune, Kan., 19.6. 5, Monty Wood, Quanah, Texas, and Boogie Ray, Mabank, Texas. 6, Logan Olson, Flandreau, S.D., and Jordan Olson, Surprise, Ariz., 20.6. 7, Kolton Schmidt, Barrhead, Alberta, and Dustin Searcy, Mooreland, Okla., 20.7. 8, (tie) JoJo Lemond , Andrews, Texas, and Dakota Kirchenschlager, Morgan Mill, Texas, and Turner Harris and Ross Carson, Killdeer, N.D., 21.2

Barrel Racing: (second round leaders) 1, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 17.45 seconds. 2, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 17.48. 3, (tie) Megan Swint, Lithia, Fla., 17.52 and Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 17.52 each. 5, Rachel Dice, Livermore, Calif., 17.65. 6, Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 17.67. (total on two leaders) 1, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 34.96 seconds. 2, Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 36.40. 3, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 35.49. 4, Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 35.54. 5, Rachel Dice, Livermore, Calif., 35.60. 6, Megan Swint, Lithia, Fla., 35.62. 7, Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 35.74. 8, Jenna Waggoner, Fowler, Colo., 35.84.

Bull riding: (first round) 1, Tim Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 85 points on Championship Pro Rodeo’s Swamp Dog. 2, Aaron Pass, Dallas, Texas, 83 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo’s Jukebox Hero. 3, Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D., 82. 4, (tie) Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah, and Scottie Knapp, Albuquerque, N.M., 81 each. 6, (tie) Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo., and Rocky McDonald, Colonia Juarez, Mexico, 79 each. (second round) 1, Aaron Pass, Dallas, Texas, 83 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo’s Tom Thumb. 2, Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., 80. 3, Tim Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 79. 4, Newt Brasfield, Lane, Okla., 78. 5, Kody Pierce, Keenesburg, Colo., 77. 6, Corey Atwell, Moravian Falls, N.C., 74. (total on two leaders) 1, Aaron Pass, Dallas, Texas, 166 points. 2, Tim Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 164. 3, (tie) Newt Brasfield, Lane, Okla., and Kody Pierce, Keenesburg, Colo., 152 each. 5, Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo., 146. 6, Caleb Sanderson, Hallettsville, Texas, 139. (on one) 7, Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D., 82. 8, (tie) Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah, and Scottie Knapp, Albuquerque, N.M., 81 each.

Wild horse race: 1, Leon Stewart, $591. 2, Joe Applebaker, $443. 3, Team Agin, $295. 4, John LeClaire, $147.78.

Courtesy of PRCA