by Jim Bainbridge | Aug 02, 2015
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo committee
ABILENE, Kan. – The 70th annual Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene concluded on Aug. 1, with champions crowned in each of seven events.
A familiar face in the bull riding claimed the title for a second time.
Chandler Bownds scored 90 points to win his event, after scoring 93 points to win the rodeo two years ago.
He rode Andrews Rodeo’s Bell Ringer, a “good, big, white-spotted bull,” he said. “He turned around to the left, and really bucked.”
Bownds, who lives in Lubbock, Texas, is in the middle of the pack among the 15 bull riders in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. He’s looking for his third qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but there are two months left in the rodeo season, and he knows his position isn’t secure.
“Everybody’s riding good this year,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys who have been winning a lot of money here lately. I just need to keep staying on and keep climbing the world standings.”
The tie-down roping champ is no stranger to the Wrangler NFR, either. Clint Cooper has competed there five times, and he made a 7.9-second run to win the Abilene rodeo. He was aboard his award winning horse Sweetness.
The 22 year old gelding is “the best horse I’ve ridden in my life,” Cooper said. He’s won the American Quarter Horse Association’s Tie-Down Roping Horse of the Year three times, and he knows it. “He’s like Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson,” Cooper said. “He knows he’s good, and he’s got a little attitude.”
Cooper owns the horse with Karen Herbst, and because of his age, Sweetness is only ridden by Clint and his brothers Clif and three-time World Champion Tuf.
The other 2015 champions at Eisenhower Park were bareback rider Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev. (78 points), steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La. (3.6 seconds), saddle bronc riders Travis Sheets, Hyannis, Neb., and Jacobs Crawley, Stephenville, Texas (84 points each), team ropers Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas, and Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas (4.3 seconds), and barrel racer Layna Kight, Ocala, Fla. (17.32 seconds).
Courtesy of PRCA