ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Heith DeMoss didn’t like the position he was in entering the weekend – the bubble.
So the Heflin, La., cowboy took care of business, winning the Ellensburg Rodeo saddle bronc riding title with a score of 171 points on two head, which most likely punches his ticket to his seventh Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“I hadn’t been drawing very good the last month or so, but you have to keep telling yourself that it ain’t you, and thank God this worked out,” DeMoss said. “It’s so huge to get off the bubble – I’m not completely relieved yet, but it takes a lot of the pressure off. There’s so much money at the Finals this year that you don’t want to miss it.”
DeMoss won the first round with an 86-point ride on Big Bend Rodeo’s Shady Lady, earning $3,128. He rode for 85 points on Calgary Stampede’s Simply Marvelous in the short round on Monday afternoon, which was good for fourth in the round and enough to edge Ryan Mackenzie and Jake Wright by three points in the average. In all, DeMoss totaled $6,856.
In typical Heith DeMoss fashion, the 30-year-old was fired up after the huge win – his first Ellensburg title. He was wearing the buckle just moments after receiving it.
“This one is for sure in the top three of all rodeos I’ve ever won,” he said. “This place is the pinnacle of bucking horses – only the best ones are here. So this means a whole lot to me.
“Ellensburg is darn sure one that was on my to-do list before I retire, so thankfully it finally happened. I think I made the short round here before, but they usually whoop the heck out of me here. It was a super rank pen of horses and anyone who messed up a little bit was going to pay for it. Luckily, I was able to ride my horse well.”
The sense of relief was apparent for DeMoss, who is seeking his fifth WNFR bid in the past six seasons.
“I knew a big win was going to come my way at same point soon,” he said. “I got bucked off a real good horse in Canby (Ore.), but I knew a good one was coming to me soon and I would have to make it work when it did.”
Able to take a deep breath now and be confident that his spot in Las Vegas is a likelihood, DeMoss took a moment to look ahead to riding alongside his brother, Cody – who’s currently the top bronc rider in the world – at the WNFR.
“Cody has always led the charge, and I’ve always followed in his footsteps,” Heith said. “I like where he’s walking right now. It’s going to be great and we’re going to win lots of money and prizes and make our wives happy.”
Other winners at the $320,542 rodeo were all-around cowboy Garrett Hale ($2,376 in tie-down roping and steer roping), bareback rider Steven Peebles (171 points on two head), steer wrestler K.C. Jones (14.3 seconds on three head), team ropers Jade Corkill and Clay Tryan (17.7 seconds on three head), tie-down roper Cody Ohl (24.4 seconds on three head), steer roper Brent Lewis (28.1 seconds on two head), barrel racer Sherry Cervi (52.86 seconds on three runs) and bull rider Sage Kimzey (171 points on two head).
For complete coverage of the Ellensburg Rodeo, check out the Sept. 25 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA