by Jim Bainbridge | Apr 26, 2015
TORRINGTON, Wyo. – Jason Evans finished the sixth annual National Circuit Finals Steer Roping the same way he began – as the winner.
Evans, who won Saturday’s first round, capped the event at the Goshen County Fair Grounds on April 26 by posting the fastest time of the two-day rodeo in the four-man final round. The 9.9-second run in the shootout final round made Evans the champion of the NCFSR.
“This is my first time here, and I think it’s a neat concept,” said the Huntsville, Texas, cowboy. “I like having six rounds where the average determines who makes the 8-man, and then the fastest times in the last round wins.”
Evans, out of the Texas Circuit, earned $7,315 for his work, including $3,511 for winning the final round. He also won a Polaris RANGER, and chose camouflage for the design.
“This is a great event, with a lot of prestige,” Evans said. “They try hard to make us feel welcome here, and they do an excellent job.”
Aboard his horse Tuffy Two Bits, Evans led the average after three rounds but his steer got up in Round 4 and he missed in Round 5. He was in danger of not qualifying for the shootout rounds, but came through in the clutch in Round 6 to qualify seventh out of the eight ropers who earned a spot in the semifinal round.
His time of 12.5 seconds in the semifinal round was good for second place behind Mountain States cowboy Troy Tillard, who was 12.2, and they were joined in the four-man final round by Chance Kelton (12.8) of the Turquoise Circuit and Wade Shoemaker (13.3) of the Mountain States.
“Once you reach the eight-man, you just want to be as fast as you can and aggressive as you can without making any mistakes,” Evans said. “That’s basically how you do every round, but you’ve got to try to be fast when it gets down to the end here.”
Ora Taton of the Badlands Circuit won the average with a time of 86.2 seconds on six head to earn $2,633. Roping last in the semifinal round, Taton tied his steer in 13.7 seconds – not fast enough to make the final round – but also incurred a 10-second penalty for breaking the barrier.
In the final round, Shoemaker led off with a 14.7-second run. Kelton followed with a time of 11.5 seconds. Then came Evans, who executed the best run of the rodeo.
“I knew I had a good steer, and I made a good run,” Evans said.
Tillard, roping last in the final round, missed his steer. Tillard’s horse, Rowdy, was named the top horse of the NCFSR.
Kelton won $2,633 for placing second in the final round while Shoemaker took $1,756 for third and Tillard got $878 for fourth.
Chet Herren of the Prairie Circuit started Sunday’s action by winning Round 5 with a time of 11.6 seconds. Chris Glover of the Mountain States Circuit won Round 6 with a time of 10.5 seconds. Go-round winners earned $1,463.
In the six-head average, Kelton was the only roper besides Taton to post a time on all six head, putting him second in the average, which was good for $1,975. Joe Talbot of the Columbia River Circuit was third in the average (88.5 seconds on five head) and Tillard was fourth (89.4 seconds on five).
Evans’ win ended a three-year run of NCFSR championships by Prairie Circuit contestants (Rocky Patterson, J.P. Wickett and Roger Branch); the Prairie Circuit has won four of six overall.
Courtesy of PRCA