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Gorsuch Blasts into Lovington Lead

Dean Gorsuch jumps his steer during the first round of steer wrestling Wednesday at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Gorsuch leads the first round with a 4.3, the second round with a 3.9 and the average.

Dean Gorsuch jumps his steer during the first round of steer wrestling Wednesday at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Gorsuch leads the first round with a 4.3, the second round with a 3.9 and the average.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Success has always followed steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch to the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

“This has been a really good rodeo for me,” said Gorsuch, a two-time world champion bulldogger from Gering, a tiny community straight north of Lovington in the Nebraska Panhandle. “I like this rodeo. It’s a really long way from home, but it always feels like home when I’m here. You have those rodeos where you feel good.”

That’s the case at Jake McClure Arena on the Lea County Fairgrounds. He won the championship in 2011 and has earned a bucket load of money in Lovington over the course of his career. He has a good chance to continue that trend this year.

Gorsuch put together two quality runs Wednesday during the first day of the rodeo, scoring a 4.3 to lead the opening round, then following that with a 3.9-second run during the performance; he also leads the second round and the average with a two-run cumulative time of 8.2 seconds.

“There are a bunch of good guys to go, and these back-to-back deals are awesome,” he said, referring to the opportunity timed-event cowboys have to make multiple runs in the same day; that allows them to move on to the next rodeo without having to double-back to Lovington, which just adds to the expense of rodeo. “I ran two good steers, and hopefully it’ll win some money.”

He’ll wait through the final three days of competition to see where he sits when the curtain closes Saturday night, but he stands pretty tall so far. He should know; he’s a two-time world champion with eight qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – his two gold buckles came in 2006 and 2010.

Leading into this week’s competition, he was 14th in the world standings with $42,416. He knew he had an opportunity to do well Wednesday evening, mainly because fellow steer wrestler Jace Melvin provided a little background on the steer – Melvin had competed on the same steer during the afternoon session.

Dean Gorsuch

Dean Gorsuch

“I probably would have missed him if (Jace) hadn’t told me,” he said of the steer. “He was great once you get him.”

Gorsuch gets most of his steers, but that doesn’t come without struggles. Rodeo is a humbling sport, and championships aren’t guaranteed. He hasn’t been to the NFR since 2013, when he was in the race for the world championship until the final round of the season.

“I got hurt two years ago,” Gorsuch said. “I didn’t do very good last year, but I still wasn’t very confident. It felt like it still hurt at times, and I just never let things hang out. It feels like it’s coming together this year.”

If the Lea County Fair and Rodeo is any indication, it certainly has.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 10-13
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Troy Vaira, 80 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s First Kiss; 2. Jordan Petlon, 71; 3. Luke Creasy, 64; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 4.3 seconds; 2. Mike Garcia, 4.8; 3. Aaron Vosler, 5.2; 4. Trevor Knowles, 5.3; 5. Billy Bugenig, 5.4; 6. Seth Brockman 5.9; 7. (tie) Coltin Hill and Mike McGinn, 7.0. Second round leaders: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 3.9 seconds; 2. Coltin Hill, 4.4; 3. (tie) Jace Melvin and Jake Rinehart, 4.5; 5. Garry Gilbert, 4.6; 6. Rusty Hamilton, 4.9; 7. (tie) Billy Bugenig and Koty Rope Kamm, 5.6; 5. Jacob Shofner, 12.0; 6. Ryan Huxtable, 12.3; 7. Michael Bates Jr., 13.0; 8. Average leaders: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Billy Bugenig, 11.0; 3. Coltin Hill, 11.4; 4. Mike Garcia, 13.9; 5. Jake Rinehart, 17.8; 6. Jace Melvin, 4.5 seconds on one run; 2. Gary Gilbert, 4.6; 8. Rusty Hamilton, 4.9.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Ryle Smith, 8.2 seconds; Westyn Hughes, 8.8; 3. Shank Edwards, 9.3; 4. Reese Riemer, 10.0; 5. Cooper Martin, 10.7; 6. Michael Otero, 11.5; 7. Travis Lewis, 11.9; 8. Taylor Santos, 12.8. Second round leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 8.7 seconds; 2. Reese Riemer, 8.8; 3. Westyn Hughes, 9.4; 4. Cody McCartney, 9.6; 5. JoJo LeMond, 9.7; 6. Riley Pruitt, 9.8; 7. Garrett Hale, 10.1; 8. Taylor Santos, 10.8. Average leaders: 1. Westyn Hughes, 18.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Reese Reimer, 18.8; 3. JoJo LeMond, 23.4; 4. Taylor Santos, 23.6; 5. Ryle Smith, 26.3; 6. Cooper Martin, 27.2; 7. Stetson Vest, 33.7; 8. Clint Nyegaard, 34.0.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Doug Aldridge, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hometown Girl, and Leon Fountain, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Corner Guard, 78 points; 3. Zeke Thurston, 77; 4. Jesse James Kirby, 73; 5. Taos Muncy, 65; no other qualified rides.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 9.6 seconds; 2. Steve Wolf, 10.4; 3. Jason Evans, 11.3; 4. John Clark, 11.7; 5. Shank Edwards, 12.6; 6. Martin Poindexter, 12.8; 7. Vin Fisher Jr., 13.4; 8. Roger Branch, 14.8. Second round leaders: 1. Jason Evans, 9.8 seconds; 2. Landon McClaugherty, 9.9; 3. Roger Branch, 10.7; 4. (tie) Shank Edwards and Martin Poindexter, 11.2; 6. Guy Allen, 11.6; 7. Shay Good, 11.8; 8. Dan Fisher, 16.3. Third round leaders: 1. Garrett Hale, 9.1 seconds; 2. Shay Good, 11.4; 3. Roger Branch, 11.7; 4. C.A. Lauer, 12.0; 5. Chance Kelton, 12.2; 6. Jason Evans, 12.7; 7. Guy Allen, 14.0; 8. Shank Edwards, 14.9. Average leaders: 1. Shay Good, 32.8 seconds on three runs; 2. Jason Evans, 33.8; 3. Roger Branch, 37.2; 4. Shank Edwards, 38.7; 5. Martin Poindexter, 24.0 seconds on two runs; 6. Guy Allen, 25.6; 7. Dan Fisher, 35.5; 8. Garrett Hale, 9.1 seconds on one run.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.4 seconds; 2. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.7; 3. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.8; 4. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 5.0; 5. Rhen Richard/Cole Davison, 5.2; 6. JoJo LeMond/Kory Koontz, 5.4; 7. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Daniel Braman, 5.5; 8. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.6. Second round leaders: 1. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4 seconds; 2. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 4.6; 3. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.6; 4. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.1, 5. Landon McClaugherty/Joel Galvan Jr., 9.3; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 9.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 9.9; 3. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 11.5; 4. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 4.4 seconds on one run; 5. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.7; 6. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 5.0; 7. Rhen Richard/Cole Davison, 5.2; 8. JoJo LeMond/Kory Koontz, 5.4.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.36 seconds; 2. Hailey Kinsel, 17.50; 3. Taylor Homuth, 17.51; 4. Sherry Cervi, 17.97; 5. Kortney Cleveland, 18.03; 6. Candie Miner, 18.20; 7. Aimee Kay, 18.23; 8. Samantha Smith, 18.40; 9. Diana Wilson, 19.02; 10. Carlee Pierce, 19.65; 11. Sydni Blanchard, 20.93; 12. Dena Milner, 22.44.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Brennon Eldred, 87 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Silence Reigns; 2. Cole Melancon, 81; 3. Justin Hendrix, 80.5; 4. Rocky McDonald, 80; 5. Ednei Caminhas, 79; 6. Sage Kimzey, 76.5; 7; Rorey Maier, 72; no other qualified rides.

Courtesy of twisTEDrodeo.com