Healthy Laye Sets Sights on Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo Title

by Susan Kanode
for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

FORT WORTH, Texas – A lot happened to bareback rider Clint Laye last year.

Shortly after riding at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, he got on a plane and flew to Rapid City, South Dakota. He was having headaches and generally wasn’t feeling good, but thought it was from sleeping on the plane and having a crick in his neck. What he expected to get better didn’t, so he took some time off.

He returned to competition at the Helldorado Days Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May. The first bucking horse he got on fell on him in the arena, dislocating and breaking the elbow on his riding hand. That sent Clint home to recuperate and really was a blessing in disguise. It gave him opportunity to heal and he got to spend time with his new baby boy, Cohen who was born in August.

Laye, who qualified for the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR), is healthy again and it showed at the 25th performance of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. He took the lead in the first round of competition with an 85-point ride on United Pro Rodeo’s Gringo.

The bareback riding here features three rounds of competition, so Laye will get on two more horses on Friday. He has big ambitions and high hopes.

“This is the first pro rodeo that I ever entered,” said Laye who joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2012. “I’ve been coming here every year since. This rodeo is legendary. A year off gives you a lot of thinking time. My mind is really in the game and I’d love to win here.”

Last September he thought about getting on bucking horses again, but the time away found him out of shape. So not only did he start working out a lot, he carried Cohen while doing squats and lunges and the baby’s weight helped speed up the process. The hard work is paying off and if he stays healthy and continues to ride like he did in the Will Rogers Coliseum on Thursday night, he will be back Saturday night riding for the championship.

There were two other great bareback rides on Friday night. Reigning Fort Worth champion, Tim O’Connell, from Zwingle, Iowa, and Tanner Aus from Granite Falls, Minnesota each had 82.5-point rides. After winning here last year, O’Connell went on to qualify for the 2016 edition of the NFR where he left with the gold buckle as the world’s best.

Thursday night was a special night for Fort Worth’s stock contracting family. Mayor Betsy Price made a special proclamation declaring Feb. 2 as Neal Gay Day. He was a contestant here in 1946 before becoming a stock contractor. His Rafter G Rodeo company has provided stock here for nearly 40 years and at 93-years-old he still rides horseback in the grand entry. His son Jim Gay manages the livestock for the rodeo and his granddaughters often carry flags in opening ceremonies.

The 121st Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo continues Friday with rodeo performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

The following are unofficial results from Thursday at the World’s Oldest Indoor Rodeo® at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, February 2, 2017.

Twenty-Fourth Performance

Bareback Riding: 1, J.C. Hester Jr., Queen City, Mo., 82.5 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Sugar Boom Boom. 2, Joel Schlegel, Burns, Colo., 77.5. 3, Kenny Haworth, Orofino, Idaho, 77. 4, Casey Breuer, Mandan, N.D., 76.5.

Steer Wrestling: (three times) 1, Tanner Brunner, Ramona, Kan., 5.9 seconds. 2, Tooter Silver, Quitman, Ark., 14.5. 3, Dirk Tavenner, Rigby, Idaho, 14.8.

Team Roping: 1, Aaron Tsinigine, Tuba City, Ariz., and Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas, 4.9 seconds. 2, Garrett Tonozzi, Fruita, Colo., and Bret Tonozzi, Loma, Color., 6.5. 3, Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, and Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas, 11.7. 4, Payden Emmett, Ponca, Ark., and Justin Pruitt, Victoria, Mo., 11.8.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Samuel Kelts, Millarville, Alberta, 75.5 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Mr. Feel Good. 2, Whit Peterson, Torrington, Wyo., 72.5. 3, Luke White, Lincoln, Calif., 70.5. 4, Roper Kiesner, Ripley, Okla., 68.

Tie-Down Roping: (three times) 1, Justin Thigpen, Waycross, Ga., 9.3 seconds. 2, Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 14.9. 3, Jake Pratt, Ellensburg, Wash., 16.6.

Barrel Racing: 1, Jane Melby, Burneyville, Okla., 16.65 seconds. 2, Kelly Yates, Pueblo, Colo., 16.69. 3, Michelle Lummus, Hiram, Ga., 16.77. 4, Cierra Chapman, Kiowa, Okla., 16.78.

Bull Riding: (one ride) 1, Jake Gowdy, Bristow, Okla., 70 points on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Slugger.

Twenty-Fifth Performance

Bareback Riding: 1, Clint Laye, Pocatello, Idaho, 85 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Gringo. 2, (tie) Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, and Tanner Aus Granite Falls, Minn., 82.5. 4, Kody Lamb, Sherwood Park, Alberta, 79.

Steer Wrestling: 1, Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah, 4.4 seconds. 2, Del Ray Kraupie, Bridgeport, Neb., 4.6. 3, Jake Kraupie, Bridgeport, Neb., 5.1. 4, Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 12.9.

Team Roping: 1, Chad Masters, Lipan, Texas, and Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., 5.5. 2, Lane Ivy, Adrian, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, Kan., 5.7. 3, Cale Markham, Vinita, Okla., and Nick Simmons, Colcord, Okla., 5.9. 4, Shawn Bessette, Great Falls, Mont., 6.3.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, (tie) Tate Owens, Dublin, Texas, on United Pro Rodeo’s Shady Lady, and Colton Miller, Lance Creek, Wyo., on United Pro Rodeo’s Poka-Dot, 80.5 points. 3, Cody Anthony, Monahans, Texas, 76. 4, Luke Butterfield, Ponoka, Alberta, 71.

Tie-Down Roping: (two times) 1, Robert Mathis, Mart, Texas, 10.2 seconds. 2, Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas, 20.5.

Barrel Racing: 1, Kathy Grimes, Medical Lake, Wash., 16.41 seconds. 2, Katie Pascoe, Morro Bay, Calif., 16.73. 3. Jaime Barrow, Snyder, Texas, 16.77. 4, Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 16.79.

Bull Riding: (three rides) 1, Dallee Mason Weiser, Idaho, 84.5 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Wonder Boy. 2, Shawn Proctor, Tooele, Utah, 71.5. 3, Nic Lica, Garden City, Mich., 70.

Current Leaders

Bareback Riding: (first round) 1, Clint Laye, Pocatello, Idaho, 87 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Gringo. 2, (tie) Trenton Montero, Winnemucca, Nev., and Tyler Nelson, Victor, Idaho, 83 points. 4, Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, and Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 82.5. 6, Kenny Haworth, Orofino, Idaho, 82. (second round) 1, Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 87 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Freckled Frog. 2, Jake Brown, Cleveland, Texas, 83.5. 3, (tie) Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore., Tyler Nelson, Victor, Idaho, and Zachariah Phillips, Gillette, Wyo., 81. 6, Justin Miller, Billings, Mont., 80. (third round) 1, Clements, 87.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Night Fist. 2, Wyatt Denny, 84 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Wolverine. 3, Brown, 83.5. 4, Rutherford, 83. 5, J.C. Hester, Jr., Queen City, Mo., 82.5. 6, Kelly Timberman, Mills, Wyo., 81. (total on three) 1, Dent, 248. 2, Nelson, 244.5. 3, Rutherford, 243.5. 4, (tie) Wyatt Denny and Clements, 241.5. 6, Miller, 237. 7, Kenny Haworth, Orofino, Idaho, 232.5. 8, Timberman, 230.5.

Steer Wrestling: (second round) 1, Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla., 3.9 seconds. 2, (tie) Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss., and Garrett Poston, Winnsboro, Texas, 4.1. 4, (tie) Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, Cameron Morman, Glenullin, N.D., and Rowdy Parrott, Mamou, La., 4.2. (total on two) 1, Etbauer, 8.1. 2, Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 8.3. 3, Parrott, 8.6. 4, (tie) Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., Thomas, and Harmon, 9.5. 7, Wade Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., 9.7. 8, Jon Laine Herl, Goodland, Kan., 10.3.

Team Roping: (first round) 1, Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas, and John Robertson, Polson, Mont., 4.5 seconds. 2, Lightning Aguilera, Athens, Texas, and Cody Hogan, Athens, Texas, 4.6. 3, Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Ga., and Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prudente, Brazil, 4.7. 4, Chase Wiley, Charlotte, Texas, and Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 4.8. 5, (tie) Jake Cooper, Monument, N.M., and Brady Norman, Springer, Okla., and Travis Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Chase Tryan, Helena, Mont., 5.1. (second round) 1, Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Jade Corkhill, Fallon, Nev., 4.3 seconds. 2, (tie) Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas, and B.J. Digger, Three Rivers, Texas, and Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 4.4. 4, Blake Teixeira, Tres Pinos, Calif., and York Gill, Stephenville, Texas, 4.5. 5, Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D., and Cesar del la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., 4.7. 6, (tie) Dan Williams Jr., Standish, Calif., and Caleb Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., and Marcus Theriot, Poplarville, Miss., and Matt Kasner, Cody, Neb., 4.8. (total on two) 1, Rogers and Petska, 9.7. 2, Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas, and John Robertson, Polson, Mont., 10.5. 3, Bird and Cardoza, 10.6. 4, Teixeira and Gill, 10.7. 5, Driggers and Nogueira, 10.9. 6, Travis Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Chase Tryan, Helena, Mont., 11.0. 7, Chase Wiley, Charlotte, Texas, and Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 11.4. 8, Garrett Tonozzi, Fruita, Colo., and Bret Tonozzi, Loma, Colo., 11.7.

Saddle Bronc Riding: (first round) 1, Jake Watson, Hudsons Hope, B.C., 87 points on J Bar J Rodeo’s Money Maker. 2, Colt Gordon, Comanche, Okla., 85.5. 3, (tie) Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas, and Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 84. 5, (tie) Audy Reed, Spearman, Texas, and Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, 83.5. (second round) 1, (tie) Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, on Andrews Rodeo’s Cat Walk and Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., on Rafter G Rodeo’s Low Bucks, 85. 3, Clay Elliott, Nanton, Alberta, 82. 4, (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw, Milford, Utah, and Dean Wadsworth, Ozona, Texas, 81.5. 6, (tie) Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas, Thurston and Shade Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla., 81.5. (total on two) 1. Jake Wright, 168. 2, Cody DeMoss, 166.5. 3, Thurston, 164.5. 4, Bradshaw, 163.5. 5, Watson, 161.6, (tie) Sterling and Jacobs Crawley, 159. 8, Clay Elliott, Nanton, Alberta, 158.

Tie-Down Roping: (second round) 1, Tyson Durfey, Weatherford, Texas, 7.9 seconds. 2, (tie) Ben Robinson, Red Deer County, Alberta, Bobby Abernathy, Athens, Ala., and Bryson Sechrist, Apache, Okla., 8.3 seconds. 5, Justin Brinkerhoff, Corrine, Utah, 8.5. 6, Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 8.7. (total on two) 1, Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 18.5. 2, Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas, 18.6. 3, Clint Akins, Sanger, Texas, 19.0. 4, Justin Smith, Leesville, La., 19.6. 5, Stetson Vest, Childress, Texas, 19.7. 6, Jayce Johnson, Hempstead, Texas, 20.3. 7, Bryson Sechrist, Apache, Okla., 20.4. 8, (tie) Catfish Brown, Collinsville, Texas, Todd Brown, Lamar, Colo., and Justin Thigpen, Waycross, Ga., 20.5.

Barrel Racing: (second round) 1, Fallon Taylor, Collinsville, Texas, 16.35 seconds. 2, Kathy Grimes, Medical Lake, Wash., 16.41. 3, Sidney Forrest, Lipan, Texas, 16.52 seconds. 4, Brooke Rix, Skidmore, Texas, 16.54. 5, Dena Kirkpatrick, Post, Texas, 16.56. 6, Jane Melby, Burneyville, Okla., 16.65. (total on two) 1. Taylor, 32.99 seconds. 2, Forrest, 33.17 seconds. 3, Grimes, 33.25. 4, (tie) Cayla Small, Burneyville, Okla., and Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 33.27, 6, Melby, 33.53. 7, Rix, 33.56. 8, Kelly Yates, Pueblo, Colo., 33.47.

Bull Riding: (first round) 1, Tim Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 88 points on Rafter G Rodeo’s J Lazy. 2, (tie) Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah, and Dallee Mason, Weiser, Idaho, 84.5. 4, Bayle Worden, Charleston, Texas, 83.5. 5, Elliott Jacoby, Fredericksburg, Texas, 81.5. 6, Koby Radley, Holden, La., 81. (second round) 1. Elliott Jacoby, Fredericksburg, Texas, 85 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Wonder Boy. 2, Lon Danley, Tularosa, N.M., 84.5. 3, (tie) Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, Texas, Wesley Silcox, Santiquin, Utah, and Bayle Worden, 83.5. 6, Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 82.5. (total on two) 1. Bayle Worden, Charleston, Texas, 167. 2, Jacoby, 166.5. 3, Garrett Tribble, Bristow, Okla., 158.5. 4, Radley, 156. 5, Ricky Hallam, Norco, Calif., 151. 6, Dave Mason, Burnet, Texas, 151. 7, Ty Clearwater, LaCygne, Kan., 148.5. 8, Cole Melancon, Liberty, Texas, 141.