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Leader Board Undergoes Change in Cheyenne

by Jim Bainbridge
By Susan Kanode/for the Cheyenne Frontier Days committee

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Tuesday’s rodeo action at Frontier Park was full of lead changes. Steer wrestlers and team ropers started out the day with slack at 7 a.m. Those events were also part of the rodeo that afternoon.

Billy Bugenig, of Ferndale, Calif., had the fastest time of the rodeo Monday morning when he stopped the clock in 5.9 seconds. He came back on Tuesday with an 11.3 and now is in the overall lead with a total of 17.2 seconds on two runs.

Bugenig is currently 27th in the WEATHER GUARD Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) world standings. Last year each round winner in the steer wrestling earned $6,088. If Bugenig holds on to his first place position in the round, he should move his season earnings up to over $30,000 and be in reach of the top 15 in the world. Bugenig has finished among those top 15 on three occasions, qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from 2010-12.

He has battled injuries and missed all of last year. His return this year has been a little slow, but is definitely starting to pick up. He is also tied for sixth place in the second round.

There is not a hotter saddle bronc rider in the business right now than Zeke Thurston, from Big Valley, Alberta. He took the lead in the first round on Monday with an 84, came back on Tuesday and scored 87 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Smoke Ring. He now has a total of 171 points on two head, 10 points ahead of the man in second place, Sam Kelts, from Millarville, Alberta, who also rode here on Monday and Tuesday.

Four bull riders moved into the top five on Tuesday. At the top of the list is Ty Wallace from Collbran, Colo., who is now second overall. He scored 73.5 points, but when combined with his previous score of 87, he has a total of 160.5. He is very likely to make the finals here for the third time since joining the PRCA in 2013.

Roscoe Jarboe, from New Plymouth, Idaho, still has the overall lead with 165. Freeman Yoder, from Zearing, Iowa, is third with 159.5. Also moving up Tuesday were Tyler Smith, Fruita, Colo., and Jordan Hansen, from Okotoks, Alberta.

The barrel racing here has been full of surprises. One of those was on Tuesday when Jana Bean, from Fort Hancock, Texas, had a second-round time that was a full second faster than her time in the first round. She stopped the clock in 17.16 to be winning the second round and leading overall with a total 35.39. Lisa Lockhart is second with 35.43. Tyra Kane, from Dublin, Texas, moved into third with 35.57.

There are still 24 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) members left to have their second run here so leads could change. However, Bean’s 17.16 is the fastest run of the rodeo here by two-tenths of a second and she is very likely to keep the lead in the second round. Bean is currently 17th in the WPRA world standings. Any money that she wins here will help her qualify for her third NFR.

The fifth performance of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo starts at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday where the majority of the contestants will be competing in the first round. The barrel racers will be in their second round of competition.

Courtesy of PRCA