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National Western Stock Show Rodeo Kicks Off with a Bang

By Susan Kanode
For the National Western Stock Show Rodeo

DENVER, Colo. – The National Western Stock Show started five days ago with plenty of action in the Denver Coliseum.

But for true rodeo fans, it really started here on Thursday night when the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) events got underway. It was a great night for PRCA bull riders as seven out of the 10 made it the whole eight seconds.

Leaders of the pack were Colorado’s own Ty Wallace and Tanner Bothwell, from Rapid City, S.D., who each scored 86 points. Right behind them were Elliot Jacoby from Fredericksburg, Texas, and Joseph McConnell from Bloomfield, N.M. with 85 points apiece.

There were some scary moments after McConnell got off his bull. He took a hard hit from the bull, was knocked unconscious and laid in the arena. The Justin Sportsmedicine Team was immediately on hand.

McConnell quickly regained consciousness and was helped from the arena. He was evaluated by team doctors on site. He will be in the training room before Friday night’s rodeo for further evaluation and treatment. They will determine when he can ride again at that time.

Other bull riders that were successful on Thursday night included the 2012 world champion Cody Teel from Kountze, Texas; Elliot Jacoby from Fredericksburg, Texas, Joe Frost from Randlett, Utah and Clayton Sellars from Fruitland Park, Florida.

The barrel racing saw the mother-daughter duo of Cayla Small and Jane Melby, from Burneyville, Oklahoma, along with Kathy Grimes, from Medical Lake, Washington, at the top of the leaderboard. Small had a blazing run of 15.39 seconds to take the early lead. Her mother, Jane Melby is third with 15.60. Grimes who is coming off her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification is second with a 15.46.

All the contestants that were here on Thursday night will have their second round of competition during the Friday matinee performance beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Friday night performance at 7:30 will see a new group of cowboys and cowgirls making their first appearance here.

This year’s rodeo has 727 competitors. They will each compete twice and hope to be among the top 12 in their event that qualify for the U.S. Bank Pro Rodeo Finals where Denver champions will be determined.


DENVER, Colo. – The following are rodeo results from the first performance at the National Western Stock Show.

Bareback Riding: 1, Tyler Waltz, Martin, Tenn., 74 points on Calgary Stampede’1, s September Skies. 2, Paden Hurst, Cypress, Texas, 68. 3, Jordan Pelton, Halliday, N.D., 56. 4, Coleman Harbaugh, Sheridan, Wyo., 55.

Steer Wrestling: 1, Jon Ragatz, Beetown, Wis., 4.6 seconds. 2, Cody Pratt, Pueblo, Colo., 4.7. 3, Chance E. Howard, Cedarville, Ark., 4.8. 4, Blair Jones, Monte Vista, Colo., 5.8.

Team Roping: 1, Lane Ivy, Adrian, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, Kan., 5.1 seconds. 2, Kaleb Driggers, Hoboken, Ga., and Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prude, Brazil, 10.5. 3, Brandon Webb, Big Wells, Texas, and Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla., 11.5. 4, Eric Martin, Aurora, Colo., and Lee Lancaster, Bennett, Colo., 15.4.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 85.5 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Rodeo Houston Womanizer. 2, Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 79. 3, Hardy Braden, Welch, Okla., 78. 4, Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., 77.5.

Tie-Down Roping: 1, Cody Craig, Wendell, Idaho, 7.7 seconds. 2, Jerome Schneeberger, Ponca City, Okla., 8.0. 3, Bryson Sechrist, Apache, Okla., 9.1. 4, Randall Carlisle, Athens, La., 11.8.

Women’s Barrel Racing: 1, Cayla Small, Burneyville, Okla., 15.39. 2, Kathy Grimes, Medical Lake, Wash., 15.46. 3, Jane Melby, Burneyville, Okla., 15.60. 4, Janie Cerise, Eckert, Colo., 15.71.

Bull Riding: 1, (tie) Tanner Bothwell, Rapid City, S.D., on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s HTTR, and Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo., on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Living after Midnight, 86 points each. 2, (tie) Joseph McConnel, Bloomfield, N.M., and Elliot Jacoby, Fredericksburg, Texas, 85.