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O’Connell Takes Early Bareback Lead at Cody Stampede

World champion bareback rider Tim O’Connell took the early lead at the Cody Stampede on July 1st with a score of 85.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Gunfire. – PRCA photo by Andy Watson.

CODY, Wyo., – When the reigning bareback world champion arrived at the Cody Stampede on Saturday night, he headed straight to the Justin Sportsmedicine Trailer.

Tim O’Connell twisted his ankle the night before at the rodeo in Prescott, Arizona, and before he got on Frontier rodeo’s horse named Gunfire, he wanted to be completely prepared. A good tape job gave his ankle the stability he needed.

The Iowa native put everything he had in a ride that resulted in him taking the early lead in the bareback riding with an 85.5-point score. While he won’t know if he gets a check until after the final performance on the Fourth of July, his score should put him among the money earners.

“Two years ago, I won second with an 86,” O’Connell said. That score earned him over $8,000. “There are a lot of great bareback riders left to go here and some awesome horses. I did my job, now I’ll just have to see how it all plays out.”

O’Connell and his traveling partners were headed to Greeley, Colorado, then Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Killdeer, North Dakota, St Paul and Molalla, Oregon to finish out their Cowboy Christmas.

Jake Finlay came to the U.S. from Goondiwindi, Australia, to improve his saddle bronc riding skills and compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. To do that he is getting an education, in the classroom and from world champion Robert Etbauer who is his coach at Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma.

Finlay is a two-time qualifier for the College National Finals Rodeo held in Casper. He competed there in June and finished fourth overall. His experiences in Wyoming are paying off here as well. He leads the saddle bronc riding with an 85-point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Strawberry Rocket.

Competition at Stampede Park continues Sunday night at 8 p.m. Steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping slack are also on the Sunday’


The following are unofficial results from the 98th annual Cody Stampede.

First Performance –

Bareback Riding: 1, Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 85.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Gun Fire. 2, (tie) Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, and Shane O’Connell, Rapid City, S.D., 80 each.

Steer Wrestling: 1, Jacob Talley, keatchie, La., 4.3 seconds. 2, (tie) Cody Kroul, Solon, Iowa and Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb., 4.8. 4, Miles Switzer, Morro Bay, Calif., 5.4.

Team Roping: (three times) 1, Lynn Campbell, Fruita, Colo., and Joe Roderick, Loma, Colo., 6.1. 2, Travis Bounds, Clifton, Colo., and Jesse Sheffield, Delta, Colo., 10.8. 2, Jesse Stipes, Salina, Okla., and Jake Clay, Sapulpa, Okla., 15.0.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Jake Finlay, Goondiwindi, Australia, 85 points on Burch Rodeo’s Strawberry rocket. 2, Chase Brooks, Deer Lodge, Mont., 83. 3, Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyo., 80.5. 4, Dylan Henson, Bloomfield, N.M., 79.

Tie-Down Roping: 1, E.J. Panetta, Sheridan, Wyo., 10.2. 2, Erik Dublanko, Thorsby, Canada, 10.6. 3, Chance Jeffers Jr., Lodge Grass, Mont., 18.8. 4, Joe James, Rawlins, Wyo., 19.9.

Women’s Barrel Racing: 1, Toni Hardin, Wetmore, Colo., 17.31 seconds. 2, Lake Mehalic, Oro Valley, Ariz., 17.45. 3, Kelly Yates, Pueblo, Colo., 17.56. 4, Calyssa Kindred, Harrold, S.D., 17.61.

Bull Riding: No qualified rides.

Current leaders – In team roping, steer wrestling and tie-down roping

Steer Wrestling: 1, Chason Floyd, Buffalo, S.D., 3.9 seconds. 2, Levi Rudd, Chelsea, Okla., 4.2. 3, Jacob Talley, Keatchie, La., 4.3. 4, tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 4.4.

Team Roping: 1, Seth Hall, Albuquerque, N.M., and Trey Yates, Pueblo, Colo., 4.8 seconds. 2, Manny Eguisquiza Jr., Marianna, Fla., and Daniel Braman IV, Victoria, Texas, 5.3. 3, Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala., and Trace Porter, Leesville, La., 5.6. 4, Lynn Campbell, Fruita, Colo., and Joe Roderick, Loma, Colo., 6.1.

Tie-Down Roping: 1, Justin Brinkerhoff, Corrine, Utah, 8.6 seconds. 2, Trey Young, Dupree, S.D., 8.7. 3, J.D. McCuistion, Collinsville, Texas, 9.0. 4, Robert Mathis, Lufkin, Texas, 9.2.

Courtesy of PRCA