By Susan Kanode/for the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Steven Peebles from Redmond, Ore., has proven that he can do more than just ride bareback horses in the AT&T Center at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo.
He’s also pretty handy on a saddle horse making victory laps in front of enthusiastic fans.
Peebles won the first and third round of bracket 5 and placed in the second. He was the high-money earner entering the first semifinals and then rode JK Rodeo’s horse Little Brother here on Feb. 18 for 84 points to win the first section of the semifinals and $3,666.
Peebles now has earned more money than any other contestant in semifinals 1 at $8,798. He is ranked number one in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $19,529 and stands to increase that significantly here. With the success he has had already, he is assured a spot in the final round of the $1,269,235 rodeo on Saturday night.
“This is unbelievable,” Peebles said. “I’ve had a little success here in the past, but nothing like this. It’s fun.”
Fred Whitfield from Hockley, Texas, made a big move in his quest for a fifth San Antonio championship in tie-down roping. And if he accomplishes his goal, the eight-time world champion could be looking at a 21st Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification.
Whitfield roped and tied his calf in 7.3 seconds, adding $3,666 to his checking account. He entered the semifinals in second place in the earnings standings with $3,177 and now is at the top of the leader board with $6,843.
“I never get tired of winning,” Whitfield said. “It’s just as much fun today as it was over 20 years ago. I’m going to keep working hard and doing my job and we’ll see how it all plays out.”
Another young gun made a move in steer wrestling. Wyatt Smith, from Rexburg, Idaho, who was the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association all-around and steer wrestling champion in 2009, stopped the clock in 3.5 seconds. That gave him the first round win and, with the $3,666 he earned, he also moved to the top of the earnings standings with $6,599.
Courtesy of PRCA