Red Bluff, Calif. (April 18, 2014) – Ryan Gray is taking his first solo rodeo trip without his family this weekend, and he’s making it count.
The Cheney, Wash. cowboy rode the Flying Diamond Rodeo Co. horse Falina’s Fling for 82 points and the lead in the bareback riding at the Red Bluff Round-Up.
He and his wife Lacy, had their first child, a boy they named Ransom, on January 7, and since then, he hasn’t gone on any rodeo trips without them, till this week.
His ride in Red Bluff is a good start to the weekend and the season. “It feels good, to get on top for the first performance,” he said. But he knows there are more bareback riders to go, and his 82 points may not hold throughout two more days of rodeo. “That’s the five or six thousand dollar question,” he said, “whatever it takes to win” the rodeo. “There are a lot of good guys left, hoping to get a little piece of the money.”
Gray had met up with Falina’s Fling before. “I was excited about that horse. I had her in Sisters (Oregon) last year, and won second on her there. She’s been around a long time, and when she’s as fresh like she is, she’s a good horse. She’s something you can win a good check on.”
Gray, who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, pro rodeo’s “super bowl” eight times, is a self-professed homebody, and hasn’t been anywhere without his new family since his son was born. “I’ve been home a lot this winter, and they’ve been going with me when I’ve been rodeoing. This is the first weekend I’ve been gone from them for the last three and a half, four months, so I’m ready to get back home.”
And he has a new motivation for riding now. “I have a different purpose for when I win now. I’m supporting not only my wife and I, but now my family. But at the same time, you can’t let that control how you ride. This is something I love and enjoy, but it’s also something that feeds my family and puts food on the table and pays the bills, so it means more to me when I win, because it’s just that much more special, to provide for my family and do something that I love at the same time.”
Other leaders after tonight’s performance are Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo., 3.5 seconds, tie-down roper Marshall Leonard, Shongaloo, La., 8.5, team ropers Jim Ross Cooper, Monument, N.M., and Brock Hanson, Casa Grande, Ariz., 5.0 seconds. Barrel racer Cynthia Williamson, Vacaville, Calif., was tonight’s fastest barrel racer (17.44 seconds), and saddle bronc rider Tyler Corrington, Hastings, Minn., scored 84 points on the Big Stone Rodeo Co. horse Big Jim.
Only three bull riders made the eight second buzzer, with the high score for the evening an 83 point ride made by Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah.
The second of three performances of the Red Bluff Round-Up takes place Saturday, April 19. The Kiwanis Pancake breakfast runs from 7-10 am, and the rodeo parade kicks off at 10 am. The rodeo begins at 2:30 pm. For more information, visit the rodeo’s website at RedBluffRoundup.com. Tickets range in price from $13 to $27 and are available at the gate.
Results after first performance, Red Bluff Round-Up, April 18, 2014
1 Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash. 82 points on Falina’s Fling, Flying Diamond Rodeo Co.; 2 Heath Ford, Slocum, Texas 81; 3 tie Joel Schlegel, Burns, Colo. 77 and Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa 77
1 Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo. 5.3 seconds; 2 2 tie Jack Vanderlans, Temecula, Calif. 5.5 and Sean Santucci, Prineville, Ore. 5.5; 4 Sterling Lambert, Fallon, Nev. 5.6
Saddle bronc riding
1 Tyler Corrington, Hastings, Minn. 84 points on Big Jim, Big Stone Rodeo Co.; 2 Taos Muncy, Gunnison, Colo. 83; 3 Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah 82; 4 Tyrel Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba 79
Tie Down Roping
1 Marshall Leonard, Shongaloo, La. 8.5 seconds; 2 Seth Hooper, Stanfield, Ore. 9.6; 3 Cade Swor, Winnie, Texas 9.9; 4 Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas 10.3
1 Jim Ross Cooper, Monument, N.M. and Brock Hanson, Casa Grande, Ariz. 5.0 seconds; 2 Bucky Campbell, Benton City, Wash. and Chant DeForest, Wheatland, Wyo. 5.1; 3 Jake Stanley, Hermiston, Oreg. and Justin Davis, Cottonwood, Calif. 5.4; 4 Drew Horner, Plano, Texas and Buddy Hawkins, II Columbus, Kan. 5.6;
1 Cynthia Williamson, Vacaville, Calif. 17.44 seconds; 2 Liz Combs, Eltopia, Wash. 17.47; 3 Christine Laughlin, Pueblo, Colo. 17.52; Pamela Capper, Cheney, Wash. 17.55.
1 Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah 83 points on Golden Rule, Growney Bros. Rodeo; 2 Ty Wallace, Colbran, Colo. 82; 3 Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah 80; no other qualified rides
** All results are unofficial. For more information, visit RedBluffRoundup.com.