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Team Ropers have Clean Sweep at San Antonio Rodeo

By Susan Kanode/for the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Fans would be hard pressed to find any two happier contestants at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo Feb. 8 than team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska.

Rogers and Petska had their third performance in the first bracket in the AT&T Center on Saturday afternoon and stopped the clock in 5.0 seconds. While it was the slowest time they have had here, it was still good for first place and checks for $1,955 apiece. With Rogers, from Round Rock, Ariz., doing the heading and Petska, from Marana, Ariz., doing the heeling, they have collected more money than any other contestants here so far with $11,731.

A cowgirl who has consistently done well in the Alamo City added to her checking account as well. Sydni Blanchard, from Albuquerque, N.M., won the second and third rounds in the first bracket and finished atop the leaderboard with $5,377.

The second of five brackets started on Saturday evening with a reigning champion making a statement that he is back here for another title. J.R. Vezain, from Cowley, Wyo., won this rodeo last year in the bareback riding and used the $17,029 to qualify for his second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR). He finished seventh in the world standings last year.

He had the high-marked ride of the night on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Movie Madness of 84 points and earned $1,955. Vezain is not currently in the top 15 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Standings. A big win here would change that and give him momentum to be back in Las Vegas next December to compete at rodeo’s championship event and hopefully leave with a world title.

“Getting to Vegas the first time really lit a fire in me,” Vezain said. “Then I won San Antonio last year and that gave me a lot of confidence. I love this rodeo and winning it two years in a row would be unbelievable.”

Another former San Antonio champion who did well in bracket 2 was four-time World Champion steer wrestler Luke Branquinho from Los Alamos, Calif. Branquinho won this rodeo in 2010. He stopped the clock in 3.3 seconds Saturday night, just two-tenths of a second off of the arena record of 3.1 set by Riley Duvall last year. Branquinho earned $1,955 and has two more opportunities to add to that.

The fifth performance of the nine-time PRCA Large Indoor Rodeo of the year will be Sunday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. (CT). It will be the second round of the second bracket of competition.

Courtesy of PRCA