by ProRodeo.com | Sep 08, 2014
- Saddle bronc rider Tyrell Smith entered the weekend 39th in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings, and needed a big performance to stay in the conversation for his second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo appearance. The 27-year-old native of Cascade, Mont., won the Justin Boots Playoffs in Puyallup, Wash., with a score of 168.5 points on two head – three points better than second-place Jeff Willert. Smith’s 87.5-point ride on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting won the short round and paved the way for the average title and a total of $5,514 in Puyallup. Smith also took the title at the Lewiston (Idaho) Roundup with an 86-point trip on Sankey Rodeo’s Show Biz, which was good for another $4,230. Smith also earned checks in Blackfoot, Idaho, and Spokane, Wash. In all, Smith moved up 13 spots in the standings to 26th as he tries to make a late charge toward the Justin Boots Championships and the WNFR.
- Bull rider Cody Teel doesn’t need to worry about being in the top 15 at the end of the season, but he’s sure rodeoing like he does. The 2012 world champion had a big weekend, winning the short round and average in Puyallup on the strength of an 83-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s No. 949 in the finals. Teel tallied 167.5 points on two head – and was one of only two men to ride two bulls, along with Guthrie Murray. The two-time WNFR qualifier, and 2013 WNFR average winner, also won the Tri-State Rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa, with an 88-point effort on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Live Action. Teel also finished eighth in Lewiston, totaling $11,156 for the weekend. He remained fourth in the Sept. 8 world standings, but also cut the deficit between he and standings leader Sage Kimzey considerably – to $33,028, which is less than two round wins at the WNFR.
- Team ropers Dustin Bird and Paul Eaves have been to the last two WNFRs together, yet they haven’t been able to finish better than 10th in the final world standings. In 2014, however, they are aiming for a much loftier goal than a top 10 finish – gold buckles. Bird and Eaves had another big weekend, earning at least a share of the win at three rodeos. The pair won the first round in Puyallup with a time of 4.4 seconds, and split the average with Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn, each collecting $9,504. Bird and Eaves also shared the win in Spokane, Wash., and took the title outright in Blackfoot, Idaho. Both men totaled $12,609 for the weekend, which helped Bird move up one spot to second in the Sept. 8 header world standings, while Eaves moved two spots to second in the heeler standings.
- Tuf Cooper put together a nice weekend to further distance himself from the rest of the tie-down roping field. The two-time world champion won the all-around and tie-down roping titles in Lewiston on the strength of an 8.9-second run, while also taking the tie-down roping win in Spokane with a time of 8.0 seconds. Cooper, who has seen Matt Shiozawa cut into his world standings lead in recent weeks, also finished fifth in the average in Puyallup, earning another $2,947. Cooper’s weekend haul totaled $8,556, and increased his lead over Shiozawa to $32,917 in the Sept. 8 world standings.
- Steer wrestler Les Shepperson took a victory lap for the first time in a long time last weekend. The 36-year-old, who qualified for the WNFR in 2008 and 2012, took the title in Lewiston with a 3.8-second run. The win was Shepperson’s first since the Range Days Rodeo in Rapid City, S.D., in 2013, which was 378 days between victories.
Courtesy of PRCA