By: Susan Kanode
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Friday was a day for Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) Rodeo fans to cheer for contestants with ties to the Cowboy State.
It started in the bareback riding when Donny Proffit from Diamondville, Wyoming, scored 85.5 points on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Southland’s Mental Illness. That was good for second place and now the University of Wyoming senior is advancing to the Championship Finals. He finished behind Clayton Biglow from Clements, California who won the CFD title in 2019, the same year he won the world championship. Also advancing to Sunday is Wyoming native Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifier Cole Reiner who grew up around Kaycee and Buffalo.
The big winner in Semi Finals 1 in breakaway roping lives in the far northeast corner of the state. Shayla Hall is a ranch-raised cowgirl who lives near Colony. She went to high school in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, as it was closer to the ranch, then earned a track and field scholarship to the University of Wyoming.
The talented athlete has now graduated, married Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) team roper Brenten Hall and is focused on the rodeo arena. That concentration worked well in Frontier Park on Friday as she stopped the clock in 4.6 seconds to win the day. She will be roping again on Sunday and hoping to be the first Wyoming woman to win a breakaway title at the “Daddy of ‘em All.”
Rodeo fans may not have heard of Q Taylor, but if he continues to ride like he did here on Friday, he will join the ranks of elite saddle bronc riders in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Taylor grew up in Alberta, Canada, then moved to Wyoming to attend Casper College where he qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo. Prior to Cheyenne’s rodeo, he was 17th in the world standings, just two spots out of the top 15 who qualify for the NFR and compete for world championships.
He scored 90 points on Saturday on Andrews Rodeo’s All or Nothin’ to win Semi Finals 1. That was just one point off the arena record of 91 set by Cody DeMoss in 2010. He placed in the Quarter Finals and earned almost $2,000. With his ride today, he added another $3,000. He is hoping to leave Cheyenne with a new buckle as the champion and add even more money to his earnings. He is likely to move into the top 15 with the money he earns here.
Stetson Wright is on track to add to his CFD buckle collection. He has earned five of them in Frontier Park so far. He had the high marked ride in the bull riding on Friday at 90. He rode Dakota Rodeo’s bull named Trump Train for 90 points and will be in the bull riding on Sunday. He won that event here in 2019.
He will compete Saturday in Semi Finals 2 in saddle bronc riding. He is a two-time and defending champion here in that event so his ride on Saturday will determine if he gets to ride for that buckle as well on Sunday. He also has won two all-around titles here and is the favorite in that category this year.
Semi Finals 2 begins Saturday at 12:45 p.m. where the last group of Championship Finals qualifiers will be determined.