RENO, Nev.- It took eight performances and countless hours of slack, but the field for Saturday night’s championship finals is set.
The top 12 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s breakaway roping, women’s barrel racing and bull riding advance and have a chance to compete for the prestigious Reno Rodeo Championship spurs as well as some serious prize money.
Bareback rider R.C. Landingham took the victory lap on both the third and fourth nights of PRCA competition. He set the bar high with an 86.5-point ride on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Black Mary, but with a combined score of 169, he’ll go into tonight’s championship in the number three spot. Tied for first with 169.5 points on two head each are Wyatt Denny of Minden, Nev. and Cooper Cooke of Victor, Idaho. The three-time NFR qualifier and the rookie had matching scores in both rounds of the bareback riding to lead the Average each scoring 83.5 points in Round 1 and 86 in Round 2.
Bulldogger Timmy Sparing, Helena, Mont., had the fastest throw of the week at 3.3 seconds. That helped propel him to the top spot in the finals with 7.5 seconds on two head. Tied for second place are Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., and Mike McGinn, Haines, Ore., each with 8.6 seconds on two head.
It’s a tight race into the finals for team roping with less than a second separating the average leaders. Aaron Tsinigine and Kyle Lockett are in the top spot with 11.2 seconds on two head. Tied for second are Shay Dixon Carroll and Evan Arnold and Wyatt Imus and Caleb Anderson, with 11.7 each. Sharing the No. 4 spot with 11.9 seconds in the average are Garrett Tonozzi and T.J. Watts as well as Clay Tryan and Fallon-native Jade Corkill. The No. 11 ranked healer and 2013 Reno Rodeo Champion had the fastest time of 4.6 seconds alongside partner Tryan on night four of the Reno Rodeo.
Tonight’s finals in saddle bronc will be a battle of the Wrights with both Stetson Wright and Statler Wright sitting atop the leaderboard with 173.5 on two for Stetson and 170.5 on two for Statler. No. 1 ranked saddle bronc rider in the world Sage Newman sits between Stetson and Statler in the average standings this week with an impressive 172 on two, putting him in a perfect position to add the Reno Rodeo to his list of major rodeo wins this year. Rounding out the average leaders are No. 38 in the world standings, Tanner Butner with a 166 on two and Kade Bruno (No.14) and Lucas Macza (No. 19) tied with 164 each.
With an exciting eight days of quick throws, it is seasoned veterans Marty Yates (No. 5) and Shane Hanchey (No. 12) leading the average in tie-down roping. Hanchey had the early lead with his 17.4 on two head coming out of the second day of competition, but by day three Yates cemented his first place spot with his 16.8 on two head. Also in the running for their first set of silver spurs is the current first place tie-down Resistol Rookie of the year, Riley Webb (17.9 on two head) and the No.5 in the all-around standings, Taylor Santos (18.2 on two head.)
Following the electric first year of women’s breakaway roping in 2021 and the memorable win by JJ Hampton, this year quickly proved that the crowd loves the newest event. The fastest time of the week so far has been Sawyer Gilbert’s 2.4 second throw on the second night of competition, only .2 seconds away from Hampton’s arena record set in 2021. However it is Josie Connor atop the leaderboard with 5.2 on two. Tonight’s top four competitors are all within .5 seconds from each other making this year’s finals a tight race for the second year in a row.
The leaderboard is stacked with lightning-quick rides, but barrel racer Megan McLeod-Sprague of Marsing, Idaho secured a commanding lead this week with the fastest average time of 34.26 on two head and the overall fastest run of 16.45 seconds. Leslie Smalygo, ranked No. 45 in WPRA world standings, snagged the second fastest average time of 34.28 followed by Michelle Darling who delivered an average time of 34.32. Currently ranked No. 1 in the WPRA world standings, Jordan Briggs thrilled rodeo fans with two qualified rides (17.39 in the first round and 17.14 in the second round), setting the stage for an exhilarating and competitive finals night full of the best barrel racers in the business.
Bull riding proved to be fiercely competitive with all qualifying rides coming in above 80 points. Leading the pack is Stetson Wight, Milford, Utah, with his 86.5 ride on Flying U Rodeo’s Bringin Brother, showing the Reno audience why he’s the No. 1 ranked rider in the world. Cody Russell, Oakdale, Calif., and Creek Young, Rogersville, Mo., tied for second place with an 84.5 point score each. Resistol Rookie Coy Pollmeier, Fort Scott, Kan., landed in the fourth spot with an 83 point ride. Three riders tied for fifth place. Trey Holston, Fort Scott, Kan., Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash., and Garrett Smith, Rexburg, Idaho, each scored an 82.5. Rounding out the qualifying rides is a tie for eighth place with Ray Mayo and Cash Toews each scoring an 82 and punching their ticket to the finals.
Saturday night’s championship finals start at 7. p.m.
Bareback riding: First round: 1. Waylon Bourgeois, 86.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Two Buck Chuck, $5,459; 2. (tie) Leighton Berry, Cooper Cooke and Wyatt Denny, 83.5, $3,094 each; 5. (tie) Tim O’Connell, Cole Reiner and Dean Thompson, 83, $971 each; 8. R.C. Landingham, 82.5, $546. Second round: 1. R.C. Landingham, 86.5 points on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Black Mary, $5,459; 2. (tie) Cooper Cooke and Wyatt Denny, 86, $3,639 each; 4. Tilden Hooper, 85, $2,002; 5. Leighton Berry, 84.5, $1,274; 6. Chad Rutherford, 84, $910; 7. Clayton Biglow, 83, $728; 8. Tanner Aus, 81, $546. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Wyatt Denny and Cooper Cooke, 169.5 points on two head each; 3. R.C. Landingham, 169; 4. Leighton Berry, 168; 5. Tilden Hooper, 165.5; 6. Chad Rutherford, 164.5; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Mike McGinn, 3.8 seconds, $6,201; 2. Blake Knowles, 3.9, $5,392; 3. (tie) Walt Arnold, Ty Erickson and Dustin Merritt, 4.1, $3,774 each; 6. (tie) Cody Devers, Riley Duvall and Timmy Sparing, 4.2, $1,348 each. Second round: 1. Timmy Sparing, 3.3 seconds, $6,201; 2. Ty Allred, 3.7, $5,392; 3. (tie) Bridger Anderson and Nick Guy, 3.9, $4,179 each; 5. (tie) Shayde Etherton and Landris White, 4.0, $2,561 each; 7. Tucker Allen, 4.1, $1,348; 8. (tie) Cameron Morman, Remey Parrott and Talon Roseland, 4.2, $180 each. Average leaders: 1. Timmy Sparing, 7.5 seconds on two head; 2. (tie) Nick Guy and Mike McGinn, 8.6 each; 4. Cameron Morman, 8.8; 5. Talon Roseland, 8.9; 6. Cody Devers, 9.0; no other qualified runs.
Team roping: First round: 1. Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 4.9 seconds, $6,145 each; 2. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira and Garrett Tonozzi/T.J. Watts, 5.3, $4,943 each; 4. Bubba Buckaloo/Joseph Harrison, 5.5, $3,740; 5. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 5.7, $2,939; 6. (tie) Brooks Dahozy/Seth Hall and Wyatt Imus/Caleb Anderson, 6.0, $1,737 each; 8. (tie) Luke Brown/Hunter Koch and D.J. Parker/Chance Machado, 6.1, $267 each. Second round: 1. Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich, 4.1 seconds, $6,145 each; 2. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 4.6, $5,344; 3. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 4.7, $4,542; 4. Rhen Richard/Jeremy Buhler, 4.9, $3,740; 5. (tie) Garrett Rogers/Justin Davis and Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 5.1, $2,538 each; 7. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Walt Woodard, 5.2, $1,336; 8. (tie) Shay Dixon Carroll/Evan Arnold and Jeff Flenniken/Jake Minor, 5.3, $267 each. Average leaders: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 11.2 seconds on two head; 2. (tie) Shay Dixon Carroll/Evan Arnold and Wyatt Imus/Caleb Anderson, 11.7 each; 4. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill and Garrett Tonozzi/T.J. Watts, 11.9 each; 6. Derrick Begay/Ty Romo, 12.0; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Statler Wright, 88 points on Rosser Rodeo’s Pendleton On Rocks, $5,365; 2. Stetson Dell Wright, 87.5, $4,113; 3. (tie) Wyatt Casper and Kolby Wanchuk, 85, $2,503 each; 5. Jake Watson, 84.5, $1,252; 6. (tie) Damian Brennan and Kade Bruno, 84, $805 each; 8. Shorty Garrett, 83.5, $536. Second round: 1. Zeke Thurston, 89.5 points on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Plantin, $5,365; 2. Sage Newman, 89, $4,113; 3. Ryder Wright, 88.5, $3,040; 4. (tie) Allen Boore, Tanner Butner, Stetson Dell Wright and Jesse Wright, 86, $1,207 each; 8. Logan Cook, 84.5, $536. Average leaders: 1. Stetson Dell Wright, 173.5 points on two head; 2. Sage Newman, 172; 3. Statler Wright, 170.5; 4. Tanner Butner, 166; 5. (tie) Kade Bruno and Lucas Macza, 164 each; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Shad Mayfield, 8.0 seconds, $6,173; 2. Shane Hanchey, 8.6, $5,368; 3. Marty Yates, 8.9, $4,563; 4. Caleb Smidt, 9.0, $3,757; 5. (tie) Kase Bacque, Tyler Boxleitner, John Douch and Matt Shiozawa, 9.2, $1,745 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Riley Mason Webb and Marty Yates, 7.9 seconds, $5,770 each; 3. Tuf Case Cooper, 8.0, $4,563; 4. Lucas Potter, 8.1, $3,757; 5. Kincade Henry, 8.3, $2,952; 6. Trenton Smith, 8.4, $2,147; 7. Taylor Santos, 8.5, $1,342; 8. Ladd King, 8.6, $537. Average leaders: 1. Marty Yates, 16.8 seconds on two head; 2. Shane Hanchey, 17.4; 3. Riley Mason Webb, 17.9; 4. Taylor Santos, 18.2; 5. Colt Papy, 18.5; 6. Tyler Boxleitner, 18.6; no other qualified runs.
Barrel racing: First round: 1. Michelle Darling, 17.00 seconds, $4,610; 2. Taycie Matthews, 17.12, $3,951; 3. Leslie Smalygo, 17.18, $3,293; 4. Nellie Miller, 17.20, $2,854; 5. Shelly Mull, 17.23, $2,195; 6. Paige Jones, 17.26, $1,756; 7. Shannon McReynolds, 17.28, $1,317; 8. Loni Lester, 17.34, $878; 9. Latricia Mundorf, 17.35, $659; 10. Jordon Briggs, 17.39, $439. Second round: 1. Megan McLeod-Sprague, 16.85 seconds, $4,610; 2. Shelley Morgan, 17.03, $3,951; 3. Halyn Lide, 17.04, $3,293; 4. Katie Pascoe, 17.05, $2,854; 5. Leslie Smalygo, 17.10, $2,195; 6. Stevi Hillman, 17.13, $1,756; 7. (tie) Savannah Bennett and Jordon Briggs, 17.14, $1,098 each; 9. Steely Steiner, 17.22, $659; 10. Anita Ellis, 17.24, $439. Average leaders: 1. Megan McLeod-Sprague, 34.26 seconds on two head; 2. Leslie Smalygo, 34.28; 3. Michelle Darling, 34.32; 4. Taycie Matthews, 34.41; 5. Halyn Lide, 34.47; 6. Nellie Miller, 34.52; no other qualified runs.
Bull riding: First round: 1. Stetson Dell Wright, 86.5 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Bringin Brother, $9,360; 2. (tie) Cody Russell and Creek Young, 84.5, $6,240 each; 4. Coy Pollmeier, 83, $3,432; 5. (tie) Trey Holston, Shane Proctor and Garrett Smith, 82.5, $1,664 each; 8. (tie) Ray Mayo and Cash Toews, 82, $468 each.
Total payoff: $682,149. Stock contractors: Flying U Rodeo, Diamond G Rodeo, Rosser Rodeo, Western Rodeos, All In Pro Rodeos, Big Bend Rodeo, Flying 5 Rodeo, Powder River Rodeo and Bridwell Pro Rodeos. Rodeo secretary: Cindy Rosser. Officials: Harry Rose Jr, Casey Vollin, Butch Kirby and Bobby Davis. Timers: Robin Yerxa and Molly Jane Twitchell. Announcers: Wayne Brooks and Bob Tallman. Specialty act: Mark DeCoudres. Bullfighters: Cody Webster and Dusty Tuckness. Clown/barrelman: Denny Halstead. Flankmen: Jim Warnke, Reno Rosser, Tony Amaral, Wes Ibrahimi and Cassie Ginn. Chute boss: Tony Amaral. Pickup men: Matt Twitchell, Bronc Boehnlein, Bobby Marriott and Jeffrey Shearer. Music director: Austin Lopeman. Photographers: Fernando Sam-Sin, Kristen Schurr and Phil Doyle.