By Susan Kanode
FORT WORTH, Texas – It’s taken 15 rodeo performances, countless runs and rides to be among the first qualifiers for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo ProRodeo Tournament Championship Finals.
Action all started in the new Dickies Arena on Jan. 24 with the first of seven brackets. The top four money winners in each event advanced from the brackets to the Semi-Finals or the Wild Card Round, which was held on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
That set the field for two Semi-Finals Rounds. The top four in the first semi-final claimed their spot in Saturday night’s final round. Cole Reiner of Kaycee, Wyoming and Wyatt Bloom of Belgrade, Montana each scored 87 points, tied for first place in the bareback riding and won $3,500.
Both these men have come through the ranks of high school and college rodeo. Reiner, a standout at Casper (Wyoming) College, rode Witless Margie from the Calgary Stampede bucking horse string. Bloom, originally from Oregon, went to Montana State University and fulfilled a promise to his grandfather that he would get his bachelor’s degree before becoming a full-time bareback rider. He rode Championship Pro Rodeo’s Lizard Back. Also advancing in the bareback riding were Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa and Jesse Pope, from Marshall, Missouri, who each won $1,500 for their 86-point rides.
In the steer wrestling Matt Reeves from Cross Plains, Texas, had the fast time of the night. Reeves, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, earned $4,000. He won the title in the historic Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in 2016 and showed livestock here as a youth. Reeves will be joined in the finals by world champions Hunter Cure from Holliday, Texas, and Ty Erickson from Helena, Mont., along with South Dakotan Jace Melvin.
There were some empty loops in breakaway roping as contestants were going for broke. The fast time was Montanan-turned-Texan Cadee Williams who stopped the clock in 2.5 seconds. Jordan Jo Fabrizio from Canyon, Texas made history when she won the title at Cheyenne Frontier Days last July. She finished second on Thursday. Rounding out the field is Martha Angelone from Aledo, Texas, and Tanegai Zilverberg from Holabird, S.D.
Two members of the famed saddle bronc riding Wright family advanced, but the crowd cheered loudest for Erath County, Texas, native Sterling Crawley. Crawley rode Calgary Stampede’s Arriving Kamloops for 87 points and the semi-finals win. If he does that again Saturday night, he will have back-to-back titles at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Ryder Wright and his uncle Jesse Wright, from Milford, Utah, and Allen Boore from Axtell, Utah also advanced.
The reigning National High School Rodeo Association tie-down roping champion had the time to beat in the semis. Shad Mayfield of Clovis, New Mexico roped and tied his calf in 8.4 seconds and is on track to win his first Fort Worth title. Ryle Smith, the 2016 FWSSR champion tie-down roper from Oakdale, California, along with Cory Solomon of Prairie View, Texas, and Matt Shiozawa, from Chubbock, Idaho are moving on. Shiozawa won here in 2011.
The barrel racing offered slim margins as the four qualifiers were just over one-tenth of a second apart. Springer, Oklahoma’s Ivy Hurst, who won the Wildcard Round on Wednesday, stopped the clock in 16.47 seconds to win the semi-final. Right behind her was Montgomery, Texas resident Ashley Castleberry with a 16.48. The 2018 rookie of the year, Jimmie Smith, of McDade, Texas, had a 16.49. The final barrel racer to qualify was Ivy Conrado-Saebens from Hudson, Colorado, the 2016 champion here, with a 16.58.
Three bull riders made it to the eight second mark. At the top of the list was Ky Hamilton, from Mackay, Australia with an 89-point ride on Stock Yards Pro Rodeo’s Soy El Feugo. He earned $4,333. Brady Portenier, from Caldwell, Idaho finished second and Tanner Justin Willis, of Kearny, Arizona was third. The fourth contestant will not be determined until after Semi-Final B is completed.
Semi-Final B will showcase eight more contestants in each event competing on Friday night beginning at 7:30. Once again, the top four will advance to Saturday night’s Championship Finals.
The following are unofficial results from Semi-Final A of the FWSSR ProRodeo Tournament at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, Thursday, February 6, 2020. The top four from this round advance to the finals on Saturday, February 8.
Bareback riding: 1, (tie) Cole Reiner, Kaycee, Wyo., on Calgary Stampede’s Witless Margie, and Wyatt Bloom, Belgrade, Mont., on Championship Pro Rodeo’s Twin Cherry, 87 points, $3,500 each. 3, (tie) Jesse Pope, Marshall, Mo., and Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 86, $1,500 each.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, 3.9 seconds, $4,000. 2, Dirk Tavenner, Rigby, Idaho, 4.2, $3,000. 3, Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas, 4.6, $2,000. 4, Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 4.7, $1,000. .
Breakaway Roping: 1, Cadee Williams, Weatherford, Texas, 2.5 seconds, $4,000. 2, Jordan Jo Fabrizio, 3.1, $3,000. 3, Martha Angelone, Aledo, Texas, 3.9, $2,000. 4, Tanegai Zilverberg, Holabird, S.D., $1,000.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Sterling Crawley, Huntsville, Texas, 87 points on Calgary Stampede’s Arriving Kamloops, $4,000. 2, Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah, 86.5, $3,000. 3, Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, 86, $2,000. 4, (tie) * Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, and Kolby Wanchuk, Sherwood Park, Alberta, 85.5, $500 each.
Tie-down Roping: 1, Shad Mayfield, Clovis, N.M., 8.4 seconds, $4,000. 2, Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas, 8.9, $3,000. 3, Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 9.2, $2,000. 4, Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 10.9, $1,000.
Team Roping: 1, Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.C., and Patrick Smith, Lipan, Texas, 4.6 seconds, $4,000 each. 2, Kal Fuller, Bozeman, Mont., and Reagan Ward, Edmond, Okla., 5.7, $3,000 each. 3, Clay Smith, Broken Bow, Okla., and Jade Corkhill, Fallon, Nev., 6.0, $2,000 each. 4, Clay Ullery, Valleyview, Alberta, and Jake Edwards, Ocala, Fla., 6.3, $1,000 each.
Barrel Racing: 1, Ivy Hurst, Springer, Okla., 16.47 seconds, $4,000. 2, Ashley Castleberry, Montgomery, Texas, 16.48, $3,000. 3, Jimmie Smith, McDade, Texas, 16.49, $2,000. 4, Ivy Conrado-Saebens, Hudson, Colo., 16.58, $1,000.
Bull Riding: (three rides) 1, Ky Hamilton, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 89 points on Stockyards Pro Rodeo’s Soy El Fuego, $4,333.33. 2, Maverick Potter, Waxahatchie, Texas, 84.5, $3,333.33. 3, Brady Portenier, Caldwell, Idaho, 83, $2,333.33.
*advances on tie-breaker rules