By Susan Kanode
SAN ANTONIO – For most rodeo contestants, traveling to compete at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is part of the business. Two of them in Bracket 4 are about 2,000 miles from home and are capitalizing on their trip to the Alamo City.
Blake Knowles and Levi Gray both make their homes in Oregon. Knowles is a veteran steer wrestler who makes his home at Heppner. Gray is a rising-star bull rider who grew up in the small community of Dairy and now has an address in Klamath Falls.
Knowles joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) in 2002 and has been entering the San Antonio Rodeo nearly every year since then. He is closing in on $1 million in career earnings and has won titles across the country, but a win in the AT&T Center has eluded him. He stopped the clock in 3.3 seconds on Thursday night to win the first round of Bracket 4. That added $2,500 to his earnings.
Gray joined the PRCA last year and finished 8th in the Rookie of the Year standings in the bull riding. He was also competing at the collegiate level and was having some success in both until injuries last July sent him home. He is healthy now and is climbing his way up the standings. He had the high-marked ride at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver last month when he scored 91 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Bull named Rump Shaker.
He hadn’t planned on coming to San Antonio this year, but when a fellow competitor withdrew, Gray got the call to compete. When he found out that the bull he would ride in the first round here was the same one he rode in Denver he was very excited. Then, he was one of three men to last eight seconds, scored 84.5 points and got to take the victory lap around the arena as the best bull rider of the night.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Gray said. “I was supposed to come last year but pulled my groin, so I was the guy that withdrew. The way this happened was a real blessing. I’m healthy now and can’t wait to get on the next one.”
The second round of Bracket 4 at the San Antonio Rodeo begins at 7 p.m. Friday night, Feb. 14.
The following are unofficial results from the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo, the 14-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year. Complete results are at www.sarodeo.com.
Bracket 4, Round 1 —
Bareback Riding: 1, Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D., 86 points on Calgary Stampede’s Shadow Warrior, $2,500. 2, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 83, $2,000. 3, Trenten Montero, Winnemucca, Nev., 81, $1,250. 4, Connor Hamilton, Calgary, Alberta, 80.5, $750.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 3.3 seconds, $2,500. 2, Jacob Edler, State Center, Iowa, 3.9, $2,000. 3, Cody Cabral, Hilo, Hawaii, 4.3, $1,250. 4, Levi Rudd, Chelsea, Okla., 4.4, $750.
Team Roping: 1, Levi Simpson, Ponoka, Alberta and Shay Carroll, La Junta, Colo., 3.9 seconds, $2,500. 2, (tie) Brooks Dahozy, Window Rock, Ariz., and Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alberta; and Nick Sartain, Bandera, Texas, and Coleby Payne, Lipan, Texas, 4.2 and $1,625 each. 4, (tie) Charly Crawford, Stephenville, Texas, and Logan Medlin, Tatum, N.M.; and Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., and Paden Bray, Stephenville, Texas, 4.3, $375.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Sterling Crawley, Huntsville, Texas, 86, $2,500. 2, Jake Watson, Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia, 83, $2,000. 3, Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyo., 82.5. 4, Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, Mont., 82, $750.
Tie-Down Roping: 1, Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 8.1 seconds, $2,500. 2, Bo Pickett, Caldwell, Idaho, 8.6, $2,000. 3, Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 8.7, $1,250. 4, Trenton Smith, Bigfoot, Texas, 8.8, $750.
Women’s Barrel Race: 1, (tie) Carly Taylor, Andersonville, Tenn., and Hailey Lockwood, Cotuala, Texas, 14.09 seconds and $2,250 each. 3, Brooke Wills, Kamloops, British Columbia, 14.18, $1,250. 4, Sabra O’Quinn, Ocala, Fla., 14.16, $750.
Bull Riding: (three rides) 1, Levi Gray, Klamath Falls, Ore., 84.5 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Rump Shaker, $2,750. 2, Colten Fritzlan, Rifle, Colo., 79, $2,250. 3, Brady Portenier, Caldwell, Idaho, 69, $1,500.