By: Ruth Nicolaus
Idaho, North Dakota cowboys among winners
Red Bluff, Calif. – The biggest rodeo in the U.S. took place in Red Bluff this weekend, with over $350,000 up for grabs among 750 cowboys and cowgirls, and winners at the 102nd Round-Up
Big smiles abounded at the Red Bluff Round-Up, among fans and contestants alike.
And for the winning cowboys and cowgirls, their grins lasted all day.
The bull riding title went to Tristen Hutchings, Monteview, Idaho.
He scored 90 points on the Big Stone Rodeo bull named Dirty Dave.
It was the first time anyone had made a qualified on the four-year-old bull, and Hutchings was pleased.
“He was an awesome bull,” he said. “Every time I get on one of Julio Moreno’s bulls (owner of the bull), it seems to work out for me.”
Hutchings is a college student at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas, and flew back to Texas on Saturday to compete at a college rodeo. A bull rider and steer wrestler, he bucked off his bull at the college rodeo on Thursday, came to California, then competed in the short round in the steer wrestling on Saturday.
Right now, he’s riding bulls professionally, but someday would like to steer wrestle in the PRCA. “There’s a lot of talent and some really big guys, but if I can get some good horses rounded up, I’d like to enter.”
The Round-Up has a special feel for the competitors, Hutchings said. “We go to rodeos all the time, but there are a couple that are very historically cool, at unique fairgrounds, like this one. It’s fun, it’s a bunch of your buddies behind the chutes and we’re all there, having a blast.”
Hutchings competed at the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
The steer wrestling title for the 2023 Round-Up went to North Dakota.
Bridger Anderson, Carrington, N.D., had a time of 18.6 seconds on four head, to win the title, after tying for eighth place in the first round, tying for second place in the second round, and winning the third round.
Anderson, 24 years old, is making his second trip to the Round-Up, after competing in Red Bluff last year and breaking the barrier in nearly every round.
He’s traveling with fellow steer wrestlers Tucker Allen and Justin Shaffer, and all three men qualified for the short round on Sunday, April 23.
“It’s been fun,” Anderson said. “We all made the short round and won good money.”
Anderson was aboard a fourteen-year-old bay gelding named Whiskers, a “big powerful bay horse, a cool cat,” he said. “He doesn’t like people and sticks to himself. But he does his job. He gives you a consistent go every time, and you can’t ask for anything more. He just loves steer wrestling.”
Anderson is ranked in the top twenty in the PRCA world standings; the money he’s won in Red Bluff should vault him into the coveted top fifteen in the world, who qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.
His mom Robin was on hand to see her son win, flying in on Friday to watch him compete. “She doesn’t get to go to too many rodeos,” he said. “She makes as many as she can. Now she got to go to this rodeo, and she said, ‘I may have to go to all of them.’ I gave her a hug when we walked over here. She’s pumped.”
Other Red Bluff champions include bareback rider Donny Proffit, Diamondville, Wyo. (90 points); saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah (87 points); tie-down roper Blane Cox, Cameron, Texas (39.9 seconds on four runs); breakaway roper Macy Young, Wittman, Ariz. (6.3 seconds on two runs); team ropers Andrew Ward, Edmond, Okla. and Buddy Hawkins II, Stephenville, Texas (27 seconds on four runs); and barrel racer Payton Schoeppach, Lincoln, Calif. (34.54 seconds on two runs).
During the rodeo, which was the annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink event, two items were auctioned off to benefit St. Elizabeth Community Hospital. The first was a VIP package to the Reno Rodeo, including two nights’ lodging, two days of VIP rodeo action, President’s Club passes, event transportation, and $500 in resort credit. Jan Sutherland, owner of Taco Bell, purchased it for $10,500.
The second item, a 4×4 Honda Rancher with a pink theme, wrapped by Zelma’s Awards, was purchased by Geoff Miller for $11,000.
Monies raised during the Round-Up’s “pink” campaign help fund breast cancer services at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital. Monies raised during the Round-Up’s “pink” campaign go to breast cancer treatment at Dignity Health/St. Elizabeth Hospital.
For more information on the rodeo, visit RedBluffRoundup.com.