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Sold-Out Crowd Treated to World-Class Action at Days of ‘47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo on Friday Night

SALT LAKE CITY – The first of two sold-out crowds enjoyed world-class action on Friday night at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo, presented by Zions Bank, and now the field is set for the Gold Medal Round on July 24.

It might have taken Orin Larsen 16 seconds instead of just eight to earn his spot in the Gold Medal Round, but it was worth it. Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba, Canada, initially drew Powder River Rodeo’s Naughty Temptation, but was given a re-ride. He came back and spurred Flying U Rodeo’s Talk Derby To Me for 86 points to move on to the finals, knocking Garrett Shadbolt from the leaderboard with his 85.5 on Sankey Rodeo’s Silver Screen.

In 2019, Larsen won a bronze medal and is hoping to move up the medal podium on Saturday night and add to his trophy case.

A total of 288 competitors will take their shot at a share of the $562,500 in prize money and a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal that will be awarded on Saturday, July 24. There will be 32 competitors in each of the following events: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s breakaway roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

The full field of 32 competitors is divided into four groups of eight each and compete in one of the first four performances (July 20-23). The one (1) highest score/fastest time from each discipline of each performance will advance to the Gold Medal Round along with the three (3) highest scores/fastest times overall, from all four combined Semi-Final performances that have not yet advanced. In addition, the #1 ranked athlete in each discipline (for team roping it is highest ranked team after pairing) of the final audited standings of the WCRA Segment 8 Leaderboard will be automatically qualified for the Gold Medal Round making a total of eight (8) contestants in each discipline to compete in the Gold Medal Round. Scores/times from the Semi-Final performances will NOT carry forward to the Gold Medal Round (only to break ties). The 8 competitors in each event in the Gold Medal Round will compete in a sudden-death format with the winner collecting a Gold Medal and $25,000 cash.

While it took Larsen two rides it took a challenge flag for World Champion Tyler Waguespack to earn his spot in the final round. Initially called for a broken barrier, Waguespack challenged the call and it was overturned resulting in a 4.03 second run moving him to the top of the leaderboard. While the Gonzales, Louisiana, steer wrestler has two gold buckles in his trophy case, he doesn’t have an Olympic-style medal and he will be looking to grab gold on Saturday night.

“It was a great Friday night, but Saturday will be even better,” stated Waguespack following his victory lap. “It was a strong pen of steers, so was glad to get by the one I had. I was glad they were able to take a second look and get the call right tonight.”

Clint Summers of Lake City, Florida, teamed with Ross Ashford to take the performance four victory lap in the team roping with a time of 4.89 seconds. They are hoping to duplicate their success on Saturday night. Lane Ivy and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Rich Skelton finished second on the night with a 5.41-second run and will be back on Saturday night after earning one of the at-large spots in the finals. Skelton will be the only one in the field who actually competed in the Olympic Rodeo that was part of the Cultural Arts Festival during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games right here in Salt Lake City. In 2002, Skelton was teamed with ProRodeo Hall of Famer Speed Williams and they left town with a silver medal. Skelton is eyeing Gold on Saturday night.

Another Canadian finished atop the leaderboard, this time in the saddle bronc riding when Jake Watson collected 86.5 points aboard Legend Rodeo’s Artificial Colors. Watson calls Hudsons Hope, British Columbia home and he would love to take the Days of ’47 Gold back to Canada.

It was a very rough night in the tie-down roping with only three qualified times. Marshall Leonard of Shongaloo, Louisiana stopped the clock in 9.85 seconds. The other times were turned in by Jud Nowotny with a 10.48 and Jody Green with a 10.90.

It was a stacked field in the women’s breakaway roping on Friday night and they all came with their A-Game. Three World Champions were atop the leaderboard with Hope Thompson leading the way in a time of 2.07 seconds. Thompson out roped Kelsie Chace who finished with a 2.26 and reigning World Champion Jackie Crawford took third in a time of 2.40. It was by far the quickest performance in the breakaway roping this week with all three earning their spot in the final round.

After the torrential rain hit the Days of ’47 Arena on Thursday the third performance barrel racing competition was delayed until 3 p.m. on July 23rd before the fourth performance. Maggie Poloncic of Gillette, Wyoming, brought the heat with a 17.222-second run to easily advance to the Gold Medal Round. In 2019, Poloncic won the silver medal behind Hailey Kinsel and Sister, so she will be looking for gold on Saturday and her second consecutive WCRA Major win of 2021. She previously won Rodeo Corpus Christi the first of May. Chani Graves of Sulphur Springs, Texas, was second in a time of 17.374 and pocketed $1,200.

On Friday night, Michelle Darling and her great horse Martini finished with a bronze medal in 2019 but will be back on Saturday night looking for gold. Darling of Medford, Oklahoma, turned in the fastest time of the week during the fourth performance with a time of 17.114 to cruise into the Gold Medal Round. It is shaping up to be a great showdown on Saturday.

“That mare gives me 110-percent every time and I am just blessed to own her,” said Darling about Martini following their blistering fast run.

The bulls were the big winners on Friday night bucking off every rider that tried to ride. Through four performances only five bull riders turned in a qualified ride, so all will advance to Saturday night and will be joined by three that turned in the longest buckoff time through all performances.

A complete list of Gold Medal Round qualifiers is listed below.

The Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank, is taking place at the $17.5 million state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fairpark, custom designed and built for rodeo. The venue—an outdoor arena located in the heart of Salt Lake City—features over 10,000 stadium-style seats.

For only the sixth time in the history of rodeo, riders will have an opportunity to compete for Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals. The first two times were in conjunction with the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (1988) and Salt Lake City (2002), when rodeo was part of the Cultural Olympiad and the other three times being the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo 2017-2019. This will be the second time for breakaway ropers as their event was added to the roster in 2019. The medals that will be awarded at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo will be produced by OC Tanner, the same company that made the Olympic medals for the champions of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Tickets are still available for Friday night at www.axs.com. For more information on the event visit www.daysof47cowboygames.com.

For those unable to attend in person the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo is being live streamed on RidePass PlutoTV-Channel 720 nightly at 7:30 p.m. MT. CBS will air the Gold Medal Round of the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo on July 31 at 11 a.m. MT.

Action at the Day of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo continues July 24 at 7:30 p.m. MT.


Results: – Performance 4 – July 23, 2021

Bareback riding: 1. Orin Larsen, Inglis, MB, Canada, 86 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Talk Derby to Me, $1,600; 2. Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, NE, 85.5 on Sankey Rodeo’s Silver Screen, $1,200; 3. Jayco Roper, Oktaha, OK, 79.5 on Bar T Rodeo’s Miss Major, $800; 4. Seth Hardwick, Ranchester, WY, 75 on Bar T Rodeo’s Higher Standards, $400.

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Caleb Bennett (WCRA No. 1), Richmond Champion (Perf 1 winner), Trenten Montero (Perf 2 winner), Clayton Biglow (Perf 3 winner), Orin Larsen (Perf 4 winner), Garrett Shadbolt (at-large), Wyatt Denny (at-large), Tim O’Connell (at-large)

Steer wrestling: 1. Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, LA, 4.03 seconds, $1,600; 2. Connor Gentry, Pleasanton, KS, 5.68, $1,200; 3. Stetson Jorgensen, Blackfoot, ID, 6.45, $800; 4. Cody Harmon, Dublin, TX, 7.47, $400.

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Will Lummus (WCRA No. 1), Cody Devers (Perf 1 winner), Riley Duvall (Perf 2 winner), Stockton Graves (Perf 3 winner), Tyler Waguespack (Perf 4 winner), Jesse Brown (at-large), Scott Guenthner (at-large), Jacob Talley (at-large)

Team roping: 1. Clint Summers, Lake City, FL/Ross Ashford, Lott, TX, 4.89 seconds, $1,600 each; 2. Lane Ivy, Santo, TX/Rich Skelton, 5.41, $1,200; 3. Dustin Egusquiza, Marianna, FL/Travis Graves, Jay, OK, 18.63, $800, no other qualified runs

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira (WCRA No. 1), Joe Mattern/Lucas Falconer (Perf 1 winner), Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich (Perf 2 winner), Luke Brown/Hunter Koch (Perf 3 winner), Clint Summers/Ross Ashford (Perf 4 winner), Tanner Green/Will Woodfin (at-large), Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp (at-large), Lane Ivy/Rich Skelton (at-large)

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jake Watson, Hudsons Hope, BC, Canada, 86.5 points on Legend Rodeo’s Artificial Colors, $1,600; 2. Dalton Kingery, Monroe, LA, 83 on Bar T Rodeo’s Vudu Doll, $1,200; 3. Kole Aschbacher, Arrowwood, Alberta, Canada, 81.5 on Flying U Rodeo’s Cowboys and Kids, $800; 4. Tyrel Larsen, Carnegie, OK, 70.5 on Powder River Rodeo’s 94, $400.

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Kolby Wanchuk (WCRA No. 1), Lefty Holman (Perf 1 winner), Riggin Smith (Perf 2 winner), Brody Cress (Perf 3 winner), Jake Watson (Perf 4 winner), Isaac Diaz (at-large), Jake Clark (at-large), Chase Brooks (at-large)

Tie-down roping: 1. Marshall Leonard, Shongaloo, LA, 9.85 seconds, $1,600; 2. Jud Nowotny, La Vernia, TX, 10.48, $1,200; 3. Jody Green, Ada, OK, 10.90, $800; no other qualified runs.

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Riley Webb (WCRA No. 1), Westyn Hughes (Perf 1 winner), Ryan Jarrett (Perf 2 winner), Trenton Smith (Perf 3 winner), Marshall Leonard (Perf 4 winner), Tanner Green (at-large), Jud Nowotny (at-large), Jody Green (at-large)

Breakaway roping: 1. Hope Thompson, Abilene, TX, 2.07 seconds, $1,600; 2. Kelsie Chace, Dublin, TX, 2.26, $1,200; 3. Jackie Crawford, Stephenville, TX, 2.40, $800; 4. Amanda Coleman, Stephenville, TX 2.74, $400.

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Josie Conner (WCRA No. 1), Tibba Smith (Perf 1 winner), Tacy Kay Webb (Perf 2 winner), Bradi Good (Perf 3 winner), Hope Thompson (Perf 4 winner), Kelsie Chace (at-large), Jackie Crawford (at-large) and Amanda Coleman (at-large)

Barrel racing

Performance 3 (delayed performance due to rain): 1. Maggie Poloncic, Gillette, WY, 17.222 seconds, $1,600; 2. Chani Graves, Sulphur Springs, TX, 17.374, $1,200; 3. Bradi Good, Abilene, TX, 17.501, $800; 4. JJ Baldwin, Lufkin, TX, 17.805

Performance 4: 1. Michelle Darling, Medford, OK, 17.114 seconds, $1,600; 2. Acey Pinkston, Stephenville, TX, 17.353, $1,200; 3. Liz Pinkston, Stephenville, TX, 17.438, $800; 4. Kelley Carrington, Sturbridge, MA, 17.527, $400.

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Hallie Hanssen (WCRA No. 1), Kassie Mowry (Perf 1 winner), Sue Smith (Perf 2 winner), Maggie Poloncic (Perf 3 winner), Michelle Darling (Perf 4 winner), Acey Pinkston (at-large), Chani Graves (at-large), Wenda Johnson (at-large)

Bull riding: 1. No qualified rides

Gold Medal Round qualifiers: Joao Ricardo Vieira (WCRA No. 1), Keyshawn Whitehorse (Perf 1 winner), Dalton Rudman (Perf 2 winner), Claudio Montanha Jr (Perf 3 winner), Dalton Davis (at-large), Chase Dougherty (at-large), Alex Cerqueira (at-large), Cooper Davis (at-large)

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