Speeding into the Lead

By: Ruth Nicolaus

Second performance of St. Paul Rodeo takes place

Australian Damian Brennan leads the saddle bronc riding at the 2022 St. Paul Rodeo. Photo by Hoot Creek.

St. Paul, Ore. – By the time Damian Brennan arrived at the St. Paul Rodeo, he had run a quarter-mile to get there.

And within minutes, he was on his saddle bronc horse, scoring 85.5 points on the Big Bend Rodeo Co. horse Crash Gate to take the lead in his event.

The reason for his exertion? A speeding ticket.

Brennan and five other saddle bronc riders had competed at the Molalla rodeo and were hurrying to St. Paul when they were stopped just outside St. Paul for speeding.

The Molalla and St. Paul rodeos work together, alternating events, so that cowboys are able to compete at both rodeos.

And the men knew their horses were loaded and waiting for them, and if they weren’t in time, they’d lose the opportunity to ride.

While the law enforcement officer kept the driver to write him a ticket, the other five saddle bronc riders ran for the rodeo grounds.

“We had to get our gear bags and jog to the rodeo,” Brennan said.

It was an eventful start for the six men, and Brennan made the most of it.

Brennan, a native of Inune, Queensland, Australia, came to the U.S. eighteen months ago and is a student at Western Texas College in Snyder. Ranked eighteenth in the PRCA world standings, he’s contemplating suspending his college education to rodeo full time, in pursuit of a qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, pro rodeo’s world championship stage.

A check or even a first-place finish in St. Paul would boost him up in the standings, and help pay for a speeding fine, too. “We’d better chip in,” he joked, to help pay for the fine.

The other five in the truck didn’t fare as well at the rodeo; only two of them made qualified rides.

The six men will drive overnight, headed to the Cody, Wyo. and Red Lodge, Montana rodeos tomorrow.

For tie-down roper Cory Solomon, this year’s St. Paul Rodeo had its ups and downs.

The Prairie View, Texas cowboy leads the first round of his event with a time of 7.8 seconds, but on his second run, didn’t turn in a qualifying time, taking him out of the average, the fastest combined time in two runs.

Like many other rodeo contestants over the holiday, Solomon traveled overnight to get to St. Paul. He took a red-eye flight from Greeley, Colo., where he competed in the short round, winning fifth place, to get to St. Paul by 9 am slack on July 1.

For his first run in St. Paul, “I had a good calf,” he said, “and I just tried to be smart at the barrier, take a chance at it, and thankfully, it worked out.” He edged out two eight-second runs, made by King Pickett and Caleb Smidt. “I ran against a good field of guys,” he said. “There’s no day off here” at the St. Paul Rodeo.

Solomon is ranked fifteenth in the world standings and is having a good Fourth of July run so far. He’s won checks in Greeley and Pecos, Texas, and won the Springdale, Ark. rodeo. his run “is picking up,” he said. “It could always be better, it could always be worse. I’m picking up checks so I can’t complain.

The 31-year-old cowboy has qualified for eight Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Other high scores and fast times from slack and the second performance of the St. Paul Rodeo are bareback rider Tilden Hooper, Granbury, Texas (80.5); steer wrestlers Tristan Martin, Sulphur, La. (4.0 seconds in the first round) and Ryan Nettle, Goldthwaite, Texas (3.8 seconds in the second round); tie-down ropers Solomon (7.8 seconds in the first round) and Westyn Hughes, Caldwell, Texas (7.8 seconds in the second round); and team ropers Brenten Hall, Jay, Okla. and Chase Tryan, Helena, Mont. (5.1 seconds in the first round) and Dustin Egusquiza, Marianna, Fla. and Travis Graves, Jay, Okla. (4.9 seconds in the second round).

Cory Solomon made a 7.8 second run to take the lead in the tie-down roping after slack on July 1 at the St. Paul Rodeo. Photo by Hoot Creek.

Bull rider Ouncie Mitchell, Houston, Texas, made the only qualified ride of the night (86.5 points), and barrel racer Leia Pluemer, Bosque Farms, N.M. was the fast time of the day (17.58 seconds).

The third performance of the St. Paul Rodeo takes place July 2 at 7:30 pm and is followed with a fireworks display. The rodeo continues July 3-4 with evening performances at 7:30 pm and a 1:30 matinee on July 4.

Tickets are available online at and at the gate. For more information, visit the website.

Results from the slack and the second performance, St. Paul Rodeo, July 1, 2022

Bareback Riding

1. Tilden Hooper, Granbury, Texas 80.5 points on Macza Rodeo Co.’s Montana Cat; 2. Clay Stone, Blackfoot, Idaho 75; 3. (tie) Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev. and Colton Clemens, Blackfoot, Idaho 74.5 each.

Steer wrestling

1st round leaders:

1. Tristan Martin, Sulphur, La. 4.0 seconds; 2. Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala. 4.5; 3. (tie) Travis Munro, Townsville, Australia and Sam Shelton, Finley, Wash. 4.6 each.

2nd round leaders:

1. Ryan Nettle, Goldthwaite, Texas 3.8 seconds; 2. Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas 4.0; 4. (tie) Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala. and Jayce Garthwaite, Powell Butte, Ore. 4.2 each.

Bull riding

1. Ouncie Mitchell, Houston, Texas 86.5 points on Big Stone Rodeo’s Renegade; no other qualified rides.

Tie-down roping

1st round leaders:

1. Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas 7.8 seconds; 2. Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La. 8.4; 3. Ty Harris, San Angelo, Texas 8.5; 4. Kase Bacque, Huntsville, Texas 8.9.

2nd round leaders:

1. Westyn Hughes, Caldwell, Texas 7.8 seconds; 2. Michael Otero, Millsap, Texas 7.9; 3. Ty Harris, San Angelo, Texas 8.5; 4. Kase Bacque, Huntsville, Texas 8.7.

Saddle bronc riding

1. Damian Brennan, Inune, Queensland, Aus. 85.5 points on Big Bend Rodeo’s Crash Gate; 2. Jake Clark, Crane, Ore. 84; 3. Leon Fountain, Socorro, N.M. 80.5; 4. Wyatt Casper, Miami, Texas 77.5.

Team roping

1st round leaders

1. Brenten Hall, Jay, Okla./Chase Tryan, Helena, Mont. 5.1 seconds; 2. Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev.5.3; 3. Joshua Torres, Ocala, Fla./Jonathan Torres, Ocala, Fla. 5.4; 4. Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alb. 6.0.

2nd round leaders

1. Dustin Egusquiza, Marianna, Fla./Travis Graves, Jay, Okla. 4.9 seconds; 2. Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alb. 5.5; 3. Joshua Torres, Ocala, Fla./Jonathan Torres, Ocala, Fla. 5.6; 4. TC Hammack, Chiloquin, Ore./Cody Stewart, Red Bluff, Calif. 6.2.

Barrel racing

1. Leia Pluemer, Bosque Farms, N.M. 17.58; 2. Lexie Goss, Redmond, Ore. 17.64 seconds; 3. Timber Allenbrand, Paola, Kan. 17.80; 4. Nicole Driggers, Stephenville, Texas 17.86.

Related Content