By: Johna Cravens
FORT WORTH, Texas — The first of two semifinal rounds to determine who will battle for championships at 126th Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo took the spotlight in Dickies Arena Thursday night.
The $1.2 million FWSSR ProRodeo Tournament features eight competitors in each event on Saturday night. Athletes qualify by winning in two qualifying rounds and the two Semi-finals with four advancing from Thursday and four more from Friday.
In bareback riding Rocker Steiner who lives in nearby Weatherford has been on a winning streak and continued with a 90-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s bucking horse Twin Cherry. Right behind him was Chad Rutherford, who squeaked into the semi-finals as a replacement in Wednesday’s last-chance, wild card round. Rutherford scored 88.5 and is headed to the finals.
Will Lummus, the 2022 reserve champion in steer wrestling, was the first to compete in the semifinals. The new college rodeo coach set the pace at 3.7 seconds. While 2019 world champion Ty Erickson got close with a 3.8-second run, Lummus held on to win the round.
The opposite scenario played out in breakaway roping where Joey Williams of Volberg, Montana, was the last to rope. She stopped the clock in 1.9 seconds to win the semifinals, wearing purple in honor of her friend’s infant daughter who died this week.
Reigning all-around champion Stetson Wright showed why one of his seven world championships is in saddle bronc riding with an 89.5-point ride on J Bar J Rodeo’s bucking horse Painted Commotion. He has the opportunity to compete in the finals in two events as he returns to Dickies Arena to ride a bull in Friday’s semifinals.
Zach Jongbloed of Iowa, Louisiana, qualified for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) in December, finishing sixth in the world championship standings. He was the only tie-down roper to stop the clock in less than nine seconds Thursday, winning the round with a time of 8.7.
Patrick Smith of Lipan has won the team roping championship in Fort Worth three times, all in Will Rogers Coliseum. His first championship came in 2006, the first year team roping was part of the rodeo here. He and partner Tanner Tomlinson of Angleton roped their steer in 3.9 seconds to win the semifinals and move on to Saturday night.
Emily Beisel of Weatherford, Oklahoma, and her gray horse Namgis D 33, nicknamed Chongo, were the fastest pair around the barrels Thursday night. They stopped the clock in 16.32 seconds, beating their best early-round time by .12 and leading the way into the barrel racing finals,
Coy Thorson of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, had the toughest route to a semifinal win. The 24-year-old cowboy was the first rider of the night. His trip on Rafter G’s Road to Nowhere ended with the bull hitting him hard in the back, and the option of a re-ride. Thorson came back later in the round, this time on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s bull Rodeo Stray. That ride earned him 88 points, the semifinal win and a berth in Saturday night’s tournament championship.
Semifinals 2 begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3. That action will set the field of athletes who will vie to win one of the most prestigious and legendary titles in rodeo.
FORT WORTH, Texas – The following are unofficial results from the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo’s Pro Rodeo Tournament after the Semi-Final round, February 2, 2023.
Bareback riding: 1, Rocker Steiner, Weatherford, Texas, 90 points on Calgary Stampede’s Twin Cherry, $4,000. 2, Chad Rutherford, Hillsboro, Texas, 88.5, $3,000. 3, Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb., 87, $2,000. 4, Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 84.5, $1,000.
Finals qualifiers: Steiner, Rutherford, Shadbolt and O’Connell
Steer wrestling: 1, Will Lummus, Byhalia, Miss., 3.7 seconds, $4,000. 2, Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 3.8, $3,000. 3, Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla., 4.3, $2,000. 4, Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla., 4.4, $1,000.
Finals qualifiers: Lummus, Erickson, Duvall and Frey.
Breakaway roping: (three times) 1, Joey Williams, Volberg, Mont., 1.9 seconds, $4,333. 2, Cheyanne Guillory, Kingston, Okla., 2.1, $3,333. 3, Kelsie Domer, Dublin, Texas, 2.4, $2,333.
Finals qualifiers: Williams, Guillory and Domer
Saddle bronc riding: 1, Stetson Wright, Milford, Utah, 89.5 points on J Bar J Rodeo’s Painted Commotion, $4,000. 2, Kade Bruno, Challis, Idaho, 88.5, $3,000. 3, Dawson Hay, Wildwood, Alberta, Canada, 88, $2,000. 4, Wyatt Casper, Miami, Texas, 87.5, $1,000.
Finals qualifiers: Wright, Bruno, Hay and Casper
Tie-down roping: 1, Zach Jongbloed, Iowa, La., 8.7 seconds, $4,000. 2, Trevor Hale, Perryton, Texas, 9.2, $3,000. 3, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 9.6. 4, Brush Minton, Witter Springs, Calif., 9.8, $1,000.
Finals qualifiers: Jongbloed, Hale, Hanchey and Minton
Team Roping: 1, Tanner Tomlinson, Angleton, Texas, and Patrick Smith, Lipan, Texas, 3.9 seconds, $4,000 each. 2, Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas, and Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., 4.3, $3,000 each. 3, (tie) Kaleb Driggers, Hoboken, Ga., and Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prude, Brazil; and Jake Clay, Sapulpa, Okla., and Billie Jack Saebens, Nowata, Okla., 4.7, $1,500 each.
Semi-finals qualifiers: Tomlinson and Smith; Wade and Graves; Driggers and Nogueira; and Clay and Saebens
Barrel Racing: 1, Emily Beisel, Weatherford, Okla., $16.32, $4,000. 2, (tie) Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, and Jordon Briggs, Tolar, Texas, 16.56, $2,500 each. 4, Sarah Rose Waguespack, Gonzales, La., 16.57, $1,000.
Finals qualifiers: Beisel, Ganter, Briggs and Waguespack
Bull Riding: (three rides) 1, Coy Thorson, Fergus Falls, Minn., 88 points on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Rodeo Stray, $4,333. 2, Jestyn Jax Woodward, Custer, S.D., 87, $3,333. 3, Chance Schott, McLaughlin, S.D., 84.5.
Finals qualifiers: Thorson, Woodward and SchottJohna Cravens