By Susan Kanode
SAN ANTONIO – When the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo committee decided to give more contestants opportunities to earn a paycheck at their rodeo, they added another performance and will have 11 competitors in the Championship Finals instead of their customary 10.
The Wildcard round was held in the AT&T Center on Friday night. In the bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding, the contestants in the semifinals that didn’t advance to the finals got one more opportunity. In the timed events, the top 10 out of the qualifiers held in the Expo Hall got to compete in the AT&T Center.
At the end of the Wildcard, the highest score or fastest time started making plans for one more round on Saturday night. Three-time world champion bareback rider Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, was one of the contestants to utilize the new opportunity well. O’Connell rode the horse named Pendleton Whisky’s Bar Talk from Beutler and Son Rodeo for 87-points. Not only did that give him the Wildcard win, it added $5,000 to his earnings here and gives him a chance to ride for the championship on Saturday.
One year ago, he was on the injured reserve and couldn’t compete in San Antonio. It is a buckle that he has always wanted to win, so to have another chance at it was especially gratifying.
“The finals here have been some of the best bareback riding I’ve ever seen,” O’Connell said. “Three years ago, I made the finals here, was 90 points and placed second. That kind of competition gets your blood pumping. I’m looking forward to being part of that caliber of competition again this year.”
Brody Cress, from Hillsdale, Wyoming had the high-marked saddle bronc ride. Cress rode Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s horse named Buck Owens for 85.5 points and the win. He edged out South Dakota’s Cole Elshere by one half of a point. Three bull riders were successful Friday night with Weiser, Idaho’s Dalee Mason at the top of the board. He was 89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s bull XO for the win.
In the steer wrestling, newlywed Trevor Nelson from Kiowa, Oklahoma stopped the clock in 3.5 seconds for the win. Blake Teixeira from Reno, Nevada and Dillon Wingereid from Stephenville, Texas, were the top team ropers on Friday with a 4.1-second run.
Cody Quaney from Fort Worth got the win in the tie-down roping with an 8.5-second time and Columbus, Kansas barrel racer Wenda Johnson had the fastest time at 13.96 seconds. Each of the winning competitors earned $5,000 and will be hoping for another first-place finish on Saturday where $15,000 is up for grabs.
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.
Semifinals 2 Round 2 followed by Championship Finals qualifiers –
Bareback Riding: 1, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Two Buck Chuck, $5,000. 2, Jamie Howlett, Rapid City, S.D., 88.5, $4,000. 3, Shane O’Connell, Rapid City, S.D., 86.5, $2,500. 4, Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 85.5, $1,500. (Finals qualifiers) 1, Howlett, $11,250. 2, Vold, $9,500. 3, Shane O’Connell, $9,250. 4, Champion, $8,750. 5, Dantan Bertsch, Eastend, Saskatchewan, $7,625.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta, 3.7 seconds, $5,000. 2, Jule Hazen, Ashland, Kan., 4.4, $4,000. 3, Tanner Bruner, Ramona, Kan., 4.7, $2,500. 4, Jace Melvin, Fort Pierre, S.D., 5.7, $1,500. (Finals qualifiers) 1, Hazen, $13,000. 2, Bruner, $9,500. 3, Cassidy, $9,375. 4, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., $8,500. 5, Melvin, $5,000.
Team Roping: 1, Clay Smith, Broken Bow, Okla., and Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 4.1 seconds, $5,000. 2, Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla., and Ryan Motes, Weatherford, 4.2, $4,000. 3, (tie) Billy Bob Brown, Carbon, Texas, and Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla.; and Erich Rogers, Round Rockc, Ariz., and Paden Bray, Stephenville, Texas, 4.6, $2,000 each. (Finals qualifiers) 1, Brown and Braden, $9,000. 2, (tie) Smith and Corkill; and Proctor and Motes, $8,500. 4, Matt Sherwood, Pima, Ariz., and Trey Yates, Pueblo, Colo., $7,000. 5, Tanner Baldwin, Vail, Ariz., and Nano Garza, Las Cruces, N.M., $6,000.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, 86.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Grab your Guns, $5,000. 2, Lefty Holman, Visalia, Calif., 86, $4,000. 3, Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah, 85.5, $2,500. 4, Tegan Smith, Winterset, Iowa, 83.5, $1,500. (Finals qualifiers) 1, Boore, $11,250. 2, Holman, $8,375. 3, Joe Harper, Paradise Valley, Nev., 79, $8,000. 4, Smith, $7,500. 5, Wright, $6,250.
Tie-Down Roping: 1, Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas, 6.9 seconds, $5,000. 2, Cody Huber, Albia, Iowa, 7.1, $4,000. 3, Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., and Shad Mayfield, Clovis, N.M., 7.3 and $2,000 each. (Finals round) 1, Catfish Brown, Collinsville, Texas, $10,750. 2, (tie) Moore and Mayfield, $9,500. 4, Chance Oftedahl, Pemberton, Minn., 8.2, $7,875. 5, Huber, $7,250.
Women’s Barrel Race: 1, Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, Texas, 13.91 seconds, $5,000. 2, Cindy Smith, Lovington, N.M., 13.97, $4,000. 3, (tie) Hailey Lockwood, Cotulla, Texas, and Shali Lord, Lamar, Colo., 14.06, $2,000. (Finals qualifiers) 1, Ryann Pedone, Sunset, Texas, $11,500. 2, Tonozzi, $10,000. 3, Wilson, $9,750. 4, Lockwood, $7,750. 5, Smith, $6,750.
Bull Riding: (three rides) 1, Trevor Kastner, Roff, Okla., 86 points on Four L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Ferdinand, $5,500. 2, Colten Fritzlan, Rifle, Colo., 85.5, $4,500. 3, Denton Fugate, Niangua, Mo., 81, $3,000. (Finals qualifiers) 1, Ruger Piva, Challis, Idaho, $16,222. 2, Fritzlan, $9,472. 3, Kastner, $7,750. 4, Fugate, $6,500. 5, Tyler Bingham, Huneyville, Utah, $4,250.