RENO, Nev. – It took eight performances and countless hours of slack, but the field for Saturday night’s championship finals is set.
The top 12 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s breakaway roping, women’s barrel racing and bull riding advance and have a chance to compete for the prestigious Reno Rodeo Championship spurs as well as some serious prize money.
Bareback rider Tilden Hooper of Carthage, Tex. set the bar high with an 87-point re-ride on the third night of the PRCA competition. He’d share the top spot on the first round leaderboard with Cole Frank, who scored 87 on Powder River Rodeo’s Not So Foxy two nights later. Tildon’s combined score of 170.5 guaranteed his spot in the finals and put him on top going into Saturday night. Jamie Howlett took the victory lap on night one and second place night two to end up in the second qualifying position with a combined score of 168.5. Wyatt Denny of Minden, Nev., had an 84.5-point ride on Flying U Rodeo’s Cork Top that helped get him to a 161.5 combined score and a spot in the championship at his hometown rodeo.
In steer wrestling, Ringo Robinson, Caldwell, Idaho, had the fastest throw this week at 3.6 seconds, but it was not enough to propel him to the finals with a no-score on his second go. Quick and consistent put Tyler Pearson of Louisville, Miss. in the top spot for the average with 8.2 seconds on two. Right behind him is three-time Reno Rodeo steer wrestling champion Hunter Cure of Holliday, Tex. with 8.8 seconds on two head. Fallon, Nev.’s Sterling Lambert also made the cut with 10.6 seconds on two head.
It’s a tight race into the finals for team roping. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., are in the top spot with 10.1 on two. Reigning Reno Rodeo team roping champions Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn., and Joseph Harrison, Overbrook, Okla., are right on the bubble after their 6.3-second run last night with 12.1 on two. Only one second behind Begay and Petska is Laramie Allen, of Llano, Tex. and Truman Magnus, of Mason, Tex. who are 11.0 on two. Last night five-time NFR qualifier and world champion header Cody Snow, Los Olivos, Calif., and world champion heeler Wesley Thorp, Throckmorton, Tex., clinched their finals position with a 6.4.
CoBurn Bradshaw set the bar high on night one with an impressive 90-point ride on Flying U Rodeo’s Wicked Game. An 86 the following night on Rosser Rodeo’s Hat Stomper put him securely at the top of the leaderboard with 176 after two rounds. Tegan Smith of Winterset, Iowa is in the second qualifying position with a 168.5 followed closely by Caleb Bennett of Corvallis, Mont. with 168 on two. Ryder and Stetson Wright may be in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the world standings, but it’s Spencer Wright and Rusty Wright looking for the high-scoring ride tonight.
The last time he was in Reno tie-down roper, Marcos Costa of Iretama, Brazil had the fastest first round time of the week and ended up in second place overall. This year he had a rough go in the first round, but thanks to a win Friday night he made the cut and is sitting in 11th place going into the championship round with 20.3 on two head. Leading the average are fellow Texans, Chris McCuiston of Collinsville and Michael Otero of Weatherford with 18.0 each on two head.
The inaugural year of women’s breakaway roping has seen some lightning-fast runs. With a leaderboard chock full of Texans, JJ Hampton of Stephenville is in the lead with 4.7 on two. Just over a second behind Hampton are Jordan Jo Fabrizio of Canyon and Jackie Crawford of Stephenville both with 5.8 on two. In third place and only one-tenth of a second behind is Shelby Boisjoli, also of Stephenville, with 5.9 on two. Tonight’s top eight competitors are all within three seconds of each other making the finals a tight race for the first-year event.
Christine Laughlin of Reddick, Fla. set the fastest round one time with a 17.05-second turn around the barrels, but it was the sold-out crowd on Friday night that saw the fastest runs of the week in round two with Wenda Johnson’s lightning-quick 16.85-second time followed by Hailey Kinsel’s 16.99-second run. Johnson, of Pawhuska, Okla., goes into the finals with 33.93 on two followed by Kinsel, of Cotulla, Tex. with 34.22 and Laughlin of Reddick, Fla., with 34.4. Laughlin and Stevi Hillman, who just barely made the cut with a 34.7 in the 12th spot, are both Reno Rodeo past champions.
Topping the leaderboard for bull riding is J.B. Mauney of Cotulla, Tex. with his impressive 89-point ride last night on Big Bend Rodeo’s Insane Hurricane. World all-around leader Stetson Wright of Milford, Utah had previously topped the Reno Rodeo leaderboard since the fifth performance with his 84-point ride on Big Bend Rodeo’s Fast Money. Lon Danley is only a half-point behind Wright after his 83.5-point ride on Rosser Rodeo’s Logun’s Legacy. The current leader in the Resistol Rookie race Creek Young secured his spot right behind Danley with an 81 in the fourth performance. Insane Hurricane also proved to be a good match-up for the reigning Reno Rodeo bull riding champion, Sage Steele Kimzey, who inked his spot in the finals on the fourth night with his 79-point ride.
Saturday night’s championship finals start at 7. p.m.
Bareback riding: First round: 1. (tie) Cole Franks, on Powder River Rodeo’s Knot So Foxey, and Tilden Hooper, on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Cougar Country, 87 points, $4,854 each; 3. Cole Reiner, 85.5, $3,114; 4. (tie) Jamie Howlett and Caleb Bennett, 85, $1,649 each; 6. (tie) Wyatt Denny and Chad Rutherford, 84.5, $824 each; 8. Clay Jorgenson, 83.5, $550. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Bill Tutor, on Flying U Rodeo’s Lil Bit, and Tim O’Connell, on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Cougar Country, 85.5 points each; 3. Richmond Champion, 85; 4. Kaycee Feild, 84; 5. (tie) Jamie Howlett, Bronc Marriott and Tilden Hooper, 83.5 each. Average leaders: 1. Tilden Hooper, 170.5 points on two head; 2. Jamie Howlett, 168.5; 3. Caleb Bennett, 168; 4. Cole Franks, 165.5; 5. Kaycee Feild, 165; 6. Tanner Aus, 163.5; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Ringo Robinson, 3.6 seconds, $5,621; 2. (tie) Don Payne and Tyler Pearson, 3.8, $4,521 each; 4. (tie) Bridger Anderson and Hank Filippini, 4.3, $3,055 each; 6. Cameron Morman, 4.4, $1,955; 7. (tie) Ty Erickson and Hunter Cure, 4.5, $855 each. Second round leaders: 1. Grady Payne, 3.9 seconds; 2. (tie) Will Lummus and Wyatt Jurney, 4.0 each; 4. Levi Rudd, 4.2; 5. (tie) Talon Roseland and Hunter Cure, 4.3 each. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Pearson, 8.2 seconds on two head; 2. Hunter Cure, 8.8; 3. Jacob Talley, 9.4; 4. Jule Hazen, 9.6; 5. Jace Melvin, 9.8; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 10.0; no other qualified runs.
Team roping: First round: 1. Clay Tryan/Jake Long, 4.9 seconds, $6,043 each; 2. (tie) Jade Stoddard/Max Kuttler, Rhen Richard/Jeremy Buhler and Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 5.0, $4,466 each; 5. Kolton Schmidt/Wyatt Cox, 5.1, $2,890; 6. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 5.2, $2,102; 7. (tie) Riley Minor/Brady Minor, Tanner Baldwin/Clay Elkington and Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, 5.4, $613 each. Second round leaders: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 4.4 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, 4.5; 3. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 4.6; 4. (tie) Derrick Begay/Cory Petska and Lane Ivy/Evan Arnold, 4.7 each; 6. Jake Clay/Rance Doyal, 5.0. Average leaders: 1. Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, 10.1 seconds on two head; 2. Laramie Allen/Truman Magnus, 11.0; 3. Rhen Richard/Jeremy Buhler, 11.3; 4. Tanner Green/Clay Futrell, 11.5; 5. Rhett Anderson/Cullen Teller, 11.8; 6. Jake Clay/Rance Doyal, 11.9; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, 90 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Wicked Game, $5,348; 2. Spencer Wright, 87.5, $4,100; 3. Ben Andersen, 85.5, $3,031; 4. (tie) Chase Brooks and Tegan Smith, 84.5, $1,605 each; 6. Colt Gordon, 83.5, $891; 7. (tie) Mitch Pollock and Allen Boore, 82, $624 each. Second round leaders: 1. Layton Green, 87 points on Flying 5 Rodeo’s No. 799; 2. Ryder Wright, 86.5; 3. CoBurn Bradshaw, 86; 4. Brody Cress, 85.5; 5. Isaac Diaz, 84.5; 6. Tegan Smith, 84. Average leaders: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, 176 points on two head; 2. Tegan Smith, 168.5; 3. Spencer Wright, 165.5; 4. Ben Andersen, 163; 5. Brody Cress, 161; 6. Rusty Wright, 159.5; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Caleb Smidt, 8.4 seconds, $5,917; 2. Blake Chauvin, 8.7, $5,145; 3. (tie) Bo Pickett, Justin Smith, Taylor Santos and Ty Harris, 8.9, $3,216 each; 7. Michael Otero, 9.0, $1,286; 8. Chris McCuistion, 9.2, $515. Second round leaders: 1. Cory Solomon, 7.8 seconds; 2. (tie) Ryan Thibodeaux and Chris McCuistion, 8.8 each; 4. Dakota Felton, 8.9; 5. (tie) Michael Otero and Trey Young, 9.0 each. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Chris McCuistion and Michael Otero, 18.0 seconds on two head each; 3. Justin Smith, 18.2; 4. Hunter Herrin, 18.7; 5. Caleb Smidt, 19.1; 6. Trenton Smith, 19.2; no other qualified runs.
Barrel racing: First round: 1. Christine Laughlin, 17.05 seconds, $4,685; 2. Wenda Johnson, 17.08, $4,016; 3. Steely Steiner, 17.14, $3,346; 4. Kassie Mowry, 17.17, $2,900; 5. Stephanie Fryar, 17.18, $2,231; 6. Emma Charleston, 17.21, $1,785; 7. Lynette Clyde, 17.22, $1,339; 8. Hailey Kinsel, 17.23, $892; 9. Shelley Morgan, 17.26, $669; 10. Kylee Scribner, 17.31, $446. Second round leaders: 1. Stevi Hillman, 17.11 seconds; 2. Cheyenne Hattesen, 17.12; 3. Kylee Scribner, 17.13; 4. Emily Miller-Beisel, 17.19; 5. (tie) Amanda Welsh and Ali Anton, 17.24 each. Average leaders: 1. Christine Laughlin, 34.40 seconds on two head; 2. Kylee Scribner, 34.44; 3. Kassie Mowry, 34.53; 4. Emily Miller-Beisel, 34.56; 5. Destri Devenport, 34.58; 6. Cheyenne Hattesen, 34.59; no other qualified runs.
Bull riding: First round leaders: 1. Stetson Dell Wright, 84 points on Big Bend Rodeo’s Fast Money; 2. Lon Danley, 83.5; 3. Creek Young, 81; 4. Tyler Bingham, 79.5; 5. (tie) Koby Radley, Sage Kimzey and Jeff Askey, 79 each.
Total payoff: $665,257. Stock contractor: Flying U Rodeo. Sub-contractors: Big Bend Rodeo, All In Pro Rodeos, Powder River Rodeo, Western Rodeos, Rosser Rodeo, Brehmer Rodeo, Bridwell Pro Rodeos, Diamond G Rodeo and Flying 5 Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Cindy Rosser. Officials: Butch Kirby, Monty Van Komen, Joe Bob Locke and Rocky Steagall. Timers: Sherry Rice-Gibson and Robin Yerxa. Announcers: Wayne Brooks and Bob Tallman. Specialty act: John Harrison. Bullfighters: Aaron Hargo, Cody Webster and Dusty Tuckness. Clown/barrelman: John Harrison. Flankmen: Reno Rosser, Drew Blessinger, Tony Amaral and Chad Hutsell. Chute bosses: Tony Amaral and Reno Rosser. Pickup men: Bronc Boehnlein, Matt Twitchell, Joshua Reed and Bobby Marriott. Photographers: Kirt Steinke, Jake Link, Fernando Sam-Sin and Phil Doyle. Music director: Austin Lopeman.