July 19-28, 2024


North Carolina well represented at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

By Susan Kanode

Eli Vastbinder’ s 83.5-point ride on Smith, Harper and Morgan Rodeo’s bull named Kill Switch moved him to first place overall. He has a total of 166 points. (photo by Dan Hubbell)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — It was a smiling Eli Vastbinder who got off of his second bull at Frontier Park on Thursday.

Vastbinder, from Statesville, N.C., rode Smith, Harper and Morgan Rodeo’s bull named Kill Switch for 83.5 points, the exact same score that he received on his first bull on Wednesday. With the two rides, the 25-year-old cowboy moved to the top of the leaderboard in the overall standings with 166 points. Roscoe Jarboe from New Plymouth, Idaho is in second with 165.

Vastbinder is not ranked in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), but Cheyenne’s rodeo could make a big difference for the up-and-coming bull rider. Even though he has a very slim shot of earning enough money between now and the season’s end in September to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR), a win here would be very important for him. The money he earns this year will help him to qualify for rodeos next winter that limit their entries and give him greater opportunities in 2017.

Three-time Cheyenne Frontier Days saddle bronc champion, Cody DeMoss is looking good for a fourth title. He scored 81 points on Thursday to give him a total of 163. The Heflin, La., cowboy is currently second behind Zeke Thurston from Big Valley, Alberta, who has 171.

With eight members of the saddle bronc riding Wright family competing over the last two days, it’s no surprise that some of them are headed to Saturday’s championship finals. The oldest of the clan, Cody Wright and the youngest, his son Ryder Wright are tied for fourth place overall with 160.5 points on two head.

Ryder Wright had the highest marked ride in saddle bronc riding Thursday. He rode Three Hills Rodeo’s Prom Nite for 83.5 points. His dad has been competing here since he joined the PRCA in 1998. Ten years later, Cody’s brothers started coming to Cheyenne.  Between the eight family members that competed here, they have 25 NFR qualification and four world titles to their credit. However, none of them have ever won Cheyenne.

Cody Wright’s brother-in-law, CoBurn Bradshaw, moved into seventh place and Spencer Wright is now ninth. They will have to wait through two more days of competition to see if they will get on a third bucking horse here.

Once again, there was a new overall barrel racing leader Thursday. Tillar Murray, from Fort Worth, Texas, who won second in the first round, followed that up with a 17.58. That currently is just sixth in the second round, but put her first overall with 35.14. Sherry Cervi, from Marana, Ariz., is now in second with 35.31.

The sixth performance of the 120th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo starts at 12:15 p.m. on Friday where a new group of contestants will make their first appearance in every event except the barrel racing.

Bareback Riding: (first round) 1, Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 87 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Black Tie. 2, Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev., 84. 3, Grant Denny, Minden, Nev., 83. 4, J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo., 82.5. 5, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 81.5. 6, Chad Rutherford, Lake Charles, La., 80.5. 7, (tie) Wyatt Bloom, Bend, Ore., and Craig Wisehart, Kersey, Colo., 80. (second round) 1, Aus, 84.5 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Blind Date. 2, Colin Adams, Deloraine, Manitoba, 83, 3, Larsen, 82, 82. 4, Grant Denny, 81. 5, Frank Morton, Wright, Kan., and Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., 79. 7, (tie) Cody Kiser, Carson City, Nev., Casey Breuer, Mandan, N.D., Clayton Biglow, Clements, Calif., and Justin Pollmiller, Weatherford, Okla., 78. (total on two) 1, Larsen, 169. 2, Grant Denny, 164. 3, Aus, 162.5. 4, Wyatt Denny, 160. 5, Champion, 158.5. 6, Adams, 157. 7, (tie) Rutherford and J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo., 155.5.

Steer Wrestling: (first round) 1, Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 5.9 seconds. 2, Will Stovall, Roberts, Mont., 7.1. 3, Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 8.0. 4, J.D. Struxness, Appleton, Minn., 8.9. 5, Josh Boka, Dillon, Mont., 9.6. 6, Forest Sainsbury, Camp Crook, S.D., 9.7. 7, Rowdy Parrott, Mamou, La., 9.9. 8, (tie) Chason Floyd, Buffalo, S.D., and Shawn Downing, Silver Star, Mont., 10.9. (second round) 1, Dru Melvin, Hebron, Neb., 8.2. 2, Struxness, 8.7. 3, Cody Kroul, Solon, Iowa, 9.6. 4, (tie) Olin Hannum, Malad, Idaho, and Riley Butler, Blackfoot, Idaho, 10.3. 6, Dean Finnerty, Wheatland, Wyo., 10.5. 7, Weston Taylor, Perryton, Texas, 10.8. 8, Blair Jones, Colby, Kan., 11.0. (total on two) 1, Bugenig, 17.2. 2, Struxness, 17.6. 3, Parrott, 22.3. 4, (tie) Eldridge, and Floyd, 22.6. 6, Sainsbury, 22.9. 7, Scott Guenthner, Consort, Alberta, 24.3.  8, Kroul, 24.4.

Tie-Down Roping: (first round) 1, Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas, 10.1 seconds. 2, Chase Williams, Stephenville, Texas, 10.3 seconds. 3, Billy Hamilton, Stigler, Okla., 11.0. 4, (tie) Boe Brown, Valentine, Neb.; Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas; and Tyler Thiel, Belle Fourche, S.D., 11.1 each. 7, Jayce Johnson, Hempstead, Texas, 11.3. 8, Matt Shiozawa, Chubbock, Idaho, 11.4. (second round) 1, Bryson Sechrist, Apache, Okla., 10.3. 2, Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, 11.0. 3, Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 11.1. 4, Matt Shiozawa, Chubbock, Idaho, 11.4. 5, Marcos Costa, Childress, Texas, 11.9. 6, Stephen McLauchlin, Rockwall, Texas, 12.2. 7, Blake Ash, Aurora, Mo., 29.7. 8, Kyle Lucas, Carstairs, Alberta, 12.6. (total on two) 1, Shiozawa, 22.8. 2, Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 24.9. 3, Lucas, 25.2. 4, Reese Reimer, Stinnett, Texas, 25.7. 5, Josh Jennings, Glendale, Utah, 26.1. 6, Quay Howard, Canyon, Texas, 26.3. 7, (tie) Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla., and Brice Ingo, Boone, Colo., 26.4.

Saddle Bronc Riding: (first round) 1, Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 84 points on Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Lulu. 2, (tie) Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, and Samuel Kelts, Millarville, Alberta, 82. 5, Ben Londo, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 81. 6, (tie) Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah, and Tyrell J. Smith, Great Falls, Mont., 80. 8, Tyrel Larson, Inglis, Manitoba, and Alex Wright, Milford, Utah, 79.5. (second round) 1, Thurston, 87 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Smoke Ring. 2, (tie) Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D., and Dawson Jandreau, Kennebec, S.D., 84. 4, Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah, 83.5. 5, Charlie Kogianes, Provo, Utah, 83. 5, Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 82.5. 6, (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw, Beaver, Utah, and Cody DeMoss, 81. 8, Brady Nicholes, Hoytsville, Utah, 80.5. (total on two) 1, Thurston, 171. 2, Cody DeMoss, 163. 3, Kelts, 161. 4, (tie) Ryder Wright and Cody Wright, 160.5. 6, Tyrell J. Smith, 160. 7, Bradshaw, 159. 8, Londo, 157.5.

Rookie Saddle Bronc Riding: (first round) 1, Leon Fountain, Socorro, N.M., 80 points. 2, Telden McLain, Tuscarora, Nev., 75. 3, Rhett Fox, Redig, S.D., 73. 4, (tie) McKoy Hugh Christiansen, Emery, Utah, and Hawkins Boyce, Malad, Idaho, 70. 6, Clay Stremler, Fallon, Nev., 68. (second round) 1, Josh Davison, Miles City, Mont., 76.5 points. 2, Shayde Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla., 76. 3, Blaise Freeman, Snyder, Texas, 74.  5, Jeff Cover, Ashby, Neb., 65.5. 6, (tie) William Bagley, Baker, Mont., and Clay Stremler, 64. 7, Ross Griffin, Tularosa, N.M., 63. 8, McLain, 62. (total on two) 1. Freeman, 139. 2, McLain, 137. 3, Stremler, 132. 4, Christiansen, 129. 5, Griffin, 118. 6, Tanner Lockhart, Lewis, Colo., 114. (on one) 7, Fountain, 80. 8, Davison, 76.5.

Team Roping: (first round) 1, Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas, and Dakota Kirchenschlager, Morgan Mill, Texas, 7.2. 2, (tie) Casey Adams, Ault, Colo., and Riley Pedro, Honolulu, Hawaii; Rowdy Rieken, Arp, Texas and Wesley Johnson, Log Cabin, La.; Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz.; Turner Harris and Ross Carson, Killdeer, N.D., 9.3. 6, Calvin Brevik, Durango, Colo., and Cullen Teller, Pierce, Colo., 9.4. 7, Casey Tew, Billings, Mont., and John Robertson, Polson, Mont., 9.8. 8, Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D., and Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., 10.1. (second round) 1, J.B. Lord and Levi Lord, Sturgis, S.D., 8.2. 2, (tie) Pate Norell, Delta, Colo., and Joe Roderick, Loma, Colo., and Nathan McWhorter, Telephone, Texas, and Dustin Davis, Terrell, Texas, 9.0. 4, (tie) Adam Rose, Willard, Mo., and Walt Woodard, Stephenville, Texas, and Jason Thorstenson, Rapid City, S.D., and Paul Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D., 9.3. 6, Casey Tew, Billings, Mont., and John Robertson, Polson, Mont., 9.8. 7, Wade, and Kirchenschlager, 10.0. 8, (tie) Levi Simpson, Ponoka, Alberta, and Jeremy Buhler, Abbottsford, B.C., 10.2. (total on two) 1, Wade and Kirchenschlager, 17.2. 2, Tew and Robertson, 19.6. 3, McWhorter and Davis, 19.7. 4, Brevik and Teller, 19.9. 5, Rose and Woodard, 20.0. 6, Cole Dorenkamp, Lamar, Colo., and Josh Fillmore, Penrose, Colo., 22.3. 7, Jr. Dees, Aurora, S.D., and Matt Zancanella, Aurora, S.D., 23.2. 8, J.B. Lord and Levi Lord, 23.8.

Barrel Racing: (second round) 1, Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 17.16 seconds. 2, Kathy Korell-Rach, Loveland, Colo., 17.29. 3, Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 17.42. 4, Amber Leigh Moore, Salem, Ore., 17.45. 5, Tyra Kane, Dublin, Texas, 17.46. 6, Tillar Murray, Fort Worth, Texas, 17.58. 7, (tie) Kelly Kennedy-Joseph, Berthoud, Colo., and Romany Gordon, Kaufman, Texas, 17.60. (total on two) 1, Murray, 35.14. 2, Cervi, 35.31. 3, Bean, 35.39. 4, Lockhart, 35.43. 5, Kane, 35.57. 6, Korell-Rach, 35.58. 7, Moore, 35.59. 8, (tie) Kennedy-Joseph and Cayla Melby, 35.61.

Bull Riding: (first round) 1, Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo., 87 points on Rocky Mountain Rodeo’s Captain Crunch. 2, Trevor Reiste, Linden, Iowa, 86.5. 3, (tie) Freeman Yoder, Zearing, Iowa, and Jeff Askey, Athens, Texas, 84.5. 5, Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash., 84. 6, Dallee Mason, Weiser, Idaho, 83. 7, (tie) Justin Hendrix, Belton, Texas; Jeston Mead, Holcomb, Kan., and Eli Vastbinder, Statesville, N.C., 82.5. (second round) 1, Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Idaho, 85 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Crossfire. 2, Eli Vastbinder, Statesville, N.C., 83.5. 3, Garrett Tribble, Bristow, Okla., 81. 4, (tie) Kurtis Turner, Washington, Utah, and Tyler Smith, Fruita, Colo., 80.5. 6, Scottie Knapp, Albuquerque, N.M., 80. 8, Rocky McDonald, Colonia Juarez, Mexico, 79.5. (total on two) 1, Vastbinder, 166. 2, Jarboe, 165. 3, (tie) Wallace and Hendrix, 160.5. 5, Yoder, 159.5. 6, Tyler Smith, 158.5. 7, Askey, 155.5. 8, Jordan Hansen, Oktooks, Alberta, 153.5.

Wild Horse Race: 1, Team Allen, $573. 2, Billy Sharton, $430. 3, Gordon Lightfoot, $286. 4, Wagon Burners, $143. (overall money leaders) 1, Team Krak-A-Latch, $1002. 2, Jason Smith, $716. 3, (tie) John Long and Hansen Hauling, $573.